I found out in mid June that I had to move out. Kitten and Karl got the house with 20 acres they'd been hoping for and so Kitten's mare and filly will be living with her. The new house isn't large enough for me to live there with them though. So I had to move on August 1st.
Kitten knew I was saving up to move to San Francisco someday, so she suggested just going there with whatever resources I had. I spent five or six weeks of extreme stress and some overexertion packing for the move. I successfully purged a good third of my stuff and more than a third of my books.
It helped that I'd just bought a Kindle. I was able to let go of a lot of cheap paperbacks easier replacing them with free downloads.
For the first time, "books" wasn't the bulk of my stuff. "Art supplies" dominates what I own, 80-90% of what I have. I packed or sorted everything and did manage to pack almost all of the art supplies myself. So that was a whole lot better than what I managed on the move from Kansas to Arkansas.
I got here on August 2nd after a weekend in Nevada with a friend who picked me and Ari up at the airport and then drove us the last four hours to the city. I've moved in the same way I left - sent my packages by UPS and flew.
Ari is still the world's best Traveling Cat. He slept through the flight without so much as a mew. He was a total sweetheart even going through the security scanner. He just clung to me and looked around being cute, accepting his compliments till we finished and I put him back in the carrier.
We had the easiest flight of my life. He was tucked in under the seat in front of me right in reach. Then on the road trip he was in my lap and I used the handy zippered top flap of his new soft sided American Airlines carrier to reach in and pet him while he watched out the window.
So now we're here. I live in a residential hotel. My SSI is being adjusted for location to California's cost of living and the net result is that I'll have about the same spending money I did in Arkansas. I've applied for a street art/crafts license and will be screened on August 25th at 10:30am.
So this week I'm busy creating 12 original pieces and half a dozen unfinished ones, plus bring in examples of my prints. Happily I found the envelope of ACEO prints so I can make up a packet of those to show and don't need to go out to have prints made or try to get the line art on watercolor paper prints style done before I go. Though I might do some of those as an example anyway.
At the same time I'm picking up the best day job I ever had, I'm going to be cranking up my writing to get ready to put a novel or two out on Smashwords and Kindle. I've got such a stockpile of finished novels that it's a joke. I think it's time for them to get out and start earning me some money.
I hope to become self employed again by the end of 2012 - at least at the level where I still have medical coverage and other benefits but I'm not living on SSI. This living situation minimizes the amount of time and body energy I need to spend on activities of daily living. Here in California, I'll also apply for In Home Support Services to have help with those activities I can't manage for myself. California will also get me a scooter just because I need it, whether I work again or not - and that will give back my old gig doing street art in a way that I can maintain it.
I'm right downtown close to where I need to go to set up for street art. I've got a bus line that stops literally in front of my building and going the other way, it's just a very short block to the one-way street going the other way.
I've dreamed of coming home to San Francisco since the day I left. It's the one place in the country where I'm at my best and everything I need is in reach. It may be a bit more expensive to live here than other places but it's also my best shot at self employment success - and if all the dollar amounts are higher but I succeed, then so what if it's expensive?
I love it. Just the past couple of weeks here have been a quiet joy.