Monday, November 14, 2016

Passover

It's easy to remember Halloween. There are many triggers leading up to the Holiday, all the macabre and horrendous themes of the season tying in to the event the day memorializes for me.

The one I forget, is Passover. Not the Jewish holiday of course, just what my mother and I refer to as Passover, since it's the night the Angel of Death passed over her, in the form of a misfired rifle round. It was my first introduction to blatant domestic violence. As I look back, I can now recognize the other forms which existed within the family dynamic. But the night of November 17th, 1994, my biological father physically assaulted me, in my mom's absence. The following night, he assaulted her, and I ran to get help. There are no warnings for the anniversary, no ready explanations for the triggers.

Today, I just began to feel numb and melancholy. It occurred to me to check my email, for my mom's past thank-you's for saving her life. There it was, plain as day, four days away from me now. At least I have an explanation for it. It's so much more disconcerting when there is no logical explanation.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Comfort of Trees

Since I was a child, I have found myself looking out of windows, looking for the sanctuary of trees. In the summer I would climb in their branches, and observe the world around me. I would lay on the ground and look up at the patterns the branches and leaves wove against the sky. In the winter I look for lacy silhouettes, as the sun moves southerly and sinks, casting twilight. I don't know why. I can't stand to look out a window without seeing the sheltering arms of my trees. They are such a comfort.

Friday, November 11, 2016

The More Level-Headed Reasons Middle America Has Been Seeing Red

I've refrained from weighing in on the election results. Particularly at work. Particularly on Facebook. I work for a very conservative company. Stating my conscience told me, whatever misgivings I might have about Hillary Clinton, I was three times more frightened of bigotry and misogyny of Donald Trump,  is a vote that might cost me my job. It's a "right to work" state, and they would not have to give a specific reason for my termination. Facebook is teeming and seething with vitriol. I have friends and family on both sides of the fence, in varying degrees. I just have no wish to engage arguments.

I was disappointed with the results, however not entirely surprised. I toyed with voting on the GOP side very early on in the primaries. It was devastating to see the more moderate candidates get knocked down over and over again for not towing the extreme party line.

The mid-west and the mountain states are fed up. Miners and Energy workers are tired of being poor and unemployed. For me, the economic issues and decline in energy did not supersede the terror of putting a person in office who has belittled various minorities, has no apparent diplomacy, and has talked about, if not acted on desires to sexually assault women. For much of the mid-west and mountain states, the disgruntlement of being jobless and poor did supersede those issues.

There is a deep anger from the average blue collar worker, and even among the white collar levels here in the west. I pondered over it this morning as I drove to work, wondering at the peacefulness of a pink and pale blue sky, drawn over the golden brown of dried grass like a baby blanket. I watched a line of Canadian Geese rise in silhouette against a pastel sky, above trees spreading inky lace-like patterns in stark contrast to the lightening sky. I watched steam billow like cotton from an industrial building, as piles of rusting steel raised ugly monuments to being discarded, before eventually being reborn from the recycling yard. I marveled at the duality we seem to have in our lifestyle here, the good taken with the bad, the aesthetically pleasing peace of nature starkly contrasted against garish industry.

This is the Wyoming I know, beauty paired with pragmatism, nature thriving and choking out small islands of industry. The plains roll out in bleak landscapes, until they crash against breathtaking canyons and mountains, streams and rivers. Herds of deer, antelope, wild horses, and elk, thrive in high desert terrain. I live in a state where conservation is constantly weighed against economic growth, and is valued by liberals and conservatives alike. Someone said to me earlier this year, Wyoming conservatism is so different than the conservatism you find in the south. In the south you are conservative for traditional family and religious values. Wyoming has some of that, but mostly we're conservative when it comes to money. We have survived a boom and bust economy since the birth of our state. It's only natural to pinch pennies during the better times, in hopes there will be something to make up the deficit when the bust hits, because we know it's going to.

