I have said so many bad things, I want to tell you about all of the good. Because I am doing well and I feel like if you read this blog, you probably think that I am in a partially condemned building crying. That is only half true. I'm not crying.
Last night Earl called and asked if I wanted to hang out. So, we hit up happy hour at the local restaurant we can only afford to drink at during happy hour, then headed to the gay bar for Monday night Karaoke. I told no one where I was going. Just hanging out with Earl. By the end of the night, every single friend I have in the neighborhood, and a few from other neighborhoods, had wandered in and joined our table. What started as two of us, ended with about 12 friends laughing and hugging and having a good time.
If I get stuck at work, I simply have to sound the alarm and there are 6 different people willing to let out the dog.
When I get home from work, or even on my day off and just need to see a friendly face, I simply sit on the stoop with a beer and wait. Someone will walk by and sit with me.
One of the guys on the street is getting evicted for stupid reasons that you all don't care about. We rallied around him and he moved in with another friend, I rented a UHaul (I am the only one on the block with a drivers license) and helped him move.
I drive people to the laundromat and the grocery store. They make me dinner when I am too broke or too lazy to make it myself.
All of these people have lived in this neighborhood for 15 years and are a big, mismatched family. And they adopted me.
Last night at the bar, my next door neighbor looked at me and said, "I hope that when you get back on your feet and can afford a better apartment, you will stay in the neighborhood. Because you are one of us now." I almost cried. I can't tell you what that feels like. To just know someone is always there. Sure, I know my friends are there for me. Absolutely. But they all have lives. And work normal hours. And live far away. This is easy. We are all right here, supporting one another.
Towards the end of my relationship with the boy, I got very lonely. It is hard to explain feeling lonely with someone in the next room, but it is the worst kind of lonely. And I was terrified to be alone again when I was already in kind of a bad place. But our little family is all single and all get lonely. They understand when I knock on the door and say I just need a hug. I usually get a hug and a drink and sometimes even dinner. And when they show up on my door step and just need a hug, I happily let them in, hand them a beer and give them a hug.
And now for the really, really great news. I got a new job. With FREE benefits. You read that correctly. I pay nothing for medical, dental and eye coverage. And it pays me more than I am making now. And it's salary. And it's my own kitchen. AND I GET TWO WEEKS PAID VACATION. It is sort of my dream job. Seriously. I have been wanting to work for this restaurant group since before culinary school. No, it's not a chain. Just a bunch of locally owned places under one umbrella.
So. Good things are happening. I have found myself a little family in the hood and a job that means I can afford to actually do this. I am burning all the Ramen and buying a bottle of bourbon that doesn't come in a plastic jug.