I adore you. I sincerely hope you know that.
Do you know what amazes me about myself? An awful lot of things, if we’re being totally honest, (which is a great deal of what keeps me endlessly entertained, I’m sure) but the point under consideration at this moment is my propensity for knowing a thing for ages and ages without it ever really dawning on me that I’m not actually doing it. (Why can’t I italicize things on here? There’s no “I” at the top. That’s tremendously inconvenient. I need my “B” and my “I” and my “U”, else how will you know when I’m being dramatic!?!) (I honestly do not know how I survive on this earth knowing as little as I do about how to work anything technologically inclined, aka all the things.) (I would have italicized “all”, but … don’t know how.) (I swear there used to be an “I” at the top…)
Oh my god. My tech deficiencies are threatening to take over my post. Focus!!!
So, you will remember some years ago when I had the delightful experience of becoming broken-hearted, unemployed, and homeless on the same fateful day. (For the sake of our ONE follower – Hello, follower!!!- I shall recount the tale. Not the whole tale, of course, because no one wants to hear it and, frankly, it’s rather embarrassing…) (It seems a disproportionate number of my stories are embarrassing…) (Is that normal?) (FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO NOT ANSWER THAT QUESTION!!!)
I once had a brilliant idea to go to work for a very good friend. I subsequently had the good fortune (that’s a joke…) to fall hopelessly in love with said friend who had now also become my boss. A few months and an exceptionally tumultuous emotional roller coaster later, I moved into his place and we were blissfully happy. (Again with the jokes…)
Then one day he said he was done, Goodbye, you’re fired, get out, and all that.
I was thoroughly broken. Like, sit-on-the-floor-all-day-in-a-fetal-position-and-cry-until-I-would-have-vomited-except-I-could-never-bring-myself-to-eat-which-was-probably-okay-because-the-one-time-I-did-eat-I-was-throwing-up-blood-because-now-I-have-an-ulcer-because-I’ve-never-been-this-upset-in-my-entire-life-and-I-have-no-idea-how-to-fucking-be-alive-right-now kind of broken.
(Are we swearing in this blog? Because I’m not sure I can consistently communicate without swearing, but I can try if it’s important to you.) (I’d LIKE to swear in bold, underlined italics, but clearly I’m shit outta luck there on account of my being one of those tech-challenged types.)
Anyway, the “life” thing was not going well for me at this point. I was rescued – saints be praised – by a darling couple who really did not know me well enough to say, “You are coming to live with us until you are back on your feet,” but they said it anyway, and – even more astonishingly – only knew me at all on account of their having been very good friends of my ex-boyfriend/boss/roommate.
I lived with them for six months and they were beyond wonderful. On account of the aforementioned crying in the fetal position in a corner all day (I often exaggerate. This is quite literal. I’d put a game face on until they both left for work, and then… collapse in fits of sobbing until they got home.)(I’m not proud of it, but it is what it is.), it was some weeks before I was able to even think of looking for a job, I’m not sure I was ever very good company, and they were very newly married and expecting a baby. Good grief. I can’t even believe how nice they were. “Mom” would come home and ask me if I’d eaten, I’d pretend I had, she’d know I hadn’t, and we’d go on like that. Eventually she added dragging me out of the house to see people and do things to the nightly checklist, and she was genuinely an absolute doll. “Dad” is one of the sweetest, funniest people I’ve ever met, and educated me considerably on the joys of military themed television and movies (I have now seen Full Metal Jacket, thank you very much) and reminded me that it is possible for a man to be a marvelous human, even though he is a man.
Eventually I got some jobs – jobs are like potato chips. You can’t have just one – and I got a place with my brother. A completely respectable (that’s a joke again…) two bedroom house on the corner of 39th and Get Shot, but it felt wonderful to be independent again, and anyways, the folks wanted to give my room to their real kid. Whatever. 😉
That’s when I was overtaken by a flood of profound gratitude for “Mom” and “Dad” and felt the full measure of everything they had done for me.
I could have done a far better job of communicating that gratitude if I had actually lived in it while I was under their roof. But I didn’t. I mean, I said thank you, of course, but it didn’t go as deep as it should have because while I was actually under their roof, I was so consumed with the guilt of being a 35 year old person who needed to be taken care of that I couldn’t see all the pretty things in the situation.
The point of all this is that I discovered that guilt and gratitude cannot simultaneously occupy the same space.
And yet, here I am still doing the thing. Still going with guilt in the moment and only later realizing how much richer an experience could have been had I chosen gratitude instead.
For example, now that I live alone, I needed a few things for the house. I went out and within a couple hours found almost all the things I needed – and all at thrift, thank you very much – for under the budget I had set for the spree. And do you know that instead of coming home with an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for the fact that I had what I needed to go out and get the few extra little things I wanted, I felt guilty for having spent the money at all, and spent a miserable afternoon where I should have had an awesome one? And then, the next day I got my electric bill of a whopping $245 which seems ridiculous given the teensy-weensy size of my apartment, and went straight into guilt. Guilt! Over electricity, for Christ’s sake! It’s not like I’m wasting resources willy-nilly in my attempt to crawl up into the lap of luxury where I will commence living as an impossible diva. I’m just trying to hide in the hole of livable temperatures and avoid suffocating in a makeshift apartment/sauna. Wouldn’t it have been more fabulous to just be grateful that the Lord God had made sure I had enough money to pay the ridiculous electric bill instead of guilting over my supposedly exorbitant use of electricity?
Honestly, if I wasn’t so awesome, I’d think I was a nut case.
So, in the writing of this post, I decided to become exceedingly grateful for my life, just exactly the way it is. And I did, in fact, become exceedingly grateful for my life just exactly the way it is. Love it. Adore it! Wouldn’t change a thing!!!
Two minutes ago, a friend of a friend called to ask if I would please come in for a job interview on Thursday.
Sigh. Nothing like getting myself content to conjure a bit of a shuffle in my little universe.
I’m starting to wonder if I’m just not cut out for having jobs? I guess we’ll see. Wish me luck!! 🙂
(Sorry for the rambling. Remember when I used to write letters this long on paper and then the post office would make you pay for them because I had not affixed sufficient postage??? Hilarious.)