When I was a kid my dad would always tell me that those willing to sacrifice will always be the ones first rewarded. I wasn't sure what sacrifice meant way back then and sometimes I'm still not sure.
When I was still working sacrifice must have been the horrible commute I unhappily drove every day to ensure my children had a secure future. Sacrifice must have been the lunches I never took because someone always seem to need something from me right about noon. Sacrifice most definitely were the hours I worked after I put my children to bed sometimes until it was almost time to start the day over again. I look back at these 'sacrifices' and start to wonder who the hell I was doing them for and when exactly are the rewards going to start rolling in? Surely the reward wasn't getting let go from a job that I dedicated so much of my life to just because it was cheaper to hire a consultant to do my job. And the reward isn't the endless amount of time I spend searching job boards, posting resumes, and trying to convince people I'm not as worthless as my prior employer made me feel. And the reward cannot be the fact that I am so damn pissed off that I even have to go back to work because I absolutely love being with my kids and it's just no fair that some women get to have husbands that bring home the bacon and it's enough to fill four plates. Maybe my dad had it wrong, those that sacrifice are not the ones rewarded first, they are the ones left stuck in the burning building because they let everyone else escape first.
Sacrifice should never be done in anticipation of a reward because trust me my friend, you'll be waiting a very long time to cash in. If you want to sacrifice just make sure you are doing it for all the right reasons.
Sometimes in non-particular moments of the day I get flashes of what my life used to be like and for a split second I feel envy of that 'girl' I used to be. It isn't that I regret having children or getting married, it's that I have not been able to combine the best of both selves into one. I used to be more creative writing songs and playing the guitar but now there seems to be little time to do anything more creative than making a Halloween costume for my kids. Yes yes I know those are important things and there is some gratification when their eyes light up and they prance around in their costume 24/7 but gratification has taken on such a different form now days. I remember when being gratified came from a few hours of Guinness and some hot...well you know. It is so amazing how a lifetime whizzes past you in a blaze of Glory. Don't misunderstand me, I do have many moments of happiness and peace when I look at my children but sometimes it is so hard to be someone's everything when you feel the emptiness creeping up inside you. Sometimes I feel pathetic for how I feel which seemingly all stems from being unemployed and unable to convince someone that your talents extend beyond a stay-at-home mom. I used to be that 'girl' that wowed everyone because there were so few women in technology. Now I'm just that women that used to do something that used to be important but it's gotten lost in the layers of the crappy economy.
How the hell do you take the anger and release it? I've tried that whole 'push it down and bury it' method and trust me....it doesn't work. I should be able to figure this out, to be happy regardless of the circumstances, but it is always just out of reach. I have to be somewhere in there beneath the anger, outside of the resentment, and inside a glass house that shakes in fear of someone with a stone in their hand.
It has been so long since I've been in this place but I'm so lost from searching where I belong or what meaning my life has that it seemed logical to start in the place where I felt it all made sense.
I've tried to begin so many times now that it seems I'm already nearing the end and I have not even figured out what goes in the middle. I lost my job last December, a job that I put so many blood sweat and tears into that I rarely had any left for myself. I suppose a person could take comfort that so many other people in this economy have ended up the exact same place I have but for some reason I find little warmth in that knowledge. I'm pissed off of course but less about losing my job and more about the way I was treated. Our company went through a reorganization and in with the new came the evil lurking right behind it. People that once were so valued were now worth less than a penny at the bottom of my purse. I guess I was lucky up until that point because hard work always paid off for me and I felt 'appreciated'. Isn't it amazing how you can have so much in your life, a great husband, two wonderful children, but the moment your job stops treating you like a human being you fall off the cliff.
So here I am exactly where I have been for months now, home with my children which pleases me immensely because they have been my salvation. So how then do I feel so lost? So pissed off? Because life costs money and although my husband is still working, thank God, I'm used to being able to purchase things I need without worrying. Today my cat died, he was fifteen. As I sat there next to him listening to him take his last breaths I shouted at God, "What exactly is your plan for me?" I'm so angry, at Him, at myself, at that stupid company that stole the future I had planned out. I used to be able to afford things like an ultra sound for a pet that needed one but now, I cannot. Now I have to weigh which life is more important, my children's or my pet's. Of course I pick my kids but the point is that before I never had to make decisions like that.
So here I am back to this place that gave me solace, a place that provided an outlet to years of pent up anger towards my parents, and a place where somehow I figured it all out and felt whole again. I'm not feeling so whole right now since pieces of me seem to be sputtering down the drain with the rest of my lost plans.
It'll help right? Writing words that total strangers will judge me by? Of course it will because right now being anonymous is exactly how I've felt for the past months.