The unexpected goodbye

It’s late, and I’m going only on about a couple of hours of sleep. I just didn’t sleep much last night. It was just one of those nights. Tonight, I had hoped to get to bed early and get some much-needed sleep, after doing a little writing, of course. Life, however, intervened.

A little more than an hour ago, my ex-wife sent me a text informing me that her grandmother had passed away. At first I was stunned by the unexpected news and I didn’t know what to feel, or even if I was allowed to feel anything at all. It was a rather curious sensation, and not one I ever want to feel again. If I feel this way, I can’t imagine the trauma the family suffered, and are continuing to suffer, at losing the matriarch of the family. I can scarcely imagine.

My ex called me, once she got home, and as one would imagine, she’s taking it hard. My step-daughter is also taking the news hard. To have someone ripped from your life so suddenly is a life experience you can never prepare for. It’s one I’ve been fortunate enough not to have faced. I feel for my ex-wife, my step-daughter, and the family as a whole, though I’m estranged from them.

I’m struggling, I’ll admit, to figure out what I’m supposed to be feeling. It’s all a jumble at the moment. I’m saddened, naturally, that someone I knew has passed away. She took me and my wife in at a low point in my life, right after I lost my job. She let me stay for several months after me and my wife split. She forced me to move out, which I was upset for at first, but was really a necessary step at the time, for me to reclaim my independence.

I feel guilty that I lost touch with her, especially after the death of her husband about three years ago. I should have tried to stay in touch with her. I should have kept a line of communication with her since she always treated me with love and respect even though I was no longer a part of the family.

I want to cry, but there are no tears for me to shed. I few sobs have escaped my lips, but they were fleeting. I wonder if the news will hit me in the morning, and if I will break down then. I don’t know. I’m too exhausted at the moment to deal with the news, and other than to offer my condolences to the family, and to offer up a pray for the repose of her soul, my body begs me to lay down and drift off to sleep.

For now, all I can do is wait to hear from my ex-wife so she can tell me when the funeral will be. I need to talk to my manager at work and try to work something out so I can attend the funeral. She might not be family any more, but I feel it would be disrespectful for me not to go. I just pray that the family finds a measure of peace in knowing her struggles have ended, though I know there’s no consolation to be had. I just have to say good-bye, and may God welcome you home.

Needs

I had planned on getting an early start today. My schedule at work had me working from 5:45 this morning until 2:45 this afternoon. By 4:00, I should have been here at home, manuscript beside me while I imputed the corrections into my laptop. My plans never seem to pan out. Damn you!

I ended up working a few hours late, having dinner with a friend, and not getting home until 8:00. Still plenty of time to get some work in on my writing, but instead I zoned out a bit, the exhaustion from a long day forcing me to shut my eyes for a bit. I don’t work tomorrow, so I’m planning on staying up a little longer and getting some editing done. I also plan on hitting it hard tomorrow. I wonder if my plan will happen.

I’m not complaining about my day. It was worth it, but today made me think about my future. Actually, I’ve been thinking about it off and on for the past several days. I’ll be 39 years old next week. I have lets say 25 to 30 years left of a working career. Do I want to be where I am no for the next 30 years? Is retail the place I want to be?

The answer is a resounding no. I don’t like what I’m doing. There’s no job security, no job satisfaction. I’m tearing my body down for an impersonal corporation that doesn’t care about me. It’s only concern is to make money for itself, and for its shareholders. Though I do believe in a free market society, I have to be frank and say that my needs are not being met.

Which brings me to consider what my needs are. My basic needs are being met. What I’m missing, and what I want and need the most is my independence. That need requires a certain level of financial security, which I don’t have. More than that, what I really need is something that fulfills me. I may need a job to pay the bills, but what of me? What do I need of my life to truly live?

Love and family? Yes. A career I enjoy? Certainly. The ability to travel and learn? Absolutely! The one thing I want out of life is to communicate my thoughts. Life is too short. I want to make an impression on the world, that though life is frail and it must end, there are things about me that mattered. I want to know that I had a positive impact on someone’s life.

So I write. That is what I need to live. I read and I learn so that I can turn around and put into words the thoughts and emotions that I have. I have things to say and I want to do the best I can to say them in a thought-provoking manner. I don’t want to die without saying what I need to say. I want to live on.

