Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Born to sparkle

This morning, after dropping He-Beat and Grey off at their respected locations, I took She-Beat to a special event hosted at her school. Despite only 2 days at this new preschool, we have seen a drastic change with both Beats and it was an opportunity for me to meet the staff and other teachers involved in the program.

While finishing up eating breakfast, She-Beat wandered up to a girl, clearly very interested in her princess-themed outfit. It was then I saw the slogan on her dress, that resulted in a fit of laugh-crying from me: "Born to sparkle."

On November 20, 2012, I was in a very different place. Having come off a long commute to work to finish up some grading and course-related prep, there wasn't a lot of light in my life. With a screw-it attitude, I decided to take an unexplored detour to work, stopping at a coffee shop my students had been raving about. It was upon walking into the shop that I found this lovely creation.


This lamp basically described all I was feeling about life at that moment. After 4 failed rounds of IVF, 2 miscarriages and no idea whether the pending final round of treatment was even going to work, I was feeling like the walking dead. The color had literally gone out of my life, tainted by pain and grief that so few seemed to understand. And yet, when that pain was dulled, usually with the help of an evening beer, I was able to find what light was left in my heart. A light that even though it felt like it was being extinguished, still showed through as I made the decisions to fight towards a path of resolution.

Looking at this new friend of She-Beats, I instantly was reminded of this beer-can lamp and all that I had experienced. Because for most these kids, despite how sweet and loving they all are, daily life is usually a struggle. They working harder than their peers to overcome challenges due to their disabilities. Yet when given a chance and with proper help, the light they carry sparkles and shines to fill the room. In a lot of ways more strongly and brightly than those that have never faced what they face daily. These kids sparkle and shine.

We're currently in the thick of the holiday season. Many in the United States will be traveling to see family, sharing meals with those that are near and dear. I remember while in the trenches how terribly hard this time was, finding myself having to make plans for what I could and could not endear, stealing my heart from those moments that would add to the pain. I also remember feeling that in this dark period, my light was being extinguished. Looking back now, I see that it was actually the complete opposite as in those darkest of hours, the light in me was actually shining through.

To everyone reading this, I wish everyone of you moments of peace and love tomorrow and in the days to come. And may you know that in those hard moments, where you're feeling muted or like an outcast and where the pain seems like it's too much to bear, I can still see that light inside of you. Because we are all born with the potential to sparkle, but our journey through trauma, loss, heartache and pain makes us shine in the most unique and beautiful ways.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Reset

Yesterday I botched another phone interview. The position is for a company that is going through a lot of growth and though it's not my dream job, it would have been an interesting in. But I didn't connect well with the hiring manager, struggled to answer his questions and felt like we weren't understanding one another (outside of the fact that I'll be available to start at the beginning of December).

I was fairly pissed off last night. All the reworking of my CV and cover letter felt like an absolute worthless endeavor. The end result was an 8 pm bedtime, leaving Grey to fend for himself as dinner consisted of leftovers in the fridge.

Laying in bed, I ran through all that had happened yesterday: the shitty comment at the beginning of class that left me fuming quietly, the hours spent on filling out forms for future assessments and then finally a phone interview that left me feeling utterly worthless and waiting for the pending "No" next week.

Then I remembered picking up the Beats from school. That after only one day, their behavior was the polar opposite from the other daycare. Having He-Beat run happily into his new school, settling in with activities and asking me to leave. Having She-Beat wave good-bye to her brother, then happily lead me into her new school, showing off her doll to all her new friends and also waving good-bye happily. And at the end of the day, finding them sitting together quietly on the classroom rug, listening to the story the teacher was reading; clearly aware I had arrived but also much more interested in the activity they were engaged in.

The final bit of evidence was the daily notes from both schools. Hearing they both had very good days and the comments about how sweet they both had been. Considering I've gotten zero actual communication from their previous teachers and the director was consistently negative about them, I found myself completely dumbfounded.

