Greetings from Florida
We arrived in Florida in mid-July. The weather was unbearably hot and humid–mid-90’s and within 48 hours of our arrival, everything went pear shaped.
First, the job my husband was promised and that we traveled three thousand miles for, evaporated faster than butter in a hot frying pan. Second, the apartment we had secured was not up to our standards. Swarms of flies, anyone? The pervasive smell of a dead animal nearby? Thanks, but no. There we were, day two into our new adventure, exhausted after having just driven two days from New York with two screaming kids in the back seat, wishing we had never left Ireland and wondering how to get back.
Luckily, I have a relative in Florida. An uncle and his wife. If it was not for them, I would be writing this blog from Ireland. It turns out that when things are going kablooey, you only need one good relative/friend to help. They put us up (“Stay as long as you need”, they said), watched our kids while we went in search of jobs and housing and gave us unlimited use of their phone and computer.
The other thing I realized is this: sleep has great restorative powers. You go to bed defeated but when you wake up in the morning and the sun is shining and the birds are singing, things do not seem as bad.
We were thinking along the lines of “Oh God, we’ve made a terrible mistake.” But I am a world-class dreamer and my part-time job is being an eternal optimist. I could not stay down for long.
I tried but I could not, especially when I had already made up my mind that not only was I going to like living in Florida but we were going to be happy and successful here as well. I had no other choice.
Immediately, we sent out Mike’s resume en masse and on day #5, he got a job. A better job. My uncle found us another, actually better, apartment and we moved in on day #6.
Two months in, I can honestly say, hand on heart, that I really like living in Florida. The hard summer weather of intense heat and humidity is almost behind us. One day last week, I was taking the boys to school and my younger boy opened the door and announced that it was raining. I was so shocked, that I had to peek out for myself to see if it was true. We have been here almost 70 days and that was only the second day where there had been no sunshine in the morning. Everything is better in sunshine.
I can relate all of this to writing: sometimes what you are writing does not go as planned despite all your best intentions, hard work and preparation. As frustrating as it is, you have no alternative but to go back to square one and start over. The easier option is to give up.
Remember that there is always someone out there to help you. There are many actually, but even with one, you are ahead of the game. Stay positive in the face of rejection. Make the commitment to finish it and the predetermined decision to be a success. As my aunt once said to me: “It is what you make it.”