As Rafiki said: It Is Time

Sometimes, maybe destiny just slaps you right in the face.

I’ve been up all night with painsomnia and stomach junk. I was feeling depleted enough at sunrise to doze off. Then my alarm woke me up (1hr and 23mins of sleep according to my FitBit. This little electronic, sin against fashion that I wear in a rose gold color upon my wrist.) I awake to not being able to see out of my right eye. This is a fun, new-ish symptom from pseudo tumor cerebri. That’s right, folks. It is literally, all in my head. My body and brain believe that there is a tumor in my body (my cerebral area; see also spinal cord) that isn’t there. This means that I have all the symptoms of a brain or spinal cord tumor however, I do not. It is as much fun as it sounds to be. To be clear that would be none for anyone who might have missed it. And also; excruciating abdominal pain that left me in the fetal position. Clearly, an awesome way to start the day.

Luckily, my trusty productively distracting iPhone was within reach and I was able to silence the alarm and also message Ms. Teenager Diva to get up for school to no avail. I call out for Tessa to go audibly, or physically, wake her up. I text my Momma and ask if she can transport today. Normally, Tessa would be the one I would ask for this, but yesterday her truck broke down in process and it was a WHOLE thing. Momma stepped in this morning.

Continuing the juggle flow I have going, I dial my psychiatrist, Dr. Loris, to painstakingly explain the current predicament which will require me to cancel, last minute, an appointment I requested ASAP less than a week ago. Frankly everything I just said is self-explanatory. There are way too many things being juggled and I cannot keep up. If my medical history has taught me anything it is: the one thing I can consistently expect is that my physical body will break down under tremendous mental stress. I obviously am a glutton for punishment because I decided to soothe my soul by self-talking shit to myself.

Loser. Burden. Shameful. Worthless.

Again, the smartphone saves me. I open the Instagram application to access a folder of saved affirmations. Before I can even get to it, one of my favorite authors has sent this brief message out to our souls:

There it was again. Another tickle in my brain making my hair stand on end. It rings the bell of one of my first and purest passions: writing. The signs point and illuminate this path again; and I cannot resist the luster.

I shall start with editing current website content. After that I will finish the drafts I have. There may be an influx of notifications, all apologies; and also it is time.

Onward.

A Room with a View

I went back to the gym today for the first time in almost a month. I had a lot of reasons why I could have let another day pass, but I went. I did it.

Even had that brief moment when the endorphins kicked in and I felt all euphoric. I smiled as I jogged on the dreadmill and looked out on a dreary day, thinking of what it would be like if my body would cooperate with me like this on a daily basis. How good would feel when the weather breaks and I can go for a jog outside. I imagined my hair piled up in a tight ponytail bobbing back and forth quaintly. The sun soaking my skin. The breeze hitting my bare skin as I galavant down a trail. I daydreamed of blue skies with puffy clouds, green grass, birds tweeting and little furry creatures scurrying about. Music blaring in my headphones. A good tune with good stride.

And then it all came to screeching halt as the pain my lower back shot through my right hip and down through my knee. This is what has caused me to stay out of the gym to begin with. It’s an old injury, a herniated disc that actually got flared up when I ended up in the hospital last month, which was followed by a flare up of my gastroparesis. This meant  I spent a lot of time laying around and there is nothing worse for a herniated disc than being in one position for an extended period of time and once it gets flared up, any position becomes pretty much unbearable. I can’t sit too long. I can’t stand too long. It’s stupid.

Thankfully, the solution is usually pretty simple. Well, as simple as having an epidural injection in your spine as compared to say … surgery. Now, it’s just a matter of time. Waiting for the doctor to get approval from the insurance company and scheduling the procedure.

But Im frustrated. I have to listen to my body and it is screaming obscenities at me right now.

News from the Job Front

It had been relatively quiet.

This was partly because of the job market – there wasn’t a whole lot of prospects. It was also because I was being picky. I figured it I was on unemployment and I had to apply for two jobs every week, they might as well be jobs that I REALLY, really wanted. When you have kids and a mortgage and bills, there aren’t too many times in life when you still have money coming in and can hold out. I was trying to hold. Then I crumbled and I applied for jobs with the firms I don’t really want to work for but will pay the bills…you know the ones…the creditor rights firms, i.e. bank/credit card/foreclosure lawyers…probably because they are the only ones getting paid too. UGH. But… I am just ready to pull myself up by bootstraps or rather…go wherever God wants me to be, even if thats someplace I’m not comfortable.

It went crazy from there. My phone blew up. I had phone interviews. Actual interviews that turned into two hour long, four attorney panel  interviews when I was just supposed to go in and meet with an HR manager and take a typing test. I still wasn’t thrilled but I was at least encouraged that I had sparked interest.

Then today, out of the blue my phone rings and its a head hunter. Turns out I had thrown my resume out there and a recruiter who has a contract for a government administration saw it and was really interested in my background with administrative law. She called me from a (703) number, which I instantly recognized as my old stomping ground – Metro DC – so we hit it off and talked for over an hour. She asked me to complete some other paperwork and get it back to her ASAP so she can set me for an interview because she thinks I’m well qualified for this position and they need someone, like yesterday.

