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.