Once upon a time I was an extremely social person. I love connecting with people...finding out what makes them tick, hearing their stories, discovering our differences and similarities.
It's no shock to anyone that teaching is a female dominated field. I did tons of socializing at work. I spent more time with my 2 classroom teachers than I did my own husband (and other peoples husbands too!) We went through a lot together both at home and within our classroom during our nine months. It's only fitting that they laid us off together.
I had neighborhood friends. People I would go walking with or hang out at the neighborhood pool while our kids played Marco Polo for the 743rd time. We would talk about teachers, PTA and neighborhood news.
I had really great, amazing friends. I would go over to borrow some taco seasoning and end up staying 2 1/2 hours because we hadn't seen each other in a few days. We would watch each other kids. Our families were friends. We went to the circus, concerts and amusement parks together. We went to Vegas to celebrate our wedding anniversaries.
I had friends from previous jobs. People that I might see only twice a year but things would fall in place like we had just seen each other yesterday. We would tell stories, laugh till we snorted spending eight hours together when we met for lunch.
We wouldn't leave until our sides hurt from laughing and it always ended in lots of hugs.
And I am NOT a hugger.
But these gals they just make you want to squeeze them.
I had MY GIRLS. There are eight of us. We are spread out all over now, but once upon a time we all lived in the same midwestern college town. Some of them have been my closest friends for 25 years. More than half my life. Some of them have been friends since 2nd grade. To say we have been through a lot together doesn't even begin to cover it.
Our living situation hasn't been "normal" for the past 15 months but when Big Yankee left in August there was a major shift.
And I just gave up.
It took every ounce of energy I had to make it through the day...to go through the motions. Just trying to survive.
I didn't know how to be an at-home mom.
I had spent the last twenty seven years of my life working. I had no idea how to not have a job.
The mere thought of maintaining friendships exhausted me.
I was tethered to my children every single moment of every single day. I didn't have money to meet a friend for lunch. How could I go walking with three kids in tow? We use to attempt that when they were younger and it was a recipe for disaster.
My friend and neighbor moved this summer. We have never lived here without them. Someone moved in next door but it is still empty to me.
My girls have endured such heartbreak and challenges this year that my life looks like a walk in the park.
I may have given up then but I am back in the game now.
I am adjusting to my new normal and standing on more solid ground.
And that is how I Pour My Heart Out for the first time.