truthiness


 

It's been a shitty 11 months…though there were some giddy moments in the beginning.  In those early days I stretched my severance and maintained my optimism.  It was summertime, I hadn't appreciated the warm months quite so much since I was a kid.  I adventured, I cooked, I spent lots of time with family and friends, I lost weight, I woke up well-rested, in short, I know I glowed.  I interviewed and sent my resume out, I took a promising freelance position that looked like it was going to turn into a full-time gig in the Fall.  Then, it seemed my lights went out.
 

It was a slow burn really, one devastation after another.  At the height of those “good” Summer weeks, my Uncle died.  He was sick for a long time, but young – it was horrible, awful, and as it always is – way too soon.  I had the tearful goodbye where told him I loved him and how much he meant to me, it has been no consolation.  I read his eulogy at his funeral.  I still miss him and mourn large parts of my life, “the way things were,” that died with him.  Maybe it was a delayed reaction of sorts, but suddenly I found myself not only grieving for my Uncle, but my Grandfather, my Grandmother and to make it slightly more complicated, it reignited a quest to find out more about the blood ancestry of my Mother
 

Bills started stacking up, I didn't make my goal of being employed by October.  I was uninsured, living by the skin of my teeth, scared and ashamed.  I felt as though I was chipping away at my soul with each interview I went on, pored over my thank you and follow-up emails and calls, then would get a nice note of let down or no response at all.  I still feel burned by the request I had to put together a “thoughtful analysis of my interviews” with one company, which I spent hours on and involved my Mom in helping me draft….and didn't even get a one word response.  A simple “Thanks” would have been appropriate, or so says me.  I'd aced the interview, or so I thought.  But, thems the breaks when you're on the other side of the desk, a place that grows colder with every day you're out of work.  There was also that interview with Miserable McMisery, as I'll forever remember her, where I stumbled and let Ms. ScowlyPants turn me into a mess of unhire-able babble.  It was humiliating to crash and burn in an interview and I did so more than once.  And that freelance position I worked at for some of the darkest months didn't pan out, I just think of that time as awkward and regrettable (and my clothes got tight and uncomfortable).  The bulk of the past 6 months or so are a blur of mostly despair, though I'll never forget some generous acts of kindness and joy (If I saw you or spoke to you in the past 11 months, you know who you are – I'm not risking leaving anyone out by listing you all, I just hope I thanked you appropriately).  It's been a seesaw, a mostly lonely plank, there were awesome moments where I felt I could touch the sky, but a lot of the time I was sitting on the ground.  Rinse, repeat.
 

I started and committed to many projects I never finished.  In those early energetic stages of what my fellow benefit claimers tend to call (fun)employment, my imagination was fertile.  The short list of my failures starts like this:

I'm not saying I would have won the contest, but I had some damned great ideas (if I do say so myself).  Along with @theambershow, we hand cut zillions (gross exaggeration) of snow flakes to be used as business cards.  I dreamed up a campaign with @semipermgirl to shoot video on the East River in a kayak and otherwise really lobby to go to Antarctica this year….then reality jumped in and…I bailed. It didn't help that I secured an interview with a top Antarctic scientist the week of my Uncle's death and then made a bit of an ass of myself on the phone when I called him to postpone it.

This project proved "failure to launch" long before last June, but I figured…with all the time in the world, I could finally get to it.  I didn't, and in the meantime, so many blogs and services are realizing my little hatchling of an idea far better than I could have executed on.

Yet another bloggy-type project that never materialized past hours of collaborative brainstorming with @semipermgirl.  I still think it's a fun idea, maybe one of these days I'll get to it.
 

  • For my birthday this year I bought 7 strings of Tibetan prayer flags.  It was a start.  The plan was to string my ceiling with so many prayer flags that I wouldn't see the water stains and pipes that are currently my view from bed.  Also, I had a lot of prayers, what better way to realize them then to set them free, on the wind.  I chose an auspicious day, I discussed borrowing a ladder from my landlord.  At the time I didn't know she was dying of cancer, but yeah….I never got a ladder.  I even tried wearing my highest heals standing on the step stool she lent to me.  It was a total fail, thankfully I didn't break my neck, my birthday sucked and I lost faith.  Currently I have 2.5 strings hung successfully.  One end has fallen….and then my landlord died…and well, yep, it just kept getting rougher. 

SXSW would have been an amazing trip, really an excuse to see many friends I don't get to see everyday, but I didn't rally, my heart was never in it and I chose to pursue employment…for me, because that was the order of the day(s).

I miss podcasting, and my last period of wretched darkness was very much my entree into well, probably meeting everyone who might read this post.  It had been years since @wankergirl and I started the first realization of what I was planning re-launch.

I did a lot of craft-type stuff to pass the time.  I thought why not try to make some cash on the side and just never found the energy to spread the word or finish setting up my store.  Go figure. 

 

The list of personal disappointments goes on and on, I know better, there's no need to dwell on the many things I wish i done differently.  11 months, and so much of it I can only chalk up to idle and wasted time.  I remember when I first lost my job having a conversation with someone who'd just gone back to work after a long stretch of unemployment.  She asked if I'd had days yet where I didn't see a point to get out of bed; I shook my head and I felt bad for her.  I never imagined it could get that bad, but I started to relate.

 

The world keeps turning…and thankfully I think I (mostly) managed to not completely fall apart.  I am once again employed, but I still don't feel like it's real.  I have the constant feeling someone might pop through my office wall and yell that I've been Punk'd or perhaps I'll sink, and that 90 day provisional review might not go in my favor.  I'm working, OMG, I'm WORKING!  Finally!  I don't talk about work here and I'm not going to start, but I am very excited by the work I'm doing and who I'm doing it with/for.  I'm still dusting myself off and looking at these dormant projects and beginning to own up to a (long) list of broken promises, I can really only say "I'm sorry" "I'll do better next time.".  Life isn't tidy, and I realize I tend to post when I can wrap up a story with something meaningful or tied with a bow and a hug and kiss.  There is no sugar-coating the past year, it mostly sucked.