There is nothing like a life-altering event to get you questioning yourself. Who am I? What do I want to do with my life? Why won’t Kenny Chesney propose to me and put an end to this year and a half long single streak? For me, life altering events seem to be the norm. They’ve chased me for years and I’ve managed to keep my head above water for most of them, but treading water all the time is exhausting. I’m ready for things to settle down. I’m ready to find my passion. I want to find passion! So when life tipped on edge once again this summer and the position that I’d just freshly accepted in a company that I’ve been employed at for twelve years was eliminated, the internal inquisition began. You know how it goes. That voice in your head that pesters you relentlessly. All day as I poured over job listings, resume edits, and unemployment claims the questions filled my mind. All night I wrestled with the thoughts and begged the shrill voice of panic to just let me sleep. To drive away the anxiety I put on miles. LOTS of miles. I put them on in spin class, I hiked, I kayaked, I even started running. Wherever I went the questions were hot on my trail. They hounded me around every corner and every mile. They followed me like a creepy clown with dark circus make-up and scared the hell out of me when I turned to face them. The questions weren’t just about how I was going to pay my bills this winter, they were the bigger questions about life. I looked at job postings knowing what I was qualified to do and what I really would like to do were not even remotely similar.
First, I needed a reality check. Where was I? I made a list like any good type-A personality would do:
- I am a single mom of 13 years whose children abandoned her. Ok……they didn’t “abandon me”, they grew up and went to college and started families of their own like normal people do. I may or may not have handled their fleeing the nest as well as I would have liked. We shall tell that story another day.
- I adopted a replacement “child” – a Boston Terrier/Jack Russell mix named Bugsy. Yup, I got a dog and there are days I probably suffocate the hell out of him too.
- Let’s focus on the word “single” for a moment, shall we? No boyfriend, done with drama-soaked self-obsessed boy toys, currently playing Tinder roulette, single as a freaking Pringle. And since I really hate meeting new people I really hate dating. It’s painful.
- I’m one of those people who are honest to a fault. If you ask me if your ass looks big in these jeans and it does, I’m going to tell you. So PLEASE don’t ask me questions that you are not prepared to hear the answer to. (Note: this is not a trait that is good when utilizing internet dating sites. Apparently a person takes offense when they ask why you’re ignoring their chat requests and you tell them it’s because they are missing too many teeth or had far too many spelling and grammar errors in their profile story. I don’t sugar coat so move on if you can’t handle it.)
- I worked hard for 12 years, worked my way up the ladder, disliked what I was doing, found something I really liked and was excited about, and two months later…..it was gone. I watched it float away like a five year old that had just lost their grip on the red balloon they had been jumping up and down with excitement to get. Gone.
- After six weeks of not working I was gainfully employed again.
- I did spend six weeks kayaking and hiking the beautiful lakes and woods of New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York. I find peace while paddling placid waters and lurking quietly amongst the trees.
- I have three amazing, smart, hard-working kids. A son and daughter-in law. Three grandchildren with grandbaby number four baking.
- I own a beautiful home in the perfect-for-me spot surrounded by trees and away from people.
So with this being my reality the big and bothersome question is where do I want to be and what do I want to change? As I was job hunting there were some openings at magazines that I kept looking at, but never even applied to. I felt that they were too far outside my wheelhouse to even begin to imagine I had a shot. Although I had written fairly regularly years ago I haven’t put words to paper that weren’t a performance review or standard operating procedure in over ten years. Let me just say that although they were your typical everyday business documents they were still beautiful and poetic and probably much longer than they needed to be and annoyed the hell out of whomever was reading them. I used to love writing. I want to write again. In order to be a writer someday I need to write. This fact brings me here pouring out my unemployed, empty nest, and internet dating woes for you. It’s therapeutic for me, hopefully slightly entertaining for you. It makes me feel that I am moving toward something I want in life. I hope you will join me on occasion for my journey <3.