Last week was incredibly rough.
Nothing traumatic happened per se, it was more about the impact of several events all rolled up and combined with my case of the blues.
Even though my blog has “Bitter” in its title, I do try and keep things on the uptick ’round here. But the truth is, things aren’t always so easy. And if there is one thing I’ve always promised my readers, clients, friends, and editors in my 13 years as a writer, it’s that I will always be honest. Even if that honesty is ugly; so, let’s do this.
For starters, it was my first full week of work in awhile — there was Labor Day, and then my beach trip, which gave me two awesome short weeks at the office, right in a row.
I mentioned a few weeks ago, that I recently got into some trouble at work (someone screen-capped my personal Twitter feed), and I was told that I was not a good representation of our office (um, duh), and that I should be ashamed to even show my face at work.
And while I don’t believe I did anything wrong, I’ve tried my best to follow orders and basically hide in my office for the last few weeks. I put up curtains, got a candle warmer, hung photos on the wall, and strings of lights around shelves. I even put in a microwave so I wouldn’t have to visit the break room.
So, when I get to work, I go straight to my 3rd floor, corner office, and I work all day, not stopping for lunch.
But I can’t hide all the time. Part of my job requires going to meetings. And I am supposed to go to said meetings with a positive attitude (I was told this).
While I’ve had my job for more than six years, I can say with confidence that I’ve always felt like an outcast. I dress different, I talk different, my ideas and attitudes are different. Unfortunately, that doesn’t sit well with my superiors.
But I can’t be fired just because I’m not well-liked. What in means though, is that going to work is more difficult than it should be — I feel alone at work.
And although I’d love it if my hobbies — my blog, my blog class, my books — made the money that could cover all of my expenses and I didn’t have to have a traditional office job, that’s not the case (today, at least).
Of course, that’s the beauty of having this blog as a place to go to when I need it the most. When I can share my story with someone out there (even if it’s just one person that I don’t even know, I appreciate you).
The fact that anyone even reads this brings a smile to my face, even when there’s no one around to see it.
But lately, I’m starting to really feel that loneliness like never before.
A few months ago, a writer friend approached me about doing an authors event — I would read an excerpt of my book to a small reading group, and then sell and sign copies of it.
It has always been my DREAM to do that! My stomach was churning with adrenaline and I gave a little squeal of happiness behind my closed office door.
But then I pictured it: me, packing my car with all of my shit. Going to the reading group with said shit. Unpacking it. Smiling as I read stories about my broken heart. Smiling and laughing as I sign and sell shit. Packing it up, driving home, opening my door to see no one, and (let’s drive this one home) eating dinner, alone.
It’s my worst nightmare. What’s success with no one to share it with? And yes, I know, I don’t need a man to be happy. Being single is so fun.
Heard it all before.
But there are times, I wish to have someone by my side. Someone to share it all with.
Last week, my 4th book was published. While I felt this huge weight lifted from my shoulders, and I felt proud of the work I’ve put into the universe… my phone was silent. No messages of congratulations from my friends or family, or my crush (said crush has since been eliminated).
And boy was I bummed. I know, it sounds selfish, and it makes it seem like I just do it for the lip service. I really don’t. And some of you readers sent me congratulatory messages, and I loved them! I hope I’m not asking for a pity party here; I swear I’m not trying to.
Instead of running home and popping a bottle of celebratory bubbles, I did my usual workout, and I watched the 2-hour premier of The Voice (#TeamPharrell) with my cat.
And that’s when it all started to sink in. I really am a team of one. I haven’t spoken to my dad in two months. Aside from my mom, I actually haven’t spoken to anyone in my family for years.
No matter who’s at fault, I do know that we are only on this earth for a short time. And I’ve always kind of had this fear of dying young; which is probably why I feel this incredible sense of urgency to get stories and words out there NOW.
I want to pick my battles and let go of grudges. I want to smile more. And I really would like to find a person to share my life with; the tears and the laughs. If he’s out there, I’m waiting. And I’m really working hard to be the best version of me while I wait.
All of this is what swirls around inside my brain most of the time; and then the universe does its thing and delivers me a reminder that I’m not all alone. I’ve got some really awesome friends around me.
One of them had a birthday over the weekend, and we celebrated over Sunday brunch (okay, and margaritas on Friday, and champagne the Thursday prior). which is possibly one of my favorite things. Although the celebration wasn’t for me, it was a moment that I needed.
And while friends aren’t the same as being in love, it’s exactly what I need. I may never find happiness in my job, my coworkers will probably always give me side-eye, maybe my family will win the world record for the silent treatment, and maybe the cute guy at the gym will never ask for my phone number.
But friends. I’m really good at keeping my friends around. Maybe that’s really all I need: friends. And Sunday brunch.