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Time To Get Off This Spot

It’s been some time since I last updated on my current situation.

The summary…Big-eared, gap-toothed freak gets job in Chicago, lives in empty house on air mattress alone in Chicago while his family tries to sell their house in Virginia, four months later said family moves to Chicago, freak works at new job for exactly18 months before being given a choice to stay at half the salary or leave and get full salary for three full months…gap-toothed freak decides to leave after searching soul and talking with friends, colleagues and family.

December 1, 2009, was the first day of unemployment and the beginning of a pretty incredible internal journey. I woke up and had nowhere to go. The kids went to school, the wifey headed off to her job, and there I was…disheveled, hung-over from feeling sorry for myself the night before, scratching myself, and looking around the house thinking, “OK…now what?”

I had a brief explosion of support from my kick-ass Twitter peeps. I pimped my resume far and wide, and met and talked to some really great, helpful people.

This is a really bad comparison, but I imagine this is kind of what it’s like when you lose someone close to you. You find out who your true friends are and they rally around you. And, for a short time you feel like you can conquer the world. But then they leave because they have their lives to live. They have their families to take care of…

Then I found myself one early morning seven weeks later standing there, disheveled, hung-over from feeling sorry for myself the night before, scratching myself, and looking around the house thinking, “I have absolutely no place in this life.”

What used to be 5 a.m. daily runs have turned into 6:45 a.m. snooze-bar workouts.

I drink more than I should at night because…well because fuck it, I don’t have to work tomorrow.

I didn’t shave or cut my hair for weeks and was introduced by the wifey to the term “beard funk.”

My son was sitting on my lap the other day and reached out and poked my stomach.

I find myself regularly and randomly telling the cat secrets and make him “pinky-swear not to tell!!”

After interviewing for what would be my dream job, I got an email letting me know they’re “pursuing another candidate.”

Last week I spent the day with the executive director of a great organization here in the Chicago suburbs. I’ve worked with her since I’ve been in Chicago and she wanted to discuss a new position being created that she wants me to take. She has to go through the motions associated with advertising it, but when all is said-and-done, she says the job is mine. Of course I won’t consider it mine till the paperwork is signed and I’m on board, but still it’s a huge relief.

And as phenomenal and fortunate as that is, I’m still here in this spot. The spot where I’ve stood since the day I was let go. Watching life pass by each day. A ghost of me interacting with my family and friends. Self pity lurking in every corner ready to be grasped as an excuse when needed.

So why am I not happy with this very fortunate news? And I realized, I’m ecstatic with the news, I’m just not happy with myself and how I’ve handled this situation. And even more so—I think I’ve been waiting for someone to come by and pick me up, fix things, show me the new course to follow, then pat me on my ass and say, “now go get em tiger!”

But life doesn’t happen like that. Life’s going to continue with or without me—that much I have learned. And I’ve got such a great group of family and friends—but they all have their lives to lead too.

All you parents out there who’ve seen Nemo 4,398,219 times remember the scene when Marlin and Dory are with the turtles riding the East Australian Current and little Squirt gets tossed out into the still water. Crush, the father, says, “let us see what little Squirt does flying solo.”

It’s time for me to move off this spot. It’s time for me to cut the hair, trim the beard, get back in my regular routine, and leap back into the wild ride of the current of life I’ve ignored for too damn long. No one’s going to come out there and grab me and pull be back in. I’ve gotta do it on my own.