My Life of What Ifs

Friday, November 13, 2009

November 13

I have been waiting a whole year to write this post, and yet, here I sit at 9 p.m. just getting started.

All year long I have had ideas of what I might write on this day. I have had dreams about what I might list as my accomplishments and what I still planned to do. But it's funny, I almost don't feel like any of that is really important.

One year ago on November 13, 2008 I walked out of my office, and away from my career in advertising and never looked back. Seriously. I haven't even been back to visit. The week before I left, the company I worked for laid off two hundred or so employees and I found out that if I hadn't given notice I was going to be outsourced anyway. Ironically, one year later the same week, that same company announced that they will close their doors at the end of January because their only client is partnering with other advertising agencies. (OK, you twisted my arm, the client is Chrysler.)

I have mentioned on many occasions that this time of year is significant for me. I have had several life altering events occur in the month of November. When I was 22 my Grandpa fell ill in November and died on December 1st. I have had other traumas during this time as well, some devastating for me, and others where my actions have devastated others. I ended a twelve year career in advertising in November.

This year, during my week of reflection and the one year anniversary of the biggest risk of my life, we put our 16 year old Lab C.J. to sleep and I saw my girls cry for a dog that has been around for their entire lives. I saw the exhaustion in my husbands face after taking C.J. to the vet and then burying him in our yard at 10 p.m. all the night before leaving for his annual hunting trip.

Cory left Thursday night and I have that empty feeling that I feel every year when he leaves for the Upper Peninsula. My Grandpa got sick when Cory was up north, our life together has been in shambles while Cory was up north, and honestly I had a strong fear that C.J. would finally "go" when Cory was up north.

So much has happened in November that I now associate with this trip that I have spent the first 24 hours feeling out of sorts. I go through the motions, I take care of my girls, but in the back of my head there is something nagging me, and it has no name, no face, no exact anything, it just hangs there. The trip. The dog. I used to work full time?

I can't say my career is where I thought it would be a year later, because I had no idea. I didn't know I would be freelancing for my hometown newspaper, or doing writing of any sort. I didn't know I would have a part time job in retail that I truly love. I didn't realize how many people would tell me (this week alone) that the all mighty dollar has nothing on happiness and spending quality time with family and feeling passionate about what you do each day. I had no idea how much lower my stress level would be, and I had no idea how much I would miss that dog.

Speaking of missing people, I miss many of my old co-workers. I miss some dear friends who I have not hung out with in so long. There are others I miss as well. Still.

Life has it's up and downs. It has it's right turns and wrongs. I truly believe I have no regrets, but I will always wonder what if. I made the right decision one year ago when I left my career for myself. I still don't have all the answers, and I feel like I have even less time, but I'm OK with all of that. It's all about the process. My process. And it's all about being happy because you deserve to be.


Kristin said...

I went to click the "like" button then realized I wasn't on Facebook.

So, "Like". :)

erin said...

I'm sorry to hear about CJ. I'm fearful we will be crossing that road sooner rather than later.

Kudos to you for being brave and leaving behind the "ad world". I'm sure your instincts were telling you something. I know mine were when I left.