I’ve been a zagger my entire life.
When kids were playing with their favourite toy, I was having a field day with everything I could get my hands on…at the expense of my parents. It was LEGOS one week, plasticine the next, crocheting the one after. I mean, why stick to just one thing when I could do them all? No wonder I’m an only child lol…
As we grew older and they took to running around the school field, I was sitted under a tree helping Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys solve a case. We always caught the bad guy, of course. Though sometimes the bad “guy” was in fact a girl.
When everyone was fussing about getting an A in high school, I was wondering why my entire future was dependent on one letter possibly accompanied by a mathematical sign. I’ve got nothing against good grades. I’ve had my fair share of them. But the whole just-get- the-A-and-figure-the-rest-out-later didn’t add up for me.
When they went on to pursue careers in law, science and business, I dove right into advertising. I get such a kick trying to explain to people what I do for a living. What with the cog-wheels in their heads turning furiously as they try to make sense of it.
When the whole world is in one, big, merry bandwagon hurtling down the slope at top speed, I’m usually the lone traveler headed uphill with a knapsack on my back as my only companion.
I’m used to zagging when everyone around me is zigging.
So earlier this year, about two months to graduation, when everyone was looking for a job, I walked away from mine. Just after I’d gotten my permanent contract. It was a great job with good pay and put me exactly where I needed to be to achieve my career goals. But I left anyway.
Doing stuff that doesn’t make sense to anyone else but me isn’t exactly something new to me. This time though, it was different.
Because it didn’t make sense, even to me.
Is this it?
This place was all too familiar. I’d been here before nearly a decade ago. I was 13 then learning lessons far beyond my years. Indeed, I’m an old soul.
It’s a funny thing getting exactly what you want. Only to realize it isn’t worth the value you attached to it. The euphoria when you hold the key to your dreams in your hands slowly begins to ebb away. The harder you try to hold onto it the faster it dissipates. And then disillusionment begins to take its place.
Is this it?
After all the work and sacrifice, is this it?
Is this all I get?
I’m supposed to be happy. I have what I wanted. I’m working to get even better. Why am I not happy? Why does it feel like I’m dying inside?
My first month home was spent just breathing. In. Out. In. Out. Sometimes that’s all you can do. Sometimes that alone is enough. The job had taken more out of me I’d given the job way more than I’d realized.
Then reality came calling. This can’t be happening. Why is this happening to me? It’s not too late to fix it. I don’t even know what “it” is anymore.
Denial. Anger. Bargaining. Depression.
Such small words. Yet the emotions they carry are like an anchor chained to your neck. No matter how hard you flail and kick, you keep sinking. All around me life went on. All the while my own was paused. Why is it that the one time you really need the remote is the one time you can’t find it?
I’d been running for a while now. I’d seen what was coming from a mile off and taken off in a mad sprint. Self-preservation instinct I suppose. Never mind the many times He tried to get me to halt. I wasn’t listening. I knew exactly what He was going to say and I didn’t want to hear it. So I plugged in my earphones, turned the volume up and kept running.
A lot of good it did me. Even with my furious pace death had caught up me. It was here. At my doorstep. Demanding to be let in. And I had nowhere else to go. Nowhere else to run.
Escape is such an exhausting exercise. I was tired. So very tired. The door wasn’t going to hold much longer. The incessant banging was driving me mad. I couldn’t take it anymore. In one final act of defiance I strode to the door and swung it wide open.
It was time to have tea with death.
(To be continued.)