I didn’t mean to go so dark. There is no impending death on the horizon, or at least I hope not! I’m looking to the future and I can see myself stuck doing what I’m doing now. That’s easy to see. It’s what I fear the most. What I can’t see is the path obscured by doubt and the unknown. It scares me, but it calls to me because that’s the path that leads to immortality.

What will that take? It’ll take a level of dedication to my dream that will test the limits of my endurance. I’ll have to sacrifice and struggle to go where I want to go. I have to be free to fail, and failure is a familiar foe. I also have to be willing to find any measure of success.

As I continue to work on my writing, that’s the thought that motivates and tortures me. I have to stop dreaming the dream. It’s time to start realizing that same dream with my labor. I’ve already started down that path. Starting is not the issue. What trips me up is pushing myself until I reach the goal line. Starting is easy. I’m just unsure how to find the end. I could use a mentor and a coach in my life to help me along.

 

Recharged and looking forward

I haven’t been updating as frequently as I should. I’m sorry about that. It’s just that I haven’t had much going on as of late. I didn’t feel like repeating myself. My posts were becoming redundant. I felt that taking some time away was the right thing to do.

So now I’m back, feeling recharged, and raring to go. My vacation was relaxing, though too short. I’m back at work now, and even there I’m wondering if there’s a change in my future. I wish I could elaborate, but I’m not sure what it is. It’s just a general sense that change is on the horizon. Maybe it’s a move up, a lateral more, or me deciding to move on, but something is coming.

On that note, I’ve been thinking a bit about my own future. I’ve talked some about how money has never been my prime motivator. It still isn’t, but I’m coming to a point in my life where I need a relatively massive influx of money. I’ll be 39 next month. I want a house, a car, in short, I want my life back on track.

Career-wise, I feel as though I have stalled. I’m comfortable in that I know what I’m doing, and I know my co-workers and feel comfortable around them. Comfort is not enough. I look at my work-in-progress, and I realize that what I want to do is write and maybe make enough to fund my life. I don’t believe I’ll become wealthy, but I would like to make enough to perhaps go back to college.

Retail is a game of numbers, and I don’t have that desire. Again, money is not a motivator. I don’t have a head for business, and though I’m good at what I do, there’s also a lot of things that I fail at, namely customer and co-worker interaction, playing the office-political game, and just doing what I’m told vs. what I think needs to be done. I forget that I’m not free to do my own thing. My manager, as agent of the company I work for, dictates what I do. I hate that.

I’m not clear on what I should do, only that I should do something new. There’s a part of me that yearns for an adventure, a new direction in my life. I have no one in my life, no anchor, nothing to hold me back. There are experiences I want to have. I just need to be bold enough to find them.

Which has always been problematic for me. I’m not what you might consider a go-getter. I’m content, for the most part, to remain at home and chill. I don’t usually need a lot of excitement. I’m best when I have few distractions. I hate being overwhelmed by the world at large. It’s the great paradox of my existence.

I hope to have this figured out soon. I’m ready for a change. I’m also ready to buckle down and get back to writing.

Change of plans

This was my plan for yesterday. I worked from six in the morning until three. I had planned to get home, take a short reinvigorating nap, and then start working on Jasmine. It was supposed to be a nice, quite evening at home.

Instead, on the way home I got a text from my brother. What time you getting home me and Julian are going to see Nadi play. do you want to go with us. My response? Yea.

Instead of a nice night at home, I spent the evening outside in subfreezing temperatures watching my niece play junior varsity soccer. It was cold. Really cold. I wore four layers, which helped, but my legs were icicles. I wish I had thermal underwear or tights or pantyhose or anything to keep my legs from feeling cold. Luckily the game consisted only of two 25 minute halves, with a 5 minute halftime. An hour later, we sat in a McCalister’s Deli to thaw out, ate supper, and probably talked and joked for at least an hour, probably more.

I got no writing done, not even to update my blog, which I’ve been trying to do daily this month, but that’s okay. It was nice to break the monotony of everyday life and go out, even if it was cold. Sometimes writing can wait. Life, however, waits for no one.

Snark and gratitude

Yesterday when I arrived at work, one of my assistant managers saw me and waved me over to the store manager’s office, which is always a great way to start of the day. She then handed me a small envelope in which a Starbucks gift card and a thank you card had been placed. It was a simple thank you for my hard work getting the store ready for inventory.

The amusing part is when she handed me the card, she begged me not to write a review of the thank you card. It cracked me up, but I immediately scanned the card for spelling and grammatical errors. I found none. Damn it! Well, I appreciate the gesture and the accompanying snark.