Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Freedom

The past two weeks have been a roller coaster of ups and downs, unpredictably alternating between exhilaration and stomach-churning. It's not surprising, really, when you consider that twenty-three years of something that was once quite wonderful came to an official end. Endings can be difficult and this one certainly fell into that category. I mourned that ending, but that, too, is over.

After getting furloughed in early May, I spent the next six weeks in a professional funk. Unable to find a full-time position with benefits, I took whatever jobs I could find to keep money coming in. There are these pesky things called bills that don't stop coming in just because you lose your job. The landlord and the car insurance folks don't care about your employment status. They want their damn money, honey. So, I kept telling myself, "Chin up, girl, it's only temporary", while I worked two part-time jobs that I didn't love. In fact, I'll admit that I really disliked one of them, but it was money and a momma does what a momma has to do. Even my sweet baby girl found a full-time job. (When we figured out that she was earning more at 17 yrs old than I could make at 48, I really felt good about myself.) After a particularly bad day at the restaurant, when I came home with empty pockets because not a single beer drinker came in, I was just plain worried that we might end up living in our car. I didn't sleep much that night.

Monday morning, before I left for work, I applied online to an ad on Craig's List. The owner of the company called later that afternoon, but I wasn't able to answer because I was looking at an empty restaurant, wondering how Lauren, Bear, and I would all live in my car. Thankfully, the night was busy and I made great money and went home feeling more positive about our future. I returned the call on Tuesday morning and was asked to interview.

I'm proud to say that I accepted a new job with a nice little business about ten miles from home. I'm excited to go back to a professional setting and work with professional people. The pay can't compare to federal government pay in DC, of course, but it's good for the Keys. The best part is that it's consistent and reliable and there's potential for growth. (I'm not talking about my dress size, either. That's a given.) We will not have to live in a car!

In celebration of my new gig, I dumped the crappiest of my part-time jobs toute suite. Sayonara. Adios. Au Revoir. Good riddance. That felt really good. I wanted to quit twice, just to experience the joy more fully, but they wouldn't take my call. Huh. Odd.

So I go into the 4th of July weekend full of positivity and hope for the future. On this Independence Day, my freedom has new meaning. My life has new meaning. I am free. I am independent. Every choice I make will be my own. I will do only what I want to do. If it makes me unhappy, I just won't do it. What a fucking concept!!!

Embrace your personal freedom, readers!!! Celebrate Independence Day with a bang. (You may interpret that however your little ole heart desires.)

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