‘Everything is different now’

“Everything that I said I’d do
Like make the world brand new
And take the time for you
I just got lost and slept right through the dawn
And the world spins madly on.”

The Weepies, “World Spins Madly On”

Today’s my two-year anniversary at my job. I call it my job, and not my work, and in my world? That’s what’s called progress.

Things have changed so much since that cold, rainy, scary day in 2005. I hadn’t had an official job in months, I was wondering whether this job would turn out as fucked-up as the prior five, and I was so very terrified that I was going to do something to screw this opportunity up.

It was literally my life preserver — I couldn’t do anything but cling for dear life until I got my sea legs back. And I did well, all told. I learned a profession in which I’d only had fairly limited exposure. I gave it my best, and their best was given back.

I had a few choices presented to me at once — a dearth turned into somewhat of a bounty, as I had some bad offers and then I had this one. It was the team that enticed me more so than the work, at the time. I’ve always taken jobs for the workload, not for the people whom I’d serve. Big mistake, then. Because a great team makes up for a lot of long, hard days. Trust me on this.

And in time, the work caught up with my expectations. I am better-trained than most, and definitely best-mentored. My success has not been serendipitous. My network is wide, encompassing people who’ve “been there” and who want to see me get to where they are.

The team is somewhat different. Bigger, with one player gone and a bunch more added. The absence of the one is felt every day, but it’s been replaced by stronger ties to the other original players. We’d worked so closely together, and the office in which I’d spent so much time is now a place I don’t have occasion to visit anymore. The structure has changed somewhat, and so has the vibe. Not in a bad way, just different.

I spend time in my old office, as I’ve sort of taken the new occupant under my wing. I see something, someone special there — not only someone who is an asset to the group and who will, in time, become even more of an asset to me, but also someone who’s got that “special” spark. I don’t know what it is — it’s just one of those times when you just know you have the chance to give someone the opportunities that were withheld from you at that age. I hope I do well with this one and others to come. I am able to build my own team, but for the most part, I’m ridiculously happy with the one that has taken care of me.

And of course my personal life has gone through the wringer in all that time. My family went from sacrificing everything to save my ass while I wasn’t working to, now, me being the one to take care of everything for the indefinite future.

Today’s Horoscope: You may be rather uncomfortable with the level of emotional intensity that is likely to seep into every aspect of your day, Goddess. … Your detachment can be a great asset, but on a day like this it may be your biggest enemy.

The horoscope doesn’t begin to cover my emotional scope today. Today I feel passion — good and bad and every level in between. I have spent the last couple of years trying to be cool, controlled, almost unnoticeable — anything to keep from rocking the proverbial boat. But I am not in the mood to fade into the background today. I want to be seen, heard, touched, felt.

The Weepies have a great song that I’m listening to right now, and the lyric is a very simple, “You turn me into somebody loved.”

So many people have done that for me. Some have come and gone, and some linger. Do I make them feel loved in return? I turn into such a sixth-grader when it comes to showing I care about someone. I do it, but then wonder whether I should have kept it to myself or whether I should have been more overt about it, because there’s the possibility that they don’t know how much they rock and they NEED TO KNOW. And I need to be the one to convey it!

I’ve spent a lifetime holding everyone at arm’s length. I’m not promising to throw my arms around everyone now and hold them close, but this year, if I can just bend my elbow a bit and not hold them so far away, it’s a good start for me.

But if I do reach out — and not with my palm out — I will do so with the expectation that I won’t be rejected. That’s been my biggest fear and possibly the reason why I turn away first. I’ve lost too many good people this way, and I don’t intend to further the habit. Even if it means reaching back to the ones I’ve walked past, I’m going to do it.

And if I touch you, know it’s just as much to comfort me as it is for you.

Although I quoted The Weepies today (because they are my new favorite band), the real song in my head as I close this entry is Don Henley’s “Everything is Different Now.”

“Yeah, I miss the old crowd sometimes
And the wild, wild nights of running
You know, a starving soul cant live like that for long
You go around in circles that just keep getting smaller
You wake up one morning and half your life is gone
I got so tired of that; I got so lonely
I dropped down and I called out to heaven
send me someone to love.
And heaven shot back, you get the love that you allow.
And everything is different now.”

— Don Henley, “Everything is Different Now”

So, is life better or worse than it was two years ago? I don’t know. If I still had my grandfather on this earth, it would be better, no question. Ultimately, I guess it’s overall one for the “win” column, but I say that with the expectation that it’s going to get even better as time goes on.

It has to. I will accept no less.

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