How do I know this so early in the game?
A family reunion found me heading to the South Central Texas berg of my birth this past weekend. I’ve only been back very infrequently and when I’ve travelled there, it’s usually a quick hit and I rarely ever see anybody I know.
Or people I once knew.
But this weekend, I saw many cousins, aunts and uncles and former classmates; some I haven’t seen in more than three decades. Once we got past the gray hair, crow’s-feet, and those Everlast speed bags we call double chins, we recognized each other.
That said, I have decided that I must be something of an enigma to those who once knew me back in my hometown and even to some family members. I haven’t lived the most conventional life and my career and personal choices are I’m sure, questionable to some. It could be because no one really knows me. I’ve been away for 32 years and as I said I rarely go back there and if I don’t go back to my hometown, that also means I rarely go to family reunions. So, yeah, I am the odd man out.
Well, be that as it may, I might not be the best known among the rank and file of my phyla, but they ALL know what I do and have done career-wise. Compliments regarding “my success” were ripe for the picking.
FORMER CLASSMATE #1: “Gee, I read your blog all the time. You have such a cool, unique way of putting things.”
LK. “Wow, thanks so much!!
RANDOM AUNT: “When our son, (insert name here) lived in Houston, he got such a kick out of listening to you on the radio.”
LK: How nice! Thank you! I never knew (insert name here) was even in Houston!”
COUSIN R: “My God, Laurie. You’re still just as funny as you always were. You should come to these things more often. I swear that as a family, we don’t bite!”
LK: Well, I do if I’m not properly ‘fermented’. Where’s the bar?”
UNCOUTH ELDERLY UNCLE & ASSHOLE: “A few years back, I was in Philadelphia on business and in my hotel room doing some paper work . The TV was on, just for background noise and I heard the announcer fella mention your name. I looked up and there you were on the Nancy Grace program talkin’ ’bout some dead colored gal in Houston.”
LK: What did you think? (I asked while preparing my ego to be spoon fed)
UNCUOTH ELDERLY UNCLE & ASSHOLE: “Well, I called Edna back home and told her to watch. We both agreed you looked a little heavy.”
I looked down at the carpet below me just in time to see a growing pool of humiliation encircling my feet. This is gonna stain and it’s gonna be permanent; impervious to even the most stringent applications of OxiClean.
What can I do when something like this happens? Smile? Stand there and nd my head in agreement and diffuse the situation further by making a joke about my IMAX screen of an ass?
I said, “Well, good seeing you and my best to Aunt Edna!”
I smiled, then walked away, all the while planning his untimely death.
Nah, actually, I shook it off. Not everyone can or should contribute to curbing my neediness. Besides, I don’t need the validation like I used to. I nipped the whole scenario in the bud by empowering myself. I patted myself on the back for losing weight and being stronger than ever before. Besides, that’s just one crusty old coot’s opinion.
The timing was interesting though.
I had an interview last week for an exclusive in-house, full-time writing position for a very, very prominent Houston man in the medical community. Yeah–I know—as any writer will tell you, this is an über choice gig that rarely EVER rears its lovely head. I find out tomorrow night if I got it or not and if so, for how much I will be paid. So, for the past week,I’ve been living on a steady diet of manifestation and creative visualization.
As you might imagine, I’m applying every ounce of psychic weaponry I possess because writing is my passion. While I’ve always written throughout my career, this gig is different. It includes serious book and publishing implications.
I want this job. No, I REALLY want this job, kids. Enough to go to church and break fire codes by lighting a devotional candle. I need to secure this position for my personal and professional bucket list.
You see, NOT getting this job isn’t an option. That’s it…that’s all there is. So yeah, I’ve put a lot of pressure on myself to obtain this most recent life dream. I have tunnel vision. I can think of little else.
A friend called me on my drive back to Houston and we discussed this possible career change and my attitude towards it and he asked my why I get like this; when I really, really want something I do it to the point of developing severe agita, intestinal distress and insomnia.
I just smiled and continue on with my “get this job…get this job…if it is to be, it is up to me” mantra in my head. I know what I’m doing. Self-imposed pressure works. I’m like an oyster that way. Like the tasty mollusk, when a foreign substance slips inside my shell, irritation is the result. My psyche goes into self protective mode and the irritant is smothered with determination, drive and ambition. Then, my interior applies pressure and this undulation movement of back and forth; side to side takes over. It’s what we bivalves do. Part of the natural order.
So, if an ugly old oyster can spit a beautiful pearl out of its ass, I can certainly sweat the small stuff when required.
Lastly, as wonderfully driven as I am, I could still use a little luck, so wish me some….please? My pressure valve is on and trust me, it’s turned on HIGH, but admittedly, I’m a little nervous. Obviously, I’m not an oyster and I sure as HELL don’t want to get up from my interview chair tomorrow night and leave a little pile of inadvertant but icky “determination pellets” in the seat.