I really like the life I’ve created for myself. It’s not perfect for sure, however it is comfortable and familar and reliable. It has always been the small things that mean the most. I’ve never been a big gesture kind of person. The perfect coffee, Splenda, cream ratio, the feel of my comforter when I first wake up or go to sleep, my pillow. These are the sorts of things that make the inevitable bullshit that we all have to deal with tolerable lessons in life. Recently, I was laid off from my job, a really good job that I had just started at the beginning of the year after several months of seperating from the job I’d had for the last 8 years. In so many ways it felt like what I imagine a divorce to feel like. I was incredibly sad, mourning for the familar schedule, even as intolerable as it was. Sad that the few familar faces I’d liked there would no longer be a part of my day to day. There was anger as well, mostly because things could have been different but my first job and I had seperate ideas about how they could use my abilitys. Being laid off from the second job just a few weeks ago has been even more so a blow to my already shaken sense of self-worth and purpose. Maybe its a Hunter Gatherer sort of thing but in society a mans sense of worth and purpose are directly related to “what they do” and now here I AM not doing anything. It’s been a few weeks of self-reflection, assesment, daily attempts at self-healing, at being gentle with myself. The question now has become How do I move forward, what do I do for an income? For the first couple of weeks I’ve been just throwing my resume at the wall for more of the same thing I’ve been doing now for the last twenty plus years. I don’t think this is going to either work or bring me the sense of accomplishment and usefulness I’m looking for. I’ve had to really dive in and take a look at were my passion lies. I have another twelve years or so of working before I retire and I’d like for those years to be as joyfilled, as fufilling to myself and others as possible. Culling what you’re good at and what you like to do is an arduious task. For me I have always enjoyed helping others, its what I naturally do. So my direction now is a bit clearer than it was as far as what type of work to look for. I’m excited now because there is a sense of purpose here, firstly to find the work I’m meant to do and then of course to do it. I’m not sure how long or even were this path will lead but I’m confident that will provide new interesting experiences. So in the meanwhile, while I’m looking I think I’ll return to this perfect cup of coffee on just another Saturday morning.
Driving home at night was always my time with God. I would go over the events of the day, bring my intercessory prayers and work/wrestle out ideas with logic and love. Sometimes we’d even argue. On this night God and I were having a pretty intense conversation about work, my feelings, my many many frustrations with it. As it turns out it really felt like something shifted that night but I wasn’t sure what except that I knew things would be changing. It didn’t take long to find out what and when. The next day when I got to my job of eight years it became very apparent that I just couldn’t stay any longer. Between the odd schedule, odd hours, the long commute and lack of opportunity. It’s been an interesting journey since then. It’s forced me in a way to look at myself, to look at all of the changes that have happened since I decided to move back to Los Angeles from my comfortable life in Seattle. My relationship with god otherwise known as the elephant in the room has changed throughout my life (how could it not?) . Here I was again beginning to take a look at not just this relationship but my relationship to all that I’ve known, people, the space I live in. I’m convinced that God is about all our relationships including ourselves and its were we “touch” and “see” the face, the Will of “All That IS”. So I’ve been learning just how much deeper MY faith as a Catholic is. I’ve been learning just how much deeper MY belief in a Panentheistic God(dess) is. The two are not mutually exclusive BTW. For many many many years I have allowed catholicism as an organization as a religion to define itself, or rather to be defined by its Hierarchy. The same thing has been true of Paganism, of the Craft. I have my beliefs, my shared experiences with both and have learned that I get to not only define the drawings but do the coloring as well. The greatest source of pain for me within catholicism has been and remains that I as a gay married man cannot be fully embraced as equal within the church organization. I have struggled with this for years. I am learning to be ok with this. I’m being the change I want to see, as my wise friend Trish, a Catholic convert btw pointed out to me when I shared this with her over a few too many cocktails at Seattle’s Emmet Watsons one day after work.
