"There's a bit of magic in everything, and some loss to even things out." -Lou Reed

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Measuring Time

Marina Evelyn Keegan, 1989-2012

Two nights ago, I scrambled to remember where I was at the age of 22. I pulled out photo albums, counted months in my head, and scanned through my memory for some clear recollection. I have an overall picture of that timeframe in my mind, and the minute I go there, I feel a little sick. I wasn’t where I was supposed to be, wasn’t where I wanted to be, wasn’t nearly on the path that so many people thought I would be.

It seemed like everyone I knew or had ever known was slipping easily from one life stage to the next, doing the right thing, the expected thing—graduating from college, getting married, starting life. I was stuck, stalled, irreparably lost. I felt so much more a failure than I ever imagined I could be. I was nowhere near graduating or marrying anyone. For me, surviving was such a battle, taking all of my energy. I couldn’t understand how everyone else made it look so easy. It had once all seemed so easy to me, too.

I had glided through grade school, slid easily from middle school into junior high, and then with only a few bumps in the math and science arena, graduated high school with honors. All the hard work, limitless expectations, my own perfectionism, and predictions from teachers past and present seemed to have come true.

Then, I went off to college and completely lost my bearings. For a person who fretted over every single paper and test result for 12 years, I found myself caring little about the classes I sat through in college, my mind wandering, my stance unstable. I had no idea who I was anymore. In the entire time I grasped to regain something of my former self while in college, I never did. I had a few bright semesters when I seemed to catch hold of some of that glimmer, but the next semester would engulf the one before, erasing the effort it had taken everything to muster, figuring into a grade point average that barely registered.
Not a single day went by that I didn’t think about everything I wasn’t. Everything I hadn’t become. All the people I had disappointed. Most of all…me.
I don’t like to go back to that time. Even though I understand why I was so lost now—looking back—it is still a time of failure. It is the dizzying first years of lost time for me. What followed was so many more years of stops and starts, but still that small voice inside that said “you are not good enough”. I lost so many years of my life to that voice- the voice of depression and my childhood- navigating the way for me for too long. I still wish desperately to turn back time, to be the confident person I so wanted to be…to have successes and accomplishments behind me instead of recovery and recuperation. I know it all adds up to who I am now, and where I am now, which I would not change. But somehow, knowing you lost decades of time simply because you saw yourself through your alcoholic father’s eyes instead of your own…well, it makes you yearn for an epic do over.
I can’t say enough that I know I am where I am supposed to be, somehow I know that in the deepest part of myself. So I have made peace with all of it. It doesn’t keep me up at night the way it once did, there is more good in my life than bad, more good fortune than sadness. It has all worked out.
Six hundred words into this post, I am just now to the reason I started writing it. What got me thinking about that age, that time, was a devastating death. I didn’t know Marina Keegan, but I wish that I had. I feel in a way, that I knew a part of her through her words.
Marina Keegan, a 22 year old Yale graduate, was killed this past Saturday in a car accident, just five days after graduating. She was, among many things, a truly gifted, amazing writer. I felt a bit foolish as I cried reading her last essay, one she penned shortly before her death for the Yale newspaper. But I did cry, and for the next forty eight hours, I was affected deeply by the loss of this person, this stranger.
It’s easy to see why someone would be affected. So many people have been. Her last essay went viral, and thousands and thousands of people read it, posted it on Facebook, tweeted links to it, and shared their grief over a bright life cut so short. So ridiculously short. Her own words, “We’re so young. We’re so young. We’re twenty-two years old. We have so much time…”, were such a sad statement of hope from someone who should have had so much more time.
