Feeling Crushed

I’ve truly been doing the best I can.

Something is so off for me. I can’t put my finger on what it is exactly. I can name plenty of things, but there is something deeply, deeply rooted that I can not unearth.

I can’t have the conversation about a job search with anyone anymore. I’m tired of hearing the stock answers that “you’re so smart and talented someone you will always land on your feet!” Or “why can’t you do something else? I’m sure you have transferable skills!” Then their brainstorming starts “have you tried this!” “I know someone who does that, why can’t you?” “I know admin assistants that make over $100k – surely you can find a job!” Do people truly not understand how hard it is to pivot a career at 53 years old? A career built in very, very specific and technical experience? I sound cranky because I am.

I am not unhappy with the job I have exactly. I doesn’t pay enough (I took 1/3 of my normal salary, so that puts me back to what I made when I was 30 years old) but I remind myself every single day that I am very grateful to have any job in my industry. It’s on the other side of the country and I just don’t want to live in Portland, Oregon. While some friends try and encourage me and make it sound like a great new adventure, I feel that the ones who are the most honest with me will say “its not your place and hopefully this is only temporary.” It is not my place. I am an urbanite at heart. Going to a crunchy granola, outdoor loving extremely liberal place yet totally not diverse city is just not for me. I am praying I can convince my new team that I can remain remote for good. If I can do that, I can come up with a plan that feels comfortable to me, despite the loss of salary. I am trying every day to remain positive and grateful.

In the meantime I am so overwhelmed with the timing and making a plan – and that’s a kiss of death for a planner like me.

I have decided to sell my home. While the pain of this decision resonates with me every day, I know this is the right decision. My brain is in overdrive to think of ways to stay, to keep my old dream of living here forever so my grandchildren could be close (imaginary grandchildren I don’t even have yet). I fight with myself daily to stick to my decision to sell. The market is ideal for a home like in in my proximity to the city. My brain is working so hard to keep me here that I often wake in a cold sweat fighting with this decision.

Besides the emotional and mental challenge to sell, I struggle with logistical challenges. Ideally, I want to pack up and move once. I don’t foresee that happening unless I can go totally remote. I want to be in my home until my youngest is off to college in early September – this really isn’t ideal for a new family to move in, so I know I have to be out in the summer. The plans look as follows depending on my circumstances:

  1. Sell the house as close to my move date as possible, pack everything and put into storage. If I had to live with my sister 2.5 hours away until my youngest is off to college, I suppose I could do that. Then, move to Portland and rent a furnished apartment for about 6 months while looking for a place to live.
  2. If remote, sell the house in the summer, buy (or rent) a townhome further south in the same state where it would be more affordable but keeping me within about an hour drive to all my family and friends

I need to avoid moving more than twice – once out of this house and then once our of storage. That’s already super costly AND I have to consider how to get my car and stuff I need to wherever I land in the interim of having a full time home.

Right now, my job expects me to move around September. I do believe I can convince them to let me stay home longer, but even if they did, that wouldn’t be sensible as far as selling my home because I would have no where to live. I am so stressed about how I will see my kids if I leave this state. I don’t make enough money to maintain any type of residence in two states. And I know my kids well enough, they may come visit once, but they won’t want to be put out. That really sucks.

Add this break up on top of everything and I feel really shitty.

I have my first therapy appointment Friday. I’m praying most of the service is covered because she’s expensive. If I have to pay 20% it will already be $50 which isn’t a terrible fee every week. But if the insurance does that “usual and customary fee” thing and they say they only pay 80% of (not $250 which is her rate) then I might be paying much more – and I can’t even afford the $50 frankly.

I don’t want to go on more meds. I can barely have an orgasm as it is, and any stronger meds will kill my libido. At least my sex life was healthy.

I feel so crushed by the weight of everything lately. At least before I had Scott to hold my hand through so much of this change. Now I’m just alone.

I don’t even have friends or family to help me through this exactly. I lost my best friend post Mexico, and I sort of don’t blame her. My other closest friend is not the type to come running to help in a crisis, she would be there on the phone, but that’s about it.

I’m just feeling like I’ve really fucked up my life since 2018 and I don’t know how to get any part of it back.

Author: Madeline Harper

My journey through divorce and an emotional and sexual reawakening. Love, laughter, friendships, family and heartbreak included. And there is sex, lots of it, so close your eyes and turn the page if that's not for you! While I started this blog as an endeavor to journal my thoughts and feelings in an attempt to better understand myself, it has become an amazing platform from which I have met some of the most interesting and wonderful people in my life. My path is often crooked, but I hope you will share in the journey with me.

10 thoughts on “Feeling Crushed”

  1. Sounds like the same dilemma I had last year when I moved from Wisconsin. And I’m moving again this September from Virginia to Nevada. It’s hard to move when you don’t know anybody in the place that you need to move. I’m basically throwing a dart and picking a place. I have to do it this year, so that I’m settled when my daughter starts high school next year. All my other girls are scattered around the country, so if I wanna see them, I have to go to them. It’s so tough M, but I can relate in so many ways. I’m always here if you need someone to talk to. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh that’s funny he lives in Virginia too. I live in Sterling. I’ve also been to Oregon and I don’t blame you for not wanting to go there. I didn’t know you couldn’t pump your own gas the last time I was there and nearly got arrested for doing it! Lol… Needless to say, I’ve not wanted to go back since. Lol… I chose Nevada mainly because of a dream I had of Utah. I dreamt of Mt. Zion National Park in Utah before I’d ever even seen it. Anyway, long story short, once I got to actually go there it felt so much like home, I’ve wanted to go back ever since. I decided to chose Nevada because it’s still so close to Utah, but doesn’t tax retirement and their laws will still allow me to homeschool my daughter for one more year before I send her to high school. We’ve moved a lot because we’re a military family, and I spent the last three years away from my husband and didn’t want to continue that kind of life any longer. Distance is so hard on a relationship and I couldn’t see the point of being married if I wasn’t living with him. So we’re back together and trying to start over again. The good thing about Oregon is it’s a pretty state and you’ll be close to the ocean. I grew up in California and I really do miss the pacific coast.

