Tag Archives: Sarasota to Stuart

Homeward Stuck: The first three weeks back in town, a quick rundown.




On the first week, I slept in until one, thought of calling to hang out with a few people, went back to bed.  My mom was still driving to her work, so I was home alone for many a daytime sans a car, or renewed license for that matter. Ate, slept, thought of cleaning my room. Did my laundry.  Was relieved to be away. And God saw that it was good, and smiled.


On the second week, I also slept, but started making mentions to my mother of getting a job, needing a space away from the house to make my own. “Oh hun, take it easy, you just got home, give yourself some time” she said, in an almost direct quote. I visited a lot with family and almost family: went to the beach with my adopted grandmother’s husband, Bob, for the Sunday walk with the dog, slept over at my cousins’ house quite a bit, generally enjoyed myself. Snapchatted with friends, didn’t really miss anybody. Went in to the Tabuleh Café which had a small sign in the door that said “in need of server”, met the main waitress, Cheryl, whom my mother knew, and asked for an application, which they did not have, but did get a quick interview with the owner, Mike, on the spot; he said to bring in my resume and he’d see what he could do.  I connected again with old family friends who had moved back home from the Azores, continually checked craiglist, even went so far as to text someone who wanted potential candidates for an easy money editing job to do so, never got an answer.  .  I was happy to disappear/hibernate for a while.  I slowly sunk back, settled back into place in Stuart.  And God saw that it was good.

On the third week, my mom got pissed.

 She started complaining about me not having a job and not having applied anywhere yet.  And I realized that it was three weeks into summer and that I was out of the running in any competition against those hardworking veterans of the summer job, “the high schoolers,” because hell, they had all already begun working, and I was probably already out of the running.  So that Friday, we sat down and my mother helped me renovate my resume. And I will not lie; I doubted. I doubted very much that there was anything I needed to do to refurbish it (update a little, but how does one fix a resume?) until she we sat down and plunked around and she asked me questions about dates and durations and added ellipses and fancied up my formatting. Two hours later, there was a beautiful resume! and God saw that it was good and we drove around handing in copies to various businesses around town which I, having just lived most of the last four years in Sarasota, had never frequented, to which I had no direct contacts, and for which I had nothing but two months of farmer’s market Saturdays selling vegetables to qualify as “retail” experience. I also spent a memorable morning at Einstein Bros looking up internships and realizing just how badly I wanted to get back to Europe. This was a seed which would be sown later.


During the next few days, I continued to check Craigslist, picked up an application for Surf Central, took it to the car to fill out, promptly f*cked it up and didn’t go back in to pick up another copy until the next day or so, filled it out while my mom was washing the car, messed it up again with large scratches-outs over some of the words, turned it in anyway, awkwardly introduced myself to the bartender at Terra Firmata, pretended “new girl knows nobody, help a cutie out” syndrome, gave resume to the bartender, began and did not finish an application to Fresh Market online, and finally, went in to Planet Ozone, the first green gas station in the country where lies the Tabuleh Café at the back of this curious place which is more of a mini Whole Foods than a gas station, and finally gave Mike my resume, two weeks after that initial interview. Two weeks later, I figured they had already hired someone, so it was with a mix of trepidation and resignation that I handed my resume over to Mike as he stood at the cash register.


And Mike looked at it, sighed, then said: “Come in tomorrow at eleven and we’ll see how ya do.”  And God saw that it was good, and I smiled, because I was employed.  Just like that.



On the fourth week, KBG came to visit!


