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Serious implosion today. I started the morning tolerably well, but as time went on my energy level dropped, my head started pounding, and every inch of my nervous system was jangling and painful. I haven't had such a deep "just being alive hurts" crash since the worst days of 2002.

I took the only viable option, which was to inform my boss that I wasn't well and come back home, crawl into bed, and pass out, grateful to bid the conscious world goodbye for a while.

Sometime around 2:00 I woke back up again, ears still ringing but at least I didn't hurt all over any more. Now I'm trying to take advantage of the unexpected time to do some mental maintenance and get to some of the things I never get to because I'm too busy-- like the shirts I've got sitting on the ironing board. Simple and straightforward chores can be remarkably comforting.

I'm also trying to work on an exit strategy for my current lifestyle, because I can't keep going this way. I posted the other day about how my current life was unacceptable, and today's meltdown is more evidence of the same. There are many things that need to change, not the least of which is that laurie_robey and I need to get away from the constant shrill stress of our jobs and the Washington DC area generally.

We've talked many times about where our "dream home" might be; my current touchstone is "the town of Nelson as seen in Steve Martin's Roxanne." Nelson B.C. is a real town, actually, and it's apparently fairly well known as a funky artsy town, but I'm not really interested in trying to move to another country if I can avoid it.

Kerry was convinced that Laurie and I should go to Eugene, OR, which is a college town in the Pacific Northwest, and I don't know that she was wrong. We're also eyeing Portland, on the grounds that it has two used bookstores on every corner (not to mention Powell's, the largest used bookstore in the country), which suggests that it's a town that might be filled with our kinds of people.

I will miss our cozy little Hobbit Hole, even if I won't miss the neighborhood it's in. But y'know, there are other cozy houses out there, and there must be at least one that we could afford to live in and have jobs that weren't driving us to early graves. Maybe even (gasp!) one where I could afford to start trying to make a living doing what I should be doing, not what I'm forcing myself to do to earn a big enough paycheck.

Meanwhile... guh. I've got to keep calm and bugger on.

-The Gneech


( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 16th, 2013 07:23 pm (UTC)
My sister lives in Eugene! It seems like a nice place, very outdoorsy and pleasant.
Apr. 16th, 2013 07:45 pm (UTC)
Laurie and I spent a little time in Eugene during our SF-to-Portland road trip a few years back, it seemed like a nice lil' town. There were a few like that, actually-- my memories of Eugene and Eureka are muddled. Can't imagine why, with names like that. ;)

Apr. 16th, 2013 08:38 pm (UTC)
I'm terrible with places with similar names - just one of the ways in which I fail at navigation. Not far from me are the three villages of Lingfield, Lindfield, and Limpsfield. OH COME ON.
Apr. 17th, 2013 12:31 pm (UTC)
Could be worse.

My brother lives in Pennsville, which in next to Pennsgrove and both are not too far from Pennsylvania, which is just to the north and across the river. :=3

Yes, William Penn's name is immortalized in the Pennsylvania region. :=3
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 16th, 2013 07:47 pm (UTC)
Right now we're wall-to-wall with family and work obligations, which is part of what's hitting me so hard. When I do have some free time, it's mostly being devoted to video games because they take so little energy.

My intention is to shift that to reading instead... if I'm not going to get anything done, I should at least be not-getting-anything-done better. ;)

re: East vs. west, this is a thing I've heard over and over, and from my personal observations, I believe it.

Apr. 16th, 2013 08:35 pm (UTC)
Portland, from what little I know of it, sounds great.

I am desperately trying to escape my job and thinking of ways I might be able to support myself by writing, so I will watch your progress with interest (and soon, hopefully, envy!).
Apr. 16th, 2013 09:11 pm (UTC)
If it helps at all both Galadrion and I adore living here in PDX.

I have been here for 8yrs+ and I personally can't imagine living many other places.

Apr. 16th, 2013 09:54 pm (UTC)
To expand on what my more socially acceptable half was saying, it's a great place. Not quite two bookstores on every corner, but there's a good reason that one of the better-known unofficial mottoes of the area is "Books, beer, and bicycles". All three are very popular.

Incidentally, if you're looking to reduce the stress and expense in your life in relation to driving, this is probably one of the best municipalities in the country in which to do so. You probably won't go to the extreme I did (gave up the driver's license), but you can easily get away with driving much less than in most places. I moved here from Houston, where it's thirty miles to anywhere, and now everywhere is within walking or, at least, public transit distance. And for half the year, biking is really pleasant. (I generally walk in the rain - I don't bike so well with an umbrella.)

Beer - I don't know how many microbreweries there are in this burg, but I've been to about two dozen myself, and I'm not a particularly prolific party animal. The thing is, most of them are attached to some pretty good restaurants. There are also lots of vineyards and even a couple of sake distilleries fairly close by, and also Tillamook, in case you like either cheese or ice cream. And if you like coffee or tea, well, if you move out here I can direct you to Longbottom's...

Apr. 16th, 2013 09:57 pm (UTC)
I know what you mean about the DC area. I found it cold and smothering. But I grew up in the Bay Area, so it was a huge culture shock for me. West Coast is definitely more relaxed in many ways.
Apr. 16th, 2013 10:18 pm (UTC)
Sorry to hear you had one of those days. I do know what you mean about family soaking up energy and time. Of course it's right to do and to be there for them, still it takes it toll. Here's hoping you can rebound soon.
Apr. 16th, 2013 10:32 pm (UTC)
Funny how all these people talking about the relaxing west coast are not in Los Angeles XD

There's a reason we're considering Seattle at some point. Perhaps I should explore Portland as well!

