Well, shit. It was fun while it lasted. I type this not with glistening, tear-stained cheeks (that would be almost pretty), but a runny nose. The reality is, when I cry, more fluid flows from my nose than eyes. And the other, more pressing, reality is: I am unemployed.
After a year-and-a-half of not owning a cell phone, now that I finally have one in my possession I still have the annoying (ask my family) habit of not usually carrying it on my physical body. And so, the text of a co-worker who became a confidante and friend, Serena, stating "I just want to give u a heads up, for news coming your way" went unnoticed. When I picked up my phone and read her text, I simultaneously read the first line of the bad news email that went out from our employer. Our store is closed, as of today. It's over. The end.
It has done nothing but rain this year, drowning the cacti I stupidly moved from my cool, dry kitchen onto the back deck. For the past few months, I've felt a little shaken and gloomy, uncertain, and, even, a little self-loathing because change is inevitable, but I am so afraid all the time. My boy is turning three in a month (which means potty training, school, socialization, and the graduation from toddlerhood to kid-ness), we're looking at the end of our time living in this old, full-of-love house (and the financial freedom that doing so rent-free has provided), and the fact that my little shop was struggling was no mystery to me.
I knew this day was coming, but I thought I could keep it at bay with a change of attitude. The idea of finding new work and saying goodbye to this little chapter of my career was too scary, too much work, and so instead I decided: hey, I'm a magickal fucking thinker, god damn it; I can magick my fucking way out of this thing. Fairy dust! Poof! I walked into work buoyant yesterday, telling my boss, "I'm not ready to throw in the towel," though literally, just days earlier, I described the store as "dying" in a note of maudlin condolence to a former employee.
All of this resistance to admitting the realities of my world and to putting in the proper adult effort a life as mother/wife/provider requires, has led to some pretty insightful conversations with my husband.
"For someone who doesnt do any drugs or drink, you are incredibly ungrounded." - Wolfman, the one who knows me best, truth-telling.— thewolfpeople (@thewolfpeople) June 30, 2016
Today on the ride home from an ultimately successful, but humorously bungled outing with my son and niece, Wolfman lovingly told me, "Sometimes you're like an alien." Planning, big or small, is not my forte, and I approach new experiences with a certain dread because of that fact. I like myself. I like my height, my big eye balls, my freckles and wonky teeth. I like the shape of my body, the volume and abruptness of my laugh. I like that my mind is somehow both a fuzzy and sharp thing (like my cacti before they drowned). I write this to say that in most circumstances, I feel good about myself and the decisions I make. But sometimes, and more often this year than in ones past, I feel crippled by--what? By uncertainty, the fear of failure, and the shame of not being what is expected of me, of not being anything, really.
All of this is to say: things are changing. #boohoo
Here are some things I am and have been grateful for, this past week, and this past year-and-a-half working at a job I've really loved and am sad to see come to an end. I Am Grateful:
- for last paychecks.
- to have worked with people I genuinely liked and cared for, people who have made me laugh and think.
- for the opportunity to explore my personal style, to be surrounded by beauty and be paid to play with it.
- for the opportunity to see myself in a leadership position and realize, however bad I am at a lot of things, I am pretty good at being a bossypants.
- for employers who gave me such an opportunity, who saw in me what I did not clearly see in myself and for giving me a chance, for listening to my ideas, for noticing me and utilizing my specific strengths.
- for that job interview, and how welcome I felt, and the feeling that I was valued as much for my skills as my story--my personality, presence, and history (things I, myself, find more interesting and telling than the lines on my resume).
- for Jared, that stunning, understanding, kind man to whom I am partnered. He is always optimistic when I am feeling particularly pessimistic, and I know how unnatural a position that is for him, and I am forever grateful for this little/big grace he bestows upon me and our marriage.
- for ramen.
- for wine.
- that the entire Dharma & Greg series is available on Youtube (it cheers me up, how can Jenna Elfman not?)
- that Wolfman and I mostly have crushes on all the same women.
- for air conditioning.
- for my mother-in-law, Sandra, who enthusiastically volunteers to take Martigan for a night, about which he is so excited, he insists on waiting outside in the front yard for her arrival and cannot wait for his car seat to be installed in her car before climbing into it.
- for time alone in the house, my first time alone in months (though I do nothing with that time but mope and watch Dharma & Greg, and write this).