Thursday, May 8, 2008

Moving on Faith

I lived in Chicago for 1 year, during that year I was a stay home mom. This is a brief long drawn out story about how instead of putting my head in an oven, JimmyEW and I moved on faith alone.

As soon as we moved to Chicago, pretty much everything possible went wrong as could go wrong. Within the first week it started. We were damaged heavily in the financial area, it set us back years. Happiness was not Chicago.

I couldn't afford to work because of the cost of daycare, and my extreme fear of leaving the boys with someone I didn't know made it even tougher to find someone. Especially since HB's first daycare lady (not Daycare Diva) had a baby die in her care around the time I was contemplating trying to work.

It seemed my only option was to open my own daycare or get a job at a daycare, pay for them to be there while I watched other kids, and probably not make much money. My only hope was to keep my focus on three years in the future, when Boogs would be in Preschool and Kiki would be in Kindergarten.

Wow, that was a long way away. My coping mechanism was not ever thinking about tomorrow. Tomorrow was WAY TOO FAR AWAY. Perhaps the three years wouldn't have sucked if I'd had any friends to hang out with periodically, which I really didn't. And I did not fit in at all in the neighborhood we lived in. Here's me with my $2 garage sale umbrella stroller talking to a mom who can barely lift her hand for the heavy rock on her finger, pushing around her $800 Bugaboo. I'm sorry, I just don't have anything in common with that.

So, I was a bitch on wheels. No one could do anything right, except Bag of Cookies, and I loved them unconditionally. They said all the right things, was quiet when I needed them to be and was always around when I needed a friend. Mmmm....cookies, what can't they do? When people would ask me how I was, my answer was always "I'm maintaining". I got it from the movie Dick. Great flick!! Ooooh! That rhymed! I dealt with it.

One day my landlord/neighbor/friend/only thing that kept me sane, told me he couldn't handle the city anymore and was moving. I couldn't fathom living there without them in my backyard. They were the bright spot in my lonely days. All hope was lost for me.

Then one day we left the city to visit my hometown. JimmyEW and I went out on a little date, I guess I had enough appeal left in my personality for him to want to spend some time alone with me. It was that day, back in Hometown, that he said he saw the old Sassy back and decided that we could move back home.

"Back home" you say? Yes, we had moved to Chicago from Beautiful Northern Michigan, where "The View of the Bay is Half the Pay" and the business owners believe that, for the most part.

JimmyEW told me while we were visiting, that we could move to my Hometown. Personally, I had never wanted to settle down in my hometown, but anything was better than Chicago. So I was happy. But then, on the trip home he suggested that moving to Hometown wasn't so different from Northern Michigan and made the suggested that we just move back. I cried I was so happy. I called my beloved friend and mentor Marcia and excitedly told her. I called everyone I had left behind...which was just two other phone calls lol.

So we made ready. It was August and our lease was up in October, we had 2 months to pull it all together. I started applying for jobs everywhere I could. I called, I hounded, I drove them insane trying to get them to interview me. Nothing. Same with JimmyEW.

Many people thought we were doing the wrong thing. Lots of different people told him to move me out to the suburbs and make me cope. I don't know how many times my mother or a sister told me they thought I had post partum depression. I would get irate, and scream that it was NOT post partum! I was miserable! I was lonely! My husband worked a lot! And we were ruined financially! We couldn't survive there. It was SIT-U-ATIONAL! I didn't want a pill to cope, I wanted to change my SITUATION!

It was now September and we decided that in October I would move regardless, and if he didn't have a job yet, he'd stay in Chicago on my friend's couch until he got a job. I would move, alone with the kids, and keep looking for work. People thought I was crazy, but I knew this was the right thing to do.

It was the second to last week in September and both JimmyEW and I were called for an interview. We both went, found an apartment and signed a lease. I went to my interview and was offered the job making $10,000 less than I was used to making. I wanted it, but my face visible fell when I saw the number. We had done numbers and there was a break even point that I had to get for it to make sense for me to work.

Seeing my face fall, the man started back peddling, saying if I opted out of benefits he could increase and then he'd talk to the owner and see if they could go higher. For some reason he must really wanted to hire me. This is especially funny since the person who would be my supervisor, and later friend, put my resume on the NO pile. Once again, faith coming to save my day.

The next day was JimmyEW's interview. We were at the park when he drove up with a big fat smile on his face. They'd offered him a job at about the break even amount we'd discussed! It would be about a $10,000 pay decrease for him and no company car or gas card, but we'd be home.

We went back to Chicago, packed our crap, I got a call and they offered me a package that had a bit of an increase with a promise to look at it in 90 days and I took it. When JimmyEW got his offer letter and we thought it was a typo. Because, it showed him as making $13,000 more than he was expecting! A freaking pay RAISE and a view of the bay! Semi-charmed life, welcome back to Sassyland!