Somehow I missed the Eugene part; I had a friend who attended the UofO and I visited her once for a weekend. The weather wasn't my favorite that week, but I can see you liking the place :-)

Edited at 2013-04-16 10:33 pm (UTC)
Apr. 16th, 2013 10:44 pm (UTC)
Yes, good point. Ryan and I always refer to LA as "DC with palm trees" :)
Apr. 16th, 2013 10:36 pm (UTC)
I have to say I've never been enamored of your almost annual desire to leave the DC area. I find it quite frightening actually.
Apr. 17th, 2013 03:57 am (UTC)
If he ever does move away, I'm going to end up with just you to hang out with, at which point I may as well become a hermit. On the other hand, if he does move away, it would mean my life needed reevaluating too because I would then have two choices; lose myself even more in games, which would be rather sad, or actually change, which would be terribly frightening.
Apr. 17th, 2013 10:50 am (UTC)
You two don't experience this area the same way we do, because you both live in a relatively small portion of the area. hantamouse especially, since he doesn't have a driver's license. You're basically living in a smaller town inside a metropolitan area. I have to say, though, that the metropolitan area keeps creeping further into the small town. Fairfax isn't Vienna yet, but I can't imagine it remaining that way. It's the nature of a constantly expanding metro area.

We, on the other hand, live in a place that thinks it's a small town but hasn't come to terms with the fact that it's not a small town anymore, and is more a speed bump near Dulles airport. And we commute almost every week day to Tysons, which is at the edge of where the worst of this area's traffic begins.

And there are nice people around here, but there are also plenty of not-nice people.

So, why do you and hantamouse want to stay in this area? Is it that you're comfortable with it because you've both lived here all your lives (not that there's anything wrong with that)? I'm not saying you'd necessarily be happier someplace else. I'm just curious.

I know you both agree with us that you hate the summers! Having said all that, our friends would be what we missed most about this place, but we can always hang out via webcam!
Apr. 17th, 2013 02:38 pm (UTC)
nothing really keeps me here, it's just that there's never been anything that strongly made me want to not be here either. So here continues to win out over the unknown of somewhere else.
Apr. 17th, 2013 11:20 pm (UTC)
I like my job, and I love my commute, and everything is here.

Getting to everything that matters is at most a day trip.
Beaches, mountains, caverns
World class zoo, museums, theaters
Three airports, subway, multiple bus systems

Every neighborhood type, olde country estates, tract mansions, townhouses, planned communities, aging subdivisions, garden apartments, skyrises.
Every social class from ambassador to street bum
Every terrain between tropical rainforest and tundra,
Every possible kind of weather, including some newly invented kinds.

... ok, Fighter jets, earthquakes, snipers

Lots of well paying jobs, an almost total immunity to recessions, and (in VA) a tax rate 2/3 to 1/2 what the west coast has.

What, other than your job+commute, do you not like about it?
Apr. 28th, 2013 09:31 pm (UTC)
The job and traffic is a huge factor. The general cost of living is high (granted, there are other places just as high, if not higher). The population density. The general stress level of the people around here. The hot, humid summers and increasingly non-existent winters.

It may be that if I could changes jobs and avoid the stressed out people and traffic, live in a less populated part of the area, and just stay inside in the AC all summer, it might not bug me as much.
Apr. 16th, 2013 10:51 pm (UTC)
Well, you could always move up here to SJ. :=3

Plenty of quaint homes in very rural areas. :=3
Apr. 17th, 2013 12:41 am (UTC)
Having lived in all three (well, near Portland anyway), I've always been used to the rather mellow rhythm of the PNW. I can't imagine living without greenery (and the times I've been away from here, it is a bit of a shock). If you want to continue in a tech field, Portland or Seattle would be better, with Seattle with a slight edge. However, the downside is Seattle does have some of the worst traffic and moderate public transit. Portland has fantastic public transit, but the job market there is iffy. Portland and Seattle also did rank two and three as the "nerdiiest cities" list, with Seattle have some larger cons (RainFurrest, NorwestCon, Emerald City ComiCon, Sakuracon). WIth Eugene, the size kinda limits opportunities, but on the other hand, it's a lot cheaper than Seattle or Portland.
Apr. 17th, 2013 03:17 am (UTC)
*hugs* I'm with ya.
Apr. 17th, 2013 06:58 am (UTC)
Do keep us all posted if ya take that big step to move.... :>
Apr. 17th, 2013 04:24 pm (UTC)
Yes do keep us posted. Oh I don't know how I'm the more socially acceptable half when he had the more informational post.

However besides BEER, BIKES & BOOKS the PDX motto I like better is Keep Portland Weird.

Anyhoo if you end up over this way I'd be delighted to volunteer as a native guide.

Apr. 17th, 2013 07:09 pm (UTC)
Just for the record, I have never been happier since I moved from Maryland to Florida. The change of pace is just staggering. (The icon might be a slight overstatement, though.)
Apr. 18th, 2013 03:27 am (UTC)
Eugene is also a crazy hippie town... I personally recommend against it. And coming from someone who grew up in Boulder, CO (aka Weirdo Mecca), that's saying something.

Not that the Northwest is a bad place, but I urge you to have jobs before you sell the house; we're the nation's hinterland, and if you get off the I-5 Corridor at all, you're in the backwaters of the nation's hinterland.
Apr. 19th, 2013 12:01 am (UTC)
I understand. I loved visiting DC, but it doesn't seem like the kind of place I'd like to live.
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )

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