Most people here feel that Washington DC is utterly out of touch with the needs and lifestyle of the mountain west. Perhaps they are right, or perhaps it's a prejudice we've developed as we adhere to an idea of a lifestyle we fear will utterly disappear. I find myself tending to believe the same thing about career politicians and the coastal residents of our nation as I listen to the arguments against coal, and other energy industries from friends in those areas. The destruction and pollution they describe is so often not what we witness here. The arguments and railings seem so disparate to the reality we usually enjoy here.

We witness a beautiful place, which we constantly work to maintain, stay wild and beautiful, while we watch our ability to make a living in this place dry up. Earlier this year my co-workers and I watched a convoy of thirty or more Halliburton trucks pack up and leave, shutting down various locations in the state. Other oil and gas companies followed suit. All but one of the major coal companies operating in the Powder River Basin filed Chapter 11, and performed a mass lay-off. Transportation companies, railroad companies, machinery companies, restaurants, construction workers, retail stores, small business, teachers, government workers, all were downsized as the mass exodus grew. Good luck selling a house in Wyoming. You'll get one hell of a deal if you're buying, just don't expect to find work, in order to make your payments.

I watched people not ready yet to end their careers, accept retirement packages they didn't want, because the company's next step to right-size was to lay-off. The potential retirees were afraid they would be the first to be caught in the net, with nothing to show for it, if they didn't take their small nest egg. I witnessed a mother cry, as her pregnant daughter was escorted to her car, laid off and told her current insurance would end at midnight that night, only a week before her baby was due. They of course offered COBRA, but COBRA is not affordable, especially when you've just lost your job. I watched other people I worked with for years lose jobs they and their families depended on, wondering if I would walk in one morning to find my name plate was gone, and my things packed, health insurance terminated for my whole family. The whole time I groused against our state legislature and governor for voting down medicaid expansion, mainly in short-sighted protest.

There is definitely anger in this state, and it would appear across the mid-west and other mountain states. This anger has had many people I know, who absolutely detest Donald Trump in most regards, seeing and voting red, despite their distaste. They have developed a deep distrust for career politicians. They have also developed a deep distrust for anyone claiming to be a Democrat. Here in Wyoming, they don't trust the concept of giving things away for free, valuing an honest day's hard work, learned self-sufficiency and resiliency. But they're damned fast to step up and offer a helping hand when they see someone needs it.

I don't agree with the anger as justification for electing a misogynist and bigot as our leader, but I can certainly understand the motivation behind it. I believe in many ways this election was a cry from the more rural areas of the U.S. A protest, short-sighted as it may be, still a protest, a fist shaken in the face of the more densely populated areas, saying that we've had enough of being told by disconnected people what kind of lifestyle we should have, and how ashamed we should be of our means of living. We're tired of being branded as red-necks and dumb fucks, being lumped together as religious zealots and bigots who want America to be "white" again. Certainly there are undesirable groups of people within our society who want just that. But to brand all those who voted for Trump into such a vile group is disgusting and hateful.

In this state, we want self-determination. We want a chance to work to better ourselves, to develop energy technologies appropriate to our area and work-force, with conservation in mind. We want to be able to allow people to enjoy our lands, without feeling like we have to lock them up to protect them.We have families to support, and lives to live too. We're tired of living in the mountains and playing by the rules of the coasts.

I don't think or know that Trump will change any of that for our state, but I do know that the people here who voted for him, hope that he can and will. I hold no such illusions. The only thing I dare to hold my breath on is that the economy in our state will pick back up.

As for me, I've just decided I'm going to buckle up for one hell of a ride over the next four years, and hope that the sensationalism will die down, and allow people to regain their senses. Most especially for the new president elect. I hope we get to see the business man, that he will wisely appoint even-tempered and reasonable people to handle social justice issues, and we can forget the celebrity. It's wishful thinking perhaps, but being that I can't change the outcome of the election, it is what I hope for.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Passing Time

It has been an exhausting week. My oldest daughter broke up with her boyfriend. I've been working to get corrections made on my financial aid paperwork so I can see if I still owe any money for this semester, which also means I cannot register for classes for next semester yet. I am wishy-washy on whether or not to change my chosen major right at the moment, so decided to stick with the plan, and pursue the Associates in accounting, until I know for sure. This means I get to take a Pre-Calculus class and a "Principles of Accounting" class next semester. I was disappointed to find out I do not need another English class to go towards my degree.