What I think really got to me was learning more about her. Marina was not just a gifted writer, she was this whole person who knew who she was, who felt comfortable in her own skin, and who was doing all of these things she had set out to do. After the death of anyone, particularly of someone so young, the sound bytes and quotes can seem almost too perfect. Of course everyone will only say the nicest things. But, there was such a ring of sincerity and genuineness to the things written and said about Marina Keegan. In the end, her own words shone above all else.
In the privileged world she came from, she doubted herself, her future, and the privilege itself. She took nothing for granted, and questioned her own ease of feeling “special” at times. She was a very real, very genuine person, who at age 22 had accomplished so much, and had much more to do. I am infinitely sad that I will never read another essay of hers. I am infinitely grateful that I did read her words, that I got to know her a little bit, and that with so many others I can send out some hope into the universe for her family. What a loss for them. But what a beautiful job they did in raising someone who saw herself as capable of all the things she could be, and realistic about the world and all it offered, and all that she had been given. The voice she followed was her own.
I thought so much about how- if questioned while I was still in grade school, or walking the halls of junior high- my teachers would have predicted such a successful path for me. Maybe not at Yale, maybe not a job at the New Yorker just days after graduation, but these teachers saw my potential as endless and hopeful. They all told me so, over and over. They each in their own way did everything right to empower me and help light the way for my next steps. Something else was louder to me, and took over. My teachers had little to no indication, as I was an expert secret-keeper, all by design.
I thought so much about how Marina’s life was all these right, wonderful things, and all that ended, senselessly.
In thinking back to that time in my life in comparison to hers, I didn’t feel jealousy for all her accomplishments, for her strength and talent, I felt strangely proud. None of that is easy. As young woman out in the world, no matter what privilege you derive from, no matter how “easy” wealth can make your journey, it is still hard. I know so well how hard it is. It is especially hard to share your fears so openly…to question the wealth you come from so openly…to so fiercely face the world with all of your beliefs and sense of self intact.
Marina Keegan was not perfect, I am sure she made big mistakes in there somewhere. I know there are a million other stories out there just as sad, with other bright lights extinguished with just as much promise and talent. But hers spoke to me. It took me so many years to find my voice, to see myself. I saw moments of myself in her words, the way she felt and saw things, and I marveled that it had taken me 20 years longer than she to get the courage to be that person, to share those things.
What does keep me up at night- especially recently- is just the fragility of it all. The unbelievable unfairness of so many things. I wonder why someone like Marina Keegan is lost to the world, when others who do nothing but add pain, crime, and ridiculous 15 minutes of fame and shame to our collective culture seemingly breeze through life, averting disaster—or even discomfort.
I can’t resolve this in one blog post, or a dozen more. I can only be angry and confused and wish things were different.
Tonight, I can read Marina’s words, and be grateful for another day-- and be thankful that in reading her words, I am more inspired than ever to keep writing my own.
All of us, whether it’s 20 years too late,  one semester into college, or right on track in our own lives, can take the baton where she has left off and share our stories, find our strength, and go from here.
I didn’t know Marina Keegan, but I think she would like that. In her own words...
“What we have to remember is that we can still do anything. We can change our minds. We can start over... We can’t, we MUST not lose this sense of possibility because in the end, it’s all we have.”

