It’s the dead of winter in Virginia, and I’ve been absent from the blog for a while. My dad was sick, and then passed away just before Thanksgiving last year. I’ve been in the doldrums since then, buried in a punishing full time job and dealing with grief, burnout, and absolutely NO creative motivation. The last few days felt like Spring was coming! And then…it was 35 degrees yesterday. Ah, Virginia, how I love your weather. So I quit my job at the beginning of February–said no, thank you to the grueling pace with no time off (since July, unless you count my dad’s funeral…which I don’t), disrespect and other frustrations–and said YES to self-care and life and family and creativity. Yes, I’m looking for another job, but it has to be the right job. For the right company. And I’m writing again, working part-time on the Kandinsky sequel, and part-time on a little pet project about a woman who builds a glass house at the beach. (Because I’m an architecture nerd, it was inspired by Mies van der Rohe and the house he built for Edith Farnsworth in Pennsylvania).
I was in Boston a few weeks ago for work, struggling with anxiety and depression and generally feeling overwhelmed, when I thought of Rebecca. She was sent away from her safe, comfortable life into a world of intrigue and uncertainty, and she managed it in spite of her fear. I figured the least I could do was leave my hotel room and go do my site survey. There’s something to be said for the growth that comes from being pushed out of your comfort zone–it makes a lot of things possible. But I think there’s definitely a balance–outside the comfort zone isn’t someplace I can live full-time. Living with chronic anxiety, I need a home base, a nest that I can retreat to when the world gets too scary–and that can be my home, or my job, or the people I interact with on a daily basis. I think that’s okay. It gives me the strength I need to go back out and attack the world again, to live up to the next challenge. Just like Rebecca did. For now, I think she’s probably regrouping, learning more about code-breaking so she can take over the training from Mr. Baumgart when he retires. So she (and I) will be ready for our next adventure.