Sarasota to Stuart, Homeward Bound Part 1


So I got home on June 2nd, after a last whirlwind week of life in Sarasota getting everything sorted and seeing people off for last huzzahs. Graduation the week before meant “THESIS, the finale” due Monday by 5pm,  a few essays to finish tuesday (yay for extensions, lax teachers and oh right, 4th year apathy and absolute untouchability) the booze cruise on wednesday, grad rehearsal friday morning, and Graduation on Friday evening (which was also my mom’s birthday) Palm Court Party that night, and (only somewhat painful, mostly great) family time that weekend.  Thus: I did not get much else done that week what with all the drunk. KBG (my best friend and roommate) and my leases ended June 1st that next friday, so we were scrambling around packing and chucking items up until the end.  Barely all of her stuff fit in her small maroon Yaris, as I had suspected, so when it came time to finally put any of mine in the trunk, what I ended up bringing home that trip was:

*1 blue 40 lb Osprey backpacking backpack (bought for travelling up the east coast of the country the summer before last, though not taken to Europe, unfortunately, even though that would have made sense)  filled with clothes.

*1 bag of food items (sunflower butter, half a loaf of ezekiel bread, almond milk, 1 organic yam)

*2 bouquets of flowers (my mom’s and mine ) in a 1 gallon kombucha jar-turned-vase

*2 computers, my macbook pro and my netbook bought for travelling in Europe which currently holds all the pictures that I have not yet backed up on my paid-for Dropbox account ughhh from that time abroad

And the rest of the car was taken up by Kyra’s stuff and Samson (the cat) in his cage.  I would like to say that, having also foisted my Ikea kitchen cart and mini-fridge off on my Tampa relatives, one large bin of books and a table/chairs set off on my other aunt and uncle, and a half a rooftop load on my mom (who had to share her car on the way back from graduation with a kid she was taking home) I had managed to be economical and resourceful and did not have much left to take home.



And this is just what I had in Sarasota. Combined with my roomful at home, that means that currently, there are 2 boxes still unpacked in my kitchen and a mess of orphaned lightbulbs, and more bins of books and miscellany than there should be at the foot of my bed.


It’s funny, how much one can forget about how attached one is to all of one’s things. One’s valuables.  Going to Europe with one large rolling suitcase and a backpack meant a) forgetting about all that stuff back home, b) realizing how  unnecessary it was for everyday life and  c) knowing I was still carrying too much to be truly “travelling light”.  I did get tired of the same wardrobe, of course, but it was the most amazing feeling to simply chuck/abandon/donate things when I needed to, like those sweaters and all my winter clothing that I left to my friend Cat in the squat during those last days in London before Dublin, the boots I left in the trashcan in the Bru Hostel in Cork (RIP $20 leather thrift Ralph Laurens, you served me well, especially when the first time you lost your sole meant me having to go to a certain shoe repair store in Covent Garden to have you fixed by a certain perfect male specimen–if only physically, the discussion about good looking but misogynistic bastards is tbd later), and the purple sleeping bag I had to leave last moment on the express train to the Stansted airport (the Irish bartender heading to Dublin for the weekend’s football game festivities assured me it wouldn’t cause a bomb threat, I promise) because there was no way in hell that Ryanair was gonna get another 60 quid out of me for going a few kg overweight when I had less than £20 in my bank account and almost missed my one-way flight to Málaga, the last stop before I began my (already paid for)  program in Granada.



As I said to KGB last week when she came to visit me, ‘it is nice to think we are not attached to our things when we aren’t around them, but it’s a pretense if they are still somewhere in storage.’

Similarly, it’s nice to think that one is successfully “independent” if one does not have to go back home right after college to work and save up money, but if one is not financially independent, it’s still only ever pretending.  Our culture trains us to assess value and success in some very backwards ways. I don’t necessarily want to live with my mom til I marry, like people in Andalucía often do, but we Americans could stand to take a page out of that book.  The drive to accumulate wealth and things as stand-ins for experiences and relationships sometimes can lead instead to roads like “Mid-life Crisis Lane” and  “Broken and Broke Avenue”.  I for one would choose “Broke and Bumming Round Europe Highway” anyday. Oh wait, I did that already.  But the “how I ended up with no ticket home, no money in the bank before I went to Spain, and one month left before I got deported” story is a post for another day.