Life is filled with tradeoffs, I’ve heard it said.

I believe it.

I have given my front-door back-door view of the sky in favor of being closer to it. I have given up the truth of my solitariness for the imposed solitariness-in-company of a new job. I have traded the “me” writing for commerce writing that has not yet told me it needs me.

I do not yet need me.

I have done wonderful, enriching, fun things in Denver. I have been to art fairs and Yves St. Laurent retrospectives. But I view them at a distance…the me outside the writer-me looking out at the world in which corporeal beings live; the world I visit but do not inhabit.

My compass is not yet re-set to internal north.

The completed books and their characters chafe in the back of my head like neglected friends. The new book twinkles briefly in my mind like stars through broken clouds, but the view is not clear.

I woke this morning disoriented, hoping for the impetus to pick up at the new job, wishing that I weren’t feeling like a ghost or a person hired in error. Would I have felt better if I had hit the ground running…if they had been as ready for me as I have been for them? Yes. I was hoping to feel wanted and indispensible. I feel neither thing. And in the move—in the lack of time and mental energy that have left me unable to think about anything but the move’s demands—I have sent me for a walk and haven’t yet found my way back.

I can tell myself that the pace will pick up. I can tell myself that I will find my feet 14 stories from the ground. I can tell myself that the adventure is just beginning, and that the real me is just absent for the moment, not gone. Balance will return. I will feel less appallingly alone and neglected.

Right now, where this writer finds herself feels less like a trade than a giving away. And I am not sure what I have traded for.