This Tucson Life

It’s so easy these days to get caught up in narcissism, to miss the good things you have in pursuit of other things. Truth is that the other things are not all they’re cracked up to be, and in many ways I’m thankful for all the things that haven’t worked out here in Tucson. I’ve realized it’s better to pursue moments rather than things.

I tried to run my own business only to end up doing piece work helping people who inherited money or a business to make more money—almost felt like a pyramid scheme. That whole deal helped me to realize that I’m no businessman.

I looked into being a tutor and was challenged to keep my professionalism while someone tried to manipulate me into a personal relationship—when I remained professional they took it personally and went on to bear false witness to friends. By others not seeing me for who I am, I came to know myself better.

I took a temporary job looking through a microscope at very small things, helping out a company in a small but needed way. The situation was stable with meagre pay and the work was monotonous. I grabbed an opportunity to move up to a tech writing job, bailing on the good boss with limited means for a better paying job that ‘should have’ become permanent. Turns out the new bosses at the same company expected me to work extra hours for free, take on everything related to technical writing across many departments, and actually wanted a science writer instead of a technical writer. After 7 weeks we figured out we weren’t a good fit. I realized that all jobs are temporary, and it’s better to do something small and sustainable than something ‘big’ and thankless.

I live in Tucson, not the greatest town, in a mediocre reddish state, in a country that is no longer the greatest but still has potential. It’s easy to get the down-and-outs. Yet I live near mountains and canyons that I get to in 20 minutes to an hour, and I’m a hop, skip and jump from places like Grand Canyon and so much more of the American Southwest. I’ve had some great moments alone and with friends on those hiking trails and in camping spots. I’ve realized it’s all kind of working in a wonky kind of way. I made tradeoffs to be a writer, and like all of us, I’m trapped with where I got to, and that’s fine with me.