Saturday, April 2, 2016

In Lieu of a Funeral

I had been planning to go out of town with some friends and just have a relaxing weekend of writing and nature at a house called, "Serenity" (I didn't make this up, the house above is actually called that).   I needed it.  I was beyond exhausted and it had been a particularly bad week at work.  In fact, by Tuesday evening I was already done with the week and ready for Friday, which is never a good sign.  Then, on Wednesday morning, I received a phone call from my Brother and Sister-in-law. My Brother informed me that my Stepfather, his Dad, was currently on life support.  We just lost our Mother less than two years ago and so if my Stepfather passed this would mean that my 25 year old brother would have lost both of his parents in two years time and at an incredibly young age.  Younger than me even.  My father passed away when I was 26 and my Mother at 32.   But there it was and there was nothing to be done.  A few hours later, my Brother informed me that he had passed away.
My Stepfather was a complicated man.  I can't say that we always got along.  I can't say that he isn't one of the main reasons I have issues with God or certain ideas about men. It was a long road with him and I had stopped hoping he would change about fifteen years ago or more.  And, although I never saw major change in him, the last time all three of us where in a room with him, he said he was proud of us.  He said that we should be proud of how we took care of our Mother.  With the type of story we had with him, that to me, was the best way we could have possibly ended our relationship with him.  For me, that was perfect.  The most anyone can hope for is that any of your parents would be proud of you and I had a Mother, Father and Stepfather who's last words to me where either, "I love you or I'm proud of you."  You can't make that happen.  My childhood was a struggle.  We had a sorted past, but that was the best way it could have possibly ended.  So, I decided to leave it there.  I decided that since it would have been nearly impossible for me to even get to the funeral, I would grieve in my own way.  I am so happy that my last picture of my Stepfather is a loving one.  That is truly a miracle and the vision I decided to keep in my heart.  So, today was the funeral and I didn't go.  I'm in a peaceful, serene setting picturing that last moment with my Stepfather and that's the best send off I can give him.  I am thinking about him, glad he is in a much better place.  Joyful he isn't suffering and blessed that I heard him say two all three of us, that he was proud of us.  So, although my week started out terribly and we had a major loss in the family; I've ended it with peace, joy and a bit of thankfulness.  Loss is hard, and we will suffer with the ramifications of this for a while.  But at least I can say Goodbye with gratitude in my heart for the token I was given.  And isn't that a win really?

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The New Fight Club

"Man, I see in fight club the strongest and smartest men who’ve ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war… our Great Depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off." - Tyler Durden from 'Fight Club'
Today has been a particularly rough day. Thankfully it ended with seeing an off-Broadway musical for free with a handsome man whom when he sings makes you melt in your seat as the lead. Thank God for that man!

Although I am grateful to have a job and really like my bosses, I didn't plan to do the type of work I have been in for this long. The plan was to start out young and work my way up. Problem was that I never got a job somewhere I would want to move up. Many years of applying, following up, people trying to help me or back peddling after they said they would has led me here. It's not been for lack of trying. But all the trying has led to great disappointment.  I am very discouraged and have lost hope at finding a good bridge job as my history of finding something enjoyable is nil. I'm no longer looking for a "dream job" as my side business is what I am developing to full-time over the next three years. But in the meantime, it's difficult.
I was talking with a friend of many years a few months ago. A friend who has seen all the ups and downs and disappointments, hopes dashed, dreams crushed.  I was able to share this new adventure I'm embarking on with her and she said, "Ebony, I'm really happy for you.  I really think this is a great idea!"  I still don't know what I'm doing right now.  This is most definitely un-chartered territory and not everyone is going to like it or understand.  That's okay.  I think that the people who have known what I've been through these eleven plus years are looking forward to this next season the most.  There is something about having friends that have walked with you through the valley of darkness.
But I still wonder how to get from where I am now to where I want to be and be doing something that contributes financially and practically and that I enjoy doing for the most part? Does that exist? I've heard it does but right now it feels like a unicorn.
In the meantime I have decided to follow the 'Fight Club' rules. Rule 1 - Outside of office hours we don't talk about work. Rule 2 - Outside of office hours we DO NOT talk about work. Boundaries need to be maintained and work/life balance needs to be kept in check. I am not the 9 hours in the office. I am a Sister, Granddaughter, Niece, Friend, Auntie, Writer, Solopreneur, Idea Whirling Dervish, Theater Geek and Hamilton Fanatic. These are the parts of myself I love and the parts I need to focus on. I am made up of so much more than my 9-6 paycheck. Hopefully I will figure out the 9-6 part until my transition, but until then...what's 'Fight Club'? Never heard of it.