Let’s pretend it’s the last week of August, and that we’re not well into September, okay? My word of the day calendar is on August 16th and my monthly calendar says August, so that counts.
August was an interesting month. I celebrated Trevor’s Birthday on the day that Robin Williams killed himself. That brought up a lot of emotions that I didn’t think I was feeling that day. To summarize: suicide sucks, people should talk about it more.
I celebrated life day on August 17th by working, going school supplies shopping, and then going to a meeting, all with the man that I love. It was a great day. At the meeting that night, I heard a man share his story, and he spoke about how with 14 years clean (that might be wrong) he is struggling with depression, and trying to figure all that out. I learned that when people take the drugs away, and then get into a deep depression, they often go quickly to thoughts of suicide. That’s scary. But I heard that man say, “If I killed myself, I would be killing an innocent man,” which was very powerful.
A lot of situations this month have called for a bit of humility, which has been difficult to varying degrees. I cannot control other people or the decisions they make. Just because I am with someone at their lowest point, doesn’t mean they are going to get better just because I am trying to pull them up. Everyone is on their own path, and if that means I need to let go of that persons hand so that they can have their own journey, that’s what I need to do. It doesn’t make me a shitty friend. It especially doesn’t mean that I am a bad person because I couldn’t make that person happy.
I started a new semester. There is this thought in the back of my head when it comes to teaching that we talk about a lot in class – fitness to teach. If I am feeling depressed, or suicidal, or if I am having problems with my recovery, will I be able to leave that at home when I go to teach everyday? Will I even be able to get out of bed? Now is the time to learn. And I wont learn unless I try it. And if the answer is no, if the answer is that depression will sometimes swallow me whole, and I will need compassion, and patience, and extra sick days – then maybe teaching is not for me. And that’s okay. I am feeling hopeful right now.
That leads me to talking about my job. The confidence it has given me. The fact that some days I am feeling depressed, and drained, and pissed off. But then a whole family comes in, and they want to throw glitter everywhere and waste paint and have a positive experience, so that means that I need to leave all my negativity in the back room, put a smile on, and make these people want to come back to my business. The negativity will always be right where I left it if I decide I need to pick it up again. I have adopted that attitude in school, and it makes me believe that I can be a good, consistent teacher (or great at whatever dream job I think of next).
My job has been incredible. It has given me the confidence to suggest terrible ideas that lead to okay ideas that lead to terrible ideas that I learn from. Connecting to strangers because I am passionate about what I am doing has lead to some amazing conversations. I have learned so much. I can have a conversation with one person, and then hear someone in the other room mention casually that they might want a different size paint brush, so I wrap up the conversation I am having about different strengths of glue, grab a selection of paintbrushes, sweep up a pile of glitter, stop a small child from knocking over a shelf of glass jars, and get those paintbrushes to the customer before their friend can respond, “I think they’re on the windowsill”. I can put paint back in a bottle without letting it mix with other paints that the palette is full of; I can sort sequins, rhinestones, nails, bottle caps, and beads; I can sort glitter from sawdust; I can grab handfulls of screen printing ink and put it back in the container without getting it on my clothes; I can save a project for someone and then see them four months later and remember what project they were working on; I can listen to someone talk about a scrap of wood, and understand the vision they have for it, and then help them make it happen – that part is the best. I love my job. I am really good at my job. I have decided to leave my job. I wont say much about it, except that it was a difficult decision. [insert metaphor about being a kid and really wanting something even though it was bad for you and your parents said no and you threw a huge fit even though you knew they were right] – except that in this situation I am the parent AND the kid throwing a huge fit.
I have made huge gains in not letting men shape my identity or self-worth. A lot of the work I did in getting through that I will try to apply to leaving Craft. I’ll have to remember this when I fall in love with my next job.
This post is long, so I’ll wrap it up by talking about my birthday. The biggest thought I have about my birthday is that when I am in my 50s, I will look at me now and think, “Come on girl, why were you so hard on yourself, how could you possibly have known how you wanted your life to go”? When I am 80 years-old, I will look at my 50s and think, “oh, I was so young, why did I take myself so seriously? Why did I think I had it all figured out?”. Basically, at any point in my life, I am a child. I am silly. Today I googled, “How to: Meet Billy Idol”. So, I hope to remain mindful and constantly forgiving of myself – to always remember that all I am doing is the best I can do. Today I was writing about what characteristics my higher power has and I wrote that it is instantly forgiving. That it is almost not forgiving because there’s nothing to forgive – I am exactly the way I should be, at every moment. I hope I don’t forget that.
Quote of my Birthday: “24 hours is not long enough to celebrate your life. So, as far as I’m concerned, your Birthday continues tomorrow” – J.
Also, I had a unicorn shaped birthday cake, because dreams come true when you make them come true.