A Year In The Life

In full disclosure, as I set out to write this, I felt, this is a blog entry that may best be suited for a composition notebook tucked neatly away in a drawer. But since I have yet to unpack any notebooks and I am a far faster typist than a writer, here I go.

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525,600 minutes.
One year.
To borrow a popular refrain from one of my favorite productions, “How do you measure a year in the life?”

September. This seems like a good time to reflect. It has been a whirlwind. September 2012 I was bordering on suicide. Watching my mother die from a devastating illness. And having applied for my dream job and been rejected. I spent days in bed. Unable to move. I recall getting a text message from Geoff, “GODDAMNIT WHERE ARE YOU!” It was just like that. In all capital letters. He didn’t have any idea what was happening at the time. My guess, he still doesn’t. I never told him. Why would I?

My mother died at the end of September. I wasn’t there when she died. It was a big week at work. I couldn’t be two places at once. I tried to divide my time. Work. Mom. Work. Mom. I wasn’t there when she died. None of us were. I feel really bad for that. She didn’t deserve to die alone. I arrived at the nursing home too late. Too late to say goodbye. Overcome by guilt and emotion, I threw myself on her hospital bed, crying, screaming, how sorry I was for not being there. She was always there for me. I was not there for her when she needed me. I wasn’t there when she died. I don’t know if I’ll ever forgive myself for choosing work over family.

It was in the fall that Geoff and I started working together more closely. At first, I protested, vehemently! I wonder why? I don’t know? I really do not know. By winter I realized that Geoff was more than just a coworker. I hated it. I loved it. I loved it and I hated it. I loved it because it reassured me that I wasn’t dead on the inside. I hated it because, well, for the most obvious reasons.

Christmas came. And there was that two weeks that Geoff was out of town. Painful. I was at my dad’s house on Christmas day when I received an unexpected text from him. I’m sure, I lit up brighter than the Christmas tree. You know, when a simple “hello” can warm your heart like that, that you’re in big trouble and in way over your head.

I was. Which became abundantly clear when I made my feelings known. (see the birth of the blog) It’s risky anytime you open up to anyone. Risky squared is what it’s like opening up to a coworker. I don’t even know what they call it when you open up to the person you have to sit next to every single day! Social suicide? Just plain dumb? To our credit, Geoff and I both handled the fall-out remarkably well. I think. I mean, neither one of us quit, asked to moved to another shift, or died from embarrassment. Kudos to both of us!

But then. There’s me. Getting in my own way. I fully believed for the better part of eight months that Geoff was just maintaining the status quo. And that quite frankly, he was really good at it. Geoff is really, really good at being friendly, to the point where it almost comes across as phony, disingenuous, even.

I filed for divorce in February. I waited far too long to do it. I was afraid. I found the strength.

May saw another job application met with rejection. The summer months, fraught with a roller coaster of emotions. Just wanting to get the hell out. To move on. To start over. More interviews, more rejection. A lot of giving up hope. All the while Geoff is there, cheering me on, not allowing me to give up! Pushing me forward. Reminding me how awesome I am!

The call comes. I seriously cannot get Geoff called fast enough. Why? Why is he the first person I call? Why is he the first person I want to share my news with? Before family, before anyone else? Why? The offer is made. And again, I called him before anyone else. Does he even realize how important he is? I don’t think he does. And again, why? I just do not know!

Every instinct, every thing in me, wanted to be a bitch. From that day in January, to this very day. Everything inside of me says, “hate him!” Find a way, find a reason, just do it! When I left, I thought for sure, the truth would be revealed. The phony charade would be up, and that would be the end. I would never hear a word from Geoff again. I thought, surely this man, cannot, will not keep up this game after I’m gone. There’s no need to. Then, I’ll finally have my “a-ha, I knew it all along” moment! My, “I was right!” not to trust him and I should’ve known better moment. But, that moment never came. It has not come. As hard as I’ve tried. Why?

When does this season of love end for me? When does this craziness end? When do I learn to trust again?

525,600 minutes ago I set out to get my dream job. I did it! I had a lot of help along the way. I had a lot of challenges along the way. And, along the way, Ela was born, which has been amazing and fun! What a year this has been! I can’t wait to see what the next 525,600 minutes have to bring! Resolution? I hope…..

– J. Ela

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