I have so much to say right now, and no words to say it. Ever feel that way?
Tonight I sat in the dark on the road leading me home. It was 5:51 p.m. and I sat at a light for ten minutes as a train passed as it does every night before nine cars make their way left through the green arrow. The eighth car gets yellow, the ninth the arrow goes away and the opposing traffic begins to honk. Every night.
I was off for five days in a row which should have left me rejuvenated but instead left me panicked on Sunday that I had to go back. A case of croup and some steroids later, I got the extra Monday which wasn’t enough.
Somehow I had forgotten that this time of year it is dark when I drive to the train, and dark when I return. The darkness seeps into my optimism which I can count on for three out of four weeks a month knocking it down to two.
The holidays approach and although I have stocked up vacation time, it isn’t on the actual holidays. My job has blacked out those days, ironically since my job is to assist the people who are allowed to take vacations and do. Leading into December, the phones slow and I am left with too much time to ponder my life and how to change it.
The thing about my career is that what makes me good at it, is also the part of me I’d like gone. I am tough and sarcastic, brutal at times. I am right because I have to be. There is no room for error. I wish it was a career like a surgeon where at least these qualities could be resolved as being the difference between life and death but alas, it’s all about money.
I may be the only person within a stone’s throw at work hoping that the Occupy Wall Street folks find a way to make it work. Don’t get me wrong. I am the 99%. I just happen to have a job and as you all know, that makes me their patsy. Essentially, I’m playing for the other team, but rooting for the underdog. Yes sir, may I have another.
I believe not so much in things happening for a reason, but as any recovering protestant, that you do what is right and good things will come of it. I believe that you do as you wish done to you, and when you make choices, you have to be present, be accountable. I fell into this business and had the stomach to take it. My first few years in the business, I left numerous times a day in tears. Now, I know I seem like a mushgush on the blog, but you’ll have to have blind faith in me when I tell you I don’t cry frequently. I wish I could cry more, that I could cry easier. It’d be healthier that way.
Falling into the business of money, I always thought that this was a step that would come in handy down the road. I pictured myself learning the ins and outs of business so that at some point I could help a charity to avoid being ripped off. I saw myself as the future Robin Hood. Alas, that job never materialized.
Instead, I end up here and feel that I am not making a decision that needs to be made because first and foremost is that my family is taken care of. The problem is that this job has become something that is toxic to me and I have no skills to switch careers.
A dear friend recently pointed out that you recreate patterns that are unresolved in your life. In order to move forward you need to see the pattern and decide to change it. Before she had finished her statement, my head exploded. I saw before me a woman who was tough as nails and had the respect of her co-workers. I saw someone who commanded respect and would lose her job before she was bullied by an alpha male (prominent in her line of work).
I also saw a woman who would fight every day all day and as of late have to walk quickly to the ladies room before the tears sprung from her eyes. At some point, the channeled anger, the white hot poker faded to red and became a source of sharp pain. She had come full circle. There were moments she wondered if indeed this was nervous breakdown material, followed up with the thought that there was no time for nervous breakdowns. She wiped her tears with rough grey toilet paper and flushed as the sobs were stifled. A pinch of the cheeks and a deep breath sent her back to the phones.
On a daily basis, I prove that I will not budge. That I am stronger, smarter, and better than men that think otherwise. I see the pattern. I acknowledge it. I have no idea how to change it. I. Want. Out.
So I write. I write to be the person who isn’t fighting an imaginary opponent from so many years ago. I write to just be me.
A secret? This is my Plan B. I want to be home and be writing and to take care of my family and to get away from things I don’t believe in. I want to be proud of myself for more than just taking care of my family.
I want my family to be proud of me.
I just don’t know how to get there.
I see the problem, yet can’t see the solution.