The Daily Commute

I commuted almost 60 miles to my very first teaching job.  The opportunity to have my own classroom outweighed the travel time.  It was three counties north from where I was currently living.  For over four weeks I made that journey; in a single month I confirmed that I wanted to move into this new community.  There was no way I was driving 120 miles daily for an entire school year.

A few afternoons I rushed around to three different apartments that I had been told were in safe areas.  All of them were slightly south of my new high school’s address.  One apartment that I toured was up one of the steepest hills in the area; I knew that this place was out of the running because during a winter storm it would have been a death trap trying to go up or down this road.  A second apartment I tried to tour just wouldn’t answer the phone after 4pm.  Essentially we played phone tag and never had a conversation.  I toured the place through their on-line photographs, and I remember the faux-gold chandelier in the dining room looked tacky.  So, this place was off the list.

I was running out of time.  It was already October, and I wanted to be moved into the area before the snow fell.  Finally, after leaving two messages, the third apartment’s landlord called me back.  After I told her where I worked, she informed me she was the sister-in-law of one the school administrators.  The next day I looked at the apartment.  Then I drove home through three counties.

There isn’t much to contemplate when you find the place that suits you.  The community had quiet hours.  As a teacher, I needed my sleep, so that was a plus.  The building that was available was a non-smoking building.  This suited me; I hate the smell of smoke because I am a non-smoker.  To seal the deal, each apartment had a patio.  The apartment I would move into had a view of the lake and its wildlife.  I am a nature lover.

The apartment I chose has been my home for almost 8 years.  Now, I find myself on the road again.  I have been job searching and interviewing.  All the while I am exploring new corners of the area that I grew up in.  Apartment searching is always the final step, and I am so pleased that I am once again at this step.  It’s time to leave the voice mails and emails and get the property managers of these possible apartments to let me inside.  It’s time to find my sanctuary.

Each day we commute to our worksite.  Even if I was able to make a living as a freelance writer, there is no way I would be a housebound hermit.  True, maybe the “daily commute” for some is simply a few steps from the bed to the computer or the “home office.”  Sometimes it is easier to stay in, make meals for yourself, and wear pajamas.  Easier yes, but you aren’t a part of the world.  A writer needs to write about the world, write about others’ stories and go on adventures so that her own story is a journey of discovery in two important ways.  She needs to share her external journey around the world and the internal journey inside her mind.  You have to be brave enough to trek into the world.  It’s time to find my next home and go on my next journey.

Write, Edit, Repeat.