Recently, I’ve been feeling quite unfulfilled and restless. I’ve been trawling though job websites and applied for those few that have sparked my attention. Nothing has really lit me up inside; yet for some reason I still applied for them. I’ve been working in what I describe to everyone as a lack-lustre role, going through the motions of Monday to Friday on autopilot, just waiting for the weekend to arrive. Then as always, the weekends go so quick and the Monday grind begins again. I started to become resentful and ungrateful.
Amongst the resentment and bitterness, I began experiencing conflicting guilt and shame. Knowing that I have a “good stable job”, I shouldn’t be complaining as the job market isn’t great and a too many friends and acquaintances are out of work or in non-permanent roles. My head became a whirlpool of all these negative emotions and I started to pull myself into this vortex of shallow misery, which I was self-perpetuating. I had set up for a self-indulgent pity party and was handing out invitations to anyone who would listen. A party where I could take the stage and wallow in my pseudo-struggles and cry “poor me” at the top of my lungs. The party wasn’t very fun and people started leaving, but I wanted to stay and hang out there, even if on my own. After all, I had gone to the effort of setting it all up, so I may as well enjoy the free drinks a little longer.
Then this week, something really shocking and sad happened. A friend of my husband passed away suddenly at 28 years old. This was not some horrific car accident where you can reason with yourself that “he may have been speeding and I wouldn’t be that irresponsible” or “he was probably taking drugs”. No, this was a normal work day for him, where he left early as he wasn’t feeling quite right. He went home to get some rest and let his immune system do it’s thing. He went to bed and he just didn’t wake up. At 28 years old he just didn’t wake up. We still don’t know why.
This rocked me to my core. He just went to bed, like I do every night and he just didn’t wake up. It could have been anyone. He did nothing wrong and he didn’t see it coming, but now everyone who knew him is in utter shock and devastation.
He doesn’t have a chance to get up in the morning and go to his work, whether it be lack-lustre or not. He can’t say “hi” to his work friends and go about his groundhog day. He doesn’t get to come home and see his family and friends, or to reach out for them when he’s having a “poor me moment”. He can’t do any of the things he would find menial, but I bet he would really love the chance to do them everyday. The daily grind for him is over and that is such a god damn fucking shame.
I received a big, stinging, painful mother of all slaps, to my face and a devastating blow to my guts at the same time. The wind has been knocked out of me and as I got into bed that night, I cast my thoughts to what I would leave behind if I didn’t wake up the next morning. What I would really leave behind is a nice bunch of people I work with, who care about me as a person. A family who would die for me and some very special friends who have had my back through thick and thin.
My. Pity. Party. Has. Been. Shut. Down.
I had been looking at life through murky, grey lenses which I was intentionally keeping dirty. I needed to rip them off quickly, to see the beauty that is in front of me, for who knows how long I’ll be able to see it. Life is good and I’m grateful to still have mine, with my loved ones around me.
Rest In Peace Ash. Your kindness will never be forgotten.