cutting my losses

“Cut your losses.”

It’s a phrase that’s been sticking with me more and more lately.  A mantra.  Can’t get it out of my head really.  I’ve been doing it a lot without even realizing that was what I was doing.  My catchphrase used to be “It becomes the wrong decision simply by my choice to make it.”

While that’s still true, I find that dwelling on that one doesn’t do me much good.  “Cut your losses” however empowers me.  Do something.  Pick up what pieces are left and glue them back together.

That’s what I’m doing today.  Shortly I will begin packing–repacking– for the North Shore.  Is it the bravest option?  No.  But I had a job and a life there.  And waterfalls.

People who aren’t thrilled about it:  My family, my friends, my girlfriend.  Me, to some extent.

While I am excited to return, there is part of it that feels like I’m giving up.

You just couldn’t cut it, kid.  Your resume is a joke.  Don’t quit your day job–or any job you are lucky enough to get–ever again.

And while that all might be true, it’s hard to resist the urge of money.  Say what you will about my ‘exile’ on the North Shore–I made bank.  More than I’d ever made before.  Moving to the Cities to try to be a grownup cost me all of it.

Lesson learned.  But instead of grappling with relative serfdom like I did in my first 5 years after college, I’m not going to gamble on finding something greater.  Three months was enough for me.  I like serving, I like the North Shore, I like writing, and I like money.

Apparently Minneapolis doesn’t cater to these things.  Not for me, anyway.

I wouldn’t say I’ve become an optimist, but I’ve found some middle ground.  I’m not saying it’s going to be easy going back to my old job and my old life.  It will be humbling, sometimes stressful, sometimes embarrassing.  But it will be no more embarrassing than living 15 minutes from your best friend and never being able to see them.  It’ll be no more embarrassing than selling a good chunk of your DVD collection and 2 video game systems to get by.

I sold my vintage Sega Genesis for $5.  Do you know how much effort I took into preserving that thing?  That was practically an heirloom.

If anything, it served as a good life lesson.  While I didn’t think I could be humbled any more, it turns out I can’t get any job I want if I just put my mind to it.  I can’t even get a job that I don’t really want.  And I certainly can’t get a pair of ‘go’fer-level’ internships that I could do in my sleep.  (2 rejection letters from 2 different Karas!)  But maybe this time, the North Shore won’t feel like it did when I first moved there: a prison sentence.  I was too busy reminding myself how temporary this was and remaining detached, that I didn’t really get to truly enjoy it. Although now I can pinpoint the exact things I miss and get back to appreciating them.

I am a server.  I am a writer.  I am a starving artist.

It’s like the “Write What You Know” rule.  Only about living.  So, I’m going to throw what I can into my little car, cut my losses, and head north.  Way north.

Let’s try this again.



3 thoughts on “cutting my losses

  1. I think as long as you are true to yourself it’s not really cutting your losses so much as it’s following the right path. It’s funny how a place can change you, and make you see clearly what you were missing all along. I wish you the best of luck!

  2. You were creatively productive and financially stable while living up north. You tried another way, didn’t work, now you know. You couldn’t have known any other way. For right now, it seems like you know where you should be. And for the record, you can be a grown-up anywhere.

  3. Good for you! We have especially enjoyed living up North (3 different times) and always seem to come back. We love the sense of independence, the independent people, the water, the BWCA, the scenery, the culture, the wildlife, just about everything! There is more tp life than Big Bucks, super IRA’s, great cell phone coverage, and some of the other trappings of ‘success’!!??

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