The Shape of the Year, Part 2

May 24, 2018 § Leave a comment

I live. Which amazes me, given the past year and a half.

“2018 will be a year of repair, of redirection, of rebuilding. Changing the landscape.” That’s from my New Year’s Day post, but I had no idea how much the landscape would change; eight days later, I was laid off.

Flash forward nearly six months and I’m still looking for a new job. And fighting the brain weasels that come part and parcel with rejection after rejection.

But I’m still here. Still flyin’. Inches off the ground, but I haven’t crashed and burned yet.

I have no idea what the rest of the year has in store, but it’s got me nervous. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, but seriously, how many shoes are left?

(Don’t answer that. It’s lots, I know. Some of them even have cleats.)

I could wallow in my misfortune — and there has been some wallowing, I’m not going to lie — but I’ve started focusing on the positives. Trying to be grateful for what’s ordinary in my life, as Brené Brown recommends.

Stress tends to paint everything iron gray, but there’s still color in the world. Still joy and love. Still friends and family, and friends who’ve become family.

Extraordinary things, sometimes, but more often, ordinary things we just don’t see anymore. I’m looking for them again.

I’m also trying to use this fallow time to get back to writing. I’ve written two short stories, and actually just today submitted a poem to a literary journal. I plan to get back into my novel, pull it apart, polish the rough bits, and fix or discard the broken ones.

The hours are quickly devoured by squirrels — internet distractions, household chores, errands. Suddenly, the sun sets and I feel like I’ve wasted another day. I have to look hard to see the step forward I’ve taken.

Some days, there is no step forward, and that’s fine.

“It gets better,” we say to those who are struggling, but that’s hard to believe when you’re so far down in the hole you can’t see daylight. It’s true, though; you just have to fumble in the dark awhile. Trust that the ladder is waiting until you find the first rung and start climbing.

I think I’m about halfway there.

Version 3



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