Millions of peaches! Peaches for me!

I gave my notice at work last night, and today I feel great about it. I've been working for the same company for a year and a half, which for many reasons feels like a lifetime. A lot has happened in the last two years, including a marriage breakup, two house moves, a new relationship and a beautiful baby boy. Our lease on our apartment is up at the end of September, and I'll be leaving my job at the same time, and we'll be packing up all of our earthly belongings and shipping them all over to the depths of the North Yorkshire countryside, at which point I'll officially be a Britnoder (again).

Today Jo brought Joshua out to meet me for lunch in the square in front of the Irish Financial Services Centre. She said that she didn't realize until that moment exactly how noisy and dirty and alarming the city centre is. Obviously we've walked these streets a thousand times before, but somehow, when you're wheeling a little baby along, you notice everything far more, because you want to protect him from things like pollution and horrible noisy things and idiots who walk into you and traffic and all the things we have to insulate ourselves from every day we go out of our doors to fight for survival in this completely artificial environment. Patches of stunted trees struggling for sunlight at evenly-spaced intervals in the concrete. Stainless steel seats that no one sits on. Rain that turns brown on its way down. Clumps of plastic and algae drifting downriver.

We're making quite a leap of faith. Not only are we moving to a different country before our baby is 2 months old, we're both changing career. I'm giving up IT contracting and hope to work from home, combining web design with odds and ends like PC repair and beginners' Tai Chi classes. Jo is making a dream move into fashion and style coaching after 7 years of corporate life. We're going to need some luck as well as determination, but it all feels like the right thing to do at the right time, and we'll have help from friends and family.

I wrote I have failed at a time when I was really struggling with my job and my lifestyle. I didn't know what was wrong with me. My job was easy enough, if frustrating, and I lived in a nice place with a woman I loved, in a good city. I didn't understand why I had this overwhelming feeling of alienation and failure. I suppose I could have called it depression and allowed it to settle into my self-image, or tried to distract myself from it, but since I was 15 writing has been my therapy. I often don't know what I'm really thinking or feeling until I write it down. When it all came out, I realized that it was the mechanism of the city itself that was the problem. Cities are machines, and people pass through them in rhythmic cycles, powering their parts and generating their output. We are rewarded based on how well we function as part of the machine, even though this way of living is anathema to us as creative beings and causes us endless health and mood problems. Once I wrote it all down, I realized that this feeling of failure, this feeling that I was unable to participate in the working world as effectively as those around me, was a good sign, a sign of the persistent survival of something very precious in me.

So we're moving to the country. Gonna eat me a lot of peaches!

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