When I lost my job I grew dead-set on leaving North Carolina. After months of frantic job, residency, grant, and fellowship applications, Spring afforded the opportunity to sit back and wait. I read and wrote voraciously, treating Monday through Friday as a workday, my job that of a fully self-employed writer. Now I have enough freelance writing for summer, two residencies at the end of the season, and a writer-in-residence prospect for January.
Meantime, the community I was so set on leaving has risen up around me. Friends I gained at the craft school were not lost to me when I lost my job. Quite the contrary; I now have more time to spend with them and am able to be more present to their needs as I seek to live a balanced life. Furthermore, summer work sprang up from local families, who hired me for nannying and church choir. Their message is clear: If you stay here, we will help things work out for you.
Despite my foot injury, my dedication to Hanshi and training in Shuri Ryu Karatedo has only grown. I keep a journal, make flashcards, and cross train. I pester the yudansha with questions about kata and joint locks. Sometimes I dream of doing nothing else other than physical training and writing.
Although I greatly desire to live in a more ethnically diverse population and have more politically and culturally significant conversations, I could see staying here for a while longer. I am thirty years old. I have crow’s feet when I smile (Have I said that yet this week? It’s still freaking me out a bit.). In the most basic and simple terms, if I am going to stay then I need to start mating. Um. N-O-W. Survival of the Schultz name lies in the eggs I carry. There is no one else to pass it along but me.
Mind you, mating “N-O-W” starts with courting* and is punctuated somewhere 6 months to five years down the line with some kind of marriage/union/promise and maybe one of those things people call “infants.” Jesus, what am I saying? It’s late. I haven’t slept much. I am drinking wine. I live on a soft, green mountain where the eligible bachelor is rare and his stability, creativity, and verbal intimacy skills appear to be sparce. So I say to you, oh community that has given me work and given me support and read my writing and believed in what I do, where is my companion?
*Courting takes between sixty seconds and four months, and in rare cases an entire decade.