Getting tired of waiting.

I can’t start my new job until the woman at the board processes my temporary license. (Temporary license = a $300 document that confirms you have a Masters degree. Not to be confused with your diploma, which has already cost you thousands of dollars to do the same thing).

I call to check up on the status of this license so much that I have a very real fear that they may turn me down simply because I’m obnoxious.

“Can you please just give me an estimate of when it will be processed?” I ask Elaine at the board. “I’ve been out of work a long time.”

“I’ll get to it when I get to it,” she says.

Gotta love bureaucrats.

I have only been living here for three months now, which doesn’t sound like a long time. I’ve had longer-lasting leg rashes, afterall. But time moves differently when you’re new to a city and looking for work. Time slows down. Like a crippled turtle walking the perimeter of the moon.

I turned on MTV the other day and watched True Life: I’m Relocating for Love. It followed three long-distance couples, in which one partner moved to another state for the other. I hoped to draw strength from people who had been through struggles similar to my own and had successfully made it through to the other side of adjustment. Instead, I watched as these three people each got frustrated, lonely, and went crazy. They all ended up moving back home less than a month after relocating.

I’ve been working part-time at a crisis center for the past five weeks, where my job is supposed to be to answer the crisis/suicide hotline. But I’m not allowed to answer the phone until I’ve been fully trained, and my supervisors are too busy to train me. So I sit there for four hours a day and literally do nothing. Sometimes I listen in on crisis calls, and it makes me so eager. Because I know that I’m fully qualified to handle these phone calls, and I’m so ready to be someone who helps others find strength again. I remember coming out of my very last therapy session at the Family Center last May (a session that had been spent eating chocolate cupcakes with my clients), and declaring to anyone in the pod who would listen, “I’m nobody’s therapist!” (After a stressful two years, it was mostly a good feeling despite being bittersweet).

But now I would give anything to get to be a therapist again. I would give anything to do anything again.

I’ve been doing some cooking, which is a big deal for me. (The first night I cooked I had to call Noemi to ask how to boil water and ask Doug how to make meat “not raw anymore”). It’s been going mostly pretty well, with the exception of one night a couple weeks ago when I attempted to imitate my favorite meal from Panera: the steak and blue cheese salad. I somehow managed to ruin every element of it, and Doug later admitted that the reason he loudly hummed “Stars and Stripes Forever” as he scraped his leftovers into the trash was so I wouldn’t hear how much of it he was actually throwing away.