Reflecting on all of this this morning, especially as we had a repeat in drop-off behavior (something they haven't done since switching to the previous daycare), I resolved myself to have a different outlook on yesterday. Yes, my co-instructor did a shitty thing. But he's a coward and an entitled ass who knows the only reason he has his current position is due to his wife. Throwing me under the bus is just part of his MO, even though it will likely bite him in the butt in the very near future. Filling out two 27 page assessment packets was exhausting, but it's a necessary step in order to follow up on the previous assessments, ensuring the Beats have access to help and resources. Something many struggle to do out of a sense of shame.

And the interview. The truth is, I've never applied or worked in industry before. I had a 2 month stint as a QC technician when I first finished my undergraduate degree (resulting in a party trick involving Ovaltine and a story about my revolution to corn syrup), but I'm in a completely different place career wise now. The idea I would have nailed something that is literally foreign is naive.

So today is about resetting. Continuing to revamp my application materials, including social media, and searching for new opportunities. Because so far the trend has been that those who don't want me as an employee I actually want nothing to do with career-wise and even personally. Forcing a fit just has not worked. And though I don't believe in destiny or "meant-to-be"s, I do believe in carving your own path. The more tangled, the better.

Monday, November 20, 2017

#MicroblogMondays: Believe

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

they doubted you
they laughed on you
they never believed you
they were sure about your failure
you heard them
you started believing the same
you failed you injured
you started thinking
you realized it was not the truth
you started again
they were same
you ignored them
you won the battle
you defeated the luck
it was not their thoughts in the first time which
gave you failure
it was your assumption of failure
which made it happen
do what they say you cannot do
believe in your words which your heart says to
your mind
never allow someone to control your actions
believe in you
be the you...! 

~Believe by Shaddha Bhatt

My morning started with one of the co-instructors apologizing to the class for my poor performance. Patting himself on the back for being able to deliver the material in a manner that they will enjoy and promising improvement in the future. This thinly-veiled insult is one that normally I would fight. Except for the fact that it's not worth the fight given I'm leaving and I also know his evaluations have traditionally been low.

Still, it's these moments where the doubt could creep in. Where it becomes apparent that some exist in the world solely to cut others down in order to advance their own interests, often unsuccessfully.

This past weekend was spent revamping my CV and preparing for a phone interview today. All on the heels of a lot more rejection letters. It would be so easy to slip into a state of believing I'm somehow worthless and deficient. But after the hours spent reworking my applications, I saw that actually the opposite is true. It's just a matter of getting my foot in the door.

And believe that I can do so.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Pauses

About 6 months ago, the Beats and I established a new morning ritual. Following a 6 am wake-up call (side note: I haven't needed an alarm clock in over 4 years), both the Beats and cats lead me downstairs to help empty the dishwasher and feed Jaxson and Daisy. Once completed, we begin breakfast. On days I don't have my act together, it's cereal and apple sauce. But on other days, it's a ritual of preparing waffles, with them loading their breakfast into the toaster to be warmed up. The weekends are more involved as I'll make said waffles, allowing them to help with preparing the recipe: 2 cups flour, 1 Tbsp sugar, 1/2 tps salt, 1/4 tps baking soda, 1 1/2 tps baking powder, 2 egg yolks, 1 tsp vanilla, 1/4 cup melted butter, 1 1/2 cups cultured buttermilk and 2 egg whites (beat to slightly-stiff peaks).

It's these morning moments, even though my brain is barely awake, that have been staying with me. The forced pauses in the rush to get out the door in the morning. They're reminders for why Grey and I fight to carve out a space for our family in this world. From seeing Jaxson sit up on his haunches, eyes trained on the bowl of food He-Beat is bringing him; rewarding He-Beat with a quick head butt to say "thank you" as soon as his bowl is placed on the floor. Or seeing She-Beat as she hands me spoons or glasses out of the dishwasher, her face frozen in fixed concentration as she remembers where all the dishes belong. Or seeing both Beats wait patiently by the toaster, all the while informing me about the art of waffle warming and the next steps of maple syrup application and cutting that need to happen.

All of this is in stark contrast to the rest of my day. The rushing around, frantic checking-off of items on the to-do, the job applications and planning for an uncertain future. The feeling of having to race to the finish line, be it the day, the month or the contract with no clear end in sight.