To read another of Marina's essays, Song for the Special, click here.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Chasing Memories

A few months will go by and I will realize that the images haven’t invaded my mind—a sort of remission. It’s a relief and then a reminder. Some sensory thing will bring it back to me, a misstep on concrete, looking over a railing in a shopping mall and feeling the familiar stomach drop, or brushing against peeling paint on a window sill. Then, I am there.
It was summer, I was 7 or 8. Annoyingly, the specifics of some parts of that day are lost to me…my exact age, the city we were in, the name of the hotel. I want to know, I want to physically go back there for some reason. But I can’t. The rest of the details, for a span of probably 10 minutes or so, are terribly clear. Vivid. I wake to those details many nights, sweating and with my heart pounding visibly through my nightgown. There have been several nights when I have had to get up and change the sheets after waking to find I have been sweating terribly for most of the night. I wake to a damp, hot and cold cocoon, and peel myself out of it. The last two nights have been that way.
It is ten minutes of my life. But it won’t leave me.
My mother, father and I were on a vacation somewhere. I am fairly sure we were at a beach (maybe Florida?). I think we were there for a short time, maybe traveling with my father while he worked somewhere. I remember wearing a yellow bathing suit, and that our room was small, but opened to a balcony. Our view looked straight across a courtyard to rows and levels of rooms and balconies just like ours, a mirror reflection of middle-income weekend-getaway style. Many floors below (maybe 8, maybe 10?) and to the left, a turquoise swimming pool shimmered and made reflections on the ceiling of our balcony- little glimmers of light thrown from far below, beckoning me to the water.
The TV was on, I was bored, nothing was out of the ordinary. I heard the familiar clunking sound of the cooler being opened, and then my father immersing his hand into the icy water and melted ice, finding one of the colder cans of beer in the bottom. My whole life, anytime we have stayed in a hotel, and long before mini-fridges were the norm in each room, my father’s first order of business was to fill the large orange Igloo cooler with ice at the automatic machine to chill the innumerable beers he had just purchased somewhere nearby.
So, today was no different than any other time, any other trip. My memories of my father almost always include a beer in his hand, for years and years, a Pabst Blue Ribbon can. That image, that red white and blue logo and lettering, is part of my childhood. What is odd is that he hid the effects so well. My estimation is that he was almost constantly buzzed or drunk—all the time. But, he wasn’t a stumbling, jobless, word-slurring drunk. He had somehow managed to conquer the tell-tale signs for the public. At home we saw longer stretches of inebriation and violent outbursts, but to be honest, over my whole life living in the house with him and my mother, and for the many years I tried to go home for holidays and have a normal life, more often than not, he seemed fine. If someone dropped in to visit, nothing seemed amiss. The flipside of that, though, was that we could all be sitting around the dinner table and something…nothing… would cause a reaction from him so unexpected, so shocking, that the rest of the evening blurred afterwards for me.
So this day, in this hotel, was just that way. There were no loud voices, no provocations, just all of the sudden the air in the room was different. He was different.
I was sitting on the bed in my bathing suit, watching TV, and in what seemed like a split second, my father had picked me up off the bed by my wrists, and spun me around. He wasn’t angry, he wasn’t upset, he was actually laughing.
What might have been normal father-daughter interactions were always laced with trepidation for me. Today, in particular, I noticed his grip on me was weak, faltering. It turned a light hearted moment into one of me assessing how close he was spinning me to the glass door and the corner of the nightstand.
He then carried me out onto the balcony and before I could think or protest, flung me over the railing of the balcony, dangling me, eight or so stories up. He was laughing and joking with me. At first, I struggled, but then became paralyzed with fear, especially as he seemed oblivious to the danger of the situation.
He pulled me up over the edge, back onto the balcony, and looked puzzled at the expression on my face, and my tears. He began teasing me for crying. He was still laughing, and looked absolutely shocked at my reaction. My mother was standing near the open door of the patio, but said nothing. She had a distant, faraway look.  She never said anything. To me or to him.
As if to prove it was all in fun, my father scooped me up again and again, repeating the same steps, holding me over the railing longer and longer. I scraped the back of my heels against the peeling, painted concrete, trying to somehow climb backwards onto the safety of the balcony. I looked down and tried to will the pool to move underneath where I was hanging, instead of the patches of grass and sidewalk that were directly below me. I felt his grip slipping a few times, and I was terrified he was going to drop me, let me slip away.
