Thursday, January 15, 2009

Jumbling Tumbling Out of My Head Much Like Mumbling

I was in a funk when I first got back, and I've been trying to find my way out of it. I think it was a combination of vacation blues, homesickness, and a cold which didn't make things any easier. Who gets a cold once a month? Sheesh!

As I started the year, my super awesome contract with Activant was cut which sent me into a tailspin of "what the heck am I to do with my life?" Some interesting things have happened because of this tailspin, all of them wonderful:
  • I stopped trying so hard to immerse myself in the Chilean culture. I'm tired of Spanish. I'm tired of connecting with new people that don't really "get" me. I summed it up with my best friend "J" that they're all nice...they're just not "my people." So the upside of this is that I've been hanging out with Caitlin and Mari, who I consider "my people." People who get me, who support my struggles, who ask me to support theirs. I feel far more uplifted from a day hanging with Mari and Caitlin than I do with my Chilean friends. So I'm just gonna continue doing so until I feel differently.
  • Because of the no money thing, I stopped Spanish lessons and Yoga at Bikram (which my parents dub military yoga). Instead I joined a gym where I could take dance, yoga, kickboxing and work out for about an eighth of the cost. I figured it would also help me out of my funk, which it has. It's a small, independent, rundown looking gym. But it's got charm. It also offered a free personal training program and even better, this program was accompanied by the very cute personal trainer Jaime who is just my type: Hispanic, fit, funny and bestill my heart, he can dance! Today I think he might have invited me out on a date to this lagoon an hour outside of Santiago for a barbeque and wind surfing lessons...but I'm not quite sure as always. I think what confused me was the totally calm and casual way in which he asked me. No one has EVER been that smooth. I was sort of just in awe and found myself agreeing in spite of recent swearing off of Chilean men.
  • I figured out what I'd like to do when I return: write...specifically journalism and essays. And in submitting queries and articles within the last two weeks, I got my first "yes" and will get a few articles published online for this publication called Matador Travel. I'll let you know when they come out. I also managed to find some work for companies that will support my magazine/newspaper freelancing habit. So I'm going to read a lot of journalism books, write a lot for now, and see what happens. But I'm really, really happy about the whole thing. It's like finding a lost part of myself. It just fits.
  • I'm realizing that with my newfound writing career, living in the Bay Area might not be the brightest idea in the world. Portland, Seattle, and Madison have all of sudden become ideas for places to live when I return. I am surprised by this revelation--why would ever think of not living in the Bay Area? And yet, I am. So I need your help. I'm looking for a city filled with young people where I could possibly take public transportation instead of driving and where I could live on a writer's salary and where my dog would have space--anyone with suggestions, let me know!

And that's all folks for now. I think even though I'm a bit homesick, in my heart, I know my place is here for now. Even though I miss my family and friends, my dog and cats, this is where I need to be. For a second there, I had been thinking that maybe it was time to throw in the towel and go home, but now I know, the adventure in Chile has barely begun.

Chao Chicos,



Melissa said...

Congratulations on your articles, Cathy! I am SO happy for you! And perhaps the travel mags can help subsidize your next vacation! Very cool indeed. Just wanted to stop by to say hi and thank you for your e-mail. A reply is in the works, I promise!

Take care, hon!


Carissa said...

I live in Portland, and I give it big thumbs up. It's cheap here, too, compared to the others you listed.

Holler if you do come up here. Otherwise, I may swap places with you. I've been trying to find ways to work in Chile, and travel, and write...oh daydreams.