Don’t get me wrong. I am content that my time since returning to Jersey has turned out great thus far—I am out at work, I have a decent job and get along with my crew, finally been hitting the gym, overcame my latest depression episode.
It’s been three months since departing eastward. I wonder what would have happened if I stayed in Missoula, and took the full-time job I eventually did receive a ”yes” from. I already told my parents I was coming home, not realizing that on my last day at my seasonal job I got a thousand dollar bonus that could have kept me going for a few weeks till that next first paycheck kicked in.
So, what would my life had been like these last three months?
I would be checking in with my landlord from time to time about any studios being open, because I would have had it with my lazy roommate. (I was living in a SRO arrangement, where each roommate had their own lease.) I would have had it with the neighbors above me and finally called the cops on them. I’d finally sign up for my local Planet Fitness, as I never seem could get into the on-campus gym after work, to lose the weight that crept back in from all the emotional binge-eating during the fall and holiday seasons, as it was nearby the job I was offered. (I need to be around people at some point most days to keep depression at bay, ironically.)
My job was going to be a warehouse position for a major outdoor store. I’d be away from the sales floor, not having to deal with the issues of working with customers, the pandemic potentially shortening my hours (and paycheck), and anything else retail entails. I would be making a comfortable income, would still have obtained forklift certification to do bigger jobs. I’d be working hard, putting my everything into my job, because my team would see me as a major team player, and a loss for my prior seasonal employer.
I finally had an appointment with one of the local lgbtq clinics, so getting HRT wasn’t going to be a problem for me anymore. I’d have access to doctors that understood trans-specific health issues. I’d continue to participate with the local lgbtq scene. I’d continue to enjoy the local beers, though the more old-school stuff as I don’t care for IPAs. I’d continue to go to the local library every last Friday to learn new things.
By this point the weather would be getting warmer, the days would be longer, and would have either purchased a garage space or have received my own parking spot at my complex—this way I could get a bicycle and bike to work. (Maybe I would have talking the chutzpuh to cancel payments on my Fiat, as much as I love her, but those were expensive payments; yes, this would result in re-possession, but a bicycle, Uber/Lyft, and public transportation could get me anywhere instead, and it’d be a lot easier financially for me to afford everything else.) The weather has been unusually warm this past winter; I’d be spending my weekends and time off biking, walking around the local parks, maybe even finally hiked on this one trail near my favorite espresso shop.
My life would have its mix of ups and downs, just like everyone else. I would have enjoyed parts, hated others, and wonder what my life would be like had I taken the offer to return to Jersey. The decision has been made; there are some regrets, some what-if thoughts, sometimes I regret having made the move in the first place. Still, I know I can make it on my own, but the move has also showed me that I much prefer a more rural setting compared to anything urban, even in a small city.
I will move out again. I just need a paycheck to afford it. That will come in time.