I love routines. I love schedules. Gah, I THRIVE on things that are just plain DEPENDABLE. I mean, I freaking hate change. HATE it. Loathe it.
I hate it more than vomit and that is saying something. As a Mom who literally will avoid the throwing up child if at all possible, hide from around the door and yell, “are you okay?!” as she gags in the toilet…as if that’s a legitimate question or something.
Yeah, yeah… Judge me if you want to, I don’t care. I hate vomit. I think I’m scared of it. Not the vomit after it comes out, but the gagging sound. UGH, why is that part necessary?! Alright…this post has nothing to do with vomit, so let’s get on with it.
In all seriousness, I hate change. As a kid, my life was the textbook definition of unstable, unpredictable and ever changing. So naturally, as an adult, I hate it.
For 20 years, I had the same job. I didn’t hate it. I think I kinda liked it actually. But it was not what I wanted to do with my life. I’m going to say the thing that is going to make you think I’m a moron, here goes… I think I can change the damn world. Not in a little way but in an earth shattering, blow the roof off, change the flipping world. I have things to say and what I say will change peoples life. There. I. Said. It.
I’m not blowing my own horn. I just have had this life and it sucked for so many years and I have grown, healed and overcame a lot of CRAP that a lot of people just can’t because it is so damn hard. It’s their worlds I want to change.
Like everything else in my life, it had to start with me. The hard stuff.
Back to my routine life. I managed 900 apartments, there was nothing easy or “routine” about it. But it was safe. I had a roof over my head, I made a lot of money and my family was taken care of. Happiness, though… yeah, that wasn’t there.
Restrictions came with my job that kept us from ever owning a home or having a yard. Those things may seem insignificant to some, but to each their own, right? We lived above my office which meant work never ended. I had to isolate myself from the 1800 people that lived closest to me because I was their landlord. It was a small town, so those boundaries applied to my kid, her school and any social life we had to speak of (which was none).
If not for my husband and daughter, I would have never left my safety net. I erupted in panic attacks everyday for over a year because I knew it was inevitable. Change. I was scared. More scared than I had ever been in my life. I would hide in the closet where it was dark and just sit, because it’s where I felt the safest.
So many days I sat in a dark closet, petrified to my inner most core. I begged my husband not to make me change anything. Many nights he sat crying beside me as I cried because he hurt for me and had no idea how to help me. I had no idea how to help me.
It was in one of those dark closet moments when I realized that I had to take the first plunge. I had to quit my job and let the rest fall. I couldn’t ask my husband to find a job first and quit because I wouldn’t be making the choice. I would end up taking the Resentment Road East, the easy road. I would blame him, be angry, all the ugly stuff people don’t talk about.
I applied for a few jobs, took a few interviews, turned down one offer and never followed up with another. I was getting my feet wet. It helped to take those steps. I felt like I was really gaining some traction, but it was an illusion. I told myself that to avoid the truth, I was playing chicken with my life.
I got a random call from a family friend about a job in Early Childhood Education and a Non-Profit Organization helping children and their families asking if I was interested. For once, I was. I was still scared beyond what I thought was even possible.
But, I applied.
Five hours later, I GOT called.
Twenty minutes later, I was offered the job.
My husband happened to be standing next to me at the time. I held the phone to my shoulder and whispered, “they offered it to me…” his reply was, “how much does it pay?” This was a completely legitimate question. I was currently making $102,000 per year. He was making the same.
I looked at him with eyes bigger than a full moon and said, “$17.00 an hour.”
We stared blankly at each other.
By this time, I told them I would talk it over with my husband and I would call them back in a few hours, which was agreeable to them.
For the first time in my life, I wasn’t scared. I felt calm. Freakishly calm. Taking that job would mean a massive loss in income, plus relocating to a new state, and we had nowhere to live and would have 3 days to move from my last day if I accepted. Yet, I wanted to accept the job.
I smiled and felt something in my heart I honestly have never felt before. It was PEACE. It was the most wonderful feeling I had ever felt. The closest to it would be the love I have for my husband and daughter. Honestly, it was close, but it didn’t match.
It’s because this peace came from God.
I had my husband’s blessing and my daughter was so happy to have “her own grass” she said. I accepted the job that afternoon and our life fell apart and into the most beautiful mess I’ve been through to date.
All this, and through a pandemic.
We bought a small fixer upper farm house, 53 acres and no tractor to speak of, no big savings account and our bathroom still doesn’t have a mirror hung. That’s the funny part. Who knew how little you actually need a mirror to get ready in the mornings?
I’ll tell you what I do have, though.
I’ve got a little girl who finally has a trampoline. I have a water hose that I spray on it when she’s hot out there jumping and I even give her a bottle of soap every so often to play with on it.
I’ve got a husband that sends me random text messages that say “I will love you forever and always. Even beyond my last breath my soul will love you for the rest of eternity. As sure as the sun rose this morning.”
I’ve got a 6 month old German Shepard puppy that prances like a baby deer and loves chasing butterflies almost more than he loves me.
I’ve got dusty floors because we wear our rubber boots inside.
I have a job that has allowed me to bring my daughter with me every day since schools closed in March.
I have faith in what I cannot see.
I have everything I have ever wanted. I found it when I left everything I thought I ever needed.
If I can, you can. I promise.
Don’t choose to do it because you think you can. Choose to do it because you think you CAN’T.
Live your best life.
No one’s BEST LIFE looks like everyone else’s.
Change the freaking world, even if it’s just YOUR world.