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all good reasons

It’s interesting and amazing to me, the way music speaks. I have been listening to a new mix on Pandora with a feeder song called Lost In My Mind by The Head and The Heart. It’s classified as indie pop with folk influences. Whatever it is, I’m LOVING it!  So the mix is playing in my ear for hours upon hours, and maybe in some ways that’s not so good, because there does happen to be quite a bit of melancholic groove going on, and that may not be the absolute best medicine for one prone to melancholy…  …but I LOVE this music!!  Sometimes the melodies hit me, and sometimes it’s the words that make a short circuit from my brain to my heart or from my heart to my soul. I don’t know.  With this particular song, the sound was a soothing background presence, and then I realized the words were speaking to me with words that I’ve been thinking of and writing about recently.  It’s no surprise, really.  Music is an expression of the human condition, and there’s nothing new under the sun.  So of course mankind has been experiencing the same thoughts and feels since the dawn of time.  Of course there is music that speaks to any situation.  It’s a tie that binds, and it’s a beautiful thing.  Oh, how I love music!!!

lost in my mind

All Good Reasons
Barefoot Truth

Holding on to what we’ve got
‘Cause what we’ve got is who we are
And who we are is everything
When we’re turned around, all out of luck
I make my way back to the start
You know that’s where I’ll plant my feet

Life is calling, but you need healing now
For all good reasons, change is coming

Change is coming for all good reasons now
But you need healing, for life is calling

So hold up your head, think of brighter days
Who cares they don’t look at you the same way
You make up the time, well this ain’t the end
You better let it flow, you better let ‘em end

So sing it loud, let your voice fill up this space
Cause if the energy’s good, it’s gonna take the place
Don’t fight it, invite it, gonna set you free
Step into the light of this happening

‘Cause if it’s good, it feels right
Love will take us to the fight, yea
The more we give, the less we take
I’ve never felt so, so awake

Cause life is calling, but you need healing now
For all good reasons, change is coming
Change is coming for all good reasons now
But you need healing, for life is calling

So hold up your head, think of brighter days
Who cares they don’t look at you the same way
You make up the time, well this ain’t the end
You better let it flow, you better let ‘em end

Posted in me, music.

make like a tree and leave

I remember when we were kids there would be these  silly phrases we’d use.  Off like a prom dress (HA!  I was such a goody two shoes back then, so that phrase never applied to me…)  Dwayne the bathtub, I’m dwowning!  Make like a tree and leave.  Or maybe it was leaf.

Anyway.

It’s October, and the leaves are falling.  It’s October, and I’m not falling apart.  It’s October, and I’ve turned over a new leaf.  It’s October, and I’m rewriting the script.

amidst a rain of falling leaves

I don’t want to plummet to the abyss every October, because October holds so many monumental griefs for me.  I didn’t really plan it this way, but Providence made it such that new hope and new joys are embedded in October, and these things have begun to eclipse the griefs of other Octobers.

Thank God and His holy heavens for that.

I used to love October.  I used to revel in the crispness of the autumn air, and rejoice in the breathtaking colors that emerged on the leaves of the trees.  Oh, how I absolutely loved October.

But I lost my brother in October.  And I lost a very dear friend in October.  And another.  My marriage ended in October.  And just the other day, one of my dearest lifelong friends moved to the other side of the world.  I took her to the airport and said goodbye.  Will I ever see her again, face to face?  I don’t know.  I sure hope so, but I don’t know.  So you see, it’s so easy to get bogged down by the weight of October memories and grief.  In fact, September was very difficult for me, because October was looming.  I will admit, I had some moments of deep anxiety in September, but September has now gone.

amidst a glowing rain

These are all such weighty matters, these October milestones.  But it was October of last year that I began (in earnest) my journey back to me.  It is October, here and now, where I find myself in a good place.  I have much to be grateful for.  I have new friends, and a new and well embraced sense of community.  I have a new sense of acceptance, in which I am at peace with the life that I lead.  Whereas I acknowledge it’s not ideal, it is a beautiful life.  And who am I to truly know what it is that I want and need?  I have so much already.  Even if there is no such thing as Mr. RightForMe, I have some beautiful experiences to cherish forever.  If I were to die tomorrow, I’d go to my grave with a wealth of rich life experiences under my belt.  I have a renewed sense of hope.  I may not understand the circumstances under which it has been kindled, but it is very clear to me that hope prevails and that I have been called to simply trust.

love, forgive, hope

T R U S T

I am making peace with my self and the life that I lead.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

A word about the cheesy art…

I think I painted that glowing figure in the 90s.  It’s very juvenile, but I was thinking of immersion.  Immersion in love, in healing rain, in tears, in golden leaves, in grace.  I suppose the same sorts of things I’m always thinking about.  And even in the darkness, there is the light of healing rain.

