I haven’t written in quite a while and I’m sure I have a thousand completely legitimate excuses. The long and short of it is that in the last few months every thing I spent my whole life building has crumbled to sand and slipped right through my fingers. The job I loved so very much had a huge round of lay offs and I was one of those who were felled. This cemented the fact that I could no longer keep my beloved Victorian house surrounded by my beautiful ocean. I knew that my health was dragging me to this same conclusion, but the job loss stole all of my tiny hopeful “What If’s,” away, leaving a sad absolute.
Moving is terribly stressful for anyone, but given that I couldn’t really stand or sit for any period of time packing was a whole different kind of challenge. This was where I found out that I have some amazing friends. Friends are more important than oxygen. I let it be known that I needed assistance pulling my crap into boxes in some semblance of order and in one day Alicia, Marilyn, and my Mom were able to pack up most of my crap. Not only that, but Marilyn was headed to Reno that weekend and took the majority of the boxes with her. This made the final push almost entirely furniture. My mind—blown. My friends—too good to be true.
At the end of October I sent out a begging, pleading, and bribing email to my closest friends for help with the final push. To my great surprise nearly every one of them did show up. Marilyn, Peter, Brian, Mom, Dad, KT, Chris, and Dave took about an hour and a half to get everything else loaded up and on its way. Plus Peter didn’t have to set anything on fire. Bonus! The whole thing was a miracle! In a very stressful time my friends just made it happen. They took care of me when I desperately needed it. I am eternally grateful.
So now I have left behind my bay area home and find myself back in Reno with my parents. The feeling of complete, total, and utter failure weighs heavy on my shoulders. Logically I agree with everyone: with my health I shouldn’t be left alone. I have seizures all the time, if my pain is too severe I won’t bother to get food, and the worse I feel the more I isolate myself blah, blah, freakin, blah.. So yes, this makes the most sense and everyone can stop worrying this way. However, to me, it feels like failure, like I have just lost every single thing I fought all my life to gain. That in just a matter of months it was gone and even more infuriatingly there was not a DAMN thing I could have done to change the outcome.
It was completely out of my control. In fact, for years, my life has been dictated by the whims of my body. We like to think that we have a certain amount of control over our lives. We study hard and get a degree that leads to a good job. We can manage our money and have a home and some security. Even then that security isn’t in our control, the job and the money can always go away. Times like these we comfort ourselves with phrases like “when one door closes another door opens.” Just like everyone else I like to believe in these happy whimsical concepts. The idea that something better is just around the corner, but there is a blatant flaw in the whole concept. The flaw is simple; there is only one of you. You can’t run two scenarios of you, one where you kept that job, and one where you didn’t. Only by comparing these two outcomes could we see which outcome was truly preferable. It simply feels better to believe that this new path, that was basically forced upon you, was the better option. That it was meant to be.
Meant to be. That’s a whole other can of worms, don’t you think? How much or how little do you believe in fate? The idea of fate sure takes the pressure off of us to make the really hard decisions. To believe that some force, if you are open to it, will direct you to the life you were meant to have. Still, do you want something else making all of your major life decisions? What about free will? Doesn’t that appeal to you too?
So life as I once knew it is now gone and my life feels completely chaotic. It feels like a wind storm where all of the things that make me feel secure are caught in a whirlwind around me. I remember feeling like this as a teenager, but back then I was also caught up in storm, whereas this time I’m standing still staring at the chaos of my life. Even if it does feel like my world has crumbled, I’m old enough to know that the rest of the world just keeps on going. Unfortunately, that means the hits can keep coming. Last week two people who I have known well over 20 years died one on Monday of disease and one on Tuesday in a car accident. Grief is a very hard pill to swallow, regardless of the circumstances. It robs you of whatever footing you had left in the world.
I don’t have all the answers. In fact, at the moment, I have no answers. I’m just trying to find a small foot hold and pull small pieces of my life back together as I can. I’ve always felt that it is key to stand firm for what you believe in, I’ve learned over time that the tricky part is finding where to plant your feet. Perhaps my life needed to be started over and this path will lead to greater things—or not. But it sure is a comfort to think greatness is waiting to swoop in the second I accept it was meant to be.
Actually, I do know one thing, all I really need are my friends and family. They are amazing people that produce true miracles when they put their minds to it. I know that I’m terrible at asking for help, but this time I did and man did everyone come through. I asked ten people for help and eight of them showed up rearing to go. The other two weren’t avoiding it, one was out of town on an already paid for trip, and the other had to care for his mom who has advanced Alzheimer’s. Both would have been there if they could, in a red hot second, and that, along with a million other things is why I call these people my friends.