...seems to be the magic recipe for what ails me, at least as far as my friends are concerned.
Not, I hasten to add, as in closing up the ol' journal, or doing myself a permanently damaging kind of mischief, or going into the Witness Protection program. No, they seem to think I should get the hell out of Dodge (or Los Angeles, anyway) and find a new, more hospitable, place to live.
Lordy, how I agree with them!
T'ain't that easy, though.
I have long been under the impression -- and have confirmed it recently with some people who know -- that if I continue with my current "work," I basically have four choices, location-wise. One would suit me well enough, but is as expensive as SoCal or even more costly, if such a thing is possible. Another leaves me excessively neutral, but would likely be just as expensive. Which means that, since I struggle to stretch the money here, I'd get nowhere by moving.
Number three is a place I dislike intensely, and number four, though somewhat tolerable, is simply too close to an area I have vowed, out of sheer self-preservation*, to stay at least 500 miles from.
So a move would necessarily be coupled to a career change. Rapidly graying old men don't do well with career changes. Particularly when, as in my case, their skills are less in demand than perhaps they should be and potential employers are most eager to hire young (that is, lower-paid) people to do the work, quality be damned..
This is not looking good.
Failing a visit from the Lottery Fairy, a long-lost wealthy relative** tapping out and showering me with spondulics or some perceptive and financially well-grounded publisher catching my act and deciding I'm just what he/she is looking for, I seem to be pretty well stuck.
Oh, there are other things I can do, and fairly well at that. But "fairly well" is not good enough. Not when you're looking to them to pay for roof, food and (perhaps) the occasional holiday and/or toy.
There is a subtext to all this, of course. Simply put, at present I lack the energy and drive to take a leap into the darkness in search of light, particularly sans parachute. I know myself well enough to know those traits are not gone forever. Circumstances have pretty much put them on the shelf for now, however. I've done it a time or three in the past...but times -- and people -- have changed.
Does this mean I've basically hung all that adventurous stuff up? Not really. I would love nothing more than to see the last signs of this area shrinking in my rear-view mirror and begin a fresh chapter in what has been a sometimes-interesting saga mixing wonderful events with others that went terribly wrong.
But a time comes when those leaps of faith simply take too much out of one if they don't work. A risk I would cheerfully have taken, say, ten years ago, now looks to have bad odds attached.
If I ever have any confidence that a light has been (or might be) lit for me at the end of the trail, I'll be on my way. Until then, I can't see it happening.
* Sorry, not going to explain that....
** I know enough about my family tree to know this, too is impossible...
7 hours ago