Monday, March 26, 2012

That moment when life happens

I have been temporarily paralyzed by life. That's the bad news. The good news, however, is that the paralysis is starting to fade. I'm growing stronger and my thoughts are more clear each day.

I returned from the BransforumFest in Vegas exhausted and a touch overwhelmed, but excited. I created a lengthy mental list of all the places in my MS that needed the most work or total overhaul. It was going to take a lot of work, but I was riding high on the great feedback from my critique partners.

It felt within reach.

I returned to work on Monday and before I could even set up my computer and check my voicemails, my boss gave me some pages to read. I won't bore you with the details, but here's the highlight:
The Medical School has voted unanimously to close this research center at the end of the fiscal year.
In a nutshell, this means whatever funds we have left are ours to use, but no more funds are coming in on July 1. We have enough funds to keep me for a few more months and the boss thinks he can pull together another year. I'm less optimistic, but still can see 4-6 months. So it's not dire or desperate. I have time. It just sucks.

I spent that week cool as a cucumber at work, developing processes for closing down. But at night the uncertainty paralyzed me. I wandered around the house, making prioritized lists of things to fix if I want to get it on the market this spring. I cried and wailed in the safety of my house with only my dog as my witness. I made lists of possible places to get a second job and told key members of my support network (aka, my brother and his wife).

Yet, as these crazy thoughts of despair and poverty wove through my head, one little lightbulb flickered on. What if this is EXACTLY the kick in the arse I've needed to go out there and explore my life? What if I pack it all up, throw my stuff in storage and move to Ireland? What if I wait to get laid off, then use unemployment along with no more than 20 hours a week of a part time job and really dedicate myself to writing? What if I gave myself six months to try something new?

What if this is the Universe sending a sign that it may be uncomfortable, but it will be okay?

The road ahead is still blurry and that's okay because when I turn around, I see the path I took to this point. It's a road paved with more smart than bad decisions, amazing friends, and a support system that I cannot yet fully grasp without crying. I may fall back but holy crap, there are SO MANY HANDS there to help me back up. Reflecting on the generosity of my friends who are just waiting for me to throw out the bat signal, calling for help... it is so overwhelming. I am so incredibly blessed. I don't understand it and wonder what I've done to deserve such amazing people in my life. And then I wonder how I'll ever adequately thank them for their presence.

So I'm around, blog world. I'm trying to ease back into Twitter. And I haven't given up hope on the A-Z Challenge. But at this exact moment, I'm still searching for my footing. I'll be around when I can. Hopefully, that's sooner than later.

In the meantime, any of those positive juju vibes or prayers you might want to throw my way? Yeah, I'll take them all.

30 comments:

  1. TL, I'm sorry!
    Don't panic. You have time to plan and prepare.

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    1. That's exactly what I keep telling myself--I have plenty of time. No need to make any rash decisions...

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  3. well, you know i'm chucking good vibes your way. I'm chucking them SO HARD

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    1. I know. :) Thank you. And thanks for the great lunch chat the other day. Meeting writers and friends in person help make me feel "grounded" instead of spiraling.

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  4. Oh, man. Life sure does love to throw us curve balls, doesn't it? Sending you all the good vibes I have!

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    1. Thanks, Jess! I like to believe good vibes direct from CA are extra powerful because of the sun and beach and all...

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  5. Sending you a boatload of good vibes. Life can take some crazy twists and when it does breathless what the heck is in it's wake....but you sound to me like you are finding the footing you need to keep moving forward. And yep yep on the Universe sending you a message, an opportunity...whatever you decide it will be the right decision for that moment. And for those panicky moments (cause let's face it, we human, we have 'em!!) glad you've got your support system in place. All best!!

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    1. Thanks for the good vibes, Deb!

      I'm trying to crystal ball gaze to see what's ahead, but I have to go with my intuition and my better judgement. It's served me well up til now. I guess this is the part of the story where the MC takes a leap of faith.

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  6. One of my absolute favourite motivational speeches is by JK Rowling when she was addressing the Harvard graduating class of 2008. (Full text here) In it she talks about how when everything in her life started to fall apart in her late twenties and she found herself a single, unemployed mother living at the poverty line, instead of despairing she focused on treating it like an opportunity and used it to complete "the only work that mattered to me". She says, "I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realised, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life."