Above a doorway are words to live by.  It’s rather sloppy, and didn’t turn out as I’d envisioned.  I still like it, anyway.  One day I plan to remake this as a mosaic, rather than a word collage.

Posted in art, depression, family, love, me, men.

when oceans rise

I’ve written about ripples before, how one thing impacts another and waves move ever outward, the whispering breath of my spirit carried out into the world, brushing gently against all in its path.  A kiss on the horizon that finds its way back to me.

There is a song that moves my heart.  When I hear it, the strains fill me, move me, cover me, and touch my very soul.  Everything about it speaks to me, as though it was written just for me.  Not long ago, I mentioned this song in conversation, and remarked that it’s one of my favorites.  It comes up on my Pandora mix every once in a while, and it almost always makes me cry.  It just takes me to that place.  The other day, a friend shared this very song on Facebook, especially for me.  That ripple had made its way back to me.

Late at night, after the kids had gone to sleep, I sat cradled in the hammock swing on my porch, breathed in the crisp autumn air, and listened.  Over and again, I played that song.  Tears fell.  I went inside the music, and sobbed, from the very core of me, releasing my self from myself.  I thought about my life, and who I am.  I thought about what I want.  I thought about love, what it is, and where it comes from.  I thought about my place in this earth, the mother I am, the life I lead, the responsibilities I shoulder.  All the while, the music played, and tears rolled down my face.

I sobbed my heart out, and decided that it really doesn’t matter if the man who fits ever appears, because I’m beautiful through and through, in my heart of hearts where beauty matters.  In that place, I am pure and innocent, and in that place I am love.  It’s not about all the men who have gone before.  It’s not about anything but me.  In that place, I see my self.  I see someone who is worthy of my love.  I stood naked in front of my mirror, while the music played.  I touched myself.  I moved my hands all over my body, slowly, looking at the curves and the shadows, looking through unveiled eyes at something beautiful, as tears rolled down.

I must have listened to that song thirty times or more.  I cried my heart out, and touched myself, looked at myself with respect and regard, all the while loving myself.  I know who I am.  I saw myself, maybe for the first time, for the beautiful woman that I am.  I saw myself, perhaps, as those who love me see me.

A small spark flickered inside of me; a glimmer of life reborn.  Tears streamed down my face and I knew.

when oceans rise

I am healing.  I can heal.

Lead me where my trust is without borders.

Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander.

I will call upon your name.

Keep my eyes above the waves.

My soul will rest in your embrace.

I am yours and you are mine.

When oceans rise, my soul will rest in your embrace.

Fifteen, twenty, twenty five years, or more –scars from so very long ago.  I am healing.  God is speaking to me in ways that most people wouldn’t understand, in ripples and waves that make their way back to me.  I see where I am, and where I am going.  It likely won’t make sense to anybody but me, but it doesn’t have to.  This is my journey.  I am going to walk down this healing path for a while.

I am not afraid.

I am not alone.

Posted in chapters of my life, depression, ego, health, love, me, men, mental health, music, sorrow, thankfulness.

catching the deluge in a paper cup

I’m enjoying one of those rare moments in which I can sit by myself in the early afternoon sunshine, and let various thoughts drift back and forth through my mind.  It’s warm and there is the slightest breeze.  My furry cat girl has joined me on the swing that I placed in the middle of the pasture.  There is a chipmunk making the strangest sounds, flitting about a very tall tree trunk.  I thought it was a bird chirping, but no, it’s a chipmunk.  Maybe it’s a youngster and it’s stuck, or lost.  It’s a very tall tree, and the branches don’t begin for quite some time.  The cat and I gently rock back and forth and look at the alpacas.  I love my alpaca girls.  (I have five of them.  I will write about them one of these days…)

Hello, my name is Daphne. I'm very pretty, and I'm a prima donna. What do you expect? I'm so pretty. Everybody loves me. Even if I'm naughty.