It seems it took getting back into a Composition class to remember how much I love literature, and how much I love writing. I love breaking down and analyzing the elements of a story, although I'm a bit rusty at it. I've even toyed with getting away from Math and Science all together, and changing over to an English Major. Geology though, is still calling to me.

In any case, being hip deep in math and accounting this coming semester should be a good way to gauge if this is something I can bear to do for the next couple of years towards the semi-desired degree.

As to my oldest, she just turned 16 yesterday. She takes on so much at times, I worry about her. It's amazing to me. I can't believe I have been a parent for 16 years, and furthermore, I can't believe it will only be roughly two more years before she lights out on her own. When I first came to Wyoming, I felt like I was just getting started at being a parent. It's odd to think that I'm moving towards the end of a care-taking and provider role. I will instead have to learn how to step into a Mentor role.

I also smile to myself, as my second daughter has made a friend. She got invited to her first sleepover in some time this last week, and then her friend came over to our house this weekend. She has struggled so much socially. But what makes me smile even more, is that here friend is very nearly a carbon-copy of her. It's like having my daughter's twin there, and it just makes me laugh.

My son is going out to the rifle range today with my husband, and his two step-brothers. He's not necessarily big into shooting sports or hunting, but I told him I do want him to try at least one hunt next year. If it's not his thing, it's not his thing, but I do feel it's important for him to at least have the knowledge. I made my oldest daughter go at least once as well, and when my younger daughter displays the appropriate level of maturity to be traipsing about hills with a firearm, I will have her go at least once too. At this point in time though, she is still a bit careless and oblivious to her surroundings, and I am not comfortable putting a loaded high powered hunting rifle into her hands.

Currently I am at the college library. I am supposed to be working on chapter reviews for Algebra. I'm procrastinating. But it's time I get down to business. I only get so much uninterrupted quiet.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Starling

The breath of newborn words are cast out into the silence
Shattering its mirrored surface, into a thousand tiny shards.
Ripple upon ripple builds, until the breath becomes a shout,
Stirring as a butterfly catalyzing storms.

I am a Starling caught in the murmuration of the flock,
Winging to and fro, as indecision casts its spell.
I am subject to the wills of the wind, and mercurial tides,
pushed and pulled in the murmuration of life.


Sunday, October 30, 2016

Old Farms and All Hallows Eve

I slept in this morning, until 10:00, something which has become rare for me to do. Generally it's difficult to sleep past 8:00 for me. Particularly since I have a full day planned with a mother-son lunch date (to which he invited my husband as well this morning, which just leaves me smiling.) And I've taken the liberty of booking a study room at the library.

I figured if my oldest becomes too distracting while I'm trying to work, I can connect the IPad to the WiFi, and tell her to go entertain herself with nine seasons of Dr. Who. She's quite the book worm though, so I imagine she will get lost in the happy Utopia of Young Adult fiction, and I will probably not see her until it's time to come home.

In any case, back to sleeping in. I had numerous dreams this morning. Most of which I've forgotten. One I remember, involved my husband and I staying at a friend's cabin in Cody. (For the record, we don't have any friends in Cody that I know of, willing to lend us a cabin for a weekend. But it's a nice fiction none the less.) It was the last weekend of Elk season, and we'd decided our opportunity to take down our animal had passed, so we were enjoying a weekend away. For some reason I woke up early and went out to the porch, and lo and behold the Elk were calling. So I ducked back inside to see if I could find my Elk calls, to try to draw them in.