So this is some of what’s been going on internally for me the last two months. I’ve been defining what the coloring book for work is going to look like, who’s in it, what I’ll be doing, where I’ll be doing it. I’ve wanted to make the transition to work that focuses on my strengths, abilities and most importantly my interests. You and I in this post industrial world spend most of our waking hours engaged in relationships with those we work with. I’d prefer at this point in my life that it was with people who have a somewhat shared sense of purpose. I’d rather it was with people I genuinely want to be around. I mean really, who wants to go to work with people you’d rather divorce? So on Yule this year true to God’s sense of humor and irony, on both the shortest day of the year where the Light is at it’s weakest and yet also finds its own renewed strength to conquer the Darkness around itself and increase, I was given a job offer that fits almost every bit of the coloring book I’ve been creating these past two months. I start at the beginning of this year. I’m excited, looking forward to meshing with my new co-workers and sharing my talents to make a difference in the lives of those I touch.
So a lot has been going on lately all around me. Lonnie and I have seemingly fallen into a regular routine again. This is something we both are happy about and value greatly but seem to take for granted when its happening. Work is as its seemingly always been. I came close to finding work in Orange county about a month ago only to the offer rescinded as I was just finishing up planning my great escape from the day jail I call work now. My current job provides me a much clearer living picture of what Catholics call purgatory. The Blessed relief is that enough prayers are uttered for my souls escape and seemingly I break free to drive through the dark tunnel that is the 405 freeway straight to Sanctuary,or as most people call it Home. I’m looking for my new day prison a bit closer to home and grateful that I have my current job to keep things floating I guess I’ve reached that age were I’m just over what I’m doing, too tired to figure out were my real passion lies. I’m guessing it has something to do with lounging in my recliner and doing nothing but I haven’t really seen any jobs listed on CareerBuilder for this lately (or ever). I’ll continue to look for IT jobs closer to home that will use the skills I have and make room for the areas I still find interesting. I know that I would love to work with new technology, reviewing, playing breaking and fixing. I’m just not sure how those ideas translates into a six figure income.
In other news Facebook is seemingly all about three things these days. politics which normally I love discussing, arguing and prophesying about. It’s getting harder these days to find anyone to argue politics with in a civilized way. I mean seriously just look at your average Trump rally. Those people can’t even tolerate each other let alone someone that has questions or disagrees with them. the second meme making the rounds is transgender issues and bathroom access. I find it amusing that this hasn’t been an issue, truly hasn’t been an issue for CIS people (non-transgendered people) mostly because they’ve never had to think about it until now. The best image/idea that I’ve seen about the subject was a woman holding a sign that read. “it wasn’t really about water fountains back in the 50’s and its not really about bathrooms now.” Being crude I think is appropriate here, take a leak in the bathroom you feel most comfortable in. If you’re a trans woman, use the woman’s room or a trans man use the men’s room. This is not about perverts looking to prey on children. It is about people needing to pee. Lastly, if you’re letting your child go into a bathroom by unaccompanied , you have bigger issues.
And finally some reality blew my way a couple of weeks ago. My father passed away (at home thankfully). As I’ve told most people, he and I had a complicated relationship. I guess that’s probably true of my familial ties. The short version of the story is that he was in and out the picture for the first two years of my life. After my mother was killed when I was 3, he was gone completely with the one 15 min visit I had at a hotel some here when I was around 12. I found him after a 25 year absence and we got to know each other as adults. He was accepting of me and my partner at the time but soon after had a “coming to Jesus” moment and suddenly I was an object of shame and judgment. I kept in touch with him because he was my father and it was the right thing to do. His wife, Nana, called me to let me know that he wasn’t doing well and I’ll be forever grateful to her for that. He had asked to speak to me (while he was still fully here). He told me he loved me and I told him that no matter what I would always love him. He got to reconcile with a couple of people he had estranged. I’m happy for him that he got to do this. So he’s gone now along with my birth mother. I’m mostly ok with things but I still have moments of intense sadness. Its not that I miss him, we barely had a relationship however it’s what he came to represent for me. I have the rest of my growing up family as well as the family Lonnie and I have together. Overall its been a pretty intense first quarter of the year. I’m just glad that I have my husband. I highly recommend you find either a husband or its equally useful counterpart, the wife.