I drove north to see my daughter (who was too ill to have any fun, so I left her in peace) and to take that visit to the social service agency I like so much.
We met for an hour. The director gave me a tour and introduced me to a lot of people for whom I will have absolutely no memory of their names. I will be starting there whenever I move. My plan is to have my deepest connection with their food program and whatever else is attached to that. It will give me the time I need to find my fit and get to know how much I can be helpful, without being a pest.
As time goes on, I will be doing the same work I have now here in this town. There exists the possibility that a grant proposal in progress will be used to start employment services up there. That means a desk in a corner somewhere, a cheap computer, printer and paper. If that grant needs to be used for something else, they do have Wi-Fi, will need to scrounge up a printer and supplies somewhere, but I will need to provide my own laptop. Not a huge deal, just one more expense of moving.
When I was there, I drove around, looking for for-rent signs. I found a senior community that is above my budget limits, by two hundred bucks, but it includes heat, which costs me in excess of two hundred dollars during the worst of the winter months. It is not an equal trade-off, but they have really decent laundry facilities on each floor, heated parking and I can have a cat again, for an extra cost, of course.
I found an upper flat in a small house on the river and will take a look at that on Saturday. I invited my daughter along, if she is feeling up to leaving the house.
An interesting aspect of leaving this place is how the process is changing my tolerances for some of the stuff at one of my jobs. I doubt that I would have left this job on my own, but now it will be easy to leave the lack of structure and administrative support, things that I have been feeling will adversely affect the safety that we all expect and need there. I am not the only person who worries about this, but I am the only one who is willing to address it. The others feel the same concerns, and are more than happy and willing to let me be the team member who is working to fix it.
There was a small change a month or so ago, a document that all of the women need to sign if they wish to stay at our shelter, concerning personal responsibility. Unfortunately, it is merely a slip of paper without any safety value.
I keep providing art and learning activities for our children and find that their mothers are even more interested in what I plan. One of them told me on Sunday that what we were doing was the most relaxing and comforting thing she has done in years. I just love that.
In the couple of months left here, I will make available weekly empowerment stuff and the space and place for them to vent and sort out what they think they want and/or need.
Then, I will be gone off to find a new place of my own in the world I am crafting in this now-new life. This time around, two and a half years away from that other life, there is not fear and terror and hiding, only excitement for myself and my daughter and all of her great guys. It is a lovely and most appreciated blessing to be loved as much as we all love each other.
I will miss my friends, the people that I have in my life now. I will leave here knowing that I actually am capable of making friends. And, creating my own work. Doing what I love, all the things that bring pleasure and meaning and fun, fun and more fun.
I have stepped into my future this week, and it is only Tuesday. It is a nice place.