July marks the half way mark of 2015, and I find myself vacillating between wondering where the time has gone and wanting 2016 to hurry up and get here. The recurrent theme of these first six months of the year has been one of loss on a number of fronts. The year had barely begun when my beloved grandmother died rather unexpectedly, and I have lost count of the number of friends who also have experienced the death of a loved one. It is said that we are presented with lessons until we learn them, and I am more than ready to move on from the lesson of grief to a happier one. The universe seems to have other plans, though.
As I shared in Resignation, recently, I left my job as the Program Director at a day shelter for homeless men, when I accepted another position that allows me to work from home. There was a great deal of grief surrounding my resignation, even though it was my choice, and a choice that affords me with some incredible opportunities. When I began my new position, I was relieved that I had a beginning to celebrate, instead of a loss to mourn. Then, the email arrived.
On the morning of my first day of my new job, I received an email from my partner on The Kindness Blog, and as always, I was happy to hear from him. The opening paragraph quickly changed my mood, as he told me that following our recent hiatus that he had made the tough decision to be the sole administrator of the blog. Translation: The Kindness Blog would return, but I would not. Since he began the blog on his own and has been the driving force behind it, it was absolutely his right to make this decision. I was and continue to be so grateful that he took a chance on me last year by allowing me to part of his vision, and I truly want what is best for him and for the blog. That said, no long being part of something I thoroughly enjoyed and believed in, especially with no warning, hurt. It hurt rather a lot.
It was the proverbial, “It’s not you; it’s me”, but it definitely felt like it was me. It always does. No matter what kind of loss I have experienced, and believe me, in the past four years, I have had an inordinate number of losses of various kinds, I always blame myself. Always. I feel like I am well versed when it comes to grief and loss, but this latest one reminded me that I have much to learn. When I returned to the solitude of my hotel room after a day of job training, I felt tears begin to form almost as soon as I shut the door. No matter how gentle or kind someone is when they end a professional venture, personal relationship, or a hybrid of the two, the message still stings.
After a good cry and countless failed inner pep talks, I resigned myself to the fact that with loss comes grief and change, two things I don’t always handle well. I cannot control every loss that I am faced with, but I can control how I respond, even when I feel completely out of control. So, I decided to make a consorted effort to respond in a way that would allow me to feel sad about the situation, while focusing on all that is, and will be, positive and good in my life. I think that it’s safe to say that I have mastered the former, so, my focus has been on the latter.
Too often, I allow grief to swallow me whole, as I replay events in my head, searching for clues as to what I could have or should have done to prevent the loss from occurring and/or to discover what I did to cause the loss. To prevent that all too familiar loop from playing endlessly in my head, I decided, albeit reluctantly, to allow for the possibility that, not only does life go on, but that, maybe, just maybe, this is an instance when life could and would be better. Because few people do self-pity, self-doubt, and pain better than I do, this was a tough concept to embrace. But I have, and I will continue to do so.
I miss working with my partner and being part of that community, but I still have extraordinary people and things in my ordinary life. That’s not some sort of consolation prize; that’s the ultimate prize indeed. Loss can suck, but it doesn’t have to suck the life out of me. Of course, this particular loss pales in comparison with the loss of a loved one, but I hope that I can take what I learn from this and use it for the more intense losses that are a part of life. Perhaps, I am on my way to learning this lesson, so, I can only hope that this means a reprieve from any other losses for the foreseeable future. Please, and thank you.
That’s another story . . .
Categories: That's Another Story