Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I wish I had something funny to say.

So, I'm sitting here and I can't stop this wretched leaking from the eyes.

(What the fuck eyes, knock. it. off. You're making the nose get in on the action too and that is just.... well, gross.)

In two days I leave the job I've been at for the last two years. And as much as I thought I wanted to leave? As much as I know I have to leave? As much as I know I am making the right choice? Wow. I never thought it would be so hard.

You know how you like to think that without you things would just fall apart and people would feel your absence like a palpable ache in their chest even though you know that's not going to be the case and in actuality you're the only one who's hurting?

Oh, just me then?

Believe me, I have left jobs that I have worked at for much longer than 2 years. I closed a business that I still have dreams about and awake with pangs of displacement that feel like I left something crucial behind while packing for a permanent vacation. But this place.... these last two years.... to say they have been the most intense of my life might be an overstatement... but not by much.

The unfortunate thing is that all my emotions about this place and these people are mixed up with all the emotions and reality of coming to terms with MS. Never will I be able to think about these last two years without the one being inextricably entwined with the other. And never will I be rid of the MS. It's just a big old pile of good and bad and happy and sad and funny and painful memories.... all balled up together.

Two years ago, I walked into this place without a diagnosis. MS was just a possible cause for some unexpected, and conveniently being ignored, MRI results. No, I was not sick. I was sinking my teeth into my first "real" counseling position and it was a challenge. The boys were needy, the parents were demanding and occasionally irrational, many of my coworkers were just as green as me. I was challenged. I didn't falter. I thrived.

However, I couldn't live in feigned ignorance forever. And the diagnosis came. Followed in swift fashion by the medications. And supplements. And symptoms. And side effects. And emotions. And insanity. And fear.

But the boys were just as needy, the parents just as out of touch with reality, and the coworkers had become friends. In some ways, a needed lifeline. To sanity. To strength. To humor. To perseverance. Because no matter how I was feeling? The days marched on. And I was needed, so I was there. I came to need all of them as much as they needed me. Maybe more. Probably more. I'm the one with the palpable ache, after all.

(seriously eyes, give it a rest! do you have any idea how hard it is to type in the dark and while crying?)

((answer: really hard.))

Now, two years later, I am leaving this place.... a changed person. A stronger person. A weaker person. A better counselor. (Actually, a damn good counselor.) A needier person. A snarkier person. A more real person. A scared and sad person. I am leaving all that forged me into this changed person and trying out the fit at a new place. Without support. Untethered. Unneeded. Afraid.

There are so many goodbyes I need to say. So many things I can't say without coming completely unglued. So little time to say them in, if I could.

So I will say them here, anonymously, and hope they find the people meant to see them.

I will miss you.
I will always love you.
I hope I am wrong.
I am so proud of you. (No, more proud than you realize.)
I will never forget you.
Thank you.
I will miss you.
Thank you.
You are stronger than you know.
I'm sorry.
We had fun, didn't we?
Good luck.
Your hug? made the whole year worthwhile.
Thank you.
I'm sorry we didn't have more time.
You always made me smile.
"What the fuck, Doyle?"
I wish things were different.
This is not the end.
Thank you.
I will miss you.
I will miss you.
I will miss you.

I will miss you.

I guess it's time to see how this new me fits - MS and all - in a new environment. But I will never forget the place and people that helped me figure out what this new MS version of me meant.

(not that I am 100% clear on that yet either... it's an ongoing process I suppose.)

((but it's time anyway.))

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sometimes one morning can be like a metaphor for my whole life.

hmmmm.... maybe I should wear a dress today. It's nice to look nice every once in a awhile. How are my legs...? Oh, yeah, going to need to shave.

Okay, legs shaved, yay me! Better moisturize.... hairy legs? bad. dry scaly legs? not much better.

Okay, legs moisturized, yay me! Let's go for the black dress. Black is slimming. Slimming is good.

Yay black dress! Let's go check this out in the mirror..... wait a.... wait.... what?

what. the. fuck.

I am not four months pregnant. The last time I wore this dress, I am pretty sure I didn't *look* four months pregnant. Why do I look four months pregnant?!??