I’m sweating a little because it’s way downtown … that’s gonna be a commute – more of a work/life balance issue, but a government job, even a contract one I’m thinking has to be better job security than what I’ve dealt with the past few years and probably a pay increase.

All of this aside though, if I had to hand pick a job – this would be exactly the kind of position I would want. It’s a little eerie.

So…say your prayers – and big fella, as always, your will – not mine, please.

Upside Down

Just when I thought I was getting used to life as I now know it….my little snow globe world has been picked up, shook and I’m waiting for all the snow to settle again I suppose.

~My Dad is in the hospital – AGAIN. Last summer he had this ultra rare stomach condition where air expands in the lining of the stomach. I guess something like 50 people have had this happen in the history of medical science, 9, including my Dad have survived. This means that doctors don’t really know what happens after the fact. As it turns out, when he stomach poofed up, it caused some tearing on the arteries that feed blood to the stomach. This has caused scar tissue which is slowing and at times prohibiting blood flow to the stomach. This is not good. Lack of blood flow=tissue dies=stomach dies=stomach removed=NOT GOOD. The only options there are right now is to continue to go and stint and/or stretch these arteries. However, you can’t do that too often because it could tear an artery. So, last option is bypass….same as heart bypass, but I guess when you do it on someone’s stomach arteries it’s EXTREMELY risky. I hate, HATE, all of this. It’s not fair. My father is the best Dad a girl could ask for. Most people would tell you he is one of the best people they’ve ever met. I honestly can’t keep count of the number of people who have told me that through the years. He’s just a great guy. It is beyond discouraging when I see him dealing with all of this and other piece of shit fathers/people seem just coasting through life. UGH!

~ Paperwork with THE EX is final. He signed paperwork stating he would not contact us and forfeits his parental rights in exchange for not having to pay child support. Selfishness is an ugly thing.

~ Things at work suck. My boss lacks any passion for….well, anything. It’s a cake job with good pay and benefits, but I don’t think it’s worth it. Found out Friday that he’s an even bigger douche than I could have possibly imagined AND he’s sexting another girl in the office who is TERRIFIED to do anything about it. Creeper. Trying to decide whether to circulate the resume and get the hell outta there or tough it out until I make a decision about law school.

~ Ive gotta make some decisions about law school. If I go, I need to just do it. i’m not getting any younger and neither are my kids and they’re going to college. Period. I graduated with my Bachelors last summer and decided to take some time to figure things out but if I wait too much longer, I won’t go. In order to go next Fall  (2011), I have to take the LSAT by this December at latest so I can put in my apps this Spring. Big decision. Aside from the financial investment, its a lot of sacrifice for the entire family and I’m just not sure  how much sacrifice is too much. The kids have been through a lot.

~ Its hard to make decisions when there are so many what-ifs involving the kids, mostly Pickle.  I’m not talking about regular what-ifs here. i’m talking about not knowing if he’s ever going to be able to come home because of the younger two kids. And I can’t even begin to tell you how much that pains my heart. When I start venturing down this thought track, it’s all down hill.

I really need to get to bed. The lack of sleep surely isn’t helping me get things turned around.

I Quit! (?)

Ive got a lot of decisions to make for my professional self.

Currently, I am working as a paralegal. In the position I currently hold, I work for a man I admire on a personal level but can’t handle working with on a professional level. Right now I work as an independent contractor, which means its part-time and I can work from home when I need to, which has been great with the kids and issues surrounding my parents health this year. However, to make a long story short – I require organization and scheduling and he is more a fly by the seat of my pants, shoot first and ask questions later type of business man.

I can go with the flow better than most, but when you wait until 15 minutes before I have to leave for the kids when I’ve been in the office all day, or wait til 7pm at night to to give me something that he assures me has to be done this instant, when I’ve been available and waiting all day, that’s not cool and when my paychecks start to bounce…I think it’s time to start reviewing other options.

Regardless of that mentioned above, an opprotunity presented itself and I agreed to go for an interview. The interview turned into a job offer that I really would be crazy to pass up. It’s full-time but the hours work great with me and my husband’s schedule. It would allow me to get them off to school and him to be here when they get home. There are also cheaper medical benefits available to me after 90 days than we currently have through my husband’s employer and I would have paid time off after 90 days and a weeks vacation time after 6 months. Free life and disability insurance paid for by the company. This is the job/benefits I would want if I decided not to continue on to law school.