In reality, I can't do a decent Bull Elk call to save my life. My attempts to do so usually dissolve into fits of laughter because they sound so terrible. Cow Elk calls on the other hand are relatively simple. But in the dream I couldn't find a single call I could work. After finally locating one of my favorite Cow Calls, and fixing it to be functional again, I made my way to the porch, amazed I had manged not to wake my husband with all my shifting around. I began calling, and cattle, horses, birds, and smaller animals began coming my direction from a neighboring field, and the Elk followed them.

I later woke up thinking about an old Farmhouse in Pennsylvania. I find myself with a desire to go back there, although there's part of me which tells me that is a terrible idea. I have a need to drive up the long drive, past the machine shed and corn bin, to circle up by and old fruitless apple tree, and swing set, and to drive up next to the looming white walls of what seemed like a humongous structure when I was a child. I want to visit the Cherry Tree which sheltered me in it's branches, as I escaped to dreams of princesses and unicorns. I want to walk onto the big covered porch on the back of the house where the back door opened into the spacious kitchen.

I feel a need after thirty years, to go back and to assure myself, monsters no longer live there, that the structure by itself, is safe, inviting, and nothing more than a home. I want to go up to the coat closet at the top of the stairs, where I used to hide when playing hide and seek with my sisters. I want to see if I remember which stairs on that staircase creaked, and which sides to step on to avoid the sound. I want to make my way to the dusty light of the attic, and see what treasures, if any, are still stowed and forgotten there.

I want to go up the hill to the clothesline, and look at the trees where I swear to this day, I saw a Preying Mantis nearly as large as I was at five years old, although I've since been told that's completely impossible. I want to walk the dirt road back into the woods, I was always told I was not allowed to walk down, and see what that road leads to. I want to catch lightning bugs, and walk barefoot through the grass. I want to lay on my back and watch the clouds, blow bubbles to the wind, and play in the spray from the garden hose. I want to go down by the creek and watch it run again, even though I was not allowed down there. I want to see if there are still salamanders by the well-housing. I want those moments back from childhood that were bright and shining, because those were there too, so often overshadowed by the other memories which reside in that structure.

I asked myself why I would be thinking of that old farmhouse today. It's simple really. It is the day before the anniversary of one of the worst assaults I suffered in that place. The month leading up to it, always a tension building one for the very few Halloweens spent there. I await November 1st, the relief of knowing it is done, that I have survived another year, to celebrate the Day of the Dead, in memory of the child who was sacrificed so brutally there, replaced by an empty shell with a small, inexperienced, and haunted adult left to fill it.

I want to know the monsters are gone, and that it is o.k. to remember the other pieces of my childhood, without having to remember that. I'm not sure that's possible. But I wish for it to be so, and I somehow have myself convinced that seeing an empty farmhouse, or perhaps a farmhouse occupied by a happy thriving family would help separate the two.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Haunted

I am tired today. As if that were something new in my world. It's amusing I always utter the same thing. I wonder if it has become more habit to say it, or if I really am chronically tired. It has been an unusual Saturday, where for the most part, I've been at home and relaxing, but in spite of that, I feel bone-weary today.

I am haunted by the suspicion I am wasting time, rather than completing an essay due on Monday, and working on Chapter Reviews for Algebra. However, it has been some time since I've taken a day to simply rest. If you don't count taking the kids out to get their Halloween costumes, I have had the luxury of just that.

Tonight, I am breaking with tradition, and taking them to a haunted house, which one of our local volunteer fire departments is putting on. It may be a trigger, but I am hoping I can enjoy the time with my children. I'm tired of being hunted and harried by my past during specific junctures of the year. It grows tiresome to face the same monsters on an annual basis, even on better years such as this one.

Tomorrow I plan to take my youngest son to lunch, and then take my daughter to the library at the college with me. She is dying to check it out, and I do want them to become comfortable with the campus environment, so that maybe someday going away to school won't be as anxiety producing for them, as it was for me when I was younger. On the other hand, I'm not sure how focused I will be on Algebra, knowing my daughter is wandering around the library, and is likely to interrupt me at any given interval. I'll have to see.

