Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Butterflies in Singapore

No, I haven't died.
Yeah, you could say I've been busy. Busy pretty much covers it.
Where was I in January? I hardly remember. Stuck somewhere between two glass walls, inches away from the rain but completely unable to feel it. As silly as it sounds, sometimes I feel like I just need to smash myself into the elements, press my hands into the earth, stand facing the sky in the rain, let the wind twist through my hair. I don't get much of that these days. I need more. I need to remind myself to get it.
You know that saying about a butterfly flapping its wings on one side of this earth, and causing a hurricane on the other side? The older I get the more true I think it is. A year ago this week, I was getting ready to go home for the first time in my life. This year, I'm trying to forget that I can't go.
It's not working.
So who is my butterfly? Really who isn't? Someone changed their mind about what was important to them. That change caused something that was important to me to lose its grasp on life. My long run of a good stable thing came to an end. I learned that this year. No matter how stable you think you may be, you aren't. Not at all. Everything you've built up balances precariously on so many factors you never even considered. Just one of them has to change and it's all over. I learned another thing this year. I learned that I'm really good at watching myself fall, and making sure I land on my feet, regardless of how scared I may be.
I bet you're wondering what I've been so busy with. Ok maybe you weren't, but I bet someone was.
At the end of January, I found out that the company I was working for decided not to go forward with any outbound marketing or sales initiatives. This was odd, considering I'd just been promoted to sales, and I was our only sales person. I became highly suspicious.
At the end of February I found out that I needed to start looking for a new job. Those of you who know me well know that the little blue birds in my veins would never have approved of such a thing. They didn't have much say in the matter, considering that they were dying. The job I felt like I could keep until I died was being tugged out from beneath my feet, thanks to a few bad business decisions and a declining economy. Thanks a lot, you butterflies you. So I started looking for a new job, and stopped believing in hard work getting me anywhere in the long-run. Apparently there is no long-run.
At the end of March I found out I had to find a new place to live. It's weird when you've lived under the same roof as another person for years only to find out that they are a raving psychotic liar at the last moment. Long story short, I had to find a new place to live, and I only had about 30 days to do so.
Come to find out, new places to live don't like it when you're applying for a new apartment but you are also aware that you're about to lose your job. I'm not a huge fan of lying, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do.
So at the end of April I found somewhere to live. While it's not the greatest place I've ever occupied, it certainly isn't a spider hole in the middle of a desert, so I can't complain. The water is always on, not just at the whim of my landlord. I maintain the electricity, internet and cable tv. The walls don't randomly catch on fire in the middle of the night, and if I trip a circuit, I know where the breaker is. It's a little more expensive than I'd like, but these days that's about the norm if you want to live in California.
Oh also, it's in California, and the beach is less than five minutes away. Marine layer? Yes please, I'll take two.
So then in May I started my new job. It's weird, having a new job after so many years. I still hate being the new person, and I'm still really paranoid (thx UPS) when I'm not familiar with a company and its employees. I think I found a good place though, and the people seem to like me, so I hope I can make this work for a long time to come.
At the end of May a very important figure in my life died. He may not have thought he was important to me, his family may not have thought so either, but he was. The closest thing I ever had to a father as a child passed away on Memorial Day. He had a stroke while seated at his desk at work. He was 54 years old.
There isn't a whole lot I can say about this except that if you care about someone, you should tell them. Tell them often. People don't know these things unless you say them. Hints don't work. Feelings change, so keep telling them so they know you still mean it. It's difficult to tell someone that you care too often; it's really easy to not tell them often enough.
I've learned things about people too. I've learned that you can tell who your true friends are when the lure of a paycheck doesn't force you to spend time around them every day. I've learned that no matter how much you love someone, and try your best to show them, if doesn't really mean dick if they don't feel the same for you. I've learned that while feelings are endless, they still leave a big gaping hole when you pour them all out and you don't get much back in return. I've learned that the big empty space they leave does hurt. It hurts a lot. So much that I'm not sure if it's better to have that or to be alone.
I've learned that for everything I think I've learned, I don't really know anything.
And that's where I've been.

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