numb, adjective, deprived of the power of sensation
Well I looked my demons in the eyes
Lay bare my chest
Said do your best
To destroy me
See I’ve been to hell and back
So many times
I must admit
You kinda bore me
-Empty, Ray Lamontagne
I remember when I first started writing this blog. It all started with inspiration from the Oxford English Dictionary at a time in my life when I was trying to get back to my English Major roots…and the creative writer that I was once was in college. I was a new mom with an infant desperate to find a way to fill the gap that staying home and not working had created. This blog took me on quite a journey – from gaining the attention of thousands of readers to landing me a great job at an amazing company.
Now – almost 9 years later – I am sitting back down to this very space in a similar position. Although the circumstances of why I am again in that gap between work and non-work is far less as positive and hopeful as a newborn baby – but similarly as difficult and challenging if not much more so.
Today, I’m bringing this blog up to date and to where I am currently, recently laid off at 41. In the same way that I chose a word a day (or every other day) that struck my mood or fancy, I am going at it again – only this time in light of a much different and less straight forward journey to the next professional and personal manifestation of myself.
So today, the word is numb.
I woke up slightly hungover from too much prosecco which I began drinking at 11:30 am – precisely 15 minutes after I arrived home from being shit canned. I would have chosen shit canned as the word since I’ve quite happily adopted saying it to whomever wants to discuss the details of the recent experience. But I’d rather focus on where I’m going and not where I’ve been – although I really like saying shit canned, loudly and often – especially after too much prosecco.
This morning, I quickly assessed that I needed a lot of de puffing eye cream due to my prevalent ugly crying which occurred throughout yesterday, threw on a sweatshirt, made some eggs, talked to a few people who were recently made aware of my current state and decided that I felt pretty good – and made a plan of attack for what I needed to do today to get moving on with the rest of my life – starting with a Peloton ride.
I didn’t realize until the second to last song of the 30 Minute Low Impact Ride with Jess King that what I was feeling was not pretty good, hanging in there, hopeful – any of those things. What I realized as I started weeping – while still full on pedaling and, to my complete credit, finishing the workout – that I was entirely numb all morning. And even after I finished the work out, showered, went out and bought a laptop, went food shopping, had lunch with my husband – I am still lacking the true sensation physically and emotionally of what has occurred.
I am numb as I see the blank page before me. A completely open road that I am standing at the beginning of – again. I can fill this page with words but filling what comes next in my life is a more difficult task – one I didn’t choose to take on, but have been thrust into, nonetheless.
Everything happens for a reason is everyone’s favorite sage advice to give in a time like this. I know that the saying is true. I’ve said it to others many times before. The problem with digesting it today in my own situation is I don’t know the reason just yet – and it’s going to be awhile before I do – most likely a long while – and I know I am going to stumble, take wrong turns, make mistakes, and screw up before I know the all important reason why this all happened.
So today, I am not focusing on the reason, the emotion or the why. I am not trying to see the road ahead just yet and I am not making any promises to myself or making any hard plans for how I am going to approach what this is. I am staying numb today and focusing on the doing – the writing, the bike riding, the making, the reading, the packing up of my belongings from my old office like a criminal, with security, after hours. It is the doing – not the feeling – that is going to get me through today and onto wherever I am headed next.
As Jess King said during the song that I wept and rode my bike to, we are at our best when we have to pick ourselves up. Today I picked myself up and got through it.