This month was one of the worst of my life.
Things cannot be better on the work front. My personal life, is another story.
In case you hadn’t noticed, August was all about:
- my stolen phone and how I hate the East Village
- the apartment hunting pity parties and how I wanted to kill myself ten times over
- cryptic emo FB updates (sorry, this one is too personal to share)
(God, I’m cringing writing this.)
Over the past week several friends went out of their ways to ask if I was ok. They all knew something was wrong, since I consistently keep my composure. Rarely reveal intimate details of my life to the public.
“So unlike you…” they all said, of my semi-public meltdown. And they are right. I have always been private about my personal life but lately, not so much.
When I finally slowed down, I figured out why.
While apartment hunting my lifestyle, background and past were picked apart. I had strangers judging me for my life and career choices.
“Why have you moved so much?”
(Me in my head: why can’t I? I don’t have a mortgage. Kids. Responsibilities other than myself. What is it to you what I want to do with my life?)
“What are these income…gaps? Why do you have intermittent deposits of large(ish) sums? Can you explain what a consultant is? How is that different from a Bain or McKinsey consultant? I don’t understand what this…digital media thing is. Will you have a job in three months…?”
(Me in my head: Excuuuuuuse me I haven’t lead a typical banker life.)
“Don’t you have immediate family who can be a guarantor (co-signer) on the rental agreement for you? Where is your mother? Father? What about relatives?”
Me outloud: “My mother died in 2006. I haven’t talked to my father since I was 16. My relatives are in Japan. All four of my grandparents are dead. I am single. I’m sorry, it’s just me…” I would say with a smile.
In my head, I’m screaming: WTF? As if it’s not scary enough that I might be out on the streets. As if my life and career choices being questioned makes me feel inadequate…so much so, I’m questioning my own existence. What right do you -rental/management companies- have, prying about my family?
For the first week or so, I was angry.
Then, it hit me. Like a huge punch in the stomach. The wind knocked out of me.
I am alone.
Like really, truly alone.
I came to this realization four years after my mother’s death…
So yes, I (semi) lost it in public and I am mortified.
But thank you, to my loved ones, for putting up with my whining.
For reaching out with phone calls, emails and texts.
I appreciate all of you.
I cannot wait to put August 2011 behind me.
Re-align myself. Restore the work-life balance.
Look forward, never behind. Like I always have.
Except this time, my strength will be different.
Opposite from the facade of strength, I displayed as a coping mechanism.
This time, I will be true to myself and others. Ask for help.
Build strength – true strength – from vulnerability.
Won’t happen overnight, but I’ll get there.
Day by day.