Work Hard 

Yesterday a friend and I were discussing how millennials get talked about for job hopping, even when it’s in our best interest.  I definitely think it’s true and that it happens for other reasons as well. Sometimes I think we [I] are just wondering if it’s possible to leave a job simply because we’re not happy.  I’m NOT saying that bills and other responsibilities shouldn’t also be considered. I’m just saying I also don’t think it’s healthy to have a society that focuses so much on appearances that people are more likely to “push through” a job or situation that makes them unhappy because of societal pressures/norms. 

It sounds cliche, but, as it’s something I’ve experienced, I wish we were able to put more importance on our own happiness. It’s sad when we have to accept not being satisfied with things in our life. Feeling like we don’t have a choice or nothing will improve anyway. Or to take the chance isn’t worth it because you’ll be ridiculed for it. 

At the end of the day, I’d just like it to be okay for people to strive for happiness in their lives. 

Because otherwise…what’s the point?

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64

Today is my mom’s birthday. She’d be 64 today. Which, when I think about it, is kind of wild because that’s still young! So very young.

Some people have asked me how I’ve been today, and I made it through. I told one friend that it’s an ongoing thing anyway. It comes and it goes. I had moments, I have moments…I’ll have more. I think I’ll probably spend some time thinking a lot before bed. Makes sense, since I was busy at work. Despite being unable to focus (non-related). Watching Black Girls Rock tonight actually made me all emotional, so I had to turn it off. I’ll finish it another day. I try not to romanticize my parents. They weren’t perfect by far. I’m sure my mom and I would have some disagreements these days. I’ve changed in these soon to be 8 years. But I loved my mother fiercely, and it’s hard not to. Regardless.

I miss her so much.

I’ve written before about how I can’t imagine many things in my life without her. Even though it’s happening, I’m living that unfortunate life, it’s still hard to think of other things further down the line. Being in a relationship, I definitely think about marriage more. I literally can’t imagine a wedding and having a good time without my mother. I know the reality is that I’m sure I would have a great time, and it would be a lovely affair. But…the thought of it actually makes me really sad. What am I supposed to do without her? I don’t know, for sure, if I want kids, but how do I do that without her? Again, I know that…I’ve obviously done things since my mom died. Big and small. Since my parents have died. But none of them have been as good as they could have been. My fear is that the same thing would happen around a wedding or the birth (or adoption) of a child. I also know there are many ways to somehow include family members/loved ones who have died in events. I’ll almost certainly do that. How can I not? But no one tells you how hard the living would be afterward. And, as happy as I am with a few aspects of my life, that feeling is always there.

Happy Birthday, Lady.

& Now

I moved. Super happy for the big picture. I wasn’t at all happy where I was. Although I had semi-recently formed some friendships…so I was sad to leave those, but I know our friendship won’t end just because I’m not there. Being laid off from your job definitely has pros/cons. I keep telling myself (and others) that I’m trying to look at this as an opportunity. As I was telling my cousin yesterday, if I hadn’t been laid off, I’m not sure when I would have moved/left. Despite my desire to leave, I was also afraid of quitting my job to just pick up and move. But part of that decision was taken away from me, so here I am lol

It’s been pretty good so far. I’ve missed the city, the diversity, the food, my friends. Still looking for a job, but that’s to be expected. I was talking to my cousin yesterday about my future and not getting stuck again. I’ve never been a risk taker, but I’m at the point in my life where many things are a risk. Especially if I want to continue on this search for happiness. Here I’m reminding myself that the word I chose for this year was endeavor. Which, for me, includes some aspect of risk. I don’t like that lol But I guess that’s why it’s good.

This weekend my uncle has been visiting…I haven’t seen him in a long while, so it’s been nice. He’s also helping his daughter with some things around the house and his granddaughter with some things. Sometimes I get sad watching them. That’s why I decided to write here, it’s one way for me to express the combination of: being happy to see him, happy seeing him help and just the dynamic of his relationship with the two of them..plus my own sadness/memories.

