I Will Survive

Things are falling into place for the move, gradually.  There is quite a bit to settle before I can leave, and of course I’ve still got 8 more weeks in the city, to work, to enjoy friends, to discover new haunts and, of course, that means 8 more weeks of surprises and challenges to face along the way.

As I’m prepping for my next year and talking with friends and strangers about it, I’ve started to wonder something.

Has 10 Cities/10 Years already become a foregone conclusion?

I’ve been hearing things like this a lot lately:

“I want a signed copy of your book when it’s done.”


“I’ll say I knew you when.”


“I’ll design your book cover.”

People sure seem to have a lot of faith in my success.  Even more so, they have faith that once I’m done moving there’ll be someone who wants to publish my book, which itself assumes that I’ll be able to figure out how to convert these 10 years into one, coherent narrative.

All of that assumes that I don’t end up broke and homeless during one of these years.

I look ahead and I see plenty more roadblocks ahead, plenty more opportunities to fall on my face and burnout something fierce.  Naturally, six years of travels and scraping through lean periods has made me pretty resilient and boosted my confidence.  But doubts linger.

In a couple months I’ll be back to looking for new work, with an economy and, more pertinent, a job market that isn’t all that improved from what it was when I landed in San Francisco; not an easy year.

And yet, I feel optimistic that finding a job this time around will be easier because of my experiences over the last few years.  It took me 5 months to find a job in San Fran (the beginning of the recession).  2 1/2 in Chicago.  A single month here (and then another month to find a job that I didn’t hate).

Could I break my record of 3 weeks (in Philly) when I move to Seattle?  Or is that a fool’s paradise?

The truth is, I always feel this way before I move.  I think, “I’ve done this before, it was hard before, but I’ll make it work cos I’m older and more experienced.”  Then I get there and I freak out about finding work and fall into a horribly depressed slump until I get that merciful call asking me to start Monday.

Even in the worst periods, I’ve always managed to pay my bills and survive long enough to get that call and start working.

So which is more foolish, the dreamily optimistic, pre-move self, or the deathly pessimistic, post-move self?

I guess that’s just my way of maintaining balance.

And maybe 10 Cities/10 Years is a foregone conclusion.  Because I’m not going to give up.

I’m a bullheaded motherfucker with a penchant for prophetic bouts of self-importance.

If people are reserving copies of the 10 Cities book 4 years early, it’s probably because I’ve been selling it ever since I comprehended the full scope of this project.

So, publishers and agents, pay heed: I’ve already pre-sold a few hundred copies of 10 Cities/10 Years, and I haven’t written a page.

If I can survive 10 Years of this project, I can certainly write a book about it.

I hope.

4 thoughts on “I Will Survive

    • As someone who believes in you and the amazing journey you have been on and will continue, I know that your ability to put yourself out there in this world and try something for you and no one else PROVES that the book will be written, it will be a success, and no doubt those lives you have touched in the past 6 years will forever remember who you are.

  1. Just found your blog and wanted to say that this is a great idea. While most other blogs are rooted in the idea of blustering through cities and places for a few days or a week, you’ve put yourself out there 100% by committing a full year to a single place.

    I’m sure if you’ve made it through the first six years that you can survive the next four. As long as you’ve got the will to power through the initially tough times (which it seems you definitely do!) then I know you can reestablish yourself quickly enough. Looking forward to the next transition!

    • I appreciate you taking the time to check out the blog and comment. And, as you said, that was the idea of this project, not just being a tourist but truly getting involved in the cities I live in.

      Nice to meet a fellow traveler.

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