Left my help desk/software dev position on the 12th, just shy of seven years there. Someone got me a card and had a few people sign it, which was really nice. I was able to say goodbye to a few of the people I'd worked with (and particularly enjoyed working with). Other than that, my second to last night (the 11th) was my last working on software there, and still nothing about anything I'd been working on (and fighting over disability accommodations to work on).
So that story is over.
I'd had nearly all of my stuff moved out of my apartment a couple of weeks before, but I got the rest out and got checked out/turned in the keys on the 15th so I wouldn't have to deal with the stupidity that is moving day in Madison. Checkout was done by 1030, and after a trip to the laundromat (which is deserted on moving day) I got on a bus to Mom's house.
So that story is over, too.
Mom is retired, and lives in the woods in northern Wisconsin where the internet reaches, but you occasionally have to look for it. My phone says it's connected to 4G, but fast it ain't.
I'm sitting in a coffee shop where they don't take credit cards for purchases under $5.00 (wtf?) and you need to ask for a password for the wifi-- which really isn't that big an issue, it's just that after being around a university where few people use cash ever and even the gas stations have free open wifi, it just seems silly. (Honestly it's been sort of nice not being connected all of the time, but only to a point.)
Life here (Mom's place) is a lot different from mine-- it's almost as if there's an unwritten rule that "we're retired so we have to to retired people things". She lives on a lake and has a boat but doesn't fish (or in fact ever use the boat), lives in the woods but doesn't do outdoors things. Keeping up appearances. Look at how good things are here. If you've ever read Gaiman's American Gods some of the small towns here bear some resemblance to Lakeside. I feel a bit like Shadow, laying low and out of sight. (It's a good town.) *sigh*
Sitting on the pier that sticks out into the lake, it feels odd. Here's all of this nature-- national forest, a lake that only has a few houses on it, fish, berries, etc-- and a huge house and a barn where everyone stays inside and watches TV and ignores that there's all these good things right outside. It seems like such a waste of resources. I'm reminded of that public service ad from the 1970's, where the native American guy sheds a tear at what "modern" civilization has done to the land and water. It's not that it's polluted here-- it's just ignored, which is perhaps worse. Nature gives you all of this, you work for most of your life to be able to move here, and then you spend most of your time in a bingo hall.
Case in point, I'm sitting in a coffee shop a few miles away because there's nothing to do but watch TV at the house that's on the lake.
There's been some discussion of when I'm leaving-- consensus is on the bus tomorrow morning. It's one of those "well you could stay longer if you wanted to" things where it's implied that you won't. Don't get me wrong, I love my Mom. Right now I'm a drifting hacker/veteran/student who isn't due in class until October, and she's got a schedule of things that doesn't involve worrying about me. Historically I haven't gotten along well with the yayhoo she married after my Dad, and while we've reached some sort of detente over the years it's a peace that can wear thin if pushed too far. So leaving tomorrow is probably pretty reasonable.
It's beautiful up here, but I like it best when I'm alone in the middle of the national forest, camping and hiking and being bitten by bugs as opposed to sitting in a coffee shop. So I'm ready to get on the road again.
What's next? Still working on it. I've applied for a few new gigs. My experience asking for, fighting for, and dealing with ADA accommodations at UW-Madison really changed my outlook on things. It's really important that I find a job slinging code, but it's also really important that I find the right job (and employer).
After leaving here I'm headed back to Madison to transfer buses then to Milwaukee for an undetermined number of days. I've been basically on vacation since the 15th, so I'll need to start keeping known-only-to-me office hours again and finish getting some things organized. September is going to be busy, and then classes start up again for me in late October.
Not sure of the exact date yet (first week of September sometime) but heading to Florida to help my sister move in a week or so. She has an entire house of stuff so a truck plus towing a car; I get to help load the truck, but that means I also get to help drive the truck-- across Florida, the long way, and likely through Atlanta. Which also means we'll have lots of time to talk about lots of things (I haven't actually seen her for quite some time).
After that it's back north to Chicago, to get on a plane to Hack the North at the University of Waterloo-- then back to Chicago to get on a bus to Madison again. I'll finally get all of my stuff out of storage and into a UHaul (meaning it will rain whatever day that is), and from there I'll be in the mid-Midwest where I'll have a temporary roof over my head (and a place to unpack my stuff and figure out what I'm throwing away) while I look for a new job, new school, and more or less permanent new home.
Ultimately, stability is something that's still a work in progress, but that's okay right now. I've seen enough people lately that have everything laid out-- this is what will happen now, this is what will happen tomorrow, this is the way things will be twenty years from now. That's not how nature works, and that's especially not now PTSD works. Change is constant. What works today likely won't work tomorrow. It's taken me a long time to realize (and learn) that.