Anyway. I’m definitely going to try to be more intentional with my pursuit of employment.  I’m not trying to have more jobs I dislike…escaping from darkness can be liberating, but the threat still lingers..and I don’t want to go back to that place.

Cinema

Tonight I watched a movie about a widower who traveled across the country to visit his kids. Robert DeNiro was in it, so I figured I’d give it a chance. Plus, I saw it as a preview in another movie I watched. I enjoyed it overall…one part of the plot involved the kids talking more to their mother, over the course of their lives, than their father. This continued after their mother’s death as well. They told their father only what he wanted to hear, while being more honest with their mom (the mother kept things from the father also since he worried a lot/pushed the kids to be perfect).

This reminded me of my relationship with my parents (of course lol)..though a tad different. But growing up my sister and I were much closer to my mom than my father. I didn’t lie to my father, but I told him more good things than bad. It was only in the last couple of years before his death (and after my mom died), that I started telling him when I was worried or stressed..or in need. Sometimes.

Watching Robert DeNiro go across the country visiting his kids (NY – Chicago – Denver – Vegas) also made me realize how much I [will] miss growing up (because despite being 28, I still feel, amazingly, like a child lol)..getting older without my parents. It’s something I’ve thought about before, specifically in terms of big life events, but this just made me think of the small things. Small things I know my mom would do and, I guess, small things I might do with my father..and things he’d do in his own way. There are a set of cousins in particular, and their parents, who I love so dearly because of the support they have offered my sister and I, especially in the wake of our parents’ deaths. I see their posts (whether my aunt’s or uncle’s posts about their kids or my cousins’ posts about their parents or their own children) and it makes my heart ache.  I suppose what it boils down to is I don’t feel like a daughter anymore. And the loneliness, the emptiness, of such a realization still hurts.

This is an anomaly for me…two posts so close together. But what am I to do at 2am when I’m mulling over things. I think I’ve liked quotes for awhile, but recently I’ve become all about them. I got The Fault In Our Stars as a birthday gift and read it voraciously over the course of  2 days. I probably could have finished it faster, but I did need to sleep and study lol I loved that book and I want to reread it. It was a beautifully sad book. One thing that one of the characters said stuck with me and I’m certain I marked the page to write it down later. But it is the focus of my thoughts this early/late morning: “Grief does not change you…It reveals you.”

Immediately I think to myself that whoever does read my blog is tired of ‘hearing’ me write about this. But I’m sure a number of individuals would tell me that I can if I want to…I should if I want to…and it is my blog after all lol People don’t HAVE to read. But I digress.

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I try to think of who I was “before”. That’s kind of what I’ve come to think of my life as. Or at least what I’m thinking right now. Who knows, in the morning this could change. There was “before” and there’s now. Obviously I’m not the same as I was “before”. Aside from the ‘events’, time has passed. Regardless I’d have changed. But is there irreparable damage? Sometimes I feel I’m a great deal more callous than I was. I don’t like that I’m like that..I’ve never said I was a really nice person lol I’m sarcastic and monotone, deadpan at times, but callous was not a word I’d have used to describe myself in the past. “Before”. It’s shameful. The logical part of me knows I can’t blame all things on grief. Hindsight is 20/20, it’s true. But hurt people hurt people is also true.

If grief reveals me…I’m not sure I like what its uncovered.

Two weeks ago I had a relatively good week. Definitely wasn’t expected, but I thought it would be fleeting. & it was. But I was talking to C about it and how since I was ‘distracted’, essentially, things didn’t seem as bad.  I’ve been here before…last semester, the day before I was going to see my father, I was pretty happy. Still dealing with my mother’s death, but with C’s help I felt like I was finally making some type of progress. Finally seeing beyond the fog. And then my father died and all of a sudden I was plunged back into the same arena I thought I was emerging from.