Not surprising, it's not the rush, but the pauses that give me peace; that form the memories and magic moments. Starting with memories from long ago of sleeping in late, cuddling with Grey. Of kitten Jaxson curled up on Grey's lap in the car as we drove to see my in-law. Of the hikes through cedar forests and camping trips by hotsprings. Of morning playmat sessions while I was pumping. And now with unloading the dishwasher and warming up waffles.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Dive

Job hunting has put me into a weird headspace. Scanning job boards, drafting cover letters and reaching out for new network connections has been a draining process. On some days, I'm able to kick out at least 2-3 applications, finding a way to muster the energy to seeing myself in the role and how bringing me in as part of the team would benefit that company.

What's hard, though, is expecting the rejection. Knowing that most of the time this ad was written with a particular person already in mind and that rejection letters will likely follow.

All of this reminds me of infertility and being in treatment. The mindset that can readily set in from too many failed attempts of doing the same thing over and over.

I've been thinking about this all morning as I ran my first educational program. One that I helped design and was in charge of executing. In so many ways, there's how I wanted it to play out and how it actually went. How even though the outcome wasn't what I expected, there was a lot of amazing things that came from it.

With fertility treatments, Grey and I ultimately did get the expected outcome. We got to experience pregnancy and bring home our babies. But the road we traveled, the people we met along the way and seeing the paths towards resolution most wouldn't consider were unexpected outcomes. I exited the infertility waiting room changed in a way that I never expected, teaching me to dive into realms of possibilities that have shaped me for the better.

So that's what I've been holding on to. The assumption that there are things I shouldn't consider or paths I shouldn't follow has been thrown out the door. Because at the end of the day, who knows what the outcome will be from that increasing pile of rejection letters or failed endeavors. What if it was all about just having the courage to try, diving into the unknown?

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Slow

This morning, I took with the Beats with me to visit She-Beat's new school. He-Beat had zero trouble integrating, but She-Beat took her time. Within a few minutes, she was settled for Circle Time, participating in the morning activities.

Yesterday, I reached out to a recruiter to begin the process of finding contract work. Given my extended stay in academia, I know industry has zero idea how my skill set will transfer, so I'm in need of help with this transition. The recruiter did a nice job asking needed clarifying questions, giving me guidance on what not to do and laying out a plan for next steps.

Later today, our landlord is having a HVAC professional come to our rental to assess the oil tank and furnace, hopefully also identifying why we have no heat in our bedroom.

Finally, Grey has been given some clarifying news about his situation. The fact that there are competing parties who once again are competing for him, but also the suggestion that he apply for a position that he was told wasn't for him (that hiring manager apparently was reprimanded as they've been backtracking a lot).

All of this is happening slowly. Bit by bit, the pieces are coming together. There's still a lot of fighting and hard feelings; grief over what has been lost (trust being a big one). But there's movement. There's change. With me praying that it will all be for the better.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Coming out of it

So yeah. Yesterday. . . .

The interview was awesome. Truly. I love the team, the mission and what they are envisioning for the future. And I could see not only how I could fit into the group, but could grow. I truly felt that a younger version of me who didn't have to worry about silly things like finances would thrive there.

But that's thing, I do have worry about finances. I do have small children to consider and all financial support for my family comes from Grey and me.

And so I spent yesterday facing a very hard and fast reality that I can no longer pursue this work. That as much as I believe in what I've been doing, it's been hurting the Beats and Grey. I've sacrificed them for too long and it has to stop.

We live in a world where the focus from our leadership is "me and mine." As those in power point fingers at one another, spending their waking hours trying to shuffle blame, what they fail to see is how avoiding the needed hard work is hurting the majority. Those that serve our communities and help them grow (teachers, social workers, emergency personal) have been minimized and punished for too long. Greed has become the driving force for those who lead this nation and our world. And it's a scary thought as greed, fear and hatred have never been rallying points for building and overcoming hardship.

Today I'm closing the door on a chapter that I truly loved. I'm beginning the process to apply for positions that will allow me to use my science training in more corporate settings. It all makes me so sad as it's not what I wanted or envisioned.

But the truth is neither the world we currently live in. And I'm beyond tired of fighting a battle at the expense of those I care most about.


 
Design by Small Bird Studios | All Rights Reserved