Each time I was finally back safe in the room, I was a wreck, and crying loudly for my mother to make him stop—pleading with him-- telling him he was scaring me. In his drunken haze, he was just more confused. In my mother’s life-saving veil of denial, she couldn’t be in that room. She was there, but not there. It wasn’t happening.
Those last two sentences did not come easily to me. Over the years, I remembered that episode in my life with so much bitterness. I remembered a drunken, uncaring man who saw his little girl terrified and wanted to keep scaring her. I saw a mother in that room who didn’t care and did nothing. Those statements are both true and untrue. There is reality and then there is the whole picture.
As it is with all occurrences like this from my past, I have no one I can go to and say—“do you remember this? Can you tell me more about that day?” These things simply didn’t happen in the world my parents live in. My father, in truth, can’t remember a lot of things in his alcohol-soaked past. My mother may remember somewhere in her lost soul, but she can’t let herself.
All of this realization came after years of therapy, and in particular, one night in a Barnes & Noble bookstore in Washington DC. It has been over a decade now since I sat in the floor of the self-help aisle in that bookstore and pulled book after book off the shelf about living with an alcoholic parent. At that point, I wanted to understand my father more, I was trying to solve the mystery of it all. I had just started admitting the reality of my life to myself. I wanted to know how my father came to be this person, and what kind of person it was making me.
What I found instead was words on a page that described my mother in such intricate and perfect detail that I was frozen in that spot. Her denial, her absolute inability to look back and help me piece things together. Over the years, I had tried desperately to shake answers from her, questioning her, reminding her of dates, holidays, what I was wearing on a particular night—trying to jog her memory to give me the answers to all the whys I had for so many incidents. She would reply with a blank stare, a confused expression, and finally exasperation that I was “misremembering” or worse, making up things.
It had haunted me. Was I crazy?
Did I imagine these nights, these outbursts?
No, I hadn’t. And as I read the words through my tears that night at Barnes & Noble, I knew that what I was reading was true. No one could write about what I was living with such accuracy unless it was happening to others, unless it was real, unless one thing led to another. My father was an alcoholic, my mother was a typical spouse of an alcoholic. I was also on my way to becoming a statistic. Depression was ruling my life at that point, I had broken down more than a few times. I had been in therapy, but I hadn’t been honest. Secrets were a way of life in our house, and they were kept with an unspoken promise. I hadn’t told anyone the truth of my life, the truth of it all. The main reason I hadn’t was that I felt I was somehow the reason for it all. I had always felt that way. I felt if I had been a better child, a better daughter, my father wouldn’t be the way he was, and my mother wouldn’t be the way she was. If only I had been better, our lives would have been different.
That night in the bookstore was a turning point for me. Many more years of therapy, truth telling, and realizations lay ahead of me. If I had known how many, I might not have kept going. It was a long road from there to here, just to understand days like the one in that hotel. And I do understand it, I do. But it still haunts me.
Tonight it hit me that I have so much uncertainty in my life right now, and I feel so out of control. Maybe the reason this dream has visited me the last few nights is that feeling of being out of control was so present in that moment. Maybe it is one of the first times I remember feeling that way. Maybe the two are connected.
Maybe not.
In my dream, all the details of that day are the same except the end. In my dream, he loses his grip, and I am falling and falling…it seems like forever. And just before I hit the ground, I wake up, gasping for air.
A part of me wishes I could remember where it all happened so I could go to that hotel, find that exact room, and step out on that balcony. I want to look over the railing and sigh with relief that it was only a floor or two up, not a long drop at all. I want to realize that he hadn’t put me in as much danger as I thought, that I was just being a child, being scared, seeing things as worse than they were in my mind. He didn’t nearly let me slip away. I always wonder if that would put this memory to rest once and for all.
But like so many things in my past, so many similar memories, I won’t get that type of closure. I would likely get something worse- that it was all just as I remember it, just as scary, just as bad.
I would just be chasing memories, going in circles, getting nowhere. There is nothing deeper in that ten minutes than what I know it to be. I believe I am at peace with that, but for whatever reason, that day still has a hold on me.
And I will be here, waiting, until it lets me go.


