...And just like that, my hopes of going back to the lake are squashed (As you probably saw on my facebook post yesterday). Tom (the landlord) and I had a lengthy phone conversation a couple days ago. It seemed positive. But then yesterday morning he emailed me and said he had several concerns, the greatest of which was the dog, and that he didn't want a dog there. And that he also thought it was time to raise the rent (after telling me that he wouldn't, since it was me). I even mentioned to him that Blaze would be my assistance animal (my psychiatrist would have no problem making it so). Flash was deemed so by my doctor at the time as well. And so, legally, he couldn't refuse me occupancy regardless of a no pet policy. But that didn't work. $1000 a month (plus utilities) was already a real stretch for me. Even if I were working two jobs, it would have been financially uncomfortable. Anything more than that would not be doable, not by myself. Not even long enough to wait for Phil to move in later this year. And then there's the dog.
If I were able to pay more, and willing to get rid of the dog, then yeah, I guess I could still go back to the lake. But I'm not able to afford any more, and I'm not willing to get rid of this stupid dog.
I've lost my beach. I cried all morning yesterday.

People keep telling me there's a reason for it. Like, it must mean I'm supposed to stay where I am for now. Or, something better is in store for me. Or, I would have financially not been able to do it at the lake and would have gotten myself in a bind, or... Bla bla bla. I hope they're right. I hope there's some kind of reason for it.
...Although, I don't really subscribe to those ways of thinking; that things "happen for a reason". I don't particularly believe that anything is designed for us or destined, or that anything has a predetermined reason for happening. I believe in chance and coincidence, and that a person is ultimately responsible for their life circumstances (unless things are influenced, not "for a reason", but by chance or coincidence). Which is probably why I always have such a difficult time making decisions. I know that there is no universal guidance or assistance or hidden clues that will tell me what the "right thing" to do is. And that no matter what decision I make, there won't be a "reason" for it, and that I will ultimately be responsible for whatever circumstances and repercussions that come from it. Or that, by chance, I may choose the wrong thing.
But anyway...
Hopefully I'm wrong this time. And hopefully there's a reason for losing my beach. A reason for losing one of the rare things in life that was capable of bringing me the greatest sense of peace and happiness and contentment I've ever known.

Something else I learned this week- I have very little in common with many of the people I know (not all of the people I know, of course, but many). And I don't mean- oh, he likes golf and I don't, or- I like rap music and she likes hard rock... I mean, like fundamentally in common. Or, not in common. Like, differences down to our core; in our values, our ethics, our character, our conduct.
Actually, I don't think I just learned that this week. I guess I've always known it.

The boy stayed here all week this week, came back Sunday night and stayed through Thursday. He actually stayed an extra night, Thursday night, here as well! I keep trying not to get too excited, or get my hopes up. I keep waiting for him to change his mind and decide not to come over, to stay with his dad again. But it seems like things are basically "back to normal". It's like we haven't skipped a beat. Him and I are like we used to be... laughing and joking, talking about his friends and the funny things they do, watching stupid youtube videos, watching him play video games, or getting suckered into playing video games with him (even though I don't know how to play and just push all the buttons)... or just hanging around the house together, him playing video games, me watching tv, and talking to each other from down the hall. And every few minutes he'll say "hey mom, come watch this!"...
It has been so awesome having him back. I have missed him so much. It's been almost a year since he started staying solely with his dad. Last April. And it has been one of the hardest years of my life. Losing him this past year has been the most awful thing ever. But now he's back, he's really, finally back. I can't believe it!
(And no, it doesn't have anything to do with living here vs. the lake. It all has to do with the heart to heart we had to have a couple weeks ago. He would still be here even if I were at the lake. So that's unfortunately no consolation).
But anyway... I have my boy back!!!!!!!!! (Insert one thousand smiley face emojis here)

So, anyway...
Phil and I were talking about moving into the lakehouse together this year, and I thought he was reconsidering because of the conversation we had about the travel (to Belfast, then to Castine, and back again) being so challenging. Well, the travel will be challenging, but he's not reconsidering.
But since the lakehouse is no longer an option, we will have to continue looking. We would like to live together, and hopefully this year.
I can't see us here. I don't have a third bedroom here for Ari. I have the addition that could be a room? But it isn't finished, and it needs a lot to be liveable. And even if we could finish it off as a room, neither of the rooms would be big enough for Jack and Dawson to share. Even though Jack rarely visits (if ever), we would still need a bed and space for him in Dawson's room so that he feels welcome if he ever wanted to. And I feel like, once he knows Phil is living with Dawson, maybe he will want to come once in a while, so he can hang out with Dawson? Maybe not. Who knows.
And it's just not spacious enough here for all of us, and all of our stuff. We need more room, more living space.
And I would need more space too. It's no secret that living with a young child is going to be challenging for me. Phil knows it, and loves me for it just the same. I will need more space.
And so, we will continue to look for something more suitable. Neither of us have fantastic credit, so buying isn't an option for us. We will look for a rent, and hopefully our credit won't hold us back from finding something there, either.
Sometimes I wish we could make it work here, because of the location. Being right next to Dawson's dad is so convenient. And no matter what, I really, really, really do not want to leave Glenburn. But I'm just afraid it wouldn't work here, for all the reasons above. And I'm sure Phil doesn't really want to leave Belfast, either. We've (I've) considered renting something halfway in between the two towns. We looked into a house in Winterport just a couple weeks ago. It's spacious and nice and we could afford it together. But then the lakehouse came up. But now the lakehouse is gone. And, and, and... I don't want to leave Glenburn. Sigh.
We'll figure it all out.

Oh, I ended up turning down the second waitressing job. I was only taking it because of the lakehouse anyway. I know, I know- I could have kept it and made some extra play money, or saved up some money, or whatever. But who wants to get up at 3:30 in the mornings if they don't have to???
And besides, I'd have to quit eventually anyway, and hopefully sooner than later. Because the ultimate goal here is to find a full time week-day job and leave the waitressing gig. I don't want to work nights anymore, especially now that Dawson is back home. I hate picking him up at school and then leaving him here all night alone, only seeing him for an hour before bed when I get home from work. I need to be home evenings.
And I want my weekends free so that I can start booking the band. That has become more important to me as well, especially since I can now see the progress we are making. Even though we are currently only a three piece, we seem to be coming together better than we have since the start. I think it's because of Phil moving to bass, and because of the motivation and positivity and chemistry that the four of us share.
So anyway, the mad hunt for the normal day job is on.

Wow, I've really rambled this morning.

Hey, the sun is out! Now, where the hell is the warm weather? And why do we still have all this f&%cking snow??? Bring on spring!

Be well!