SHLEP INSTRUCTIONS: Haul, camp, ride, write, paint. Repeat 48 times. Heal, grow, settle down. It’s hard, do it anyway.

3/10/14
I have been in FL for 4 months now, much longer than “the holidays” as I had said. I have been mulling over my future path choices for so long now. I’m sick of it. It just makes me feel bad about myself. I feel pretty comfortable with this new plan, which is basically the original plan:

If I don’t hear about a serious job offer in LA by the end of this month I am returning to my SHLEP on April 1st. I will do the remaining 8 southern most states first, then head north, then east.

I am still considering getting a 4 month rental in LA for the summer so Rachel and Tommy can stay with me as they have said they want for me to do. La Canada area or the beach would be nice too… I will feel good being around them. I love and miss them sooo much and they won’t be around for mommy time much longer I suppose. I will have to draw on my IRA significantly to do this. I will also have to drop my horses and trailer somewhere, most likely Idaho where Tiara is retired. The cost of having horses in LA is too expensive and they will enjoy the down time I think. I can use the time to paint and write and plan the rest of the trip. I should probably get rid of the stuff I have in storage at that time too. Its costing me over $4,000 a year which is just plain stupid. As of fall I will resume the SHLEP. I will concentrate my writing efforts on my book and painting the 48 states series that I have started.

(SHLEP RECAP: I’ve done 11 states plus 8 more in April, leaving 29 states in the north and new england. This will mean winter camping but my generator is working now. I will be done by this time next year.)

This new-revised-old plan does not take into account my aging dad & mom. Yvonne will care for dad and Liza will handle mom’s situation. It may seem cold but I really can’t do any more for them as I am now. I need to work on my future now. I can’t do anything for anyone as I exist now. And my future is not in FL, dad is the only reason I am here. I have met some wonderful new friends and experienced a different life possibility here but it doesn’t feel like home to me.

I don’t know what my future holds, I suppose we never really do, we just hope for something or have a 5 year plan or expect the normal things to happen. But my life got derailed. I have met and heard from so many people lately that have had that happen to them. Divorced, widowed, lost their jobs. Many have told me they are inspired by me which I don’t really understand since I haven’t solved my own life riddle yet. I guess its just that they identify with me in some way or that my path seems hopeful to them. They are all struggling with having the rug pulled out from under them. It has made me see things about myself that I don’t like. This current status is not me and I am determined not to wallow in misery and confusion the rest of my life.

Enough is enough, its not fun, it sucks.

Looking for a job has been so hard on my re-emerging self esteem. Looking for a partner has made me realize that I don’t really even want one, not yet anyway. Looking for a home has made me see that I haven’t found the right place yet. I am a sales personality so I am constantly trying to sell all those normal things to myself, but I’m not buying it. Not yet anyway.

Du Puis Horsecamp, me on Wildflower

Du Puis Horsecamp, me on Wildflower

my SHLEP states paintings on the mantle, Best of America by Horseback banquet at RO Ranch, Mayo, FL January 2014

my SHLEP states paintings on the mantle, Best of America by Horseback banquet at RO Ranch, Mayo, FL January 2014

cowboy church (I'm on the far right)

cowboy church (I’m on the far right)

my high school senior photo

my high school senior photo

going on a job interview

going on a job interview

walking on the beach has been good exercise and healing for me

walking on the beach has been good exercise and healing for me

with Bob Sehay

with Bob Sehay

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