Returning to work yesterday was like arriving home after a long pilgrimage to nowhere. Yeah. I was gone. I came back. Except for all of the welcome back chatter and hugs and even a little kiss, it was an ordinary gig day.
So wonderful. All of that love bestowed on me and a full schedule of wonderful clients. Man. Life really does not get better than yesterday. Or, today. Or, even, just about any day of the past year and a half. It was difficult to make sense when I escaped that other life; I was shocky for months. Even moving into my current place was not any kind of positive turning point or moment for me. Only the perspective, that gift, of Time allows me to see how far I have come in, well, everything.
And, today was one of many perfect, or nearly perfect, illustrations of that journey, all of the steps and pauses and back-tracking, recovery and this slow, sometimes torturous, and excellently pleasing forward movement. I now have a life worth having, an actual and fairly normal life, just like everyone else. Sure, I know that there is no normal to be had, it does not exist. Normal as normal is a fiction.
However, I do have my own normal, one I continue to craft each day, sometimes moment by moment. It is wonderful. My life is wonderful. I had a normal vacation, albeit a working one, from a normal occupation. I returned to it and, who woulda thunk it, all normal. Mine.
One of the things I was anticipating for yesterday was to see the effect of last month's training on how I work with my clients. I wondered, when we began to work together, if there would be some significant change in the process. It was more subtle, sort of like an affirmation of what I always do. I believe that I am a more effective listener now. So cool. Of course, it helps that I get to work with some of the nicest and best people on the planet. Yep.
I thought that I would be exhausted by mid-afternoon, mostly because I had to wake at 6 a.m., a time that I almost always get up for the day. Those other days, especially the past five weeks, were pretty much the same, but I did not have to get up. It was a choice, and I had me a few really nice naps during those weeks, which makes an early start to the day easier to take.
My last client arrived on time and we worked well past his appointment time, and with energy to spare. I might write about him someday. It was an amazing conversation that traveled well beyond the actual work. He was, is, inspiring, having overcome many obstacles, often of his own making. I am a pretty solid, earthy and plain person, and he is much the same. No sub context. No hidden agendas. No bullshit. My kind of client. I have had my share of drama queens (both genders) and those who blame everyone else for their problems, so it is refreshing and energizing to work with those people who are ready to work and work hard, something I require them to do.
There have been some clients who really only want a typist, and it helps if they find one that can read their minds. My crystal ball is effectively broken, but if someone wants me to type, I am happy to do that. I want, I long, I yearn to offer more to them, but my job is to be the tool that helps them create the tool that is their résumé and any other documents they need. If they need extra services, I help them find the right resources, agencies and people they need.
Many of my clients experience housing and food insecurity, and they often need those issues and challenges managed before they can move forward. I am happy, genuinely happy, to oblige. It is often the most satisfying part of my work. I really dig it. Really.
I wonder, sometimes, how I came to have this great life. I know that I have worked for it, that I continue to work my freaking ass off. Every day. Well, most days. Some days I just coast, you know, how we need those fallow times to recover and fill our wells for the fruitful times. Gosh, I can be so Jungian sometimes. Totally smiling now because writing all of this today feels...dare I say...dare I dare to say...happy. Yesterday was happy, exhausting and full of interesting challenges to be addressed, but, really, just so happy.
Truth is that I never thought I could feel happiness like this. Just never believe that I could have a day, much less a life, where happiness could be, could survive the next assault. I had given up all hope for, well, for really anything but pain and worry and fear.
I know that now I can have normally painful times and that I will be able to be proactive about whatever that is and that I can recover from it, become stronger and better prepared to tackle any future painful stuff.
Alrighty, misty eyes aside, today was great as well. Therapy went well. I shared the transcript that the testing agency suggested that we save, you know, just in case our computer went all wonky and so that we would not have to try to duplicate our answers to the exam questions. Good, great idea, as taking that exam was excruciating, and I do not use that lightly. I had such a headache...you cannot imagine...when I finally finished the final question and logged off.
I have been using that exam experience to figure out where I might want to go with all of this stuff. I have to accept the reasonable possibility that I did not successfully pass that exam and that I will find myself studying more for a time and then retaking the exam. If that happens, I will not be able to take the examinations for state certification. This first one was for national certification, and is required to take the state exam. Seems backwards, but it is what it is.
Anyway, whatever extra work it takes, I will achieve both of the certifications and who knows where that will lead. I have been checking the job market for these positions, and they are being gobbled up by people who graduated from this process earlier this year. The job listings still available are not within driving distance, which is a problem because I have decided in the past few weeks that I am not moving. I have been living in this place for a year and am finally unpacking my crap. I am staying here, even if it means that I cannot find a job. I am not giving up my volunteer gig at the library, in fact, I have decided that I am going to add another full day to my schedule there. When I shared that with our director yesterday, she expressed that she was wondering if I would move away to continue the work that I want to do, but that actual work is here, in this town, at that library.
Whatever happens, it is beyond imagining that I could be where I am today. Had I not fled that day, I never would have met all of the new-ish people in my life, and the even-more-new people that keep entering my journey. I am totally and completely slack-jawed amazed at everything that is happening, everything that I have in my life now.
This morning, in therapy, my therapist was kind of chucking at me and I was all yeah-yeah-yeah, I never use the word goals, but I guess I do have them and she was all no, I am enjoying the way that you pull insights out of your ass, and I am all yeah-yeah-yeah. Well, she did not say my ass, but that is pretty much what she meant and just kept up her amusement at my using the word goals, something I have vehemently denied having ever since we met February last year. She also reminded me that my patience now astounds her because after our first month of therapy I was so impatient with not having gotten-over all the crap from the other life.
I am only marginally more patient now.
Sort of like that. The details are irrelevant as long as the truth is there. And, man, I am all about truth now.