This would probably be better titled, "The Point When I Finally Pulled My Head Out of My Ass." But then again, that seems to be a never ending process.
It's doubtful there's anyone listening in this corner of the interwebs anymore, since I have been gone for months and months. But blogging is too often an act of narcissism, so I'll just keep typing, if only to hear the sound of my own keyboard. We'll find our way to chatter and sipping cyber teas again.
2013 lived up to its Chinese name: The Year of the Snake. Old skin was shed, and I spent most of the year on the ground, trying to muster my way through it. I got a divorce, grabbed a new and fun chronic disease, and buried my father. Those were just the most difficult highlights. It kicked the absolute shit out of me. And here I am, sitting pretty in 2014, creeping up on the ripe ol' age of 41, starting over.
I hate to sound like a tired cliche, but I am grateful for all the punches to the gut I survived over the past five years. Each one woke me up from a long and troublesome slumber. I married someone I loved, but who I knew all along was not a good fit, simply because I was tired of being single. I stayed in a job I absolutely hated, because I had convinced myself that I could somehow endure it for the good bennies. I stayed in friendships I found exhausting with people who waved huge red flags in front of me prior to our becoming buddies. I made dumb choice after dumb choice, because somewhere along the way I decided that being nice and knowing how to tough it out was more important than being happy. My misery reached a tipping point, and I cracked open. It woke me up. The process was painful, but living in a state of constant low-grade misery and detachment was (not metaphorically) killing me.
Although 2013 sucked a bag of dicks, 2014 started out with a glittering bang. After I heard yet another insult and yet another threat, I decided I had endured enough at my "good bennies" job and declared that I would be out by year's end. I learned a great deal in my four years there and for that I am grateful, but I will endeavor to never again put myself in a situation like that. I began looking for a different job less than six months into my stay there. It took four years, but the moment I decided that I would get out, BY MUTHERFUCKINGGOD, I did.
But I took a leap. Long ago, I worked for an organization we'll call Domiciles for the Destitute. I loved that job, and it broke my heart. It took me a very long time to get to a point where I could give a shit about work again. I now work for an organization that marries my two passions: helping veterans and the homeless. I Give A Shit about this place in a massive way, and it feels amazing to be fully back in the game. Hell, that's why I started in this do-gooder field in the first place--to help poor folks. The Universe decided to pile on the blessings, because not only am I working for an organization I love (and stalked for two years, trying to get a job), the culture is the complete antithesis of my previous gig. It is the most competent and ethical place I've ever worked. And most importantly, praise the sweet Baby Jesus, my boss absolutely kicks ass. She is a dream. I am so grateful to be here, I want to build altars in praise. Oh, and did I mention I'm making more money? Yeah. That doesn't hurt either.
Relationships that were not a good fit dissolved. I made a commitment to pay attention to red flags in the future and not allow my compulsion to be nice to override my good sense. I lost my mind, of course, and had a decent stretch of "dating" (yeah, that's a euphemism) men I wouldn't normally let clean my car. Praise Allah, that idiocy has left my system (anyone else go nuts after divorce and death?). I went on wild spending sprees and will be paying off that idiocy for the next year. (Note to self: conspicuous consumption cures nothing.) But bit by bit, I woke up.
Here I find myself in a new land. Awake after more than five years, essentially asleep at the helm. I do not have the life I thought I would have. Isn't that such a common experience? Looking at the life you wanted compared to the life you have and making peace. Now I get to enjoy the process of reinvisioning my life and taking steps to make that vision a reality, but this time, fully awake.
My phrases for this year are: Let Go; Consistency; and Calm the Fuck Down. I am starting over with a job I love, friendships with amazingly brilliant people who got me through the worst year of my adult life, a dating experience that has given me hope that the romantic love I want is possible, and an an appreciation for my body that I have never had before. Seemingly common things that most would not think merit much applause. But after the painful process of shedding skin, I realize those gifts are the most important in life, and I am blessed beyond reason.
So, back to blogging it is. Chatting about money, the new journey, and shit I hope we all care about (homeless veterans, yo!). I hope your 2014 is kicking ass. If you're out there, tell me how it's going. I'll grab us some tea.