What would you do to be happier? That my friends is a very loaded question.
I wish I could say 2018 was a banner year. Let’s just say I am looking forward to 2019. I just got around to “updating” my working status on Facebook (not that it’s necessary) to living in the DC area and working at the National Archives and Records Administration. Those in my inner circle laughed a bit and yelled “old news”! I kept it on the low burner because it was a major change and upheaval. This isn’t a negative post but a post about growth, change, uplifting myself and somewhere down the line winning.
After serving in the Army as a logistician, Army wife, mother and eventually a civilian which totaled about 20 years I decided that I needed a “change”. From there I moved to Phoenix, AZ and went to esthetician school to, how can I say this, entertain my more artistic side. I have always played a balancing act with my technical side and my artistic side. I decorated cakes for many years and found being an esthetician to be artistic but on another level. Unfortunately, there were many things about it that just didn’t fit and so I moved on to work for a private business.
I have never publicly written about my time at this place of business. It was the first time out of college that I had worked for a private company and not the government. I worked directly for the CEO/owner and all I can tell you it was 9 months of pure hell. I have no sympathy for the devil of which he must have been related. Sitting on the couch with him during my third interview I knew taking this job was a mistake. There is something in trusting your gut. But me, being who I am, I was willing to give it a go. Worst.Decision.Ever. He ran me ragged and was prone to changing his mind constantly, not in a good way, and wanted to be treated like a king. The only task I will bring up just to give you insight was stocking the personal fridge with Perrier™. He drank massive amounts of Perrier™ and required his personal refrigerator to be stocked daily. He drank the lemon and lime flavor and I would place the bottles lined up with labels facing the front. They had to be perfectly in order by flavor…. yeah think about that for a moment. I mean I can be type A, but damn.
I decided that I needed another change, but most of all I needed to make myself happy and take control of my happiness. Believe me, this is a hard tasks for Catholics. Guilt anyone? I felt for the three years I was in Arizona I was just floating through a fog. Arizona was pretty…in parts, but it just wasn’t for me. That’s right class, at 50 you can decide to change – and change I did. Daunting.Scary.Unpredicable. Yes, all of those words and a whole lot more.
I started feverishly applying to other jobs ~ everywhere. I prayed. I cried. From time to time I felt sorry for myself. Oh, and I flew to Dublin, Ireland and ran a marathon in between this mayhem. I would wake up early in the morning and apply for jobs all day long. Sometimes even on weekends. I was relentless. I can remember starting my day with this saying:
“Help me find the right job, the right place, I’m ready for the good stuff”.
Everyday. Day after day, for nine months (no symbolism here – lol) until I finally got a call from the National Archives and Records Administration. I had been wanting to get out of the logistics field and I applied for an Executive Assistant job to the Archivist of the United States of America in DC. After three interviews, I got the job. It was one of the happiest and scariest days of my life. I had no apartment and only one friend in the area. I packed up my Subaru and drove across country to my new life in DC.
I was extremely lucky for my friend Rajni who lived and worked in the area. It was like she was there at the right place and time. I owe her a debt of gratitude I will never be able to repay. I stayed with her for a few weeks and eventually found my own apartment. The transition was mentally hard. I hadn’t lived in an apartment since my 20s. Making that move from a big house to a small apartment wasn’t easy. All the things I had I left behind ~ I only took the necessities. Again mental, but necessary for change. Sometimes you throw things out to the Universe. You taunt it by saying – “only if”. Then the Universe throws it back and says “put up or shut up”. So then you have a choice to take the “red or blue” pill.
“You take the blue pill—the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill—you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember: all I’m offering is the truth.” ~ The Matrix
I took the red pill. I wanted to find my truth – and so I did. I left with what I could fit in my car and drove across country, by myself, in search of better. Change is so hard.
There were times I would walk through my apartment looking at all the nothing. I would sit in the silence on some days and just think about what was next. I would get up each day and push a little further, grow a little larger, and eventually smile a little wider. When I think back at the first time I stepped into this apartment there was a sense of despair and laughter. There were days I would cry and days I would walk through laughing that this was mine. I did it.
The job, what can I say. I work for the Archivist of the United States in downtown DC. He is amazing and the people I work with equally amazing and talented. An academic atmosphere. Even better, I like everything about the place and what we do for the country. I can say I’m very happy. I’m happy living in DC and with my job. It has been a little over 10 months and I love my truth, my little red pill.
I am learning to embrace my future. I continue to expand and grow. In order to move forward you can’t dwell on the past. Study it. Accept it. Challenge it. If a little 50 year old female can do it, so can you. Change is so damn hard, mentally, physically and spiritually. If you find yourself contemplating about 2018 and where your going, might I suggest taking that red pill? Open wide and wash it down with your favorite beverage.
I hope this post finds you with a hot crazy determination for life. The kind that burns the soul, makes you cry and shake and demand you do whatever it takes, however hard it may seem, to stay the course and find your truth. Yeah, there’s going to be plenty of dead bodies along the way ~ so bring the body bags and a big ass shovel to bury that shit. Six feet down – three feet wide – cover it all nice and pretty, dust off those hands and make a sign of the Cross if you have too. It’s over. Happy Miles to You!