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  2. Argh – you are having to make some tough decisions. I will say that once my kids left for college, they were gone. Yes, we had them during vacations, but once they graduated, both left the state for good. Their next level of school and career weren’t here. My nest is truly empty for good. I moved 70 miles from Miami, so all my infrastructure changed over the past two years. Covid brought all my social plans to a screeching halt. But it’s OK for now for me.

    As for the job search – it is simply brutal to be a 50-ish career woman. We are not wanted for the most part. They want young & perky both for the cost and because we can’t possibly be current on tends, etc. I sat back and said “fuck it”. I’m under-employed. I can do my full time job in 20 -30 hours/week. But I like the people, the security, the peace of mind, the space in my life to simply be. I accept it’s not for everyone.

    I wish you nothing but the best. I hope you kick butt and take names. I hope they value your talent. You have been in the center of a shit show for some time. You deserve a break. Hugs to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi M,
    I’ve followed your blog for quite some time. You’re at such a vulnerable place in your life. It’s a terribly stressful time for you now. I understand the suckiness of job searching over 50. My brother lost his job and interviewed for over two years. He interviews well and had a good resume. None of the headhunters he worked with ever called to let him know about his interviews. He went back to a few prospective employers two and three times for interviews. He never was offered a job. It was a terrible time for him and his family. It’s so demoralizing.

    I truly hope/wish you can stay where you’re happy. You freely admit you don’t want to move. It’s so brutal. You will have so many stressors to deal with: new home, new job, recent breakup, no support system nearby, etc. It’s like setting yourself up to fail. Nobody needs or deserves that!

    Could you try convincing your new employer to let you continue to work remotely? Maybe you could commute there when absolutely necessary.
    Could you possibly take a second job you might not love but would add to your income? Something way off your radar? Think for a minute; is it better to go somewhere you believe you’ll hate, or do something you might think is below you, but allows you to stay by your boys and where you prefer to live?

    I have no clear answer but have been wondering if such a thing is possible for you. Could you imagine yourself waiting tables in the evening if it meant great tips? Would you be able to teach peloton classes? What about working retail? If you’re good, you can work your way up the ladder quickly. Could you ever see yourself cleaning someone else’s house on weekends if it meant an extra $800 or more per month?

    I guess you probably have thought of these ideas already. I hope your therapist helps you to clarify the right path to take and how to stay mentally healthy. You have already been through so much. Take care of yourself!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your comments, insight and for following my blog for so long.

      I did try some of your suggestions – primarily finding a similar salary job as I have now to keep me close to my boys – and no luck. I am still trying. I cannot sacrifice my retirement funds to stay close to my kids though, so taking a job that is so low paying just to stay close to my kids, isn’t a good all around solution for anyone. I can’t be a burden to them later in their lives, which means I need to earn all I can responsibly now.

      At the risk of sounding spoiled, I know my limits and I can’t clean homes or work in Target. If all other options became unavailable, I would have to resort to something else, but I was able to secure a stable role with a great company, just in a bad location (for me).

      I know I need a therapist right now and I want to be here for my kids in the future so I have to take control of my mental health before it spirals out of control.

      I do hope I can convince them to let me remain remote for good. That would be ideal. I just may not know that for months.

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      1. I understand not wanting to take any old second job, especially one that is low-paying. Often, it isn’t cost-effective. Between the cost/time of the commute (if that is a factor) and the way it might increase your tax-bracket without substantially adding more to your income, it’s not necessarily a net-win. It certainly wouldn’t be if you had young kids who needed childcare. The one thing it would give you (and anyone) is insight into how impossible it is to live the American Dream on a minimum-wage job. So much of this country is just flat-out screwed.

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      2. Isn’t that the truth. I am grateful I have a decent paying job at a stable and good company. I am disappointed in myself for my own breakdown in 2018 and losing a job I should have been capable of holding on to until something better came along. The role I took makes sense. I’m learning and the company is solid. I’m still luckier than most that I was able to live 2 years in my home with no income. And that I got a job during a pandemic.

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      3. There is one globally-recognized apparel company that I know of in the Portland area (Beaverton, actually) and one of my Portland friends who used to work there as a fabric designer swears up and down what a wonderful employer they are. If that is where you work, then that makes me happy. I’d hope they would be flexible and can work with your needs. Imagine the commercial rent they would be saving by not having to create and maintain an on-site office for you!

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      4. Believe it or not, there are so many in Oregon! It’s like the outdoor/Sportswear capital like NYC is the fashion capital. I’m not with the biggest company there…but, you never know what’s next! Fingers crossed I don’t have to make this move just yet.

        Small world your friend is a fabric designer….

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