Sometimes things which *should* be obvious are not.

We’re so occupied elsewhere that we miss what’s in front of our face.

That happened to me the other day.

I was catching a bus downtown for SXSW, and it dawned on me. 

I live in Austin.

I live in AUSTIN.

I LIVE in Austin.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to live in a city.

Now I do.

But I was working a job that didn’t allow me to appreciate it.

I don’t think I fully realized how traumatizing my last job was.

It’s been a month since I started working at the feminist bookstore down the street from my house, and I am just now starting to feel competent at it. I am still learning new things every day, but now there more things I can remember how to do, so it feels a little less overwhelming.

Scheduling is definitely trickier and it’s harder to get social time in now, but I feel hopeful.

I think in some ways, even though I had moved, because I was still working almost the same job I had before I came to Austin there was a part of me that hadn’t quite caught up to that.

I was too depressed and drained to really be able to take advantage of what was around me or to even notice it. It felt too overwhelming.

That’s not to say I never did anything.

There were moments that I recognized I was attending events I wouldn’t have been able to before.

But at some point, all of that was overshadowed by my stress.

I stopped seeing everything except the job I hated, staring down another week of misery, and often being too tired to want to do much else.

Standing at the bus stop in the rain, I felt a world of possibility again.

I can volunteer at a local farm for free vegetables.

I can sell feminist books.

I can take a bus or learn to ride my bike.

I can go to fun events.

I can schedule time to see friends if that’s what it takes.

I can explore my neighborhood, finally.

I live in a city.

I live in a city.

I live in a city.

Now I just need a performance outlet and I will be set.

I think I just need time to find myself again.

I lost myself in my old job. I spent so much time being this person that I hated, that I forgot how to be a person that I like.

But I think I’m finding her again. Slowly but surely.

My anxiety feels much more manageable now, though I am sure I will still have my days.

I’m recognizing just how much my self-esteem has eroded in the past year and a half.

I need space to find my voice again, and to assert myself.

I need to be able to believe in myself again, and to believe I am valued by others.

I will get there.

But it’s a process, and I can’t rush it, and I have to be patient with myself.

Getting a new job didn’t magically make everything better overnight.

But now I can get back on track piece by piece, and try to regain my bearings, instead of just marching in place.

Baby steps.

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