Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Best Thing I Did

It's been about six months since I've written here. I know it's probably not my record for time in between posts but this time was a little different. I wasn't sure if I was ever going to come back here. I wasn't sure about many things six months ago. So much has changed since then. I still live in the same place. I still have the same friends around me. But. I quit my job. And I've taken a couple-few months off to just be. I don't know if you got it from the last post that I was drowning in my own thoughts...but I was (haha).

Can I tell you a background story?

Let me take you back to the year 2000. I had just graduated from Ricks with an Associates in History and had been accepted to BYU to finish my degree. I decided to spend the summer in Utah for some reason and work until my roommates joined me in the fall. My brother-in-law had gotten me a job at the local call center. It paid something like $8 or $9 an hour, which was a lot back then (man, how did I get so old?). Everyone who has worked in a call center knows the monotony of it. The loneliness and Big Brother of it. Maybe some people can thrive in that sort of environment, but I was not one of them. I spiraled down and down and down until I was wrecked by the end of the summer. By July, I decided I had to leave Utah. And I did. It led me to Barnes & Noble early in September and that was the absolute best thing that could have happened to me at that time. The warm family environment that promoted acceptance, tolerance and knowledge sculpted me into a wonderful human being. Every store I would go into brought a new set of challenges but the core values were always there. I loved it. I still love it. Maybe, if they will have me back, I'll come back into the fold.

Fast forward 15 years. I decided to accept another phone center job. I do not know, for the life of me, why why why I thought this would be different than before. Maybe I thought there was a level of professionalism and opportunity that I did not have in the previous one. But, in the end, it was the same. The monotony and loneliness and Big Brother of it all. And I only had one friend. Well, two, but the first left me after only a couple of months. There was no physical contact with the outside world. I would sit, alone, every day and look out these giant glass windows onto the roof of Barnes & Noble. I would look at the store that had given me a job transfer in the middle of the recession when no one else in the district was hiring. And with that I was able to begin my life in Salt Lake. I would remember almost everyday because I was reminded almost everyday. There was a point when, walking with that first friend who left me, we came to the place where both buildings (my then-current workplace and Barnes & Noble) meet and I just burst into tears (looking back, I can't believe how many times I cried during work hours this past year). And I just pointed, quite dramatically, with my arms to both buildings and shouted out loud, "how ironic is this???" I can't remember the rest of the conversation but I do remember that dramatic flinging of the arms pointing to both buildings. One had saved me and one was slowly crushing me.

So, instead of trying to make it work again and again and again, knowing in my heart that if I stayed, no matter how successful I became, I would never be happy or fulfilled in my job, I left. No regrets.

Fast forward to current day:

I realized a few days ago that I feel normal again. It came on quietly and slowly. It came on with talks with Jana and with my mother and with Melanie and with Mari and with the ocean. It came on with late nights watching my kitty sleep and then waking him up to throw hair ties for him, which I will probably do tonight. It came with reading and watching talks of people who know more about life than me. It came with music (can I just say how amazingly talented Lady Gaga is?). It came with exercise and joining a group that loves working out with Jillian Michaels as much as me (Jillian Michaels Workout Junkies...they are seriously the best Facebook group out there).

And then, I thought to myself, "what a wonderful world I am part of."

So, here is the big lesson I learned: never, ever, ever again will I ever take a call center job. No matter how glamorous they try to dress it up. My personality will wither and die in that environment.

Lesson learned.

Now. Onto the next big adventure of my life.

But of Mr. Charles Xavier, Mr. X for short, age 1.5 (sweetest kitty there ever was).

Now, I'm not saying life won't ever throw me a curve ball again because I'm old enough to know it will. But, just look at that face. He makes it all better :). Yes, the best thing I did this year was adopt this guy. Right in front of all the other stuff I wrote up top.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Stranger in a Foreign Land

Most times when I log into my laptop these days, it's been so long that I have to complete a security scan in order to feel "safe" to proceed online. This bums me out because I'm all ready to write something profound but I have to wait while I check for these viruses that might be on my computer. They never are, but just that one time I don't, it might be there and who knows what lasting damage that can do to my computer and personal information. Who knows. Who knows anything, really. It's the start of a new year again.

Again. Again. Again.