(Sidenote, because I feel the need to clarify: This was not a "gee, the way this dress is all empire waisted makes it look like a maternity dress." This was a "the way this dress is clinging to my bloated midsection makes me look FOUR MONTHS PREGNANT!!!")

((Note to self: Invest in some spanx. Soon. Like, now.))

Okay, new outfit..... shit..... what am I going to wear? What doesn't make me look pregnant? Let's start with black pants then. Black is slimming. In theory. Slimming is still good. In theory.

Dammit! These underwear do *not* go with pants....

hmmmm.... okay, cute little black and white top with a black crop sweater...... whoaaaaaa..... too much cleavage. Cute little black and white top *with* a black camisole *and* a black crop sweater..... a black camisole that apparently can double as a sports bra...... ugh. Uni-boob. I might as well have an ass crack coming up out of the top of the schizophrenic camisole.

But.... I do like this sweater....

So, what can I wear with this bla.... wait, what's this thread here...? AAAAGGGHHHH! No! Stop unraveling!!! SHIT!!!! Stop pulling the thread!!!

Okay.... no time to sew the sweater..... or would that be knit the sweater....? darn the sweater....? Fuck it, if I don't know which it is, I don't know how to fix it..... unless.....

Ah yes, there, that staple is holding nicely.... and you can almost not see the silvery glint.... I mean, if you didn't know it was there..... hmmmm..... does this solution make me clever and resourceful....? Or just white trash....? No time to worry about it, I need a new shirt.....

This shirt...? Maybe....? Let me just.... go.... look....


Does this overly blousey midsection make me look pregnant....?

Fuck it. I'm going to work.

(Seriously? It's like I shaved my legs for nothing people.)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I like to feel pretty. Sue me.

So I am preparing to leave my current place of employment for another, less glamorous, position. Yes, yes, I know... what's so glamorous about a boys-only military school? Um, well, not much really. It perpetually smells like boy funk. And really? There's a fine coating of spit over every single floor, walkway, stairwell, etc. I won't even get started on the penis drawings in the bathroom.

(Wouldn't you think, being boys, they would draw, oh, I don't know.... boobs?)

Um, you'd be wrong. I call this piece "Penis in Water on Sidewalk." It's quite inspired, really. I'm just not sure what the thing above it is.... a turtle maybe? a beetle? Who knows. Maybe I don't want to know.

My point is, a school full of teenage boys = not so glamorous, I know. But.... it made me feel glamorous.

See? here's the thing. In a public school, there are an absurd number of teenage girls to make me feel simultaneously old/fat/wrinkly/incredibly smart. (hey, not everything about getting older is bad. just sayin.) Plus, there is a TON more faculty. The chances of my ranking among the "good-looking" of said faculty goes down the higher numbers I am competing with.

(yes, I said "competing".... this is my post, just let me explain.)

((I swear I have a point.))

At.... my current place of employment.... (I think I have avoided actually using their name anywhere on here previously and I'd like to continue in that vein.) I was pretty!! Or, at least, I was considered so.

How do I know?

Because I had to sit various boys down at different times throughout my first year there and explain what was appropriate, what was not, and that, though I may be nice, I will just as soon claw their eyes out if they didn't learn some respect.

(the talks went something like that anyway.)

By the second year, I only had to have one sit down.... but.... I have to say..... nothing better than using embarrassment as a learning tool. (You want to say what about me to your friends? Okay, say it to my face.) So, I would say my first year of numerous talks paid dividends in the second year.

However, only in a place that is so without female influence would I be considered a hot piece. (along with my few other female coworkers, some of whom I know endured inappropriate comments as well.) You see, in my head, this is what I look like:

In a female deprived environment? it was easier to go along with this delusion.

I will miss this delusion.

You see, in the real world - by comparison to the masses - this is more what I actually look like:

(that's right, you work it Rosie... I do that same thing to make it look like you can kinda-sorta-in-the-right-lighting see my cheekbones. RuPaul would be proud. Or appalled. Actually, I have no idea how he would feel, so never mind.)

So, now I'm heading back into a public school. Back into an environment that just begs to remind me of that awkward insecure teenager I was. Back into an environment where I have to rely solely on my charm, snark, intelligence, personality, talent....



I'll be fine.


(but, I will miss feeling pretty.)