I need to start with yesterday to tell this tale. Yesterday I discovered that I did not get the job that I was hoping for. Three interviews, told my references they wanted to hire me, then nothing. Over 4 weeks I waited to hear from them. Only to discover while online yesterday at the university’s HR website that I didn’t get the job. So far no email, no letter, nothing to tell me that they chose someone else. I had wondered over the last month how I would feel if I didn’t get the job.
I had two reactions.
- I felt as though I dodged a bullet. What kind of people treat folks this way? I don’t think I want to work for folks like that no matter how desperate I am. Even if I got it I think I would have been out of there as soon as I could have been. I want to work with kind people.
- That it was time to fully surrender. I’ve been parking my car all over the neighborhood hoping that if I got this job that I could get caught up and keep the car.
I’m so seriously tired of it all. I’m done. When I think of how far I have to catch up now that I still don’t have gainful employment, I just have to put up my hands and cry out, “Uncle!” The hole would be so deep that it would take me years to pay everyone off. I just can’t do this any more. I’m tired of borrowing from Peter to pay Paul. Done. If I borrow not one more penny and get rid of the car, I still have two years of paying off debt and saving to move ahead of me. So. Bloody. Done.
Today M took me out into the country for a nice long bike ride. Letting my body swoop and dip with the curves and the bike, letting myself be fluid. It was good to be on a bike after so long, to see things other than concrete. Things like mountains and trees and no tall buildings. Cows, manure, tractors, quaint little towns. And the river. We stopped on the Tolt River for lunch. His treat, gas and food. Grateful.
After crossing over a pedestrian wooden suspension bridge, we wandered downstream to our own private beach. We plonked rocks, I waded around, I lay in the sun while he wandered down stream and took pictures. Conversation, light conversation, talk about our grandfathers and parents. Hanging off the bridge watching a school of catfish feed on the green on the rocks. Little schools of fingerlings in the shallows. “Get hung up feed the ducks with a bun…”
As I’m there on the sand and rocks in the sun with my bare toes wet and covered with sand I realize how very grateful I am. And that for the first time in maybe years, I’m free. Soon there will be no car, no storage unit (moving stuff into the garage and whereever else we can stash stuff), no cell phone (that got turned off last week), and suddenly all I have to come up with is food and driver’s insurance. My life is suddenly incredibly simple. Very simple.
Epiphany. If you’re starting from ground zero, you can build anything you want. OMG. I’ve been working my entire life, ever since my first paper route at 14. At the most, I’ve not worked for 4-6 weeks tops, maybe three times in my life. Even in the heaviest using days with Joel, I still worked. Granted it was stripping but it was work. I still had a time clock to punch and scheduled shifts and days. I’ve always worked. Here I am at 50 and I’m not working. I had bought into the American Dream of capitalism at an early age and have been in a box of working to buy stuff and eventually working to pay off stuff. And I suddenly am back to where I was when I was 18. I must start from scratch. And this feels INCREDIBLY GOOD.
What do I want to do with the second half of my life?? I know that I wanted simplicity. I know I wanted to shift my relationship with money. I know that I wanted the last half of my life to be about joy and freedom. I got all my wishes. All of them. And it’s hurt like hell to get here. Suddenly I’m free. The box that has boxed me in for my entire adult life is gone. I have absolutely no idea what the universe is going to bring me. And it’s good.
I have no idea what I want to do. But I know that I want a violin again. My cousin Jon is going to “give” me his mother’s violin. What an honor, to be able to play Aunt Lou’s violin. I took classical violin lesson for 9 years. I know how to read music in three keys. I never appreciated it but lately I’ve really wanted to get my hands on a violin again.
I know that my folks need me. Even if I had all the money I needed they need me to stay here for now, more than ever. I started to write about the issues here at home but this post is about my epiphany.
So, on the drive home, I can smell that smell I love. The evergreens in the sun, the dirt underneath, the ferns, the oregon grape. That unique Pacific Northwest summer time hot day smell. I feel better than I’ve felt in a long time. I’m sitting with M between my knees, my glasses give everything a psychedelic tinge. The leaves were blue where they hit the sun, the concrete pink and green, things shifting. Polarized lenses, who knew… I’m stone cold sober and high as a kite.
After coming home I take a nap, the high is gone, I’m slightly disoriented and a bit, ah well, that was nice as long as it lasted. I go get the mail, I never get any, and there is an envelope with familiar handwriting addressed to me from a family friend. I can see a check and I’m all excited. I could really use $100. And there is a check in there for several thousand dollars. My parents are standing right there and I pretty much do everything except fall to my knees.
And suddenly I feel the walls of the box around me. What do I do with the money? Pay the storage unit, get caught up with the car, 4 months due and another in 3 weeks, and in 30 seconds half the money is gone.
“I’m going to put this in the bank and go to a meeting and see my sponsor.” Good idea.
I tell the story of my day. What I hear from everyone is, “Let the car go.” Humilty. Surrender. This is tempoprary. Be willing to be willing. “Get rid of the storage unit.” “Don’t change your plans of this morning one inch.” The folks said the same thing. Yay! Let it all go even though you have the money now. Use that to get you through the next months, you might need it. I don’t know if I should renew the cell phone or not but will put all this in my Daily Devotions and see what I get over the next couple of days. More will be revealed. Miracle of miracles and I don’t feel like going out to buy a new pair of shoes. I’m terrified to spend any of it. THAT is HUGE. Talk about a new relationship with money. The friend is shy and doesn’t like talking about his good deeds but there will be some Scottish shortbread from his sister’s recipe in his mailbox before the week is out.
I’ve been listening to the Small Faces as I write and just as I got to this paragraph Itchycoo Park came on. Suddenly I have an entirely new experience to tag onto this song. Over Bridge of Sighs? Check. Dreaming spires? Check. High as a kite? Check. It’s All Too Beautiful? Indeed.
P.S. I want to jump Steve Marriott’s bones… I guess that’s all that’s left but a girl can dream can’t she?