MY RETURN TO BLOGLAND:
WHAT I LEARNED WHEN I WOKE UP FROM THE MATRIX
I have not posted on this blog in over two years. Since I last wrote, I quit my excellent (and easy but boring) high-paying job, moved to another state to start my dream career (or so I thought); got fired from my dream career because...because...you know what? No one ever told me why, so I’ve just been assuming it was stupid academic politics (i.e. the person I replaced decided she DIDN’T want to stay home full-time with her baby after all, so they fired me for vaguely-stated reasons and let her have her job back…correction: they let her have MY job back. Smug Christian BASTARDS!) So I moved HOME, got married, had a beautiful baby, and LORD JESUS, help me! It’s been quite a busy two years. So, I thought a good way to return to my blog might be to share a few things I learned since I posted the last time. It’s just my round-about way to catch you up-to-date. (Accept my apologies in advance for the all-caps. Here’s my formal apology: If you don’t like all-caps, too bad. This is my blog, and I speak in all-caps sometimes, so why can’t I write that way? I always picture the Ten Commandments in all-caps, and these are my personal commandments):
I am not assuming you need me to teach you any of the following. Enjoy.
1. DON’T BUY THE HOUSE OF YOUR DREAMS IN THE CITY OF YOUR NIGHTMARES. If half the population attends the “church of Christ” and the other half is in bed by 10:00, that town is not for you. Church of Christ people need a lot of sinners around to keep it interesting, and trust me, you will need a drink some night when the bars are closed. Rent something close to work, so you can shake the dust from your feet with a lot less hassle when the time comes for you to WAKE UP from the Matrix.
2. DON’T UNPACK IT UNLESS YOU NEED IT NOW, TODAY…You could lose your (expletive deleted) job and have to move again in six (expletive deleted) months.
3. LET THE HOUSEPLANTS GO. Moving them is a waste of time. Give them to somebody who will love them and give them a good home. Don't waste energy feeling guilty. You did right by them.
4. DON’T TAKE THE JOB IF A LITTLE ALARM GOES OFF IN YOUR HEAD during the interview that says, “You can’t work for this guy. He’s a smug, closeted/homosexual, micro-managing, control-freak who thinks you are beneath him. You are clearly NOT beneath him. RUN!” Yeah, don’t take that job. I know it seems perfect, and it’s a dream come true. DO…NOT…SEEK…THE TREASURE. (Thank you, Cohen brothers.) Listen to your inner voice…that’s God trying to tell you not to work at a Christian school. He has much better things in store for you. (I’m not asserting the accuracy of any of the above statements, but that IS what my little voice said in the interview. I heard it. Sue me.)
5. GET MARRIED WHEN YOU’RE READY TO GET MARRIED, not when other people in your family are ready for you to get married. Get married when the time is right, even if someone just died. They would want you to be happy. Who cares if there’s a lot of crying at your wedding? At least you won’t look at the pictures and regret your choices years later. You’ll also have deep-seeded issues with people, the people who “changed” your mind for you. If people are uncomfortable with the circumstances of your life, then…wait…wait just a second…remind me again why they have a say…? It’s your (expletive deleted) life.
6. PLAN THE MOMENT-TO-MOMENTS OF YOUR LIFE AROUND WHAT YOUR LOVER WANTS TO DO. (I use the term "lover" here because if you’re not married to whoever your lover is, but instead are married to a cowboy Republican fascist with anger-management issues, then you’ve got a lot of long nights ahead. Divorce that jerk, and find your lover.) If your lover is not available, plan moments around what your kid wants to do. If your kid is taking a nap, plan those moments around what your dog wants to do… and so on… You might be tempted to live for yourself. Don’t be. Yes, yes… Have a healthy image of yourself, do a few things for yourself, get a pedicure every once in a while, but LIVE for the people you love and “living for yourself” will take care of itself.
7. DON’T CLICK “REMOVE FROM MY FRIENDS” ON FACEBOOK, EVER. Facebook unto others the way you would have them Facebook unto you. Forget that button exists or you’ll be drunk with your own power and who knows what might happen then? You might be tempted to remove people who worked at a place where the boss sabotaged you because you are paranoid about what kinds of lies and extrapolations they may or may not have heard about you from the total cock that was your boss (a “cock” is a small rooster who struts around a house full of hens—that’s the cock I mean; however, the double entendre is fortunate here). Instead of “de-friending” those people, hold your head high. Your future success and happiness will vindicate you. While they’re teaching it, you’ll be doing it. Someday their students will ask you for a job. Besides, how will they ever see the photographic evidence of your future success and happiness without Facebook? And they WILL Facebook stalk you. Count on it.
8. IF SOMEBODY OR A GROUP OF “SOMEBODIES” DOESN’T WANT YOU, TEACH YOURSELF NOT TO WANT THEM. This includes churches, spouses, places of business, family members, etc… You might have to teach yourself this valuable skill in EMOTIONAL BOOT CAMP, but learn it, or those close to you will get tired of hearing you moaning and groaning and feeling sorry for yourself. Move on!
9. WHEN PEOPLE ASK YOU… “So, when did you decide you’re not church of Christ anymore?” Say unto them, “I didn’t decide. I just realized I wasn’t.” They’ll think you’ve become a Buddhist, and it’ll be really fun.
10. GETTING UP ON YOUR FEET IN FRONT OF 500 PEOPLE AND SPEAKING WORDS ABOUT YOUR MOTHER AT HER MEMORIAL SERVICE WILL MAKE YOU PROUD OF YOURSELF TWO YEARS LATER AND PROBABLY FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. Come to think of it. Maybe I should post the eulogy I wrote for her. Would that be disrespectful? Your thoughts?
Here are a few life lessons that I learned from other sources:
“Just smile, and laugh and talk and be nice to everyone and no one will even notice that zit on your chin.”
–Mom (My mother was a wise, wise woman because this method works even if the “zit on your chin” isn’t really a zit on your chin...let THAT one sink in.)
When the baby cries and cries and cries and you don’t know what to do: “Just love her. Keep loving her.”
–Aunt “Nurse” Betty.
“Be still, and know that I am God.”
“People who mind don’t matter, and people who matter don’t mind.”
–Anonymous (This one should also be attributed to my Mom. This was one of her mantras...no I'm not Hindu either.)
"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." -Oliver Wendell Holmes
“It’ll all work out.”
–Mom (Thanks, Mom. It did.)