I was laid off last week. I’ve written several posts about it and once again nothing was posted. I’m still struggling with, well, god, to be honest, a lot right now. But I’m still struggling to find my way back to this space. So, instead of a dramatic play-by-play of how my last day went down, which is a good story and what I am used to writing and what you are used to getting, I’m going to try a different route, the insider’s scoop, i.e. what’s really going on with me rather than the story I could tell to distract us both from, well, me.
So, I lost my job last week. In some respect this is a huge relief for several reasons. In the other direction it seems to be heading up what some could define as a bit of an existential crisis… or really, I guess this is what’s tipping me over the edge onto one that has been lurking and looming for a while now. I know I can find another job – that’s not it at all, that’s the easy part. It’s the painfully exhausting question of what it is that I should be doing… really doing… with my life. And lately, just choosing whether or not to even consider this question tosses me down the rabbit hole so hard and fast that all of a sudden trying to consider a new career move puts everything about my entire existence on earth under question, under fire, under the spotlight and it takes just seconds in this mind space to expand bigger and bigger and bigger until I feel like my brain pops and everything freezes. Well, I freeze and the world keeps going.
I am being reminded by friends and loved ones regularly that I am really sensitive, highly sensitive, emotionally guided, whatever you want to call it. My dad just had me take the Myers Briggs test the other night and surprise! The world breaks my heart regularly and I care so intensely about everything that it wouldn’t be beyond me to name and care for wild animals with the same love and regard as a family member.
And if you’re laughing, so am I. I mean, I’ve written more stories here about a raccoon than my best friend. I cried for a week when Fraidy Phat the Fish died and it still makes my heart hurt. So, I’m not worried about or trying to downsize my being a bit more concerned with/ emotionally invested in/ sensitive about things that might slide a bit easier by another person. That is just who I am. That part, as exhausting as it can be (for everyone), I’m ok with. But I have been concerned with the extent in which this has me flat out frozen. Having no clue what to do, what it all means, as a result, I’m not getting any closer to doing anything at all. Or at least, right now it feels that way.
(As a semi-relevant side note: I’m reading a physics theory book that is only compounding my unrest by confirming the importance of my questions alongside the impossibility of every knowing the answers to any of them. Basically, this book is confirming that the foundation of my existential crisis is backed up by hard science. Awesome. Now try to sleep.)
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?”
…is one of my favorite lines from one of my favorite poems by my very favorite poet, Mary Oliver. I think this line frequently. I get to an impasse, whether to turn left or right or which college to attend and I think this line. And usually, when I think it, sing it, chant it, it makes me smile, my body flutters with the potential of it. But lately, it has been haunting me. It’s as if her tone has sharpened and there is a clock ticking in the background. This all sounds so dooms day and I don’t mean it to sound this way. I know this isn’t my usual style.
Except that I want all of my questions about life, purpose and meaning answered in full, I really don’t know what my problem is right now. My optimistic guess is that it’s a culmination of things and that at some point all of this angst will have worked in my favor, offering insight and information that I wouldn’t normally tune in to. You know, where in hindsight you just briefly mention to your friend, “Ya, that was a bit of a rough patch but look where it got me.” I’m holding tight for that version.
I’m turning 35 next week (and now you say, “ah ha!”). I know. But birthdays usually don’t hold much power over me. I mean, I like cake and Violet always gets me something really sweet, but this one is bugging me, tugging at me in a way I’ve never dealt with before. It feels like this number is creating time lines on certain things that just undeniably need to be flushed out in a way that I could always answer “someday” to before. I know that along with a series of things, this is making me review and scrutinize my life under a slightly brighter bulb with a series of questions I’ve thus far dismissed with, “no comment.” But now I want answers. And for certain things, I think I need them.
What I also want to do is just get over myself. I’ve learned this to be a key component to living with myself without driving myself totally bat shit crazy. I come close to nutso but then, just in time, I get over myself just enough to continue putting up with me. But now that’s beginning to feel more like complacency or fear. Or maybe it’s a part of survival? Hell if I know… if I haven’t made that obvious enough.
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The sun is out today and has been for a few days and that is a really good thing for me right now. Even though it’s still cold out, that bright cobalt blue sky is reminding me that it really will be warm again. Flower seeds are making roots and incredible plans of escape. The light really is returning. I tend to forget that right around now. Or maybe you noticed?