Sunday, May 20, 2012


This morning, after a night of restless sleep, I woke early and just lay in bed thinking. The rest of the house was quiet—it was hours before Bear woke up and filled the house with his impatience to be taken out and begin the day.

I think too much. I know it. It gets in the way sometimes of the things I want to do- and I am left only with regret and my thoughts. But, this constant analyzing and turning things over and over is part of who I am—at the core of it—so I can only fight it so much.
What had my wheels turning this morning is just the fragility of everything. One decision made, one wrong turn, and your life is collapsible, suddenly different. Or the worst, you do nothing wrong—no bad decision, no mistake—but just wake up one morning to the phone ringing- a doctor on the other end delivering news that could mean the beginning of misery, or very much the end of your life. It’s not fair. Any of it.
In the last few months, I have personally been on a rollercoaster of my own. A mix of realizing yet another wish becoming a reality—moving back to the city I love with the man I love—but also twists and turns of bad luck, misfortune, and lots of doubt. We are struggling and joyous at the same time. It is a rickety foundation to stand on, but we are balancing somehow.
This morning I thought of all the unknowns we are living. We are both in a questionable career place right now, with lots of expectations, but little certainty. I LOVE that we took this risk and are riding the chances together. I try and will things to happen as fast as I want them to, but I know I can only control so much. In my heart, in my gut, I know we are in the right place. I led us here, even though we both wanted it, I truly steered the course, so I feel responsible.
Two years ago, I had really set my sights on turning my lagging career into an excuse to make my real dream come true- to put writing first and to finish my novel. I would make progress, lose my way for a month or two, then come back renewed and write in extremely productive spurts. Even though it wasn’t consistent, I felt like my goal was still at the forefront.
This morning, an image kept coming to mind. I saw myself in a little boat in a big sea…and ocean around me…and getting farther and farther away from the shore, from land. That shoreline was my dream of writing, and it seemed to be getting smaller and smaller as I floated away. Then, nothing around me but all this uncertainty… calm, but uncertain.
Here I am, with so much to be thankful for, so much accomplished, and I feel lost.
I love reading quotes about “doing what you love”… if only it were that easy. I think it was Steven Spielberg that said “Dream for a Living”. Nice thought. I know he didn’t start out wealthy, I know that he worked hard and sacrificed to get where he is…but when I read words like that, I think- THAT would be nice, if only we didn’t have bills to pay. I would write all the time, I would live my dream for a living.
On the flip side, life is so short and fragile. It’s ridiculous to NOT do what you want, to be what you want. In the scheme of things it is all over in a flash. I can get myself near panic lying awake at night thinking of all the things that could happen, that ARE happening to people I know and care about.
I have watched friends get diagnosed with terrible illnesses and greet the news and the struggle with such strength that I feel ashamed worrying about all the little things I fret about. I know that right now, any one of those friends would trade my problems for theirs—in a blink—in an instance. I can’t make things make sense. Why do these really amazing, GOOD people have to suffer through things like this when others who CAUSE pain and suffering go unscathed? It can’t be explained away by fate or God or reading “When Bad Things Happen to Good People”. No one can make this make sense to me. It is wrong and unfair.
I can remember so vividly when I was in grade school how much I worried about doing the right thing. Part of that was my conscience, part of that was who I am, and part of it was that I truly believed that if I was careful and did good things, nothing truly bad would happen to me. I am shocked to think back on how long I held that belief—it was well beyond grade school. Then, the years add wisdom and the shock of reality. You watch as good people fall victim to the horrible things in life- getting robbed of years and happiness. You stand mystified as the bad guys win—watching the corrupt conquer and their lies somehow go unpunished—and shockingly even sometimes rewarded.
I don’t have answers for any of it. I find a way to keep going and planning the next week without worrying myself insane about all the things that could happen, that might happen. I allow myself windows into these moments, but I can’t stay looking too long. I just wish for things to be different. I wish for certainty in a world that offers no guarantees. I know I am not alone, I know we all do.
So many people have commented on how much turmoil my husband and I took on at once. We moved across the country, I started a new job, and Shea is changing careers, all in a span of weeks. It is daunting, and perhaps part of the reason my head is so cloudy right now. It’s a lot to take in.
Maybe a week from today, my words will have a completely different tone, maybe this week will be the week when I feel more certain about everything. It could be tomorrow, it could be next month.
The ONLY thing I know for certain is that in one moment everything can change—for good or for bad. One moment. And there’s nothing I can do… but make the choices I think are right, and do my best.
That, and wait and hope.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Arrivals and Departures