My 37th year on this earth is rapidly coming to a close. Each year, the year before goes by quicker and quicker. This past year, though. It was a year. It was one of those defining years of my life that I'm still not sure will have a lasting impact but it was different. I changed careers. Completely changed. Most days I wish I hadn't. There. I'll admit it. My new career is hard and it's a boys club and it's an uncomfortable environment (yes, even after a year, I'm still uncomfortable). And it's not something I really believe will be able to fill that hole in my life of being needed and doing something important. Take today, for example. I was sick and it was so easy to call in sick...because I wasn't needed. Not really. I guess that is good because of all the years where I went to work sick because I was actually needed. But instead of feeling grateful for that slight freedom, I feel almost utterly useless in this world I've created. I've found that the more I am alone, the darker my thoughts get. If I'm alone for more than one solid day, it's hard to get up to do anything and I watch so much TV to drown out these thoughts.

Tonight, I'm letting them in because I need to change them.

I had a dream the other night about a silver pistol. It was a present from Jana. It was shiny and the end was long and skinny (sorry, I don't know much about guns). I took it out of the wrapping, with my family around me and felt the weight of it in my hands. I was confused why I would be given this. I knew I couldn't have a gun with these dark thoughts. In my dream, I looked up and I knew what it was for. It was so heavy. I wish I could be funny here and blame Hamilton lyrics for the path of this dream, but it was my mind portraying what would happen if I followed through with these thoughts. I've almost convinced myself there is nothing after this life. It would be easier if I truly believed that. I wish I believed that. My faith is small at this point. None of this is what I pictured my life would turn out as. I want to be positive. I want to be happy. I want to be of service in this world. I want to help others realize their potential. I want to exercise. I want to eat right. I want to sing. I want to share everything with one person. I want to leave Utah. Every time I feel like this, I return to my touchstone.


But I didn't this time.

I thought I had enough support here. But everyone has their own lives. And that's okay. Everyone has moved on to the next phase of their lives (family-wise) or moved far enough away from me that I don't enter their thoughts. And I can't ask them to drop their lives because I want to end mine. I'm the strong one, right? I'm the one who can do it on her own. All of it. I think there are more like me than we know of. Those forgotten ones. Who are strong enough. To live without someone else weighing in on their decisions. Who have no one who really depends on them. But if you think about it, that fact really makes you weaker. Because I have no one who depends on me, I have the freedom to completely ruin my life. And who does it hurt? Who does it hurt if I gain 50 pounds? Who does it hurt if I isolate myself from social interactions? Who does it hurt if I sit everyday, all day? Who does it hurt if I stay in debt? Who does it hurt if I keep having these destructive thoughts? Who does it hurt if I quit life? Me. That's who. Well, it's the start of a new year. Why don't I make some goals to turn this life around?

Because nothing ever changes.

I can make all the positive changes in my life, but the important things will still be missing. And that doesn't change. Ever. I've lost all the weight. My life was still the same. The only difference was men wanted to use my body. How will changing my body fix my life? As of right now, men do not want my body. So, at least I don't feel used. I don't feel like I'm only as good as the man who is pursuing me. But without that this past year, I've tried replacing that with work. And here I am. With these dark thoughts swirling, consuming and erasing sanity in my life. And I don't know how to change it. Everything I try seems to bring me back to this couch. Listening to music or watching TV and crying. I can't imagine feeling like this for another year. Why would I want to feel like this for another year? But I'll get up and go to work tomorrow. Stamp my time card. Put in my eight hours. Sitting, staring at a computer screen. Come home on the train. Get something to eat. Sit on my couch. Watch TV. Go to bed. Get up too early again. Go to work. Stamp my time card. Put in my eight hours. Sitting, staring at a computer screen. Come home on the train. Get something to eat. Sit on my couch. Watch TV. Go to bed. Oh, but here comes the weekend. I'll sleep in Saturday (if I can), finally get out of bed. Go upstairs. Sit on the couch. Watch TV. Get something to eat. Facebook. Sit some more. Go to bed. Get up. Go to church (because I can now). Sit in the back, smile to anyone who looks at me. Talk pleasantly. Go home. Sit on the couch. Watch TV. Dread the next day for the rest of the afternoon. Go to bed. Get up too early for work. Put in my eight hours and so on and so on and so on.

Even after all this time.

I feel like a stranger in a foreign land.

I need my touchstone.