What if

 “I am eternally grateful to my relatives, who in my time of need, really stepped up for me.”

Due to some sudden unfortunate life circumstances, I’ve had to make some sudden decisions regarding my life. I’ve left the Bay Area in California and moved back to the Greater Seattle Area. It’s been up and down emotionally. I am eternally grateful to my relatives, who in my time of need, really stepped up for me. All of whom went out of their way to find and provide packing boxes for me, and who provided me immense emotional support in my time of need.

I’m most grateful for my parents. They’ve supported me through out my life, and despite how annoyed I may get with them at times, they’ve always come at a moment’s notice if I needed help. Since I’ve moved back into the area, they’ve opened their home to me while I find work.

Work search

Every time I do it, job searching is interesting. It’s a heady mix of all the possibilities for work out there, and the fear of not be good enough for them. Impostor syndrome is something many of us struggle with, and I’m certainly not immune to this feeling. We find that we must always remind ourselves that we are amazing people. When we apply ourselves and are given the chance, we can do wonderful things.

To that end, I focus on the things I can control. Updating resumes, applying to jobs, searching for gaps in my resume and knowledge that I can fill, and working on my writing portfolio.

Keeping myself busy

I like lists and goals. It’s so satisfying checking off items on a list when you’ve completed them.

I’ve always enjoyed learning new things. Asking questions and searching for answers, especially when people share their varied experiences with me. I like plans and lists as it keeps goals within sight. I’ve taken to finding a range of projects for me to complete. Projects like:

  • Further learning: This includes things for work, like online writing courses, and art learning.
  • Outdoor projects: I like growing things!
  • Digital painting: I go through phases of trying to bring this back into my life. It’s complicated.

California was not a waste

For many reasons I often feel like my time in California was a mistake and that I wasted a good amount of years. What could I have accomplished if I stayed in my awesome apartment, in a state and area that I love? A place that I could see green everywhere I go, the fresh air, and the wonderful feeling of rain as it falls on you. If I didn’t have to constantly worry about finding work that could sustain me in a place as expensive as the Bay Area?

I love the rain. I love bundling up in a blanket with a hot cup of tea or cider. There was a cider I would make after walking home from work on particularly cold days. I’d heat up cider, add a dash of vanilla, half a shot of butterscotch schnapps, and a cinnamon stick. I’d take a blanket and bundle up in front of my TV, with the cider and my cats in tow. It was comforting.

What if.

But, it wasn’t a mistake. I discovered that I could make it in a new area on my own. I discovered I really like writing things down as a job. Creating documentation, training materials, help content, what have you. I loved it, and I was good at it. I don’t think circumstances would have lead to me discovering that if I had stayed in Washington.

The people

I met so many wonderful people. I loved talking to the employees at one of my jobs. As an IT employee, I was slightly on the outskirts, and therefore on the outside of office politics. As I’d go around fixing issues for people, we’d talk and joke about so many things. Instead of people being annoyed that they had to have IT fix something once again, I’d see smiles as I’d come by. There were so many inside jokes I had with different people.

I met a wonderful woman who became a good friend of mine, who had one of the kindest hearts and best smiles. I met another awesome woman who became a mentor of mine in traversing office politics. I still remember how I’d confide in her things I was too afraid to tell anyone else at work about.

New skills

I learned to budget like a madman. I spent less than $100 a month total on my food every month. I’d plant vegetable ends to see if I could get them to grow. Green onions grow at a wicked pace. Faster than I used them!

The work skills I gained were vast and amazing. I further increased my organizational skills, writing skills, project skills, and so much more. I even took courses in how to be a trainer.

I learned Basil Gimlets are delicious.

I had some of the best tacos at Chachos (and some of the best drinks!).

It will get easier

It doesn’t feel like it now, but it will. Despite what I gained, I’ll still have that anxiety. That anxiety of:

 “What if.”


Elysa Hall

About Elysa Hall

Elysa is a writer, artist, and gamer. Cat lady to her cats Harle and Quinn. Loves books and secretly wishes she had the library from Beauty and the Beast.

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