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My thanks to everyone who's posted.

I really don't think I can do this. I appreciate that I need to give it more of a chance--believe me, I do! I know!--but I don't think I have too much more in me.  It's not a case of being stronger than I know. I know exactly how strong I am, and...well...that was it, right there. This was just...too much. I'm breaking. I can't handle this much change so soon. Maybe in a year or six months, I would have been okay, but right now...it's like I can hear the support beams in my soul starting to groan.

This is actually worse than my divorce ever was. I panicked a bit then, but this...well, like I said, Waterloo. I have been routed. Time to make a strategic retreat, I think. It's not the Bay Area inherently, I hasten to add, it's just...too much.

I've moved a lot in my life, often across the country. I have the skills to do it. I am nothing if not cheerfully adaptable. But all those skills just...failed. It's the weirdest thing. I feel like I sat down at a painting and suddenly didn't know how to hold a brush.

I feel like an idiot to have come this far, but if I hadn't, I'd have spent my life kicking myself for not going.  I don't know what I could have done differently, really.  At least I know I'm not a coward. (An idiot, yes, but at least a respectably brave idiot!)

I've never retreated from anything in my life. I suppose sooner or later I had to learn.

Good luck, Ursula! You had an adventure at least, from the sounds of it.

Nah, not an idiot. You had no way to know until you tried it. And now you know something you didn't know before, and you're learning from it instead of sticking your fingers in your ears and going "La la la not listening!" which is what a lot of people would do.

So, go you. You are -living- your life, mistakes and all, and that's a highly respectable thing to do.

"It is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved."

You've worked hard. Be kind to yourself. If you have to do this, then do it. I don't know you, but ... *hugs*

When you're out of juice, you're out of juice. I'm glad you realized that before you pushed yourself on the remaining fumes.

honey, i wish that we could be closer .. to help you shore up the rafters. we're out here for you. :::hugs:::

go forth into the world, armed with your favourite chicken!

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. (T. S. Eliot)

all the best - whatever you do!

just remember to take care of you.

oh hon. that is HUGE HUGE, the whole bunch of stuff you've been through.

stay for a few weeks if you can afford it. get up to mt. tam in marin and do some birding and hiking. perhaps do some wandering in monterrey with the same purpose. get into the wilds and do some healing and relaxing.

the divorce thing comes in waves, yannow? the exhaustion and the breaking. and then to add a cross-country move to it? jesus. i did that a year after my divorce and it killed me.

so, *LARGE HUGS* i have a friend in morgan hill who'd be available for some playdates, methinks. she has a household full of boys (9-19) and a husband who works at palm. she knows the area and is a very cool chick. shall i do the introducings?

you're not retreating..
you're regrouping.

Maybe next year this will be the correct move to make, for right now it's not.
At least you're smart enough to realize that NOW instead of 6 months down the road in a depressive funk that would hurt you in so many ways.
And when ya get back to Raleigh...I want my brother to take ya out for a drink cause he's a goofy gamer geek who's 40 and a bachelor forever and we love him and he's make you laugh - cause he's a gamer geek =)
*virtual hugs*
hang in there woman...sometimes change isn't what we need even when we think it is

Youre not an idiot, you are a Woman, we change our minds! Its IN the rulebook! And Besides, We Easterners miss your presence on our half of the U.S. ...Think of it like this, California has EVERYTHING, the least you can do is let us Keep Ursula Vernon, Im in OHIO! Other than Cedar Point and the Mansfield Reformatory (very cool, VERY haunted castle style structure, where they filmed shawshank redemption) we have nothing! If you swing through Ohio on your return trip(not that its on the way) Lemme know, I'll take you to go check it out!

oh boy do I hear you.
Due to some life kicking ass things.
In about three weeks I will be, at the ripe ol age of fourty, moving into my parents basement.
Tired as hell spiritually, mentally. You are not alone at all in this.
I really get it.
Take care and rest.

Maybe it was too much. Maybe it's just the reality of the last year catching up with you, pulling down your pants, and making you walk down the hall while all your schoolchums laugh. Truthfully, I don't know.

I will say this: If you think coming back to Raleigh will solve all your problems, then I think you're just fooling yourself. If you come back to Raleigh because you need time to sort yourself out, that's at least something reasonable that CAN be solved. Look at it as a tactical retreat--you are regrouping and consolidating yourself, then you can move forward again. This is, technically, the first time you've struck out on your own, as an adult, without having a real 'home base' to rely on, and it's hard.

Heck, when I moved to NC from CA years ago, I had nothing, no one, not even a place to stay. Just me, a moving van, my cat, and my car. Mostly in that order. I know what it means to be a fish out of water. It's understandable if you need more time, or even if you need to reevaluate what and where it is you need to be. It's a brave thing to try and fail--you at least tried.

Hey, on the bright side...

At least you're not all that far from your family in Arizona! That's something to consider if you don't want to drive ALL the way back across country...

Re: Hey, on the bright side...

I second this idea, if Miss Ursula is willing to take suggestions from us.

I would say it sounds like she's in need of a vacation. Or a vacation from vacation.

I hope we have a chance to get together, either here (maybe this weekend?) or in Raleigh -- my mom and sister and step-dad all live there, so I'm out there at least once a year or so, and may be visiting more frequently as my mom's Alzheimer's gets worse. (I'm going to be out there 9/8-15, in fact; if you're going to be here when I get back and there's anything you're missing (I know when I moved here I missed grocery-staples from where I used to live) I'd be happy to bring it.

The only thing I can say?

Sleep on it. For several nights if necessary.

If you still feel the way you do now, then by all means so what you think is right.

But for now? Sleep on it. Don't make any rash decisions.

This was also my suggestion. It is a LOT, what you've been through. A lot of change for one person to deal with, in a short period of time. It's no failure if you decide it's too much. On the other hand, sometimes things look a lot different in the morning. You may see things differently if you leave the choice open and sleep on it for a few days. Best of luck, whatever you choose!

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And if you go somewhere else, I'm sure we'll be there too.

Just keep breathing Ursula, just keep breathing.