In Which the World Scrambles to Catch Up

Robin Hood looks up with a smile and wave from his seat at a coffee shop table. “Danielle! Good to see you again.”

I settle into the seat across from him. “Right? It’s been too long since last time.”

“Just a bit over a year now, I believe – with that so-called coffee shop a mere set on a stage, you portrayed by the Merry Men’s minstrel, and my crazy cousin directing the show.”

“Yeah, well,” say I, recalling fondly, “Will & Allyn’s Interactive Theatre skits are fun, but take a lot of brain energy to script. Easier just to hang out with you one-on-one in some quiet corner of imagination.”

Robin nods, sipping his beverage. “So, what’s new?” His eyes sparkle through the aromatic steam. “Or might well I ask, what isn’t?

I loose a long and multilayered sigh. “So, so much is new. To start with, remember how excited I was last year about landing that Amazon fulfillment center job?”

“Weeping with delight, if I rightly remember.”

“Mm. Well, the weeping remained,” I say grimly. “Turns out the job’s demands and culture are not, shall we diplomatically say, a good fit for me and Tirzah. Work-related injuries led to her resignation, and I was eager to follow before my own body and soul broke down beyond repair. But until she or I could find another job, I needed to stay where I was; rent for our adorable little home wasn’t going to pay itself, alas.”

Robin’s hum and crinkled expression radiate sympathy. “That sounds like quite the unhappy burden to bear.”

“It was,” I acknowledge, “but for Tirzah’s sake, ‘twas borne voluntarily. Her body and soul needed to know they were in a safe place for recovery before she could fully face the challenge of finding something new.”

JournalQuote_AlreadyASuccess
From my personal journal, Oct. 18, 2019

“Was the Fresno job search better, this time around?”

I’ve only just been served my tea, and I almost snort the first mouthful out my nose. “As desert-dry as ever. Sometimes I’m amazed there are two employed folks to rub together, in that city. Tirzah did come across an extraordinary opportunity elsewhere, though. And by elsewhere, I mean San Francisco.”

San Fran Magic Triptych

Robin’s brows rise. “You love that city.”

“I do! And the idea of moving there…” I break off, speechless with overwhelm. “It would have been magical. But she didn’t get the job.”

“Oh, luv…”

The time-honored nod of a mourner accepting condolences. “That was really hard – to have hopes fly so high, then come crashing down. But it served a purpose. It raised our gaze. We realized that if we aspired to live in or near San Francisco, there was no point continuing to apply for jobs in Fresno. So we centered our efforts on the Bay Area. Even visited there again, at the start of my birthday month, to help cement our intentions via a neuro-linguistic programming conference.”

“Neuro-linguistic…?”

NLP, for short. Any case, we were dreaming big and striving hard for— huh.” A retrospective pause. “It felt like a slogging eternity, but I guess this chapter had its beginnings in July and is in the midst of coming to a close. I’d sort of dared the universe to get me free of Amazon by my birthday.”

“…And?” Robin prompts, when I leave him hanging.

“That’s the day T and I drove three hours, one way, so she could have an in-person interview at an assisted-living facility.” I smile. “And she got offered the job on the spot.”

Robin’s grin could outshine the sun (*cough* nobody tell Raeóryn *cough*). “DAR-ling!”

31 years old

I wriggle with joy. “That was a Wednesday. They scheduled her to start on Tuesday. That gave us less than a week to pack up and move out – which we managed, like the legends we are, though it would’ve been worlds easier,” I say pointedly, “if we’d had a legendary band of outlaws physically present to lug boxes and furniture into storage.”

Robin shrugs his apologies. “You know we’d have been there if we could. Same for when you’re ready to move in somewhere new. Which will be… when?”

“Not entirely sure yet. It’s hotel and Airbnb life, to start with, because Tirzah’s job alone won’t provide income enough to reassure any potential landlords of our financial stability.”

“Ah. So it must wait until you’ve found a job, too.”

A casual sip of my tea. “Oh, I’ve just done that.”

“YOU—?!”

“At a children’s museum. The day before drafting this blog post,” I say, smirking to keep from squealing. “That was a Wednesday. I’m scheduled to start—”

No.”

“Yep. Tuesday.”

JournalQuote_RealMagic
From my personal journal, Oct. 28, 2019

“One week and a whirlwind apart,” Robin marvels. “’Twould seem you’ve got a strong share of magic to work with, after all.”

“’Twould indeed,” I murmur, weary and wonder-filled, tired and twinkling with hope. “It’s been a ride-and-a-half, Robin Hood, but I think it’s taking me where I need to go. Where I want to go, even. I can’t wait to see which blessings land in my lap next!”

“If things carry on at the rate they’ve been,” says Robin, raising his drink in salute, “that wait may not be long at all.”

San Fran Magic Diptych

Moving and Stuff

First of all, let’s applaud the fact that today I am just saying no to my usual tendency to overthink blog post titles, since clearly this one was the product of 2.5 second’s thought at most. #FirstIdeaBestIdea

Now, onto the good news: By the end of the month, I will be in California, to live with my BFF!

Aaand the bad news: Most of my stuff will not be there with me.

I can check two bags on my flight. One of those bags must necessarily be my lute (because a wannabe minstrel never changes address without it). And I’m flying restricted economy, meaning there’s no room for a carryon bigger than a laptop case.

That leaves one suitcase of space for my worldly goods.

I am nonplussed.

“Now, now,” says the reasonable part of me. “Stuff is just stuff. Most of us can live with far less of it than we hoard. It’s people that matter.”

Quoth my less strictly reasonable side: “MY BOOKS ARE MY PEOPLE.”

Case Full of Books
Lol, these aren’t even my books. They’re just everything I borrowed from libraries in the last couple weeks, as if I’ve got time to read ‘em all. XD

Sure, I can get by on a fraction of my wardrobe. (Boots excluded! You better believe all my most awesome boots are coming with me.) The art on my walls can be grudgingly done without. Much of the miscellaneous junk accumulated over 29 years of life, I won’t miss.

But what about my personal library?? How can a place feel like home without my shelves upon shelves of novels! Short story collections! Tales behind the scenes of stage and screen! Not to mention the ridiculous number of books I’ve bought but haven’t gotten around to reading yet!

There’s no way I can take it all with me, just now. But how can I leave it behind?

“Speaking as someone who canonically escaped a world’s end with nothing but their lute,” says Allyn-a-Dale, with a sideways look for #BALLADofAaD, “you’ll live.”

“The lute, and the hat,” Will Scarlet adds. “And obviously Danielle will be taking her Allyn hat. And your Scarlet hat, too, right?”

Of course. Awesome hats are in the same category as awesome boots.

''Here I Am, New World'' mug
Maaaybe I’ll have space to take some of my “Outlaws”-inspired mugs with me?

“There you are, then! With lute, hats, and the ever-present voice of your loved ones in your head, you’re off through the air to meet your best friend in a world unknown. Congratulations on your dream come true: You are basically turning into Allyn-a-Dale.”

“Except with a mother who picked up a couple boxes to ship some of your books after you,” Allyn points out.

All true, I suppose. If you can be brave and minimalist, I can strive to do the same. And if my story’s anything like yours where most it matters, then it will be well worth it.

*

THIS JUST EDITED IN: I might not actually be going to live in the house I thought, but instead in… a gloriously gorgeous, naturally magical, so-near-and-yet-so-far-from-the-BFF national park??? Which is arguably even more comparable to the Isle of Avalon, so the metaphor stands; I just can’t even with how unpredictable my life is, anymore.