by Lisa

Everything is different, again.

Different job.  I sold pie and decorated wedding cakes.  My workplace felt like an extension of my home for four years; everything and everyone was familiar, with a new addition or a loss now and then, like a date brought to Thanksgiving.  This might be long-term, I used to think, but maybe it’s just a temporary thing, this new person.  My presence felt permanent, and now I am gone.  I’ll pick up my last check this weekend, and see familiar faces that used to be family. Maybe they still are, maybe I’ll feel strange.  No way to know.

School and the need to write a very informed research paper on workplace interactions led me to a new home, but now I’m not even there, anymore.  I could go back, far as it is, but that bed is occupied by someone else now.  I’d be a visitor.

This week, a small bounce from other familiar work with beloved friends who again felt like family, real family of decades and decades and much history and love, to a new place full of new rules.  Different work, different pay and different expectations, and different limitations.  I go “home” on weekends, part time.

Tomorrow, a half day of new.  The rest will be spent proving to my university that I am not a dependent student under the age of twenty-three with no dependents of my own.  Random selection for financial aid audit by the federal government, just on the heels of a bankruptcy…but the paperwork will be filed, and maybe I’ll get to go back in the fall.  If not, then everything will be different in a new way again again again and again.

I dislike so much change.  My work comes third: family, education, work.  Earning money for my little family is important, so everything is all bound together right now, including education. A “career” HAS TO HAPPEN.  Am I really going to be that person with a life of “interesting” jobs that are fun to talk about but won’t let me retire, ever?  Will anyone get to retire?  Why do we do things from which we need to retire, as a reward?

What is THE THING that you would do forever, if you could make just enough money to pay the bills and have enough left over for the ice cream truck?

These changes make me stronger, and my little family’s willingness to ride out the bumps reminds me that I am loved not for my title, but for my Self.  I was afraid to announce the first change.  Once upon a time not too long ago, I would have been chastised for not sticking to a path.  I removed the chastiser, and stay on my winding road.

The only thing that we can expect is change.  I was taught this by Gram.  As usual, except for the rule about never sleeping naked because you’ll catch a disease, and never drying your hair with the same towel as your body because you’ll catch a disease, and never opening an umbrella in the house because you’ll invite storms into your life (still can’t get comfortable with the open umbrella in the house even though it’s not true), Gram was right.