I feel as though I have been on so many journeys in the past few years. The journey to find myself again and stand on my own two feet. The journey in meeting and dating my future husband, and then getting married, something I had given up on happening. Then, the journey into marriage, with all its beauty, pitfalls, daily struggles, and happy surprises. Those were more journeys in hindsight…I can look back and see I was on a path, on a journey. But heading into each of those periods in my life, it seemed just like the next day or week, not necessarily life changing events or plans.
However, as we headed into our move to California, I knew ahead of time that this was going to be a journey. This was an undertaking of big plans, unknown next steps, and plenty of risk. I defined this journey with a mix of hope, excitement, and trepidation. My husband felt the same way, with a lot more fear mixed in for him, as he set out to a place he had never been and knowing only one other person in our destination city. He is changing careers, and is still in transition as to what he wants to do. The level of uncertainty for him is daunting, I know.
But, I had been down this road before, and with such amazing results. I have been so positive about the whole process in spite of some initial setbacks in our plans. Little did I know, those setbacks were just the beginning.
As we scrambled to leave our home in South Carolina on an aggressive time schedule we had created in the hopes of saving money, little things started happening. An unexpected bill would pop up, eating away at our already tight funds saved for the move. After several moving companies couldn’t meet our tight deadline, we realized we hadn’t budgeted enough for the movers and had to pull more money from one budget to another.
My work schedule suddenly got crazy, with me hosting live web events for a client that required me to be a in a quiet environment with dependable internet. We both felt it was too uncertain to plan to host the events from the road, so we delayed our departure a few days. I had to be in California by a certain date to leave for an event I was contracted to manage. The timetable got more squeezed and the plans for driving only 8 hours a day were out the window. We knew we were looking at long days on the road to make up for lost time.
We got through packing our belongings, but it was stressful and our tempers were short. I was worried about so many things, my husband was understandably scared. It was becoming so real so fast. We were also leaving family members behind that had only been a ten minute drive away, and now would be a whole country apart from us. We both cried as we wrapped our things in newsprint.
Finally, thankfully, the movers arrived. We had both slept about two hours the night before, and were just relieved that the day was here. The relief was short lived. Once the truck was loaded completely, the back door closed and locked, the driver walked over to my husband and doubled the amount we owed for the move. I was at the vet with our cats, getting them shots required for air travel, as my husband feverishly texted me in a panic. We were stuck. We had a deadline to be in California, the movers were demanding more money on the spot. Somehow, Shea was able to diffuse the initial situation. We could not give them any more money at that moment. We would have to somehow figure out the rest. Our hope was that we could speak with the initial contact from the movers about the amount. Either way, they had our stuff, and weren’t releasing it without more money. We had to leave the next day to head out on the road for our own drive across the country.
Once we finally got on the road, we were so exhausted that the progress we were making was not enough to get us to the west coast on time. In the following days, we spent 12 or more hours driving each day, calling the movers from hotels across the country, trying to find some middle ground. What we found was that we were dealing with crooks. I have read stories like this before about the nightmare situations people have found themselves in with moving companies that are corrupt. Realizing we were right in the middle of that nightmare was honestly terrifying. They had all of our possessions, and were basically now holding them for ransom. Our already tight budget was impossibly stretched.
Two days after we arrived in our new home, paid our first month’s rent, and inflated the air mattress, I had to leave. I was headed to Las Vegas for work for a week, leaving my stressed husband behind to face a new city, a new life, and corrupt movers alone. The weight I felt leaving him was unbearable. But we had no choice.
Then, on the third night of working in Las Vegas, while holding a microphone and making an announcement to a crowd of 300+ people, I misstepped and tumbled down a small flight of steps. Marble steps. Immediately after falling, I felt the impact of what had just happened. I hurt everywhere. I was almost certain I had broken my wrist. It turned out I was just severely bruised and sprained and my knees and wrists were swollen, but I was OK. Thankfully, I didn’t hit my head or break anything. I was panicked, though, worried the pain would be too much for me to keep working. And I HAD to keep working. With our finances already so strained, I couldn’t afford to leave halfway through and risk the loss of the post-show payments.
