The Mosh Pit Ballet of a Cross-Country Move

Jamie Toth, The Somewhat Cyclops
6 min readSep 17, 2023

I’ve tried to conform to expectations on this platform, but as a writer my general strength is writing personalized letters and correspondence, and not brief, click-bait essays that get eyes on what I’m saying. In other words — my writing couldn’t be less of a fit for platform-type writing. Whoops! So, you’ll excuse me if I revert to a form of writing that is far more comfortable for me, so I can get something off my chest.

You see, dear reader, I’ve been struggling for around three months to talk about something that is now definitely dictating nearly every thought, and is quickly taking over nearly every moment of my day — which is that Darren and I are moving from Oregon and back to the Rust Belt.

Why Move?

I know. It couldn’t be more opposite, right (unless it was to Florida, and no, we’re not going that far)? We have several compelling reasons to make the move, but I’ll list three, in no order:

Working in Oregon cannabis hasn’t worked out.

Darren fulfilled his desire to work in cannabis, and I did as well, but far less successfully. Every year, Darren would be laid off — for a couple of months to half the year. His income was basically minimum wage, which — again, it’s simply not enough to survive.

In those times when he was laid off, we ate through all of our savings. Before you think ‘But Jamie, you have 30,000 readers on Medium’ allow me to share my earnings here the last few months:

Author earnings on Medium the past few months. Image Source: Author

That’s not to say I’m not grateful for the platform and for the readers, but there’s no ‘livable income’ in all of this — the more I felt shoehorned into only writing about cannabis, the less I wrote. Even at my highest earning (I wrote about that here), it wasn’t enough to make an actual living, it was a glorified hobby.

I even put together a business, bank account, all of that, but a lot of the clients that would work with me were only cannabis businesses. Let me tell you a not-so-secret: cannabis businesses often don’t pay in a timely manner at all — and I’m not in a financial position to not get paid, or ‘do things for exposure.’ Or, worse, there would be a promise to pay on time, and then that wouldn’t materialize. The few businesses that…



Jamie Toth, The Somewhat Cyclops

I write about independent movies, tarot, consumer safety, and more. Contact me: