New City, New Life
So Jacqui and I arrived in Columbus approximately three weeks ago. It was weird moving to a city that we'd never actually been to. Weird and yet somehow not weird at all. Mostly because some of our friends are already here. Right now we're living with Nick and Beth and Karl and Jessie live, literally, right next door. Relationships like that are interesting. Jacqui and I hadn't seen any of these friends since our wedding, which at last count was approaching a year and a half, but their hospitality and joy in having us here helped make the transition easier.
Not that we don't miss every other part of our pre-Columbus lives like crazy.
In fact just last night, even after a few weeks of settling in, hanging out and finding our way, both Jacqui and I realized how much we missed the old parts of our lives: our year in Vancouver, our summer in Grand Rapids. Sometimes living like nomads is hard and every time the tent stakes get pulled up their is definitely a process of letting go, of grieving for the places you're leaving behind.
A big part of our time here has been spent trying to find employment for me (Jacqui can't quite work yet because of immigration stuff). Early last week I had what looked like a pretty sweet gig lined up managing a independent house cleaning business called Helping Hands. The people who owned it were great--super self starters and extremely passionate about what they do. My job would have eventually been training new employees, working on scheduling and cleaning homes about 20-30% of the time cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. The training and scheduling sounded great, the cleaning I wasn't sure about but I thought I'd give it a go. My first day on the job I worked by myself cleaning an entire house out in the suburbs. It did not go well. It took me almost twice as long as it was scheduled to and I pretty much hated every minute of it. There was just too much pressure, too many things to keep track of ( for those of you who know me I have trouble finding my keys and here I had about 30 different cleaning tools and products to keep track of as I trekked from room to room. It was not pretty.) and the work itself just wasn't rewarding enough. So even though the salary was pretty great I decided that I didn't want to frustrate the owners by staying on and having them invest time in me, when it wasn't something I really be passionate about.
In the meantime I had applied at a whole litany of other establishments: Jeni's ice cream, Peabody's Paper, World Market, Barnes and Noble, Panera, Stoph's Coffee house, Lifetime fitness, and Spinelli's deli among others. None of them were proving very fruitful. One day about a week ago Jessie suggested a nearby restaurant called The Northstar Cafe. She had nothing but glowing things to say about the place: the food was great (mostly all fresh, organic and locally grown), the place itself was a cool (very clean lines, chic, lots of natural light) , the people were all really nice (and not just fake "food service nice" but really genuinely nice.) , they offer benefits, etc.
So I went to check it out and was immediately intrigued. Everything Jessie had said about it was indeed true and the people that I talked to were extremely optimistic and encouraging about the possibility of a position. Today I met with one of their head guys and tomorrow I start a preview shift to see how I fit in. My job is what they call a "linebacker", basically it's a prep-cook who specifically works on the important side items on their menu. My job will mostly be cleaning and preparing the various greens they use in salads, making a kick ass rice salad, and roasting many, many rotisserie chickens.
So I'm hoping that it works out and after a fairly long employment hiatus I'm excited about the prospect of doing something rewarding and fun with my time.
So that's life right now. It's a totally new, exciting, frustrating, joyful, discouraging, challenging, fun and tiring all at the same time.