I ended my job at the transit company six months ago today.
In the past six months, my entire life has been in a state of beautiful tumult as I’ve been finding my feet again. So much so, that doing a single, simple blog post about it all seems like not enough.
I have pages and pages and PAGES of journaling that happened between then and now. I have watched as my body and mind have come to terms with the lack of structure in my days, both being “free” and “bound” at the same time. I have so much to reflect on, really, but there are a few key highlights that keep bubbling up to the surface on this weird little milestone day.
Firstly, I don’t miss that job.
Not one iota.
It was the last straw in terms of my own physical health, and the chaos and trauma that being a worker with the General Public caused me is still being tabulated in my mind and body. I have been spending a LOT of time just unpacking the anxiety around managing the behaviors of so many people in so many disparate places in their lives, and what it meant to have that kind of melting pot occurring on my 200’ long train.
I should have filed for disability. I should have made a Worker’s Compensation claim for what I endured.
I should have quit long ago.
Second, I have learned that, if you want to escape from the workday grind, as it were, there is very little on the outside of that framework that’ll support you. It is, simply put, living by the skin of your teeth. I learned, the hard way, that the bills keep coming, even if the paychecks don’t.
I’ve spent a lot of time, laying in bed, realizing that my life, and all of its simple trappings (gas in the Jeep, a roof over my head, money for laundry and the light bill, let alone food in the fridge) is all down to me, my choices, and the ways I connect to others. I’m relying on my own sense of worth, and finding myself leaning deep into the kindness of others more than I feel totally comfortable with. The act of leaving the “nest” of a steady paycheck situation means you’re going to fall, sometimes without grace, and you will go through a purification of a sort.
Things that once had major precedence in my life have fallen to the wayside.
I have learned a fundamental lesson about what qualifies as food and comfort and love.
I have learned to find joy in very dark places, simply to give myself the impetus to keep trying.
I have learned that I have a better inner strength than I first thought.
I have learned to trust my guts more, and to put my faith in the Universe a lot more, especially when things feel heavier than ever.
Through all of this is David, and my relationship to him. After my divorce, and recognizing that the way I love had to change, he returned, and in the time we’ve been here, on our own, we’ve both lowered our guards and walls even more around each other. The intimacy continues to grow, and we are less and less apt to cordon ourselves off from each other.
I know when his mental health is shaky, and how to both support him and keep my own balance, knowing full well I cannot fix this for him. I’ve learned to share when I’m feeling the slightest bit anxious about something, in terms that are pure and simple, so as to avoid them boiling over in any sort of way that causes a rupture or distance between us. I own my mistakes more fully.
I also trust him unlike I’ve trusted anyone before. With everything. I can come to him with the stupidest quirk or tweak in my mind, and he keeps me on my path, gently reassuring me that my mind is still healing and recovering from years of destructive and damaging thoughts and trauma. I know that I can just be me – and that being me is enough for him.
The moments when he reaches over to rub my fur while we share an evening playing video games quietly in the same room are some of the best moments of intimacy I’ve ever experienced.
Today, for the first time, I feel like I’m going to be okay.
I feel like I’ve got enough time and revenue streams coming into my life to support us in a way that’s not unfeasible. David has had to take a break from employment to manage his own health, but we collaborate to make money online, and he’s been good about not asking for more than I can provide (and I’ve been good about keeping myself honest about the promises I make – and not going beyond my means).
I have a cadre of utterly amazing clients both online and at the health club who I enjoy working with and who connect with me in lovely ways.
The rent will get paid.
The bills will get paid.
There will be food every day for David and I to enjoy.
The dog will have his treats and walks.
The smile on my face will remain.