Going through the stages of grief I recognize the emotions and thoughts I’m having in regards to my father as similar to the ones I had when my mother died. Of course there are differences because the relationship I had with my father was vastly different from the one I had with my mother. To this, however, we add a third line of now having neither of them which is an entirely different matter. It’s hard to sort through these things, especially given everything else going on…trying to graduate, figuring out what to do after graduation/with my life, along with the other things constantly running across my mind. For someone as analytical as I am, all of this is frustrating and even makes me angry. Recently I’ve been thinking that if I post/say/do something “normal”, that means I’m not…sad (seems inadequate, but it’ll do). Logically, I know that’s not true and I don’t have to put on a happy face..or a sad one for that matter. I don’t have to feel guilty for being happy sometimes or for having a good day. A good week. Smiling. Laughing. By that same token, it’s also okay if I’m angry or sad or whatever the case may be.

It’s only been 2 months and 5 days…I tell myself on a fairly regular basis that I shouldn’t feel the way I do, but it hasn’t been that long. Even if it had been, the fact remains that any death leaves behind its mark on loved ones. And that’s okay. C tells me all the time to give myself permission to feel. Permission to…be angry, be sad, not talk, keep to myself, be…whatever it is that I am. It’s hard for me to do that, but I am going to try. At the same time, I will try to give myself permission to smile when I want to or laugh or have fun.

I’ve lost a lot of motivation…it seems things happen right in the thick of everything else. I have decisions to make and things to think about, but at the same time I’m trying to process all of this and it can be overwhelming. Balance is all off lol Again, I think C would say that’s okay. She’s always talking about taking “baby steps” lol So I’ll try to do that I guess. Take the things I need to do and kind of prioritize and do them in steps. That’s all I can do at this point. I want to avoid going to the place I was in when my mom died, but somehow it seems inevitable because my father’s death automatically makes me relive my mom’s while also having its own nuances. It’s all wrapped up together. I’m deciding to try to fight it and try to remember that as I emerged from the fog before, it can happen again. But the process is not to be rushed. Right now my only goal is not to give up. Despite…everything…I cannot give up.

Oh, hi…

I’m going to try to make this quick since I’m tired and want to get up early.

I haven’t written in awhile. It’s weird. I think awhile ago I was realizing how much I write here and was wondering if that was good or not. I was actually considering closing/canceling my account. But I haven’t as yet.

This has been a really difficult semester. It’s over though, thank God. But it’s been hard.

This semester I saw a new counselor lady. Let’s call her B. She’s my age, which was weird sometimes, but kinda cool too, I think. I like her..she reminds me a little of one of my kids, actually. She’s definitely different than the one I had last year, but I like her. She’s really nice. Very personable and easy to talk to. She teared up when I talk about my mom and how I feel and stuff. I can tell she really empathizes with me. I usually swallowed my tears when they threaten to come to the surface during one of our “sessions”. B gave me an assignment once…not to push down my emotions or feelings when I get sad or whatever, when it comes to my mom. It’s an interesting situation, though, because I don’t necessarily/really want to talk about it, but I’m not supposed to push it down either. So I had to find other ways to deal with it. But now I’ve taken to applying that to multiple areas. I’ve always been an emotional person, I just don’t show those emotions. She has me showing them now. I told her I blamed her for my reaction to things being tears now. Madness.

Though this semester has been tough, it’s also had some good as well. I’ve gained a renewed appreciation for the people in my life. I have a really good support system and amazing friends and sisters. Trying to get reconnected with some people who I haven’t talked to in awhile. But yay to them and who they are…and who they will be. Additionally, I’ve met new people, who I now can’t imagine my life without. And I’m thankful for that.

Anyway. Talking to B every week has definitely helped me out, our last session was last week and I’m taking it better than I thought, I think. I kind of miss the sessions though, is that weird? She asked me how I felt about it and I told her I had gotten used to it…to talking things through with her and…I guess to her “probing” questions. She had me thinking about things sometimes in ways I hadn’t before or even when I didn’t want to think/talk about them. Not that she forced me to talk. Because she didn’t. I think I kind of felt like, I might as well talk to her, that’s what I came for. Anyway. I guess that’s all for now. Maybe more later.