Solitude is so rare for me, and so very valuable!  I take a mental inventory of the hundreds of things I could or should do.  I categorize things into those things that can be accomplished with others around, and things that can only be done when I’m alone.  I have to make the most of these few moments.  I make mental plans to take some vacation time so that I can work through some of the things that would help bring more order to my chaotic world.  But for now, I have two hours.  How will I spend them?

I spend them breathing.  I make myself a cup of tea.  I decide to write.  Writing is such a joy for me.  It helps me collect and better understand my thoughts and feelings.  It helps me regroup.

A word, a feeling, makes its way to the forefront of my mind.  Freedom.  There is freedom within.  There is freedom without.  Catch the deluge in a paper cup.  Moments like this are so rare for me.  I ponder the meaning and feeling of freedom.  It’s a wonderful feeling.  I can breathe.  The cares of the world aren’t with me, in this particular moment.  I am free from the burden of broken hearts.  A peacefulness drifts in and around me, and I immerse myself in the bliss.

Sunshine has a magical way of bursting through the darkest places.

I find myself wondering if it is possible to experience this feeling of freedom with others around.  More specifically, in a relationship.  It seems that so many people don’t understand the necessity for solitude.  It’s not a necessity for everyone, but it is for me.  Would it or could it be possible to live with someone and still feel or be free?

A counselor once showed me a simple Venn diagram about relating to people, and what constitutes healthy versus unhealthy overlap.   I think, for me, the overlapping area in an ideal relationship is fairly small.  I know, if I consider my closest relationships in life, such as with my sisters and closest friends, the overlapping area is very small.

finding the ideal...

I wonder about the attributes and characteristics of Mister RightForMe, if such a man exists.  But thoughts along those lines tend to take me down a path that brings back to mind thoughts and memories of attempted relationships and those types of thoughts start to crowd out the momentary bliss that I’m trying to savor.  I don’t want to acknowledge or accept the burden of broken hearts right now.   Not in these last few moments, before I have to jump back into action, and dive back into my normal life.

Behold, yet another selfie. Sueeeus Maximus. Mother. Sister. Friend. Working fool.

In these last few moments, I’m just going to be still, breathe, and rejoice in the beautiful life that I am privileged to live.  Sueeeus Maximus.  Mother, sister, friend, working fool.

Posted in love, me, men, mental health.

the hounds of winter

We’re on the cusp of autumn, which is the forebear of winter, and my fashion attention is drawn to my love of leggings and tunics.  And what better way to cheer up a dreary weary soul, than to adorn the physical shell with something joyful.  When the going gets tough, the tough wear houndstooth.

black and white

It’s not that the going is all that tough…  I’m resilient, and this blog is testimony to the ebbs and flows of my life.

I may have sorrow for a season, but truly, I wouldn’t change a thing.  Life experiences are what shape us, give us texture, and teach us perspective.  Without sorrow, how could joy taste as sweet?

geometry

It’s a journey.  I never mean harm.  Truly.  In my heart of hearts, the language I speak is love.  I am often misunderstood, or mistaken.  I have behavioral patterns of which I am well aware, and though I may attempt to be vigilant and not continue repeating such patterns, inevitably I do.  What is it they say, “old habits die hard”?  There’s a reason why that quote is, well, a quote.

prolly a fashion faux pas, but who cares?

Some people say harsh things from their place of hurt.  Some people are stronger about their places of hurt, and say noble and beautiful things.  Everyone is different in the way they walk their walk.  Sometimes it takes years and years for the dust to settle and to be able to look at a situation and see it for what it was, whether it was innocent and beautiful, or wicked and vile.  Well, it’s fairly easy to see whether a situation was wicked and vile.  Ugliness has a way of bubbling to the top.  Thankfully, I’ve not been exposed to the wicked and vile for many, many years, and as well, I never let it break me or even slow me down for very long.  Granted, I don’t understand it, but that makes it all the much easier to dismiss.  Bad data.  Ignore.  Most people want to be good.  And when the dust does settle, usually a warm friendship remains.  For that, I am grateful.  Also, for that, I am hopeful.  Because I know that harsh things said from places of hurt aren’t really true.

Maybe they are true for the moment, for the person experiencing the pain.  If I say, “DAMMIT!!!” when I smack my hand with a hammer, that word doesn’t define anything more than the momentary emotional outburst from the physical jolt of pain.  It has absolutely no representation of who I am (other than that I am a teensy bit crude when I could have chosen a more tame expression, such as “fiddlesticks” or “ding-dang-darn” –AS IF!!  HA!!).  Therefore, I can rationalize that, although harsh and hurtful things have been said, they don’t mean much.  Of course, it takes me a little while to process through the immediate reaction, and that processing time isn’t particularly pleasant.  Thank God for the healing powers of tears and sleep.

dizzying waves and symmetry

I’ve written about shoes and fits before, and the trials and challenges of navigating through relationships.  Nothing has really changed (regarding those thoughts I collected several years ago).   I wish that I knew how to walk the walk without stomping on anybody(‘s feelings).  It’s very hard for me to explain to a man why I don’t fit with him.  One will ask me why I hate him, when he’s a good man.  I don’t hate him. I don’t hate anyone.  I love him.  I love everyone.  One will ask me what he did wrong, or where he went wrong.  Why does there have to be a fault assigned?  Other than it helps explain precisely why the shoe doesn’t fit.  I don’t have precise answers.  I just know.  Maybe I represent the hounds of winter for some (or many) men.  It’s not my intention to leave a wake of crumpled souls in my path.  I would tread more softly if I knew better how to tread.  I probably should just stay away from men.

if the shoe fits

Meanwhile, the introspective journey continues, in which I seek to understand what it is that I want or need in my life.  I’m a whole person, already complete.  I’m not interested in changing myself for another person, and I’m certainly not interested in another person changing himself for me, but I am wholeheartedly interested in changing myself to become the best me that I can be.

Imunna keep on smilin anyway

So what else can I do? I’ll just look down at my houndstooth pants and keep on smiling.  Life is as beautiful as I allow it to be.  So life is beautiful.

I am resilient.  I mean no harm.  I’m sorry for any hurt that has been experienced as a direct impact from relating with me.  I love everyone.

Life IS beautiful.  And I am very blessed.  I AM going to keep on smiling.

Posted in love, me, men.

the house at pooh corner

Sometimes, it seems as though sorrows come in waves.  Recently, there has been news of friends, and friends of friends, people around my age, losing their lives to cancer or sickness, and in one case, suicide.  Lives lost.  Yet, at the same time, there has also been news of friends, and friends of friends, surviving cancer and surviving the brink of suicide.  Lives won!

One thing that news like this does is help me put my own life into perspective.  How am I living?  Am I wasting precious moments of my life, or am I living my life fully?

For a very long time, now, I’ve lost my smile.  I wasn’t actually aware of that, per se, until a year and a half or so ago, but once it occurred to me, I scrolled through picture upon picture and saw that it was true.  There are many pictures in which I’m smiling, but the smile is hollow.

Without knowing what else to do, I sought to at least put a little more effort into taking better care of myself.  I’ve taken some small steps and some big steps, and I’ve made some progress.  I’ve been trying to answer the question of how I want to live.  What do I want for myself and for my family?

It’s interesting how things can change so dramatically in an instant.  I’ve been in a sort of doldrums state for such a very long time, where I couldn’t even begin to imagine what sort of life I want for myself, other than simply know that the life I’m living is not the life that I want, or more to the point, the life I’m living is not quite complete.  If I tried to give the matter thought, I couldn’t imagine any kind of scenario that would work, that would even be possible.  My age, my children’s age, my work, my responsibilities.  My life is so full that there is barely any room to breathe, yet still, there persists an aching, yearning need for connection.

Somehow, in the midst of everyday life, the heavens have opened up and rained down on me.  In the course of doing those things which are within my reach, I’ve made new connections, new friendships.  I’m starting to meet other parents, and slowly building a sense of community.  By the simple act of letting myself settle in to this country home and this small community, the community has opened up to me.

I love where I live.  It’s beautiful and peaceful.  For the first time in my life, I feel as though I have a home.   In fact, I feel as though I am home.  It’s something I’ve been missing for so long!

And look!  A genuine smile!

She’s back –  and she’s back in black!

Posted in depression, love, me, men, mental health, sorrow.

reaching for the light

I’ve been on a home organization frenzy recently, which includes an attempt to organize my photos.  As I browsed through them, I started to see some of them differently.  Namely, pictures of myself from a year ago.  Was that really me?  Who was that?

I’ve been on a journey to find myself for some time now.  I know I’ve been singing that tune for ages, but it’s different now.  Now I see where I’ve been lying to myself for ever, where I’ve disregarded and dishonored the very essence of my self for the better part of my life.  Not that it’s been wrong to put others first.  I’ve done well for others.  I’ve helped others.  I will still do so.  At my core, I’m a helper.

The thing that I noticed today is that I’m no longer hiding behind denial.  I dishonored myself.  I let myself go.  I loathed myself. I don’t know why.  I can’t say.  I can’t see.  Only that I did it.  And even so, when I buried myself so deeply, wherever it was that I’ve been (buried under a hundred pounds of fat), still, there has always been a part of ME, the real, authentic me, looking for a way out, looking for the light of day.  She wanted to live.  All along, she wanted to break free and see the light of day.  So today, with the recognition and acceptance of what I’ve done to myself, I also give forgiveness.  Because I love myself.  I wasn’t loving myself, but now I see that love and forgiveness go hand in hand.  And just like that, I’ve forgiven myself and discovered that I love myself.  I’m coming home to me.

I want to clarify that this isn’t at all about being obese, or becoming obese.  And it’s not at all about losing weight, either.  It’s not about the age old misconception that, oh, if only I could or would lose the weight, I’d be happy.  Losing some weight has given me the courage to look at myself, and to see myself.  So this is about getting lost.  It’s about fear.  It’s about hiding.  It’s about the emotional, not the physical self.  Only the emotional problems had a very physical manifestation.  As they do.

There aren’t very many people (and by people, I mean dear friends) who knew me before I lost myself.  In fact, I can only think of three –Dindu, Suse, and my sister S.  These people have loved me for most of my life (and I them).  It all happened so long ago.  I don’t even know when.  Or why.  I know of times and events that caused things to escalate, but the beginning?  I don’t know.  My sister thinks it started when I had an abortion.  She could be right (she’s usually right).  She used to say, “Sissy, that’s when you lost your mojo.  Where is my sissy?  I want my sissy back.  I miss her.”   She’s been saying that for years.

So I’m coming home to me.  Those words stir the memory of a song from my youth.  In my heart and in my head, I hear Hosea.  Come back to me with all your heart –don’t let fear keep us apart.  Trees do bend, though straight and tall –so must we to others’ call.  Long have I waited for your coming home to me and living deeply our new life.  The wilderness will lead you to your heart, where I will speak.  Integrity and justice, with tenderness you shall know.

I’m on my way.  Home to me.  My arms are open.  I feel the sunlight on my face.

let the light shine on me

I’m like the very hungry caterpillar.  I’ve eaten my way through the difficult parts of my life, and trapped myself in a nearly impenetrable cocoon.  And now, I’ve started to nibble my way through these walls and I can see the light of day.

Some day soon I’m going to find my smile.  I’m going to become a beautiful butterfly.  And then?  Then I will FLY!

Posted in chapters of my life, depression, ego, love, me, mental health, sorrow, thankfulness, weight loss.

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Posted in chapters of my life, love, me, men.

close but no cigar

I took my boys to visit my mom over spring break.  We had a lovely time.  As we prepared to leave for the airport, my mom, her husband, and I were loading the bags into her car.  I was leaning over the open trunk with my suitcase, and suddenly the trunk hatch dropped and hit my neck.  I say suddenly, but time seemed to slow down in those moments, and there seemed nothing sudden about it.  I saw the hatch descending.  I knew what was happening and I knew that there was no time to avoid it.  The corner of the lid came down directly on my jugular vein.  In those few seconds, so very many things happened, and so very many thoughts crossed over and through my mind.

There was some commotion as my mom and her husband realized what had happened.  Her husband felt somehow responsible, when there was no cause for blame or fault.  I’m not sure if they understood the gravity of what was taking place, though.  Meanwhile, I placed my hand on my neck, feeling for blood.  At the same time, I assessed the corner of the lid, to determine whether it was a sharp corner or a smooth corner, and whether it was ragged, jagged or rusty.  It was a slightly smooth corner, which increased my odds of survival.  A sharp corner could have made a more acute injury.  I was still feeling for blood, and I considered all my first aid training.  I renewed my CPR and first aid certification last month, so the information was relatively fresh.  How long does it take to bleed out?  How long does it take to call 911?  How long would it take for responders to arrive?

I concluded that if the vein had been pierced, I had roughly three minutes left to live.  I also concluded that it would be pointless to call 911 (yet) and that my mom and her husband would be overly traumatized by any action they would need to take.  I took it calmly.  I thought about my boys.  I thought, what a shame for it to happen this way.  A freak accident, and that’s that.  That’s the thing about freak accidents.  They happen unexpectedly.  I wasn’t afraid of the dying process.  If I had three minutes, how would I spend those three minutes?  I had a deep sense of peace and calm.  No regret.  Nothing at all mattered.  At least, none of the things that I would have thought would matter, mattered –whether my house was in order, whether my paperwork was in order, whether my finances were in order, whether my work was in order.  There are so many details about dying that one can burden oneself with.  The thing is, if life is over, none of that stuff matters.  Of course it would be sad and difficult for those who survived me, to have to go through my things and sort out my business.  But none of that went through my mind in those moments.   Those things were of no concern to me.  If those were my last three minutes, I was glad that I was with my mom and my boys.  There was no time for anything other than to just love them for the moments remaining.

Calm acceptance.  I think that best describes the moment.  Calm acceptance, peace, and a wash of love.  I’m surprised that I didn’t feel horror that my boys would witness their mother’s tragic demise.  After the fact, when I think about this sort of thing, I am terribly horrified that my boys would ever see or experience such a thing.  But at that moment, it wasn’t in the realm of things that mattered.

I had a sudden, deep appreciation for the fragility of life, and the gift of life.  It’s truly a gift, to be given the opportunity to spend a lifetime, however short or long, on this planet.  There are so many things that distract me from savoring the joy of every breathing moment.  The stresses of life.  It’s such a crime to be overtaken by these stresses and allow them to rob me of my joy.

…shaking my head…

So.  No blood.  At least, no gushing wound.  Phew.  I was deeply relieved, but still concerned.  I wondered if the vein had been bruised or otherwise structurally damaged.  I was about to fly home, and wondered about the effect of pressure changes on a compromised artery.  I know that deep vein thrombosis is a concern for some, when flying.  I wondered if there was a chance that something catastrophic would happen, and thought to myself, “I’m not out of the woods yet.”

Thankfully, no puncture, no rupture, no clot (that I’m aware of).  It’s only a surface wound.  Thank God.

Close, but no cigar.

close, but no cigar

As always, I wish that I could cling to the epiphanies that I have and not allow the daily struggles to cloud my perspective.  I want my boys to grow up well and safe.  I want to raise them.  *I* want to.  Me!  I want to live life and value life.  I want to treasure every moment.

Now that the frightful moment is passed, I am grateful, GRATEFUL, that there was no tragedy, that my mother and her husband and my children were spared a traumatic and gruesome experience.  I am glad that I get to live another day.  I also wonder how many chances we get.  How many close calls do we experience that we are not even aware of?

Life is a gift –a beautiful, glorious privilege.

I am so very glad for it.

Posted in health, me, philosophy/religion, thankfulness.

carrying the weight of a word on her shoulders

I’ve been thinking about the strength of the innocuous comment.  There is much weighty matter milling about my mind these days, and that isn’t anything unusual, but recently the gravity of certain things has elevated them to feature more prominently.  (I like the diametric play of gravity causing elevation.  If I can’t amuse myself…)*

It’s becoming clear that the prudent thing to do is look for a different job.  My job may survive, but it may not.  It hardly matters that my tiny team (there are only three of us) provides a critical skill that serves a great and diverse audience.  That is to say, for as much as it matters, the pain will not be felt until we are no longer providing our services, at which point it will likely be too late.  If or when that happens, there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.  Time dilutes all woes, and eventually the needs will be met in and by whatever means are available.  Therefore, I shouldn’t shoulder too much responsibility for recognizing the anguish that is sure to come, because it won’t be my doing, and it won’t be avoidable by any action within my power to accomplish.

But it is that very sense of responsibility that keeps me dragging my feet.  Just because the giant corporation doesn’t understand the value or necessity of what we do, it won’t be the giant corporation who suffers first.  It will be the rest of the drowning rats who hold a sense of responsibility for the work that they do, who will suffer, while the ship is sinking.  I hesitate to take steps in a direction that will cause undue strain on those remaining.  Yet I have to remind myself that my own life is important, and if a ship is sinking, it’s best to have a survival plan or two (or twelve**) in place.

