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« A Day With Pink Ducky Part Deux | Main | My Wife is the Antichrist in the A.M. »

Straddling the Line

It’s been just over a week since I lost my job.

I’ve woken up in the morning, helped get the kids ready for school and out the door. I’ve written blog posts. I’ve cranked-up my obsession with working out to a level to where I’m sure I’ll get injured soon.

I’ve been pissed as shit. I’ve been depressed. I’ve spent my time feeling helpless, letting distractions rule me, and occasionally fed-off bursts of incredible support and energy.

Yeah…right now, I feel like a victim and I’m not scared to say that. But it’s been nine days…and now I straddle that line.

On one side I can continue to slip…turn a blind-eye, wake up months from now with still nothing.

On the other, I can move on, flip my chin to what’s left behind, all while leaving small motivational bits and stories in my wake.

The way my son looks at me after everything he does makes me feel like a rock star. The way my daughter snuggles closer to me in the mornings when I crawl into bed with her to wake her makes my heart break. My family is my motivation. But pride, as a man, is my downfall. And my pride’s just been buried six-feet down and a tombstone reading “you were fired” has been slapped down forever marking my time on this orbiting rock.

But I won’t dwell. I won’t be gotten the best of.

I’ll never forget laying in bed with my wife in college, then after we first moved in, then after we had kids….and a million other times where I’ve said…. “I’m gonna make $1 million before I turn 30.” I’m 34 now.

But with time comes lessons, some learned harder than others. Risks – bring on a whole new meaning. Love – we could all write books about love. Family – it’s what defines you, and later, you find the pen in your hand with a wife and children eagerly looking at you to begin writing their chapters. Jobs – they’re the essential component in the glue holding everything together but it DOES NOT make you the person you are.

The loss of my job does not define me. It’s humbled me. It’s made stop dead. It’s made the musical soundtrack of my life adjust yet one more time. It’s made my vision of life, family, love, profession….change…..again.

When I was a kid I told myself I’d never be like my father. When I was 10, I told my brother the same. When I was a teenager, I told my future wife the same tale. When I was in college I wrote endlessly about it. When my first born entered our lives I journaled this continued promise vowing this transformation would never happen.

My current situation has me closer to being my father than I could have ever imagined I’d experience.

So I’m putting the gloves back on. The mouthpiece is back in. And I just glanced over my shoulder to see if my family showed up for their front row seats. And I can see them all lined up, leaning forward, looking at each other for reassurance, but throwing fake confidence my way. And I’m loving it…cause I’m about to cross back the fuck over and move on..far….far away from that dividing line…and fulfill a promise made long ago….to more than provide…but BE someone.

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Reader Comments (26)

You're the one that has to look yourself in the mirror every morning. The rest always seems to fall into place. That's what I've told my husband when he's been on the verge of making weighty career decisions. Sure he had a job once that paid well, and benefits were good, but he was so pissed off every day he came home. All he would do is vent for about 45 minutes EVERY day. So he took a risk, and finally 6 years later, it's really paid off. Not in the way we expected, but it all worked out, and our family is much happier as well. You can do it too.

December 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

You are a rockstar, and an amazing father. I am sure you will do awesome and amazing things, and screw your old job.

December 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMamaBennie

Can you hear me clapping? You're getting a standing ovation (of one) here in Montreal. Your family will always be in those front row seats, cheering you on no matter where life takes you all just because you are the guy that you are.

December 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKat

Hell ya!

The impermanence of life sometimes catches us off guard and throws us off but the same impermanence is what makes life great as we're always given an opportunity to change and do something new. It's hard when these decisions are made for us but the result, as unexpected as it is, is the same.

December 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLaurie (@GoodByeGracie)

Damn daddy. What are these wet things falling out of my eyes? I will cut you if you make my cold black heart beat. Now get out there and KICK SOMEONE'S ASS! Also, with this new found energy throw you wife on the bed and bang her senseless.