I can’t remember the last time I have dealt with so much pain. Anyone who has worked in event management knows that events like this are 18 hour days of non-stop walking, working, being on your feet. That in itself is painful and hard on your body, but add in a very recent fall and bruises and sprains and it is nearly crippling. I honestly didn’t know I had it in me to power through that pain and stress. But I did. I didn’t have a choice.
I arrived back home, limping and exhausted after a week away, and we were still in a battle with the movers. To make a long story short, we ended up getting help from a friend to piece together the moving payment we needed ASAP and meeting a ridiculous ransom deadline. Our things arrived yesterday, finally. And in one final note of the move from hell…our mattresses were not on the truck. We had two mattresses- the king one for our bed, and the queen one for the guest bed- both gone. Poof. When I questioned our delivery person, he let us know that we couldn’t file a claim because neither mattress was listed in the inventory (of course). We were billed for two mattress boxes and that showed on our invoice, but it was no matter. They were gone and we were screwed.
Honestly, at that point, we were so exhausted, it almost didn’t matter. Except that all we had been thinking about for several days was being able to sleep in our bed again. Sleeping on an air mattress is fine for a night or two, but a few weeks is pushing it.
I made notes about our missing items on everything I signed, and the truck drove away. (Not before I slipped inside and searched the entire truck for anything else that was ours while the movers were inside our house).
We tried to call our contact with the company who had been just horrible previously, and who also (conveniently) doesn’t have voicemail. He ignored our calls, and I am sure we will never hear from him again.
I will be filing all kinds of complaints in every place possible about this moving company, I just wanted to wait until we had our things. Now that we have (most of) our possessions, I am on it. But, I feel like we have been robbed, violated, and just taken advantage of. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone—except the same people who put us through it.
Worst of all, I began to wonder if we had made a mistake. When I moved out to California in 1998, everything popped into place. My finances were so tight, but everything just clicked. Every time something else worked out, I took it as a sign that I was making the right decision. This time, so many years later, I felt like I had launched us into some nightmare episode of the Twilight Zone. I became afraid to look to the next day, when every single thing seemed to be going wrong.
It’s amazing the difference a day can make. We both woke up this morning in such a better place. First, we have a dear friend who helped us—saved us—and we realize the luck and beauty in that. Having most of our belongings back has also helped immensely. I set up the den last night and turned on the TV (something that helped heal my husband very quickly), and we looked around and felt a little more at home. We LOVE where our new place is, we can walk to trails, the dog park, and the beautiful little downtown area here. I couldn’t have picked a better location.
I also woke up to several emails with some excellent consulting prospects that could happen so quickly and aid our finances so quickly. And I LOVE watching my husband search for jobs in a sea of opportunity, almost overwhelmed at all the directions he could take. In a few weeks, things will be so much better.
The best thing is that today we were able to laugh. The laughter we share is one of my favorite things about our marriage. In some of the toughest times, we have been able to step back and realize that we have what is important—each other. That doesn’t mean that we haven’t spent some days in the last few weeks very stressed and often sharing harsh words and tense moments. But, we have bounced back in the face of non-stop tension and are thankful we have the couch to sleep on instead of the ever-leaking air mattress.
Today, I was also able to relax, knowing that what has happened isn’t foreshadowing our future, it is just life. Right now, so many friends I know are going through so much. Several friends are facing illnesses that are so serious and painful, and watching their daily battles (and strength) humbles me. Other friends are going through their own financial struggles, looking for jobs, worrying about losing their homes. As a friend said to me today: life is just so hard sometimes. It is. Harder than it should be, and at times, so unbelievably unfair.
Tonight, at least, I am going to bed feeling that tomorrow is a new start, and that life is good. Not perfect, not easy, but good. This weekend, I will take my husband to see the Golden Gate Bridge, and help him begin to see all the beautiful things I love in this area. We will take Bear to a dog beach, we will walk around the city, we will discover new places, and of this I am quite sure…we will laugh.
More than ever, I am so thankful for that.



  © Blogger template ProBlogger Template by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP