Intersections – and I’m Frogger.

My life, for the past few weeks, has felt like a crowded train station. I’ve been a tourist in my own reality, trying to look at things from so many other perspectives. I am starting to feel as if everyone around me are the daily commuters; they all seem to know exactly where they’re going, and then there’s me, puttering along, looking around, trying to figure out where the map is and hey, is that a Coffee Beanery?
I think, of all of the things I miss about my husband’s old job, more than the security and almost as much as his sense of confidence in himself for holding such a nice job, is the morning coffee ritual once or twice a week. (Okay, twice a week faithfully for the past two and a half years, at least.) I sure do miss my girls over at Wixom Coffee Beanery, and I hope that my absence has been noticed. My little “frequent flyer” card has stared longingly at me from the top slot in my wallet for weeks.
So there’s that. That was the biggest change. Not the coffee, but his job. Like a bolt out of the blue, a quick, terrified text: “I got fired. I’m sorry.” We’d been creeping towards the outskirts of “out of our means” for the past few weeks, really relishing in the fact that we had what we thought was security. We were making “investments in our future” by making large purchases that we were sure would bring our family closer, and we were poised to spend our vacation savings in a week when we traveled down to Florida, so this came at quite a conveniently inconvenient time.
For a few years, since I’ve begun to wash away the fantasy version veneer from my fair ginger lover to find the (even better) real version, it has become obvious that he is not a man’s man. He does not take joy from hunting, fishing, blowing things up, making things dirty, or doing laborious physically taxing tasks. He’s a thinker, an analyzer, a planner and someone who loves me enough to at least attempt to fix what is broken. This potentially catastrophic event, losing his “career” job (his words, not mine) could have derailed all of the strength and confidence that I watched build up since we’ve been together – and to his much-deserved credit, my FGL was proactive, level-headed, and showed bravery where I would have broken. He found himself a new job the next business day.
This showed me two things. One: No employment is secure. No job is promised, guaranteed, or even safe to call “yours.” It can be taken from you for no reason at all, with no warning whatsoever. Two: When I’m with him, I am secure. We are promised, guaranteed, and I am safe. Where once I would have panicked, this event was a milestone in our relationship that underlined yet again, the many reasons why I chose him over anyone else – in particular or general.
In my own job, I am back at the train station. I have three different conductors screaming in my ears, a trainmaster who could give a crap less about the broken down boxcars he’s trying to drag along, and a whole lot of whiny, loud, stuck-up passengers who all seem to hate my guts. If they only knew how I practice murder-mystery writing with the impressions of themselves they leave me with…
I don’t care about the career right now. I just want to be part of something bigger, that does something better. I want to have a positive impact on my community, but mostly a positive impact on my home community – my family. I want to do something I’m not embarrassed of or ashamed to admit. I want to be able to say, “That’s my girl!” when she says she wants to be just like me. I’m not finding it where I am, and it seems all of those places that have a vision like mine are chock full of people like me who got there first.
Any awesome community-improving companies looking to hire?
His job, my job, and then there’s school. I’ve attended the last four quarters straight, and I’m exhausted. My brain feels like hot mush, like a cup of grits bubbling over inside my skull. I’m done. I gave up and destroyed the last class of the year and for that I’m not proud, but I’m too exhausted yet to find the fucks to give about it. I’ll address it later if I must. I am disillusioned by this school, and God help me, I miss CMU. It was one of the first places that felt like home to me – except for the large factor that was the gaping hole in my heart. With that void no longer there, I often wonder if I could go back. If I could keep trying, if I could finish, if I could make a life there, if I could be all the wild, real things I used to be… there are a thousand what-ifs and I don’t know if he is patient enough to let me sift through them all.
I keep thinking, though – this is an opportunity. This is a window of freedom we have been granted, a chance to look over our lives and say JUMP! Jump now, take a chance, go anywhere you want to go and start. You’re getting a do-over, so use it to your advantage. I want to do this right, and I want to make the right decisions for our family.
Because our Big Little Man has changed the way I see my priorities. Perhaps that’s cruel, but I’ll be the first person to admit that I was not ready to have children until he came along. Now, I can put a stop to the cycle of parental blame and do right by my son. Of course, I’m finally in the mental position to be able to do this, and he ends up being so much more than what I expected. I know I’m much more prepared for the struggles ahead than those around me who refused to see the signs I saw, but I’m still completely in the dark about how to address any needs he might have in the future. I don’t know how different he will be. I’m of course preparing my heart for the worst case scenario, which is not fair to him, or to anyone else, but I’m his mama. I hold myself personally responsible for making sure he is the happiest, healthiest, most extraordinary and normal, wonderful child on the planet. I’ve made a personal vow to raise him to be kind, above all else. He can figure it out from there, as long as he is kind.
I’m juggling. Feels like chainsaws, flaming batons, defensive porcupines and something slippery and squishy thrown in for good measure. I’m not sure how I’m keeping this all up in the air, but it’s still there, and still going. My arms are tired.
So are my fingers.


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