My Life of What Ifs

Thursday, April 30, 2009

I Wonder if Everyone Else Would Pick James Earl Jones

I found this last week on PostSecret. I think it jumped out at me because I was just finishing David Sedaris's book Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim. I love his humor and have read many of his books. I have also heard them on CD and while he does have an interesting voice I'm not sure that's the one I want narrating my every move. Maybe the person who submitted this postcard thought of that, and that is why it's a secret.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


I'm freelancing as a stringer for my hometown newspaper. I'm also working part time in a greenhouse, something I did all through high school and college. In some ways I have come full circle. I have returned to where I was half my lifetime ago.

I love both jobs. The writing is one step in the path of me following my dreams. The other job is just something I enjoy doing.

But I am baffled by the fact that while I can easily over-analyze my decisions in life and question my self-worth at every turn, I can not give myself credit for any of my achievements. Ever. I do not have the ability to be proud of myself. I can point out every flaw I think I have, but ask me to accept a compliment and I cringe.

How on earth did I become this way?

I'm hoping that will change a little on Friday when my first story is published. I'm going to try to give myself a little pat on the back, no matter how hard it hurts.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Miracles Do Happen

As of yesterday morning at 7:58 am, my husbands facebook status says "Cory is wishing my beautiful wife a very happy birthday."

Beautiful wife. Do you know how long it's been since I've heard that from him? I can't even remember, that's how long. But you know what? That's OK. My craziness has affected him more than anyone and yet he's right there on my left every night. Spooning me when he thinks of it and offering his chest to lay on when I need that too.

Marriage is hard. I've said it before and I will say it again. You may think what you have is perfect and untouchable, but you are wrong. Marriage is harder than any college course. It's harder than any career, and sometimes it hurts more than childbirth. But it's worth it.

The picture you see was sent to me in an email recently and it was the best in the group as far as I was concerned. La La Land can be created by anyone. But staying in love, or in some cases falling back in love, is very special, because it's the opposite of easy. And if you can maintain love after life smacks you in the face then you are going to be better for it, because not everyone can.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The End of an Era

Today I turn 37. The day has already started with a ton of wonderful messages from fantastic friends. I have one wish for today. I wish that some clarity and peace return to my spinning head. It's time to move forward. My thirty sixth year was nutty to say the least. I actually think I'm ready for the mundane to resurface. Maybe. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Yesterday I posted a message that reeked of regret. Today I read my blog description and remembered that I don't believe in regret. Depression doesn't always care what I believe in, but once I shower and scrape the dirt out from under my nails I am going to ignore depression and get on with it already. Tonight there is laundry to be done and words to be written. I hope to enjoy both.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Then and Now

Six months ago today I posted this on my original blog. It was my announcement that I had given notice at my job, and at the time the decision seemed crystal clear. There were no doubts, only endless possibilities of what the future may hold. That was then.

Now, things are a little cloudier. Cloudy with doubt and a menagerie of what ifs. What if I hadn't quit my job? What if I had waited to give notice until I found something else? What if I had been laid-off instead? What if someone just knocked me upside my head? Last Saturday, for the very first time, I uttered the words. I said, "I should have never quit my job." Those words are hard to type, and they were even harder to say, but I meant them.

I have to be honest, and what better place to be honest than on my blog where anyone can read my words? I should not have quit my job. Looking back it was a selfish thing to do. My actions were justified, at least I thought they were. I was burned out. Miserable. My physical and mental health were severely affected by my commute, the doom-and-gloom atmosphere of working for an automotive supplier, and my lack of passion for what I was doing. In short, I had a shitty attitude and it made everything suck.

The six weeks between giving notice and my actual last day were euphoric. I didn't dread going to work, I didn't dread driving to work, and I didn't dread doing the work, because I knew I wasn't going to have to do it much longer. The week before my last, my employer laid off another 145 people. It was the fifth round of mass layoffs in two-and-a-half years. Did I save someones job by giving my notice? Who knows? Did I miss out on severance and unemployment by jumping the gun? Again, who knows? I will never know, and for awhile I could survive without thinking about it at all. Money wasn't too tight, due to some carefully planned options, but now after five months or so? Yeah, things aren't too green at our house. Had I stuck it out, it may have gotten better, and I would have continued to bring in a very nice paycheck twice a month to keep my family in food, gas and electricity. But no, I had dreams.

During my time "off", I accomplished many things I had been wanting to do for so long. I printed digital pictures. I cleaned out closets and storage spaces. I even started to remodel our small master bath. By started, I mean I decided how I was going to decorate it and that's about as far as I got. Around the holidays my motivation started to slow, and the depression crept in. I have dealt with depression for as long as I can remember. I have been medicated and not. In therapy and not. I could guess why I was feeling that way, and not. This was different. Depression when you have no where to go is even worse. Even if you hate where you are going every day you can still (most of the time) convince yourself that you have to get up and go. But, by quitting my job I also quit my reason for being. Yes, I have kids and a husband and I live for them, but I also realized how I lived for my career and how much I identified myself by my success and my job. When my job was no longer, there were days where I literally could not get out of bed. I have never felt so hopeless and helpless in all of my life, and I was, and am, medicated and in therapy. Go figure.

Recently I was given my first freelance writing assignment. It is a dream come true. The assignment is not finished yet, due entirely to Michigan's crappy weather, but it will be soon. But I don't feel I am as excited about it as I should be. I don't feel motivated or compelled to get it done. In fact, I figure at this point I will finish it about five minutes before I turn it in to my editor. I also went and applied at five local greenhouse/landscape companies and last week started at a local family run operation. I am working my ass off for very little, and yet when I am there I love it. I have purpose and I accomplish things. I feel like I've done something when I leave there, but leaving there is the problem. When I am not there I am flooded again with self doubt and I question my self worth. "I left what job to do this?" "I negotiated music licenses worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and now I am transplanting Coleus all day?" What. The. Hell.