So many of my work friends are retiring, and for me it is a very melancholy time.  I don’t know why, but there has been very little cross-pollination between my work life and my home life through the years.  This hasn’t been an issue until now, when retirement rears its head for so many of my friends.  Until now, the bulk of our waking hours of life are spent together.  We used to laugh about how we knew each other better than we knew our significant others.   We don’t have relationships outside of the office, so the sense of finality is huge, when they walk out through the office door for the last time.  I thought of an old friend who had moved to a different organization, and wondered if he’d retired as well.   I looked him up in the company directory and was delighted to learn that he is still here.  We chatted about various people we knew.  He mentioned one fellow, with a lovely lyrical name (an Ethiopian), but I didn’t know him.  I told him that name reminded me of another fellow I worked with years ago, and shared his name.  Wonder of wonders, he knew him, and in fact had helped him obtain his visa so he could remain in the country and continue working with us.  He had known him before I had known either of them.  It’s a small, small world.  He hadn’t heard from him since 1988, yet he remembered him distinctly, and the fact that we three had this connection was a marvel indeed and brought a wonderful smile to all of our faces.  It’s funny how life is.  The mysteries of the universe.  Cosmic connections.

It turns out that a position is available in the department where my friend is working.  He has been quite happy there for the last several years.  The organization is very stable with very little attrition, so it is rare for a position to open up.  I am considering applying.  A month ago, or even a week ago, I don’t think I would have been inclined to pursue this further, but today, yes.  It’s not a question of whether or not I am qualified, but a question of whether or not I want to continue to ride the wave I’m riding.  At the least I will get to interview and learn more about the position.  At the most, I will be offered the position.  I won’t have to make a decision until I have a formal offer, so there is no harm in the pursuit.

So…   I told my dear friend who is retiring at the end of the month that our mutual friend sends his regards.  “His name came up recently,” he said, followed by, “Nobody likes him.”  Now, this is an innocuous comment***, and is nothing personal.  The context has to do with the work that we do, respectively.  I work in a service-centered environment.  Our job is to keep things moving, swiftly and safely.  The other department is more of a legal branch.  My other friend is somewhat likened to a king of the administrators in which it is his job to ensure that the “i”s are dotted and the “t”s are crossed.  This necessity can be frustrating to those who don’t understand the necessity.  This is also a reason why I may be particularly suited to the job, due to my innate peacekeeping quality coupled with my ability to understand multiple perspectives.

All that said, that innocuous comment stopped me short for a moment, and I briefly dismissed any thoughts I was forming about whether or not I would pursue this particular opportunity.  It brought to mind another comment, years ago, that steered the course of my very future.  When I was moving into my dormitory as a college freshman, I met the resident adviser and we chatted for a few minutes.  I had already chosen to major in electrical engineering and minor in computer science, however, it was day 1 and I had a little time (maybe it was a week or two) to change my designation.  She was majoring in architecture.  Architecture!  I loved the thought of it.  The word itself has a delightful ring to it.  I could envision myself merrily designing beautiful structures.  Ah!  Architecture!  I asked her about it, and she said “it’s very hard.”  Innocuous.   Those three words, “it’s very hard”, changed (or rather set) the course of my professional life.  I allowed that young woman’s perspective of her own ability (or lack thereof) to compete in such a field to override my own sense of capability.  It’s laughable, even, that I didn’t so much as make a simple logical comparison of the academic requirements for engineering versus architecture, let alone ponder for even a moment the young woman’s level of aptitude or competence in relation to mine.  I had no question as to whether I would be able to excel in engineering, yet that innocuous comment barred me from any further consideration of a field that I may well have adored, and in which I very likely would have excelled.

Hindsight can be valuable if it’s heeded.  I’m glad that these thoughts have been milling about and that that particular strain emerged to remind me that there is no reason why I shouldn’t consider ambling down another path for a while.

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*I’ve been amusing myself with “vaguebooking,” and chuckling to myself as I write this article and recall all the various ambiguous things I’ve posted or partaken in recently on FaceBook.  Small World.  Fool me once.  It’s funny how life is.  Cosmic connections.  It goes on and on and on!

**Redundancy!  Ah the beauty of redundancy!  Failure is not an option!

***I eventually get to the point of my opening line.

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