I’ve been toying with continuing on to law school since before I even finished my Bachelors Degree this past summer. But it’s a HUGE decision. Aside from the personal sacrafice to myself and my family for another 3-5 years, it’s a financial one too and I’ve got kids who will be thinking about college in another 5-8 years. I’ve had attorneys in my life tell me I should definitely do it, I’d do well, I’ll get through it and then there have been others who have cautioned me against it. Not because they don’t think I would be good at it, but because if they had it to do over again – they may have chosen another avenue professionally. I’ve been told there is more job security and less stress in being a paralegal, IF you work for the right attorney. But that in and of itself may prove to be a bigger problem because, a lot of attorneys can be tough to work for. Which brings up my biggest hang up all….the fear that if I go to law school that I could become the kind of attorney that I absolutely hate. Ive been told that the attorneys people hate, were douchebags before they went to law school and only come out more full of themselves and so, I have nothing to worry about….but I wonder.

In the meantime, I think taking this job is a good move because if I am ever going to be able to make it work, this would be the  job to do it in. It’s an opprotunity I can’t pass on. It’s also a good time for me, personally and professionally to make this move in order to make other decisions in the next year about which way Im going. I know I’m doing the right thing, but it’s still hard to quit the job I currently have. I’m agonizing over writing my resigantion letter and how he’s going to take it. Ive made it possible to give him two weeks, but I’m afraid he’s going to get really upset when he sees my resignation. My husband says if that happens so be it. I keep trying to reason in my head that if I were getting canned I’d be given 10 minutes to collect my things and be shown to the door so essentially its the same thing if he gets upset, but I at least I did the right thing by extending the courtesy of notice, right?

I’ve only walked out on one job without notice and it was simply because I had been pushed to my breaking point and couldn’t do one more minute of work for such a pompous asshole.

I could start this job today, tomorrow, whenever, if I wanted to,  or if need be but, the bottom line is that I like my boss, personally, so I don’t want to burn any bridges.

I know this is the right thing to do, but it doesn’t make it any less awkward or difficult.

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.

A lot has changed.

Jer and I are have now been married over a year and are now in our new house. It’s beautiful. I love it. It’s our home. We talk about growing old in it and to be able to mentally put myself back in the shoes of growing old with somebody in and of itself is something. Wasn’t so long ago, I thought I would be doomed to be alone for the rest of my life. Not alone….obviously the kids would be there. I can’t imagine a life without them, but I mean taking the highs and lows without a partner to share the joy, the pain….all the bittersweet stuff that you want to turn to someone and just be able to look at them, remember it all without saying a word and know you’ve made it and that you’re going to make it.

I am now a college graduate. I earned my Bachelors in Legal Studies and walked in cap and gown and all that jazz. That was an amazing feat for me. I know, that other people have achieved more than a Bachelors. I know that other working mothers have earned their degrees. I commend them all. BUT, it was a monumental moment in my life. I’m not going to let anyone discount it. It means alot and I hope it says a lot about my perseverance and determination to more than just me. I couldn’t even begin to find the words of explaining how hard it was to keep that goal in focus at 2 o clock in the morning, while studying from a hospital room with The Pickle b.s. and especially in my last semester when I almost lost my father.

I almost lost my father. I type the words and tears come. But, the biggest lesson my father ever taught me was what got me through. Faith. A peace that passes all understanding. I knew that whatever happened, he was going to be ok and I was ok. Don’t get me wrong. There were moments when I lost it, when I thought how unfair it was that this was happening to our Dad, this good man. I asked the whys. And eventually the dark gave way to light, hope and believe it or not even more faith. My father survived in a 10% chance. God apparently doesn’t care for statistics. Boy, am I thankful for that.

After two years at a job that I tried to be thankful for, that I hoped would make me better professionally, I came to realize that it was a dead end and that it had made me into someone I didn’t like very much. Someone who began to resent when the kids needed me most because ultimately it meant that it would be held against me. The great working mom dilemna: more at work, less at home vs. more at home, less at work – feel guilty either way. Someone who would listen to bullshit and not call it. And the breaking point was a lack of respect and class so obvious, I couldn’t ignore it any longer. Yes, there were experiences I gained and people I hold dear from them, but the job….it was a hopeless situation that I couldn’t change and changing myself was not going to get me anywhere, professionally or otherwise. Not there, not anywhere. Perhaps status quo is good enough for some….perhaps settling and making it seem like more than it is, is enough….but, not for me. I left.

Once again, one door closed and another one opened. Not only did it come with more money and less hours….but as an added bonus, I’m now working for someone I always wanted to work for. An attorney who actually cares. (Yes, they do exist!) Not just that, but a real family man. A guy who gets it: There’s nothing more important than your family. And not just his family, but my family too. There’s nothing ingenuine about this man and he asks for my honest opinion…and by honest, I mean, even if we disagree, he respects that I said it and where it came from.  A man whose family has an intense legacy that is not just impressive on paper, but admirable in an ethical way that you just don’t see anymore. Not only am I happier, I’m excited and inspired.

I once heard someone say that it’s funny that as we go forward day to day in life nothing seems to change, but when you look back everything is different. Everything is so different from how it was…how I thought it would be. Everything is so much better than any plan I could’ve designed myself. Sometimes I think it really is better just to let go. You can’t control everything and if you get too caught up in your plans for the future, you miss the present entirely.

What’s that saying? Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans?

Ain’t that the truth!