Is this what it’s come to now? I post once a week and it’s just a hodge-podge of incoherent ramblings?
I was paid a compliment in my class on Tuesday and I was reminded how that can change your day. It was a weird compliment, but I took it and I’d like to remind all of us to give more compliments (sincere only, please) because they can mean a lot to a person in dumpy clothes with dumb hair who may or may not have showered this morning.
I have walked either around my neighborhood or on the greenway almost every day since Saturday and it feels effing great to be moving around. Bird and I walked the sidewalks on Sunday and experienced our hipster neighborhood in all its bustle and shake, like we were part of a Move to the East Side Campaign video. Priuses driving by, shaggy dads pushing high end strollers to the gourmet ice cream shop. People planting things. Bird saying “hi!” to everything. And “wassat?” about seven hundred thousand times within the first block alone.
She’s Been Hanging Around with the Cat
Speaking of Bird, we had a nice little “teaching moment” a couple of evenings ago, where she wanted to take off her diaper and I let her, while she climbed in and out of a big cardboard box and giggled like a crazy person. I kept the little potty right there so that when I saw any trickling I could whisk her over to the potty and she would have a peepee victory and then for sure FOR SURE the peepee-potty connection would be cemented in her brain. But instead she crouched down in the huggies box and managed in a split second to take a very large shit.
Down a Peg
Progress toward my job-free goal: My big-time, I-am-a-professional-do-you-hear-me estimate on a freelance project was passed over for a lower bid. Which is sad, but also okay, because I know I am supposed to learn from this. I’m supposed to learn not to count my chickens before they hatch, not to get too big for my britches. To not start getting greedy. To appreciate the jobs I do have, no matter how small-time, and not go around feeling so entitled.
So I have put that into practice today, and accepted a few more pieces from a client I don’t love, because I need the work and apparently I need to check my ego and my get-rich-quick schemes.
I’ve upped the office fragrance threat level from yellow to orange as we have moved out of Vanilla Flavored Coffee territory and moved swiftly to the Scented Candle zone. I love pumpkin pie just as much as the next guy, but blugh.
In my little notebook, or “capture system”, as they say– the place where I frequently dump bits out of my brain to be reviewed later so I can clear the shit and focus on the task at hand– I wrote “basketball lady.” I have no idea what that means, but apparently the basketball lady was tangling up my thought process in a way that rendered me useless until such time as I wrote it down so I could move on with my ever-important life.
Speaking of capture system, this is a great idea. One of those great, organized-person ideas. For people that do things like keep baby books and put their photos in albums and remember how old their child was when she started saying words. In other words, not me. So you go do it! And good luck to you!
The Bursting of the Bubbles (“Bah-Boze!” if you’re Bird)
So yesterday, I walked into class and everyone was all in a wad about the class schedule for next term. Why? Evening classes only beginning in MAY, no more day classes next term or ever. And daytime is the only time I can take classes at all, and barely that even, due to the 20 pounds of obligations crammed into the five-pound bag that is my waking life. Which means that without a minor miracle (an option I am not discounting, trust me), I won’t be able to take classes next term or for a very, very long time. Which means my plan? Lots of plans? Totally Fucking Fucked.
I am typically not an excitable person and I tend not to panic. And I feel like I remained calm for the longest amount of time I physically could, but when our class started talking about it, all together? All touchy-feely like, lying around on massage tables and sitting on the floor? I had a complete come-apart, with the crying and the blotchy face and the gross mouth and the snot and the works. Mwah. In front of everyone.
Not that I don’t think my emotions weren’t true, but It became obvious to me once I’d begun that I needed this cry, that stress and responsibility and hefty, weighty things had been building and building and it was time to release. So once I started, I couldn’t stop. In fact, well into the class, I was lying on my back while my partner tried to isolate my vastus lateralis, tears still running sideways down into my ears.
The last time I cried like this, I was sitting in my car outside of Birdy’s first daycare, unable to move for the heartbreak of leaving her. And while this felt different because it was about fear and disappointment and exhaustion, it was much the same in that it was a lot like vomiting. Uncontrollable. Sometimes you just have to get the poison out, and live in your fear/heartbreak/general muck before your wheels can start turning again. I just happened to do it in a room full of people this time.
Let me tell you, my capture system is overflowing with scrawlings about this. Some angry, some level-headed, some illegible.
Why did this news break me? Because I quit my full-time-with-benefits job to go to school. I took a huge, scary risk. I took a job I don’t love where I deal with the gravity of terminal illness and death and things of that nature on a daily basis. I rearranged my family’s life and reduced our income. I’ve had to hustle for freelance work to make up the differences. I incurred debt to pay for this.
And if each of these things– money, job, general scrambling, time management, being a mama, child care, marriage, et cetera et cetera– is a gajillion pound elephant, piled up one on the back of the other tied together with dental floss, then my planning and scheduling of all of it is the flimsy net of dental floss that is barely containing the elephants. And if you take away the option of day classes at school? Then you take away the bottom elephant and set the dental floss on fire. That’s just how it is right now. The whole pile, future-plans-wise, is built on getting through school.
I know it’s going to be okay. I have a meeting with the highest-up person next Wednesday where I will discuss how I understand that as a business owner she must make certain decisions, but that as a customer she is fucking me over. And who knows if that will change things. It will only change things if I am not the only one that speaks up, and judging from the reaction of the rest of my class, there is soon to be an uprising.
But again, I know I’m supposed to learn from this. It’s all going to be fine, I will finish school somehow, and maybe this will cause things to shift into place in some combination I’d never even thought of. Maybe the elephants will get their shit together and at least form a pyramid.
Be the water not the rock, right?
Also, Birdy? This is all for you.