‘Back then I thought I’d never ever stand alone’

Ahoy, matey!

Originally uploaded by dcwriterdawn

Oh. My. God.

So, if Eleanor Roosevelt was right that no one can make you feel inferior without your consent, at some point today I signed the damn permission slip.

Silly Goddess.

“I was listening to the radio
I heard a song reminded me of long ago
Back then I thought that things were never gonna change
It used to be that I never had to feel the pain
I know that things will never be the same now.”

— Eddie Money, “I Wanna Go Back”

I was thinking about my old Easter Seals colleagues today. I remember how we celebrated when each of us left that horrible place … how we’d have special happy hours (in addition to the “regular” ones) to say goodbye and good luck.

Inevitably, one by one, we each got one shitty job after the next. No one came back, but most of us didn’t last a year in our new gigs.

I remember that making me so angry … that we got out of a job that paid nothing — from a place that was depressing at best — and we were all such GOOD PEOPLE who had such CRAP LUCK with jobs.

Every one of us had a “rebound job.” The one I had after that pretty much sucked mightily too. I don’t know what happened to everyone after that — those were the “dark years” when Facebook hadn’t yet been invented. But I haven’t heard of any of us setting the world on fire. Which, for all the heart and soul we gave to our vocations, it’s a damn shame we didn’t.

Back then, though, at least we had each other. And that counted for a lot. While I love being a manager, I miss everyone being on the same level and therefore able to relate and share without a conflict of interest.

I stay in touch with a couple of my friends from that time. They’ve all had kids since I saw them last. I don’t know that any of them found their dream job. I think they’ve learned to find joy in their beautiful families.

I’ve probably had five dream jobs since then. (Wes Craven dreams, but dreams nonetheless.) I wish we could get the old gang back together. I wonder what we’d tell our 20-odd-something selves. Probably not to get married, not to have kids, not to wrap yourself up in your career, and not to trust anyone else the way we trusted each other back then.

I feel like I was wiser then. I was a smartass. But I was a damn good game-player. The older I get, though, the more-real I am. I say things that offend people. I do things that piss them off. I disengage when I’m tired. I avoid what isn’t enjoyable. And I don’t understand why I haven’t yet achieved martyr status from some of the more-miserable years.

I love my people now. But damn, I miss that group from ES. It’s been so long since the mid-’90s when we were all together. I hope they’ve landed their dream jobs or, even better, their dream lives.

More likely, we all still drink just a little bit too much, think a little bit too much about that person we didn’t end up with, and still hold on to the hope that we chose right and that we’ll get it right in the next life, if we run out of chances in this one.

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