I thought I was having a bad period. And no, not that kind. I thought my dull phase resulting from zero business returns at work was terrible until I took the time to listen to someone else’s rant train.
If you’re as intrigued with instruments and music and harmony as I am, then you will begin to understand the utter agony of losing a string. Say you pluck your violin and the A string snaps. I know I would pull out my hair and wail like a village woman with nothing more to live for. I own a guitar. Just own. It’s a shameful thing I can’t play it, really (I even struggle with the basic GCGD), but I know that if anything happened to my baby I would be in pain for a long time. And it happened to someone I know. Two someones, actually. One was the snapping of a string and the other was loss through robbery. The second character in this true life story had his house broken into and 3 guitars stolen at once, amongst other things.
I have a job. When I first joined this place almost 6 months ago, I had big hopes. I mean, how hard is it to get people looking for fully furnished office space? There are start up businesses all over the map, expatriates are swarming into the country, mushrooms of NGOs have cropped up, SMEs are the new black and every big fish has a side consultancy they run within or after office hours. Plus, I had worked for a similar company for exactly one year. A few of my friends have had no solid leads for a job since they graduated a few years ago. Some have had an internship here or a research job there or a temporary stint while holding brief. But that’s it. And it sucks. It sucks big time to have gone through a hellish education system such as 8.4.4. and still have no job while you have student loans in 6 figures to repay and fines to back them up should you not start paying after a certain period following your graduation.
A friend’s sibling died. He said it to me like a joke last night, with the same silly smirk he has on his face while he brags about his flexible work hours (since I work from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.), and so it took time to sink in. I could only afford a silly “I’m so sorry” and “Are you holding a fundraiser?” There wasn’t enough comfort to add the question about the funeral date. He had only fallen sick on a Thursday and died on a Saturday. Three days. That was not even enough to say goodbye.
It took me back to another good friend who works with autistic children. I would argue that it has affected his demeanor and general outlook on life. It also didn’t help that his Mom survived cancer only to have it come back after five or so years. He was furious at God. His Mom is a devout Christian, he says. Thankfully, after surgery in India, she is now in remission. Again.
Just this afternoon, I was discussing employment woes and job insecurity with a new friend. We could consider that she is underpaid for the work which she does. My stupid mouth blurted my last employment’s monthly pay and she sighed and called me lucky. She knew that I had noticed the nice clothes and great hair. These come cheaply around where she lives. Something inside me sank as I listened to her. She recently moved out of home. And by recently I mean the day before yesterday.
I am taking the time to think about all the things I have o be grateful for. For starters, I have realized how full my life is in the presence of my friends. They have given me so much to laugh about and be thankful for. They have sent me paying referrals. They have cleaned my house, shared my bills and pampered me when they visited. They have introduced me to other great people and increased the quality of and extents to which my networks go. They have been there when family felt inadequate. They always have the just right thing to say to wake me up from a pity party or stupor, stop me from making stupid choices, pressure me into doing what I love and doing it well.
What I’m really trying to say is that life is hard. It will be for a while. Has been for a while too. But I would advise anyone willing to consider it to cultivate it in meaningful relationships. These always help you weather a bad storm a lot better.
Cheers to this Monday with its rude awakenings and priceless life lessons!