The difference between what you’re capable of doing and what you do love doing is a matter of life and death. I was capable of ignoring my feelings about my mother’s death and what it did to me. I was capable of keeping my feelings to myself. I was capable of sticking with safe jobs, safe partners and safe life choices. I was capable of letting her loss overtake my life. I was capable of having her memory be a curse that left me beaten down and hopeless but committing to do what I love (writing, cultivating meaningful friendships and relationships, traveling, exploring, smiling at strangers) is my way of honoring her.
An amazing mother deserves a successful, life-loving daughter who tries to be the very best human she can be, which is a proper segue to say today was my last day at a job I didn’t love doing.
I was plenty capable of doing it but it inhibited my ability to live life to the fullest. The sneaky, slow and steady digression was like a carbon monoxide leak. You can’t smell it but the detector is clearly going off telling you to vacate the premises and if you don’t listen, you will die.
At times I found myself before an imaginary tribunal holding up shiny apples with monikers like love, diet, exercise regimen, and 401k trying to distract their judging eyes from my mealy career red delicious. But my tribunal was full of authority figures from 90s sitcoms. James Avery, Phylicia Rashad and the guy who played Mr. Feeny just shook their heads.
The silver lining of grief is that you are profoundly drawn to an overwhelming gratitude for the years, months, days, moments and seconds you do have in life. You realize how important each one is and how very responsible you are for what you make of it.
My plans for the next phase are as specific as they are undefined. I will be blogging my whole way through it because it’s the only way I can figure out what I think. Sneak preview: book projects, public speaking, art classes and a cast of characters.