I am currently in Davis. We officially made the move way back in July. We had a brief layover in Salt Lake City, staying with Jonathan’s parents. It was one of the hardest months of my life. His dad is declining, and quite rapidly at that. The first couple of weeks we were there, the family received bad news: Dave’s cancer has spread. He was diagnosed as terminal way back in June, but the scans were showing that the cancer was not spreading. The hope was that even if detected in the lymph nodes, that Dave would be able to have an additional six to 12 months outside of the 12 to 18 he was given. The first week of August brought horrible news: his cancer had at last spread. Three more hot spots showed up, one in the original area, two more in lymph nodes in addition to the one he already had. The family was devastated. Kay was crying, I had to hear the customary phone calls to each of the children, as well as Dave’s parent’s (Grandma and Grandpa Rose). I had never felt more like an outsider.
Don’t get me wrong. Dave is my father-in-law. Jonathan and I are not married yet, but we have been together for years and Dave has become a family member to me. Each day he lost more weight. And each day it became harder and harder for him to swallow his food. It is one of the most devastating things, to watch a person you love slowly die in front of you on a day to day basis. And what is worse is that you have no control over the situation. The pain killers, anxiety medicine, and even medical marijuana did nothing to improve his appetite or pain level. He could barely sip water without having an adverse reaction. And to have my fiance sit there and watch day after day as his father literally dies before his eyes… It is emotional and mental torture. I cannot even fathom where Kay is at. Or Dave, for that matter.
September 1, 2010 brought us to Davis for good. We moved in with the help of my sister. She flew out the 31st so that when we traveled through the extreme western side of Nevada and the extreme eastern side of California (a.k.a. the mountains) I would not be permanently stuck on the side of the road curled into the fetal position (thus is how great my fear of mountain travel is). Aside from adjusting to a completely different place, the most frustrating part is the job market. California is ranked in the top five states to have high levels of unemployment. I always thought that as long as you applied to a myriad of places, you were bound to bump into a business who was looking for employees. In Davis, and the surrounding areas, the job market almost does not exist. For the last three weeks I have sent out resumes and job applications, even expanding my search to sales associate positions I so desperately wanted to avoid. After three weeks of searching and sending and not receiving anything back, I am hoping for anything. Starbucks barista? Yes, please! My English degree will come in handy when I wax intellectual with all the students sipping their mochas and lattes while running their fingers over the keyboard of their laptops. Sales associate at Gap? Sure thing! I have a wardrobe pretty much chalk full of clothing from this store, so my uniform will be set without having to drop any more money before my first paycheck. Borders cashier? Bring on register duty! At least I can smell the sweet, sweet smell of books as my legs ache from standing all day and cheeks hurt from the perpetual smile plastered to my face. I need the money! But …even those jobs, the ones I should not look my nose down on, are not calling. Competing with college students who are willing to take anything, while I have been more finicky looking for something that will give me benefits.
The last three nights in a row I have woken up with a start. A panic has my heart racing and I can’t seem to catch my breath. An elephant is sitting on my chest, crushing any chance for me to intake air and calm my rattled nerves. I need a job. It’s all I can think. Dear GOD give me a job. I can’t afford California. I can’t afford anything. I need a job. The tears start forming in my eyes and before I know it the world is swimming in front of me. I am a failure. A fucking failure. I always thought that if you wanted a job bad enough, and you put your mind to it, you would be able to find one. Three strenuous weeks of searching and I have yet to uncover anything. And this is even with help from friends and leads from well connected people.
There was a woman at the library who stuck her nose up at me when I asked if there were any job openings she knew about. She cut me off before I could finish my inquiry. She raised her voice and in a curt tone, “Nope. There is nothing here to help you. If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. Apparently you aren’t supposed to be here.” I was taken aback and hurt. It was the verbal equivalent to clean, concise smack across the face. She smiled a smug smile, sitting in a chair behind the help desk. I politely bowed my head, said thank you, and left. I keep getting told that everything will work out. I am not so sure. But maybe this negative thinking is what is holding me back.
If there was ever a time to figure out your life… for me, this would be it.