Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Finding a New Mountain

This time last year I was less than a month away from graduation. 

I was also seeing a therapist weekly,
suffering from stress-induced vertigo,
begging professors for extensions,
and pulling all-nighters. 

I had been in school for 11 years, 2 kids, 2 failed relationships, a trip to rehab and 8 jobs. 

I had known what it was like to be pregnant the entire semester
and have a baby just in time to come back for finals (both boys are April babies). 

I had amassed a fortune in student loan debt
and had paid the salary of at least two Cal State employees
with the number of parking tickets I had incurred over the years. 

It felt like everyone I knew had grown up and moved on and left me in the dust.

I clawed and cried my exhausted heap of a body all the way to the finish line,
something no one (including myself) really thought would ever happen.

I had had a full weeks sleep when this photo was taken.

And then it did. 

It did happen. 

I graduated. 

I heard my name and crossed the stage and took a terrible picture
with the biggest grin I think I've ever possessed. 

I enjoyed my moment. 

"Licked the bowl" as my therapist had suggested.

I am obviously very happy here. 

We had a party and it was fun and probably my favorite things were:
the feeling of actually finishing something I had started.
 And my parents' pride.

Then it was June and I plummeted. 

I searched and searched and SEARCHED for a new job. 
A goal of sending out at least 10 resumes a day. 
Diligence and effort met with dead air. 
Radio silence. 

Months without a single response.

We pulled Lucas out of school for a lot of reasons I may or may not ever go into detail here.

My savings dried up and my apartment got infested by bugs. 

My kid got diagnosed with a form of epilepsy
and one of my best friends moved back East
just as another moved back to California.

The hardest summer of my life came to a close
as we found our guy a new school
and I finally got rid of the bugs. 

Fall brought an eviction notice (shitty landlords don't appreciate your demands for pest control reimbursement), a new apartment, the final collapse of a few old friendships,
a new (old) love,
and a job that turned out to be pretty terrible.

And while I know it sounds terrible and yes it was HORRIBLE,
something about that chaos felt comfortable to me.  

While I may not manage to do it gracefully
I have always been able to do crisis mode.

Today it's the lack of extremes I struggle with.

 I find my seeming homeostasis even more confusing.

I don't know how to process that I work here and I LOVE it
(even though sometimes when I'm walking through Downtown and into my office building
I feel like a little girl wearing her mommy's clothes).

Well hello stunning view.

House is good. 

Kids are good too.
I regularly look at them and can't believe I'm their mother.

Often times I feel like an imposter. 

Undeserving of any accolades. 

Self-sabotager so I can beat you to the punch.

I don't drink.  I don't smoke.  I go to bed at a decent hour.

My voice has quieted.  Laugh still boisterous but opinions often kept to oneself.

I feel like in this last year I lost an identity I had had for a very long time
and I still don't completely own a new one.

1 comment:

  1. i just want u to know that i love your writing...more than that, i love that u are putting pen to paper to get this out.

    you are well deserving of accolades my sweets.