Monday, January 30, 2012

Lighting the Fuse

A couple of brief notes before I really get to writing:

I feel like I need to share my dream from Friday night. Two friends from work joined me in helping a third co-worker friend move. We were all really excited because one of the co-workers brought her friends.

The band from the awesomely 90s TV show California Dreams. The characters, not the actors.

They helped us with the moving, and then they let me jam with them. Like you do. Oh, and it was the original lead singer, Matt, who was there -- not Jake, the later guy with the leather jacket. You know, FYI.

Don't wake me up if I'm dreeeaaammin'. And they didn't! So that happened.

And this happened, too. File this under "Reasons I Sometimes Wonder How I Survived to 29."

If you read this space in the Fall, you may remember me talking about the movie 50/50 and how I really wanted to see it. Well it came out on Bluray/DVD last week, so I wanted to rent it.

I stopped by the Redbox at the grocery store across the street. I'd never used Redbox before, and I was surprised you can only pay by credit card. So anyway, I went through the menus, and I found 50/50. I paid my $1.27 and looked at the movie. It's a DVD. Dammit I wanted to get the Bluray. Watching anything NOT in HD on my TV is very distracting because of the size of the TV. #firstworldproblems

But it was only $1.27, right? I'll just return it and pay another $1.27 (for a total of $2.54) and still be getting a pretty solid deal. Well. I returned it and went through the screens again only to discover the Bluray version of the movie was out of stock.

So I paid $1.27 to hold the DVD ever so briefly. And I had to rent it from OnDemand for $6. And I have to say, it's now one of my favorite movies. It was so, so good. Naturally, it reminded me of Erik, which I was expecting, so there was definitely some sadness. But it brought a lot of happy memories back, too, and the movie was just great. Go see it. Immediately.

Also, I may or may not be (but definitely AM) completely in love with Anna Kendrick now. I'll have to check out some of her other work -- most notably, the George Clooney movie Up in the Air, which I did not see when it came out.

Anyway. I want to write very briefly about Saturday. I don't intend for this to be a really long post, but we all know what usually happens when I start rolling.

Saturday was Jan. 28. It marked one year since I relatively unexpectedly became unemployed. As I was getting out of the shower on Saturday and dancing to "I Want You Back" in the bathroom, it struck me what that meant. And I felt compelled to write.

I will never forget that day. It had snowed a few days earlier, and my car experienced a near catastrophe when a large tree branch fell directly on it. Luckily, because there was nearly a foot of snow blanketing the entirety of the car, the branch had a nice cushion when it hit. There was no damage.

I managed to dig out over the next day or so, and I headed to work that Friday morning. Two of the partners called me into one of their offices early that morning and explained what was happening. I packed up my things and headed home, unemployed.

As I sat on the metro that morning, it started to snow again. I felt like I was sitting outside my body, watching the scene unfold. I had no idea what I was going to do. The ex-girl and I signed a lease to move into a townhouse the previous night.

I called my parents and told them what happened. I didn't want to bother the ex-girl at work because she likely couldn't have answered the phone anyway, and, in the first of a series of related bad decisions, I didn't want to burden her with it right away.

We went to dinner that night, and I told her in the car. It was exactly as devastating as I expected it would be. The next day, I explained the situation to the guy who would have been our landlord, and he let us out of the lease. Tough few days, really.

And here's something that seems incredible today: I didn't tell Mike until March 17. Almost two months went by before I told him. Ridonk. It's funny because if something similar were to happen now (God forbid, geez), I feel like I'd probably call him during the meeting. Lulz.

I'm not going to go into the rest. I already wrote it this month in my year in review (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3).

It's just that when I realized what the date was, I knew I needed to write something about it. It was the day that lit the fuse, man. It set off a chain reaction of events that led me inexorably to where I am today.

So in a lot of ways, I am thankful for it because I am so thankful for where I am now. If it hadn't happened, I might not have hit the rock bottom I needed to hit to turn things around; I might not have lost all that weight; I might not have joined the softball team; I obviously wouldn't have found the job I have now; I might not have met all the wonderful people I've met since then; I might not have had the opportunity to figure myself out to the degree I have; and so on and so on.

It certainly is hard to dispute I am better off in every way now than I was then. It's funny how things that seem so terrible at the time end up being the catalyst for incredibly positive changes, actions and behaviors.

So there you go. January 28, and I am so much better off than I was a year ago. Pretty crazy how things work out.


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