Many of you have been asking how I am and wondering where I've been and the answer is not good and in bed! Just kidding, well maybe not! Thank you for your concern and here is my issue. It is long and just full of everything I've wanted to say but no one wants me to be sad so HERE is my sad!
My parents opened their own business when I was 10 yrs old. I have worked there ever since. I had to go there before school to work then ride my bike there after school even in elementary school. It was my normal and at the time it was fun and new. I gradually grew to hate it and grew very tired of missing out on things because of work. I feel like I missed out on many things throughout my childhood. I do NOT think I had a "bad" childhood but I missed out on many things in order to help with the family business. I paid for my own car insurance, my gas, my meals if not at home, my clothes, movies, skating and most of my camps and retreats. If it wasn't work or a church related activity, I did not go. I did not attend most school activities because I had to work. Needless to say I was excited to leave for college and get a new job. This would be the ONLY time in my life that I did NOT work for my parents. Upon returning from college, I began working for them again. I quit towards the end of my pregnancy with Elijah but ended up returning to work when he was 6 mos old. I remained there up until last week. I worked with my parents for 23 years. Many times I have wanted to leave but out of guilt and convenience I always stayed. I harbored guilt for many many years due to the fact that NO one knew how to do my job and Dad would always say "We don't know what we would do without you!" It is a compliment and guilt inducing statement all in one! I did payroll, accounts payable, accounts receivable, inventory control, accounting, generating and posting purchase orders, taxes and too many other things to even mention. Most of the time I felt overworked and under paid BUT I always had the convenience to rely on. If the kids were sick, I could stay home. If I had a meeting at one of the schools, I could go. If one of us had to go to the doctor, I could take them. If we wanted to go on vacation, we went. If I had volunteered at one of the schools, I went. Basically, after I had children, this aspect of the job was priceless and so I pressed on.
Our lease at the store was going to end in July of this year. The plan was to close the store unless we found a buyer. We found a buyer but not soon enough. As of Thursday April 2, 2009, I am officially unemployed. The store is closed. There are only a handful of people at this time that seem to understand my emotions. I did NOT just lose my job. I have worked with my Dad and my Uncle EVERY day for so many years. I am sad. No wait as of right now I think I am depressed but rightfully so. I WILL get over it and I WILL move forward and hopefully have a better future but this is all I have known for a very long time ~ over 2/3 of my life. Although we knew it was coming to an end soon, we did not realize Thursday would be our last day. I did not find out it was official until Saturday night and I don't believe I have cried that hard since my Grandfather died in 2003.
I am NOT just looking at the negative but I am sad ~ truly sad. I learned so much and basically grew up there. I am trying to be the "strong one" and have only broken down into little bitty pieces with a couple of people or when I am in the car alone. It is funny how that used to be my happy place ~ in the car alone singing at the top of my lungs ~ but NOW it is where I am the saddest! I don't know what to do with myself. I have decided I FOR SURE would go insane being a SAHM. My kids are at school and I am going nuts. I have things I can do but I just don't WANT to do them. I no longer have an excuse for my house being dirty but I don't want to clean it. I catch myself just staring off in a daze. In fact, Monday I was at the store helping clean up some things when my Dad called my name several times without me hearing him. I was sitting in a chair by the register in a daze spinning a pair of scissors on my finger. He said this is how he was on Saturday. Then he had me make a poster with a note to all of our customers and friends about the closing and I couldn't hang it on the door. It was as if hanging the poster made it all official and I teared up every time I was asked if I was going to hang it. I've wanted a change for so long and now that it is finally here ~ I don't know what to do with myself. Most people don't understand and a few have said to stop looking at the negative but until they are in my shoes I don't feel that is an appropriate thing to say. I am not being "negative" but I am I would think understandably upset. The people who truly know me understand why I am upset but others....not so much!! How can you say that when I am the one picking my Father up off the floor when he is bawling? When I am the one telling him we will all be ok when in fact I am scared to death? No matter how weak he is in the moment, he is still MY big, strong Daddy and I am the one watching him fall apart at the seams. He just keeps saying, "I knew it would end and I knew it would be soon but I never wanted it to end like this!" It is hard to watch him cry and I am trying my best NOT to break down in front of anyone but when I am alone I am scared. His health has declined rapidly over the past 8 months and I hope with less stress and more rest he can become his old self. Right now, he feels like a failure and he is scared he is disappointing his entire family but hopefully this much needed and deserved time off will make him realize we will always be there and he is not disappointing us. I want to quit crying and I don't want to sleep but sleeping is all that keeps me sane for the time being. I will overcome this and move on but I need time. I don't know what I will do or for that matter I don't know what I want to do. I can type like no other and I have years of experience in certain things but every time I find a job that seems perfect for my skills it says, "College degree required!" I don't have a college degree for THAT skill but I CAN do it. Will they overlook the degree and give me the job based on my skills and years of experience? I don't know! I need to finish our taxes. I need to do a resume but instead I am blogging since I KNOW how to do that and it requires no degree! We will be fine. I have to believe this. I have to believe this is a blessing in disguise and our future will only get brighter but then I think of all my memories and start to cry again.
Do you know how many people I have met over the course of 23 yrs? Do you know how many of them know me by name? Do you know I see at least one customer of ours every time I get groceries and now they will have a ton of questions that will make me want to cry? Do you know that some of the people I have worked with are no longer friends but family to me? Do you know I am heart broken? Do you know I am sitting here alone typing away and crying? I just want someone here to hug me and let me cry without telling me every thing will be fine. I just want to cry and be allowed to cry, be sad and let it all out. Do you know I wanted this so bad and now that it is here I am a wreck? Why do I always have to be the strong one? Why do I always have to pick up the pieces when all I want to do is scatter them around for someone else to pick up? I want to scream, "I am always the "happy go lucky, funny" gal so let me just have my sad moment before I move on with the rest of my life!" Do you know I feel better just typing all of the things that have been in my head? Thank you for listening and I hope I didn't depress anyone! I will be ok....I just need time! Well now I have to wash my face, put eye drops in my eyes then cry my way to get groceries praying I don't run into anyone I know before I get the boys from school! Fun times!
Thanks to Chai, Mel, Karen and Lisa for being my listening ears and my shoulder to cry on!