Comparing Situations – Never Do It


Funny how posts are born.

I was writing an email to a colleague who I offered to help in his job hunt when I realized a few things.   

But first, permit me go a bit deeper into my Wednesday.    I stumbled upon a website of a relatively new corporation that a former friend has  started.   I once had a very close relationship with this individual, then after some time apart and life happened to us both, I realized I no longer wanted this person in my life, so I actually terminated the friendship.   I had this horrible urge to shed, to remove…actually, the operative word is discard.   It was like trimming the fat in my life.   This person became one of the casualties.   

At one time we quite close;  partners-in-crime as it were and lived life like that.  We had fun, but that was a million years ago in a place a million miles away.  The more time we spent apart, we realized we grew up differently.  I wasn’t alone in this awareness.  I’ve learned that once that happens, there’s no hope.    Relationships in my life (especially lately) have a defined alpha and an even more precise omega.    I have done so much fat trimming lately, that “lean” doesn’t even describe the original piece from which I started whittling.    Is this normal? 

Was the person the toxic one?  Or was it me?   And did I do us both a favor by extricating myself from the “us” we once were?     This person’s life seems to have congealed into something formidable…at first glance, anyway.  But looks and first impressions are deceiving.   Glossy websites with fancy graphics don’t tell the whole story, but how I interpreted what I saw ultimately, was how I felt about myself.     

I was looking at my former friend’s very own fancy website belonging to her very own fancy firm;  the fruit of hard work.

This, as I still looked for work and wondered how I would pay the electric bill.

I told my jobless colleague in the email I mentioned earlier that this past year has been the best-worstyear I’ve ever had.  While I learned a lot about myself and my world, and cleaned out many closets (real and metaphorical ones), I still don’t know exactly what and where I want to be.  I can only pronounce with any august certainty that I  only know what I don’t want and that’s completely counter productive.  
I feel however, that change is forthcoming and there’s an almost tactile sense to it…as if I can reach into the air and with my fingers ctually feel something substantive in the invisible ether.   I have a second round of interviews for a Director of Public Relations at a local organization that will be named later, but after so many interviews (even the ones that were textbook in the way they unfolded), I’ve learned that the minute you think “slam dunk”, is the very minute you learned you’ve merely been slammed.    The Universe has always been very good at keeping me grounded.   Others seem to soar  high in the Success Stratosphere, while my corpulent little self always complies with natural law.    No defiance of gravity here.
Still, there’s that damn nagging feeling of impending change with positive undertones. 
Maybe things are starting to change.  Perhaps this  hopefulness and newfound optimism represent a harbinger of better times ahead.   We have to have hope;  without it, we’re kind of, oh—what’s the word????
Ah yes….fucked.
And why not feel that way?   We live in pernicious times.  Uncertainty abounds.   It’s hard to stay positive in the midst of all this negativity.  I have to learn to honor, respect and revel in the success of others and not use it as some barometer to measure my shortcomings.   Everyone’s life is different.   The person whose website I visited earlier might be in debt or unhappy and then again, things could be going swimmingly.   I can’t compare myself to this person’s life–regardless of perceived ups or downs.     Our lives aren’t the same; theynever were and never will be and if I had any doubts about that, I have to remember why we ceased being friends.   Because I ended the friendship.   And once again, why did I do that?
Because I felt we had nothing more in common.   Maybe we never did and it was a farce all along.   Maybe it lasted as long as it did because that was the only time a friendship could have existed.   Maybe it needed to end in order for us both to go forward.   It’s interesting though to wrap my head around the changes.  You see, I used to be the one that everyone wanted to meet, I had the great gig, I was in the limelight–the public eye and while short and petite, I once cast a very large, looming shadow.  
At least I thought I did.    Now, I feel like I’m standing in the shadows.  It’s a cold and lonely place.   But as we discussed earlier, the moment we start getting cocky and  are too self-assured,  is the moment when something happens to level the playing field.   Reality is like a very flat surface that let’s you see for miles and miles.    
I don’t always like the view.  
Well, be that as it may,  I hold a Coke Zero can in the air and I salute you, my former friend.   I salute you, my current jobless colleague and yes, I even toast myself.    Like a cat, I always land on my feet.    
I’m OK.  Or least, I will be.   The suck fest that is my current position in life can’t last forever.   And I know that there are some realities I have to face.  Among them, I have to learn that standing in someone’s shadow doesn’t have to be a bad experience.  I have to learn to regard it as protective, cooling shade; not evil, empty darkness. 
I have to  learn that I CANNOT compare my life to others.  Why would I?  How could I?  I look around me and in the distance on the kitchen counter is see the ever-liooming Mt. Bills, the newest, fastest growing peak of the Indebted Mountain range.   I look in the den where I sit, knowing full well that the room  can be best tidied up with a front-end loader, then I glance down at my inbox only to see the third job rejection email  of the morning has just arrived.  Then, I realize that there must be some way I can turn all this self -pity and self-loathing into marketable skills.  All the while,  I know this too shall pass but still, that doesn’t keep me from thinking,  oh—what’s the word?
Ah yes…fuck. 



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