December 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLady of the House

though it may not seem so right now, it's a good thing that you're feeling all those different feelings. embrace them--even the not-so-good feelings for they are friction and will give you texture. some of the most beautiful things in the world are woven from the thread of misfortune. i speak from experience. so keep that fucking mouthguard in, throw your best punches, and knock that pussy to the canvass. you know you can. and so does the incredible family sitting in the front row. not to mention those of us following the fight on line. Merry Christmas, brother.

December 11, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjohn cave osborne

(Rocky theme playing in the background) You go get em champ. Kick some ass and take some names.

December 11, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermepsipax

You ARE a husband. You ARE a father. You ARE a brother. You ARE a son. You ARE a good person. You ARE a twitter

My first job told me one day around thanksgiving that I was on the verge of being fired. Long story short it was office politics, the good ole' boy network and a woman sleeping with one of the other bosses that despised me. (no, I have not let the grudge go). I was devastated. I still remember sitting in my closet floor the next day - sobbing. This is NOT who my parents raised me to be. I was not the type person that would ever be fired! Fact of the matter is, anyone can be that person. Especially in todays economy. Doesn't make it any easier though. It's a terrible feeling with a whole set of emotions that still to this day reside in me and I have as a reminder for self-improvement and decision making. I know now not to go down certain paths in my career and more importantly I know now job relationships are just that - a job. It's not personal it's business.

My path after I turned in my resignation a few weeks later has been bumpy. But overall it's been less stressful and I'm glad I made the decision to leave that place. Financially, I'm in a better place now. My present job is less stressful even though I really wish I could find something else. But,'s business. A necessary evil. Grin and bear it. Do it so I can hug my husband and my son every night. They are what matters.

Good luck. I know wonderful things will come your way. You are too talented for them not to!

December 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNikki (Becomedizzy)

Go get 'em, Tiger!

December 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMimiRuse


December 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMimiRuse

I was fired once. I was DEVASTED. It wasn't for poor performance. It was because I wasn't the right fit for the job. They wanted a VP type person to work in an admin type role. I'm not a VP, nor do I aspire to be.

Anyways...begin fired is the best thing that ever happened to me. It happened that day we signed the papers for our first house, and 2 weeks after I found out I was pregnant with our second child. I loathed my boss and thought he was a micro-managing egomaniac. He did me a favour, even though at the time, I wanted to vomit repeatedly.

Now, I'm in the best place ever! I'm running my own business, I work part time for a non-profit...and best of all, I'm home with my kids 87% of the time. It changed my life for the better.

You have a good attitude. You'll be fine. :)

December 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmber (theamberness)

You are doing a great job. Keep trying to let that big old f'king ball of anxiety and torment drive your ass instead of sitting on top of your chest.

December 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLotta

It's in the bag. You got this one! ;-) Lisa

December 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLisaB

So beautifully written
When people have fallen on hard times I never know what to say because we all go through a roller coaster of emotions- Just hold on tight :)

December 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

Not at all the same situation but hubby just took a new job and pay cut for a job that he loves. I wasnt sure about it at first but we are all much happier. You are a dynamic person that anyone would be lucky to employ!! Not to mention it sounds like you don't hit your wife and kids too often.

December 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLori Wescott

Do it. You can do it. Yes you can! ;o) Seriously, you can.

December 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRestless Mama

Of course you are going to feel like you've been kicked in the "indelicate place". You are incredibly amazing, but lets face it, there was only one Superman. Life is all about peaks and valleys. It's how you handle the depth of the valley, THAT shows the true man you are.

You love that amazing wife, who makes you poop yourself on occasion. You love those two beautiful children. You are showing them how to handle the crazy things life throws your way. They will ALWAYS be there to cheer you on.

You've got this man! Go get 'em!

December 11, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkathygee1

And you have tons of people rooting for you! With this much support and positive energy coming your way, you can only win!

December 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLeslee Horner

Holy Shit Son! You gave me goosebumps! Awesome post! I wish I had me one of you! your wife and kids should be proud... you are a regular good guy.

December 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTheresa AKA SleeplessInSimi

Awesome! You've got it right...your family is there in the front row and they will cheer you on no matter what! It's called unconditional love, and you seem to be basking in it!
Hang in'll know the right thing to do when the time comes! Go for what you want!

December 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTerry

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