For example, this week, after having been a part of the work force for sixteen years, I was laid off for the first time in my life. To be honest, it was not completely unexpected and I was half-ready to quit a week ago. Funny how life surprises you sometimes.
On the plus side, it was a only a few hours a week and I still have a few more weeks to go before this particular job ends (and I have another job to make ends meet). A friend suggested actually celebrating this “first”, which I am not so sure about. I had a drink with a friend last night, does that count?
What are everybody’s experiences with getting laid off? Did it happen out of the blue? Were you relieved? Did you celebrate?
Today, on our way home from the playground, my niece asked me out of the blue: Why aren’t you married yet?
For a second, I stopped dead in my tracks. Why was she asking me such a blunt question, a question that I grapple with more times than I care to admit? (Not necessarily about the “being married” part per se, but more in general about my relationship status.)
I answered: Well, I guess I haven’t met the right person yet. Or maybe I’ll never get married. Some couples decide to get married, others don’t. Both are valid life choices. There are many different ways of living and being.
My 5-year-old niece accepted the answer and consequently turned the conversation over to dinosaurs.
Thanks for joining me!
This is my new yellow note pad. For too long, I was too afraid to put myself and my words out into the world. I held back in fear of being ignored or judged. But the best moments of my life were born out of me standing up to my fear and not letting it determine my path.
There are too many stories that need telling. Too many voices that are not being heard or that are deliberately being silenced. I will start by telling my own story, or snippets or versions of my story. Historical accuracy is not guaranteed. Then, I will share others’ stories and ideas.
This is meant to be a place for sharing and bringing people together through the art of storytelling. I hope to provide a gathering place for creativity and activism, kindness and community.
All of which is going to take place while I am lost. Inspired by Rebecca Solnit’s writing and a re-reading of A Field Guide to Getting Lost, I am taking the dreaded first step. What I need now is “simply a sense of optimism about surviving and finding [my] way” (14) and, at the same time, to be fully present, which “is to be capable of being in uncertainty and mystery” (6). I don’t do well with uncertainty, but this is my attempt at finding my way by putting myself out there.
And “out there” refers to the online community as well as the natural world, because “the self only exists in reference to the rest of the world, no you without mountains, without sun, without sky” (17). We are all part of this world right now. So what are we waiting for?
Never to get lost is not to live, not to know how to get lost brings you to destruction, and somewhere in the terra incognita in between lies a life of discovery.
— Rebecca Sonit