I am not a snob (at least I don't think I am), but I am horribly confused. What has happened to me? What did I do to my life? To my families' life? Did I really identify myself that much by my job? Or was it just having a job? One where I was using my degree and raking in the cash? I don't know the answers anymore. But I am tired, and on the edge. Something has to wake up inside of me and soon. My 37th birthday is a week from today and I am desperate for this mid-life crisis of mine to be over. I have talent. I am smart. So where is my motivation to succeed and when will the darkness go away? I am ready for my fresh start, for the possibilities to come to fruition, and for the old me to return. I guess she wasn't so bad after all.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Blessed with Good Friends

Even when it seems like I am losing the battle in my head I always know I am blessed to have wonderful friends.

Thank you to my sista and fellow NKOTB fan Kristin for making my blog look awesome! She's a photoshop expert and I recommend that everyone seek out her design skillz for their own use! Thanks Kristin, I appreciate your hard work, love ya!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

1000 Reasons

I have 1000 reasons to be happy and a few reasons to feel otherwise. The few is winning.

See the empty seed flat to the left? Imagine dozens of those filled with many, many, tiny seedlings in little root balls. I helped empty those seed flats today, tiny seedling by tiny seedling. I placed them carefully into larger flats, where they will grow for another month or so before they are sold in the store.
It was repetitive, and monotonous, and it allowed me much time for much thought, and that was bad. I realized that I have even more issues than the ones I've already identified. I've realized that handling tiny flowers for 7 hours can make one a little nutty. I don't have room for additional nutty. I'm maxed out on nutty. Thankfully my new job is not strictly about transplanting. Just this week will be spent at the "farm". But Holy Hell, who knew?

Monday, April 6, 2009

21 weeks and 4 days... the bonbon eating ends.

Tomorrow morning at 9 am I will once again be officially employed. With a job. That I leave the house and go to on a regular basis.

Tomorrow I start my job at a local family-owned greenhouse/garden center. I'm the "versatile" girl. The one who has greenhouse experience, cash register experience, and the one who ain't looking for Groundhog Day. I want variety, and a lot of it.

I was basically hired on the spot today. Had I not been dressed up I could have started working right then and there. Thank goodness for small favors. Not that I'm not eager to get to work, I just need some time to process the change. So I spent the afternoon looking for more freelance writing jobs, because I obviously don't think I'll be busy enough.

My first freelance writing assignment is due on Wednesday. If all goes well I will post a link to the article once it's published. I'm also going to keep doing freelance data entry for another company because I feel three jobs sounds about right.

It should also be noted that my birthday is two weeks from tomorrow. Two more weeks and my year of crazy is officially over.


Friday, April 3, 2009

Turnin' Down the Mouse

My second-to-last semester at college I was offered the dream opportunity. I applied, interviewed, and was chosen to work a semester at Walt Disney World as part of their college program.

I was beyond happy. I had many friends who had worked a semester for The Mouse. I was also happy because my acceptance letter stated I would be an Attractions Hostess and not the dreaded Quick Service or Custodial Hostess (no offense). A good friend of mine worked on the Jungle Cruise so I would picture myself driving a boat and telling awful jokes all day. "Quick! Get down! We're being attacked by natives!"

The sad part was at the time, which was 1996, they were going to pay me less an hour than I was making working retail. On top of that you were required to live in their housing for $77 with 3 roommates 0r $65 with 5 roommates. The reality is, you are there for the experience, not to eat.

For me, it didn't matter. I was done with my required classes and I needed three credits to graduate. What better place to earn them than in Florida? On top of that, my boyfriend of four years and I had grown apart. Like, we barely spoke, OK? (No worries I later married him.) I needed to get away, clear my head, and prepare for real life. So I confirmed with Disney and was told to report August 27th for the Fall semester.

But then other things happened, things I hadn't planned on occurring. As the semester came to an end, a beloved Professor insisted I apply for a summer internship as a Producer at an advertising agency in Detroit. Two of her previous students had the internship and it was a great opportunity. I begrudgingly prepared my reel and resume. If anything I would do that for the summer and head to Disney in August.

The day of my interview my boyfriend got a flat tire driving me to downtown Detroit, and spent the entire time I was inside changing a flat in a parking garage. The meeting with the Director of Broadcast was basically a formality. We watched my reel and he told me what I would be doing as the intern. I walked out thinking "do I already have this job?" Well, I did.

I started June 3rd, 1996 and for 10 weeks I felt like I had hit the mother load. Sure I was driving pretty far everyday but I received a partial mileage reimbursement, free lunch at the studios I was working at every day, and I was editing commercials, real commercials that aired on TV. The Summer flew by and the boyfriend and I became close again and about two weeks before I was to leave for Disney we got engaged. This was also about the time that a full time position became available at the advertising agency. Full time. Salary. Benefits. Paid time off. What to do?

Well, it really wasn't that difficult of a decision. I had to stay in Michigan. As cool as it would have been to say I had worked at Disney World it just wasn't something I needed to do. I needed a job, with a salary, and benefits, and paid time off. So I wrote to The Mouse and I wrote to the Dean at my college and told then I was respectfully declining. They understood.

I have never regretted that decision. That first full time job turned into twelve years in advertising for me and I made some nice money along the way. I made great friends and worked on some amazing projects. That job is why I am sitting here writing on my blog, and that job is a big reason of why my world looks like it does today. And it's a small world after all.