I never really talked about that much. I had lots of other excuses which sounded more sensible to tender instead. But the truth is, in retrospect, I can identify a great fear of the unfamiliar, and a fear of failing. In so many ways it was so much more acceptable to risk falling and failing in love at that age, than it was to try and fail in academic pursuits. My mother expected me to fail in the first venture, and I was damned and determined to prove her wrong. She fully expected me to succeed in the latter, and I was terrified of disappointing her. Now, her satisfaction or disappointment are inconsequential to me. I'm glad that she is proud of me for going back to school. It does mean a lot to her of course, but I'm doing this for me. Part of it, a very small part is for my family, because it is ultimately important to their future as well. But the motivation to do this and not give up, needs to come from my own drive to succeed. My previous anxieties sound so silly now, until I remember that it took finally committing to getting my depression and anxiety in check earlier this year, before I finally felt able to make the attempt.

That's all there is to report in my world today. Now I need to attempt to wake up enough to try to enjoy some jump scares and the macabre.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Surrealization

The world feels surreal today, from the steady ticking of the analog clock above my head, to the cheery conversation my co-worker is having on the phone in the cubicle next door.

She lost her husband recently, and she does an admirable job most days of appearing to be ok. But I've also witnessed her moments of heartache and break-down. I've seen bits and pieces of the brokenness behind the veneer. And I hurt for her.

I slept well last night, but am so very tired this morning.

I want to string glittering gems of language together, but my head is as stuffed full of gray clouds, as the dreary fall sky today.I want to crawl back into my soft bed and warm blankets, to drift and dream on gray clouds, until the sun melts them into pale blue Fall skies.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Mourning the Dead

It seems I do some of my best thinking away from the computer. I string together words for my own amusement, tell myself tales, and silently record details which will never fully archive in this brain of mine. We recently had a reading assignment for my English class. In the story, there was a library for every book, ever. The ones unwritten, unfinished, unpublished, unspoken. I would love to visit such a place, to remind myself of some of the stories I have told myself. Words never uttered aloud, or recorded by hand, simply thought out in poetic streams, as some ritual to keep anxiety in check.

I am finding the strength this year to do a lot of things I didn't feel I could before. It is difficult to say if it is the stability in life in general, the medication, or perhaps a shift in maturity which might be to blame for it. Perhaps it is a combination of all of the above. Or maybe, I'm simply living the perception du jour. I feel daily ever more like the person I have always wanted to be, and it is encouraging, despite the dark moments I simply want to retreat altogether and rest.

That in and of itself is odd. I'm not sure who I have wanted to be. I spent so much of my life trying to prove other people wrong about the person they assumed I was. I have always struggled not to be pressed into anyone's box or mold, which is fine, when you're dealing with genuine and honest people. But manipulative ones can use such a need for non-conformity to push you into a box all the same, while allowing you to believe you are defying their assumptions about you. So this whole idea of figuring out who I want to be vs. who other people don't want me to be is quite an interesting concept for me.

I used to spend a lot of time here talking about the break-down of my first marriage, of my flight from it, my anger, my despair, my sense of betrayal, and my frustration at wanting to heal so badly, but feeling nothing but hurt by the way it all turned out. I made a decision last night to delete access to things still tying me to that relationship, to that former partner, in whom I had so much of myself invested.

I have this bad habit of seeking out the accusations, and the criticisms, the names, and insults which still seethe onto the internet from the other party. It's an unhealthy behavior on my part, but it has worked in some way to help me to develop a thicker skin to it all. I'm at a point now, that I recognize it as unhealthy. Well, the truth is I always have, but I no longer feel the need to torture myself. I no longer feel a need to remind myself why I left.

I have spent a lot of time comparing the life I've built myself, and the person I have worked so hard to grow into, to the person the other party claims I am, even these many years later. I've never been able to reconcile the disparity. I asked myself tonight, why it matters so much? Why am I looking for the truth in words which have no intent but to assuage a bruised and rejected ego?

