I had this whole post written up for today about peace.
I was struggling, you see, about writing about the rest of my Colorado trip. It was wonderful to spend time with Sonja, I wish I could just walk around her all day and absorb the mojo that flows off of her in waves. And I came back to DC trying desperately to hang onto the peace that I felt inside of me. Peace that I've been searching out over and over in this training cycle, along with the realization that while triathlon training isn't really changing my life that much, the mental work I've been doing for the past few months has been making an enormous impact.
I hate it when people talk about struggling to write posts, mostly because generally, they are just being ridiculous. However, I honestly struggled over whether to talk about this, what I'm about to talk about, on the internet. I believe in a very strong separation between work and personal life, and in the years I've had this blog, I've talked about my career very little. And who wants to read about my personal life when you come here for ass shots and puppy pictures and rants about running and annoying bloggers? But this blog stopped being about only those things at the very beginning, when I talked about my divorce, when I talked about losing weight and the struggles with my family and when the poet proposed and I said, hmmm, you know what, maybe not. So I decided that I'm going to talk about this, because it's going to affect my entire life and that, to me, is what this blog is for, plus most of you probably know about it anyway.
I lost my job yesterday.
I've been working for a start-up company here in DC for almost three years now. When I joined them, I left a very stable company and leapt at the chance to be a part of something pretty great. And for the most part, it HAS been pretty great. The people I've met, most importantly my direct supervisor, are smart and kind and easy to work with, and while there have certainly been times that my stress levels have been abnormally high, for the most part it's been a good job. I have worked my tail off in this job, I've worked with every single person in the company pretty intimately over the past three years and I've enjoyed it. And now they no longer have the money to pay me.
Over the weekend, I had a lot of good talks with Sonja, but one that stands out is when we were talking about things that can happen to a person, and whenever I hear about bad things that happen in families, I desperately want to protect my own. I have dogs instead of kids and my family may not look like your family, but it's what I have and I wouldn't change it for the world. And now I have failed to protect it, and that is the theme that I just can't shake from my brain, that has been playing over and over since yesterday afternoon. I have let my family down.
We sat down and went through all the numbers when I got home. Neither one of us can support our family on just our salary, so while I'd love to slide into my premiere role as a trophy wife (full-time lifestyle blogger??), that isn't realistic. I went through and removed all of the optional extra payments we make every month into our student loans and car loan and mortgage, and I halted all the extra retirement savings, and trimmed down everything I could to the bare bones of our expenses, and we're still not even close to making it. And I'm so glad I hadn't yet mailed out that five-figure check to the IRS and can now file for an extension and that we didn't buy a new dishwasher on Tuesday. I don't know how long it's going to take me to find another job, and that is scary. We have money saved up that we can make it for a little while, and we've already started to roll out plans to bring in some extra income (does anyone want to buy a road bike?) so we aren't going to starve this month, but it is all very, very terrifying.
My first thought when we started going through all of this was to fire-sale my entire life, and that includes triathlon. Selling my QR can help us pay the mortgage for a few extra months. Not paying for my coach, not buying running shoes and cycling shorts and Gu chomps and EFS will help to put food on the table - or little brown circles in the mouths of my puppies. And the poet said, for now, no. Because at this point, just about everything has been paid for through Ironman in June, and to bail on it now would be a waste of all that money. On the one hand, I can and do see his point, but on the other hand, I can't imagine going out and training - I can't imagine walking into Bonzai to spend $45 on nutrition - I can't imagine ordering another pair of running shoes from RRS - when I'm not bringing in any money, when we are going through our savings in order to keep a roof over our heads. It feels incredibly short-sighted and selfish. So I don't know what I'm going to do about triathlon, just yet. I don't have an answer to that question.
A lot of people have reached out to me already - to help, to offer leads and links and names or even just words of comfort and support, and I can't say how much I appreciate that. And everyone has told me that I'm strong, that I'm a fighter, that this is an opportunity to maybe move out of the legal field and into a place where my heart truly is, that I will land on my feet, and I appreciate that too, but holy mother of destruction am I tired of that being my line. For just once, I would love to not have the rug pulled out from under me. Just once, I would love to not have to fight.
I promise you, I'm not asking for anything here. I've never made a dime off of this blog (except a few weeks ago when I turned on ads by accident and couldn't figure out how to turn them off for three days and made $0.04) and I don't intend to try to start now. I will take all the good karma and thoughts and love you can send my way, I will ask you to take just a second, to pause and send hope towards our family. And if you do stumble across some freelance writing work or an IT job or an analyst position or you want to pay me ten dollars to coach you to a 5K or you find a five hundred dollar bill laying on the street and you DO decide that you want to hook it my way, I'll take it and be grateful, but I promise you, I'm not asking for anything but acceptance here. A place to talk about what's going on in my life, to try and get rid of the fear. Because today I wanted to talk about peace, I wanted to write about how calm I was feeling down to my bones, and now that is gone.