    I love that thought. I'm not suggesting that you've hit rock bottom, of course, but the tough times and disappointments of one part of our life can become the foundations and turning points that shape the better things to come. There are silver linings to every cloud, if you take the time to search for them. And I think you have, by the sounds of it. The great thing is you've got some time to prepare and plan and make thought-out decisions so that when you take that leap into the unknown your wings are well-built and you've got a safety net beneath you just in case they don't quite carry you to the other side. Good luck, and we'll all be rooting for you!

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    1. Oh, Seabrooke--thank you for that link! How perfect! And no worries, I know you're not implying I'm at rock bottom. :) But it's absolutely a time of uncertainty and stress. I like the idea of building a foundation here and working up from this place.

      It's scary to think about taking a leap of faith and not knowing where the safety net is. It's terrifying, actually. But it's also incredibly alluring. Stay tuned!

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  7. Sorry to hear!

    Best of luck exploring your life! You seem to have the right mentality.

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    1. Thanks, Hektor. I'm worried that I may be fooling everyone with the right mentality because it really is a crazy freak-out mess in my head. But I am blessed with time. I will find something amazing, I have faith.

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  8. I have so much faith and confidence in you. If you need to borrow some, please let me know. I will see you soon!

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    1. Thanks, hon! I may need to borrow some confidence. We'll see. In the meantime, looking forward to the end of April! :)

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    1. Thanks, Coleen. The outpouring of support on the blog and via email has already lifted my spirits. Who knows, maybe I can soon tell my mom about all of this?! Mmm... maybe I should wait a few more weeks. She'll have a lot of questions. :)

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  10. Oh No!

    I recently found myself in a very similar situation, so I can totally relate. You WILL get through this.

    *Focuses good vibe tractor beam on you*

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    1. I know, but it's just scary, ya know? But, once I get past the scary part, there's a future filled with optimism ahead of me. And that sounds AMAZING.

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  11. "What if this is EXACTLY the kick in the arse I've needed to go out there and explore my life? What if I pack it all up, throw my stuff in storage and move to Ireland? What if I wait to get laid off, then use unemployment along with no more than 20 hours a week of a part time job and really dedicate myself to writing? What if I gave myself six months to try something new?"

    THIS THIS THIS. Trust me, as someone whose life has been in a state of flux for about five years now, and has changed drastically and unexpectedly and for the positive from just a year ago. THIS.

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    1. I can tell already that I'm going to be coming to you for A LOT of advice in the months to come if things play out the way I think they might.

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  12. Hang in there! I tend to agree with Margo...maybe this is the window than opens when all the doors are closing (Gotta love Sound of Music, right!?).

    Kudos to you for keeping a good perspective and hopeful spirit. I'll be thinkin' of ya!

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    1. I've been thinking about the Sound of Music ever since you posted this, but I looked up the Korean drama you mentioned, and now I'm torn on what to watch. :) I blame you for this confusion.

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  13. Gosh girl, I had so many emotions when I read this. First, that's awful about your job, but second, you are so positive and it sounds like you have an incredible net around you! Change always brings something good even if it's completely nerve-racking at the time. Good luck on everything and we're all here for you if you need anything :)

    Keep us posted!

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    1. Thanks, Juliana. Trust me--I had so many emotions writing it! The hardest was the embarrassment, but then I figured maybe this can be a learning experience for someone else, and I decided to post.

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  14. Oh goodness! What a great attitude you have developed through this stressful time, and I love your insight to how this might be the opportunity to try something new, to maybe even focus more on writing! So glad you have an amazing support network. Keep us updated on how things go....

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    1. Thanks, Margo. I will certainly keep people posted--I'm thinking of how I can make a blog "series" (let's use that term loosely) out of this. Things I'm learning or need to consider, that kind of stuff...

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  15. Sending you lots and lots of hugs and positive vibes. I love the positive way you're looking at this, and it's a wonderful opportunity to have a think about all the new possibilities ahead.

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  16. I completely agree with you Morgan. Moving is very tough task and one cannot keep his moving cost under control. Although, some points mentioned in this Ontario Moving Companies blog are very nice and may be helpful in controlling our moving expenses.

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