I spent so much of my time trying to be someone I was not. I was working with someone who, looking back, was very black and white in their definitions of a desirable partner. I allowed it to define me for so long. I've tried so hard to break free from that. In some ways I have. In others, I'm not sure I'll ever be free of it. Refusing to allow the barbs to reach me is a good start.

It matters to me there is some recognition that I was never a villain. I did not set out to be vindictive or malicious, that I both loved and hated the man I was married to, that I both felt I couldn't live with him, or without him for much too long.

I have no desire for him to ever be a part of my life again, but neither do I have any desire for him to suffer either. Kindness on my part, seems to be misinterpreted as an invitation to be friends again. And I have to apply the alcohol to the wound, and painfully set a boundary. It will not happen. I will not be lulled back in to such a dynamic.

Perhaps I am also looking for some hint of a sincere recognition of the harm done in the relationship, and something of an apology. One offered with a desire to close old wounds, and not as a manipulation. One has to recognize their actions as being harmful, before such an apology can be proffered.

It would seem that I will always be a villain, a demon, a vessel of pure feminine evil. So fine. Let me be the villain. What do I care anymore? I have been far worse things in my life than some of the names thrown about. I've been cut deeper in my youth than by baseless accusations and attacks on my character. I no longer love this person, or look to them for a definition of who I should be.

Why should I care anymore? It's ancient history. I have moved on. Life is so much better now, than I had ever hoped to imagine. Why after 8+ years do I still find it even a little painful that my former lover thinks so very little of me as a person, as a mother, as a woman?

I care, because in some ways it still haunts me, that dream which slowly eroded over time. The failure of it all still makes my eyes well up. The path not taken, at times still beckons to me, and some foolish notion that it could have worked, some dreadfully delusional optimistic shard, still stabs out of nowhere. Maybe as that dream continues to be replaced with good things, wonderful moments, and brilliant memories, the care will wane away, and the optimism will redirect itself as an investment on what is working, rather than what might (or most likely would not have) worked.

Halloween is nearly upon us. Why should it be surprising that I am haunted by the past? Any of my past? I still mourn things which have died, even those that needed to in the end. Endings bring about new beginnings, but they still sometimes leave hollow places which feel as if they can never be refilled.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Three Years Later,

It was three years ago I quit posting here. There have been other blogs, but none suited me quite so well as this one. I'm not sure why I feel at peace with coming back to it now. I just do.

I've been married to the man formerly known here as "The Beau" for over four years now. I turned a corner with my discomfort over step-parenting earlier this year. I finally found an anti-depressant (or rather my doctor did) which seems to help long-term, instead of for a brief period of time. My anxiety and racing thoughts, although not entirely gone all the time, are manageable. This is the first time in my life I've had a quiet mind. It's been novel. At times my depression still creeps back in, and it frightens me. It frightens me that so much can be going right in my life, and I still have moments where I long for nothing more than to escape it.

I had a moment the other day on the way to school. (Oh yes, I'm going back to school part time as well, but more on that in a moment.) I have everything going for me at the moment, but I was hit with such a moment of despondency, out of nowhere. I internally chided myself, the admonitions of other people definitely buried in my internal dialogue. "Don't be ridiculous. You're just feeling sorry for yourself. You're just looking for attention."

But then I wondered who I was seeking attention from, in the privacy of my own vehicle, and having said nothing to anyone about it; even my family. How were unvoiced thoughts at all attention-seeking behaviors. That made no sense.


Then there was the internal criticism, also a learned self-dialogue from various sources over time, "What the hell is wrong with you? You have a house, a great husband, a good family, a good job. you're going back to school. You've made peace with your mom, and with yourself. You're living a god-damned dream.What do you have to be so dreadfully despondent over?"