I moved back home, starting work, put the kids into a daycare that I knew and trusted and JimmyEW came two weeks later. Everything worked out perfectly, just as it should have. We left and moved, putting it all in God's hands to provide for us and He did.

Chicago wasn't all bad. Here's a brief visual overview to things I thought were kind of cool about Chicago.

Sunday in the Park (with Kiki's head and a sleeping Boogs who had a MASSIVE meltdown in the Art Institute. Allergy to dairy, as it turns out)
The thing that kept my head out of the oven. My Landlord, neighbor and friend. He would sit with me, sympathize with me and play with my kids. He was a stay home dad of a 2 year old and I love him and his wife. They made my life bearable.
I also saw people a lot more often. Sister Mary Elephant , for one, who lived about 45 minutes from the city. She'd drop in and spend time with me, do wonderful things for me, clean my NASTY house and play with the boys. I miss her lots :( I also got to see my best friend who lives in KY. She was only 5 hours away. That was a big con to moving.
My beautiful friend who lived in the city, but is a very hard worker and has a very active social life so I didn't spend nearly as much time with her as I'd like to. She is my children's social justice Goddess Mother and I love and miss her.
And of course, the best, we got Boogs in ChicagoBut... it just wasn't home. I know people say that your make home where you are, but we were just in the wrong place. And so it goes. Sometimes you have to do what you know is right for you, even if everyone else is telling you not to.
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Valarie said...

I love this story! I think it was a brave a wonderful thing that you moved on faith, and look at you know. Much happier :)

That picture of Boogs is precious. :)

saintseester said...

I don't care if people say you make your home where you are. Many places have worked for me. But your Chicago story sounds a lot like my Houston story. I tried to make it work, but I hated living in Houston with every pore of my being. I was miserable, depressed, and finally, just moved home. Without a job or prospects. But it all worked out in the end.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I love, love, love this story. I'm a firm believer in people listening to their hearts and going for it. Congrats to you and JimmyEW for following what was totally right for your family. Also, I think JimmyEW is a gem. What a sweetie!

Sister Sassy said...

Oh! ANd I totally think its important to say that during that awful Chicago I found my faith again and it was the suckiness and bringing me to my knees that made me go a searching. So that was really one of the best things, all things happen as they should. If Chicago hadn't happened, I don't know if I would have found my way back (if you have NO idea what I'm talking about, read yesterday's post)

Hairline Fracture said...

Nothing like being in a situation that is ALL WRONG for you to make you grateful when you find the place you are meant to be. Good for you for taking the step of faith to move...and now that it is over, you can see the good that came out of it. That is actually very helpful to me right now.

Sister Honey Bunch said...

I see no Ode to HB in this post?? Anyway, we love having you back.

Doodles said...

Maybe God sent you to Chicago so you would find your faith again. I'm so glad you did. This is such a great and inspirational story about your faith. The baby picture of Boogs is just too cute!

Ashlee said...

I was going to say what Doodles said. Maybe you had to have Chicago so you could find your faith again?
Thanks for sharing your story. What an awesome hubby you have to help you pack up and get back to sanity-land. :0) Yay JEW!

kspin said...

I have wondered many times if my move here hasn't been for similar reasons. I'm so glad that you are not afraid to open up like this and share the times that weren't always so great and happy. I admire you so much. thanks.

Jane the Sane said...

Great story! Thanks for sharing it.

Mitch T said...

Don't stick your head in the oven unless you plan to cook it. I've done the research. This method was favored in England when they used coal gas, which contained a great deal of carbon monoxide. The natural gas we use in the US (and the UK now) is mostly methane. The exclusion of oxygen will eventually suffocate you, but not before the methane gets to a level that might also obliterate your house, your neighbors' houses, and the rescuers who might have shown up.

Sister Sassy said...

Hmmmm.... Good to know Mitch. That would be awfully irresponsible of me to blow up everyone's houses in the process of trying to fume myself to death. :) I'll be sure to keep that in mind.

Mitch T said...

I'm just saying that anyone who wants to go should do it like they were leaving a party – a discrete thank you and good-bye to the host or hostess, then slip away without making a scene. Those people who throw themselves in front of trains or head-on a semi don't consider what happens to the engineer/driver afterwards. It's the last opportunity to show some consideration and taste, and should not be ignored.

Sister Sassy said...

Lol Mitch. I can see you have put some thought in to this. I am in agreement about how to go... without harm to anyone. However if I were to "go" I think I'd prefer something a bit more dramatic though, like the white cliffs of Dover... or Alice from Last of the Mohicans when she just lets herself fall after Uncus dies. That was a good scene.

Not that I've thought about this before or ok. I'm going to bed now :)

Jane the Sane said...

I pink puffy heart the Last of the Mohicans movie.