It’s been a hot minute, eh? Truthfully, I haven’t really talked much because there’s not much going on. Actually, that’s not true. There’s lots happening and I just haven’t really wanted to talk much. I haven’t felt like a writer for a long time. Maybe it’s time I did.
I started my new job and I love it y’all. I drive around and teach people about the joys of Google. I work with amazing people. My new boss is the best dude, and totally engaged with the development of his team. I won’t lie; the beginning was mostly winging it, but I think I’ve got it down. I’m making real money again, and I can afford stuff again. There’s something so satisfying knowing your bills are paid after months of scrambling. I’ve got a couple of debts to settle and I’ll be finally caught up. Last summer, this felt impossible, but here we are.
My nights and weekends are mine, which means I’m going to the gym again. Going back to CrossFit 60lbs heavier has been a challenge. I get so intimidated and I have to psych myself up to go, but we will get there. Hawaii will wait until next year because I want to take the fam on vacation and I can’t do both. Also, this journey will be tougher than I thought so I need to give myself time and space to get healthy. Because my time is mine, I have time for my kids, my friends, and even for ramen. I see people and we hang out. No more overtime shifts or unpaid conference calls. I have work/life balance. I clean my house at night. Things feel normal for the first time in forever.
It’s been a long three years, but I think I’m finally happy. It’s weird, but I’m almost afraid to say it, as if it’ll all get ruined if I do. The last three years have been about loss: financial stability, loss of the gym, loss of work/life balance, and even loss of self. But over the last few months, I’ve been able to get it back a bit. Even though it feels harder, the only way to get “me” back is to keep doing what I’m doing and power through the rough spots until I fit in my old pants and can do a burpee again.
There’s been so many positives: I’m down a pant size, the kids are calmer, my hair has even started growing back. (It’s much healthier because I can afford good shampoo again). I think I just had to take some time to grieve the life I thought I’d get to start finding the life I want.
I know it was just a job, but the loss of my old job was a blow. I worked with some of my best friends every day. I had a boss who believed in me. I started a corporate philanthropy program. It was something that meant the world to me and I built it on my own from the ground up. Maybe it’s stupid, but for the first time in my entire life, I felt like I was doing something that helped people, and the people who’s opinions I valued finally respected me. I wasn’t just a vapid weirdo who spent her life trying to prove she deserved a place in a dying field: I was making some kind of difference. For once, I wasn’t the dumb dumb who just wrote stupid stuff no one cares about, and really likes her blind spot indicators. I had a job I was good at while promoting my passion projects with my friends. Then, it was gone. I had to crawl back to an industry I outgrew years ago and start over from the ground up. My idea was just gone. My friends I saw every day became text once a month friends. My best friends became so far away because I had no time for them. I worked sixty hours to try and figure out which bill I could pay. My family was falling apart. My freelance career was dead. I just felt like I was back to being the talkative dumb dumb people laugh at, not with. I took this feeling with me every day, everywhere I went. I threw a party and no one showed (except my best friend, who’s just the best kind of human). I watched my laundry pile up and my clothes get tighter and I just didn’t care anymore.
Once I started my job, things changed. It was because I suddenly had time. That time allowed me to realize that I had to let parts of my life go. I had to accept that no matter how much you wanted it to work out, sometimes it doesn’t. But that doesn’t mean it’s over; it just means you try again. I had to forgive myself for a lot of stuff. For giving up on my dreams to sell phones. For giving up on all the stuff I enjoyed. Even the irrational shit, like I couldn’t single handedly find ways to fix society or some dumb shit. Most of all, I had to forgive myself for giving up on me and just accepting I was stupid and unworthy.
I did a lot of soul searching to figure out what I wanted and how to make it happen. I wanted to be the active person I was, so I push myself even when I don’t want to. My program may be in the idea graveyard, but that doesn’t mean I can’t help people! Currently I’m trying to raise $1000 for Stollery Children’s Hospital. Sure, it’s not as easy when I don’t have corporate backing me, and I can’t nag, but I’m sure by May 1, I’ll have hit my goal (if you want to donate, please click here. I would be ever so grateful). I don’t get to hang out with my friends every day, but my job is very people-y. My reps actually like when I come. My current boss thinks I’m smart. My kids respect me. I live in a beautiful home. For the first time in a long time, I feel in control of my life.
Maybe I won’t be the journalist I wanted to be. Maybe I won’t be able to get back into athletic form. Maybe I’ll never meet anyone and die alone with my cats. Maybe I’ll never be anything but the dumb dumb no one respects because I talk too much and people mostly tune out because I’m just too much. But, for the first time in my life, I’m okay with that. I can still be happy even if I’m just a weird crazy person, or the butt of every joke until I die. Maybe I just needed to be myself, even if I’m the only one who likes me. I used to go through my life wanting people to be proud of me; my kids, my friends, my mother. But I never thought about being proud of myself. I realized even if I never accomplished anything I wanted to, I have managed to pull myself out of every dark place, rut, or hamster wheel I’ve ever found myself on, and that’s enough.