It was the words of a friend from Facebook, who posted a picture. The gist of it was essentially telling someone they had no right to be depressed if they had any of the above going on for them, that they were simply ungrateful, and they should just go ahead and kill themselves. Her response was an angry one at the lack of understanding that depression is a chemical issue in the brain, and can strike regardless of environmental or situational factors.

Somehow the reminder that it was only a chemical imbalance in my brain, and that life really is good right now was all I needed to be able to ride it out. It didn't snap me out of it, by any means, but somehow the ability to combat the emotion with logic, and sit down and analyze what exactly I was experiencing, instead of being swept away by it, helped. (I give the anti-depressant, and my now unimaginably vast network of supportive friends and family all the credit for it.)

It also helps to remember it's October, which in some ways is cause for anxiety all on it's own. Halloween is a PTSD trigger. Sometimes I cope well with all of the decorations, haunted houses being advertised, ghouls and goblins, witches, etc. But there are times I can't anticipate the moment I might walk around the corner and catch sight of something that sends me into a tailspin. Although much of this has been easier to deal with on the medication.

Most nights now I fall asleep with a smile on my face, grateful to be living a fulfilling life, that I once could never imagined was possible. Oh it's not all unicorns and rainbows. In fact it's a lot of hard damned work. But every bit of it is worth it. And then I have moments when I experience a sudden and inexplicable chemical shift. The difference is, I can now recognize them, and cope, rather than feel overwhelmed and controlled by them.

It also helps I have people I can talk to about it without fear of being judged, ridiculed, or immediately committed. I have found unconditional love. I wasn't sure it really existed, but it seems I have found it. That is probably the most healing medicine of all.

I have a family; a clan. Something in my earlier years I never felt a part of. In some ways, I was afraid to be a part of one. Now, I'm glad to belong to not just my own, but to several, on varying levels.

So yes, back to school. It was odd the way it came about. Our department manager pulled a bit of a disappearing act. Upper Management seems to know what the circumstances are, but it's private, and all we've been told is he had some family issues and tendered his resignation. I applied for the position, didn't get it, which actually is a relief in many ways. But the Company Treasurer encouraged me to go back, as the lack of a degree was one of the factors which counted against me in consideration. So I've gone back in pursuit of an Associates in Business Accounting, and our new Manager is awesome. His experience and attitude was something our department sorely needed, and with my lack of experience in management, I was not certain how well I would adapt to the role.

The trouble is, I'm realizing, I really don't want an accounting degree. I once had planned to work at the company I'm at for the rest of my life. Going back to school seems to have reminded me that there are other paths I can choose to pursue. As the kiddos creep ever closer to adulthood, I feel the cliché sense of running out of time to do the things I really want to, and I don't want to waste time on something I don't plan to pursue as a career.

Oh, I'll likely plan to stay at my current job a few more years, at least until my youngest graduates high school. I'd planned to go ahead and get the Associates in accounting anyway, because my company has a tuition reimbursement program. But now I'm asking myself, so what if I seek out courses that won't be reimbursed because they aren't related to my job? I don't want to move into management there, and I don't think I want to spend the next 20-30 years of my life there either. Maybe 5-10, but not much more.

I'm toying with Geology. There are a diverse number of jobs and specialties in the field for this state. Finding employment in that field would not be a concern. Particularly if I were to pursue something along the lines of reclamation and remediation. I've always been fascinated by rocks and geological formations, and I want to work somewhere outside. I'm weary of sitting behind a desk. Unfortunately, there are nine months of winter in this state, and typically speaking the ratio of field to office work is heavy on the office side.

I've also played with the idea of being an English major, possibly considering teaching literature and English at a high school or college level, as my ultimate pursuit. But so much for getting away from that desk, if that's the path I take.

It amazes me, at 36 years old, I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. I really thought I would have that figured out before my kids grew up.

Once Upon a Time...

It was time to begin again. Years later, the tales returned, before the falling of the snow, during the dropping of the leaves. The Storm Dweller smiled, for it was time to sing and spin stories to release to the snow.