Work Woes and Fear of the Unknown

My job let go of five people. Four last Thursday, and one today. The person they let go of today was an older lady who’d been there 17 years, longer than anyone else. And with what I’ve been writing about lately, all of the changes I’m making, I feel like the universe is just peeling back my mental security net, and showing me how vulnerable I am.

One of the people they let go last week is my friend. She and I have been pretty cool since I started there (9 months after she did), but we’ve really gotten closer over the last couple of years. Having to sit in a conference room while she cleaned out her desk and put her things in a box made me burst into tears. Now I’m a G. The last thing a thug like myself does is cry at work. But that shit… I broke down, ya’ll. I mean, I felt like I had no choice. I was so completely shocked and sad. Not just for her, but because her firing let me know how vulnerable I was, how vulnerable I am. This is just one more link in the chain. I mean, I’ve written about how much upheaval my life is in right now. I have to sell my house and move. I can do my job remotely, but I doubt they’d let me, so I’m probably going to have to get a new one. Now, having to get a new job anyway may make being fired seem like just a hastening of an inevitable timeline. But still. I like for things to be in my control. And this isn’t. Nothing is, right now. Nothing is. It’s scaring me to death.

I’ve never been let go from a job. I know people who have. Shit, almost everyone I know has been. But I never have. And I honestly don’t want it. As someone who has absolutely NO skill in emotion-hiding, it would be one big cry fest. And not just tears of sadness and helplessness. But also tears because I’m angry and I can’t hit anything. Tears of pure frustration. God, it sounds like too much. Anyway, I know that sometimes these things happen, that you can’t control them, but I sure wish I could. I wish I could make this fear go away. I wish I knew what was going to happen to me. Everyone will say, “Shameka, you’re going to be fine,” but the simple truth is that I don’t know that for sure, the simple truth is that no one does. and that unknown is rocking me to my core. I’ve been anxious all weekend. My supervisor told me today, “all we can do is keep our heads down and work.” It makes me feel like my job is war zone, where I’m just trying to avoid the land mines. I’ve never felt like that. It’s unnerving. And not at all comforting.

My friend Teri is fond of saying that I shouldn’t worry about anything. That the things out of my control will happen no matter what I do, and all I can do is focus on the things I CAN  control. This is the most logical advice I have ever heard. And my ears definitely heard it. The problem? My heart didn’t feel it. And I don’t know how to make it. I don’t know what this is. Maybe this is just years of coping catching up to me, falling apart, blowing up in my face. Maybe the Universe is stripping my “brave face,” my rose colored glasses. Maybe at 34, it’s time for me to me to be a realist, instead of a romantic optimist. I don’t know. And I know that sounds dramatic. But I’m at a loss. Because people keep telling me I’m going to be fine, and I always respond, “I know. You’re right.” But I don’t feel it. I don’t feel it. I wish I did. God, I want to. I just…

It sounds really crazy to hope I don’t get fired from a job I may have to quit, and am not even all that fond of, but here we are. I like security, safety. I like the nets under me when I walk on the tightrope. I like the nets. And I like deciding when I don’t need them anymore. I don’t like anything being decided for me. And now there’s feelings of dread, like the net is going to be stripped away without me knowing, without me preparing. And the worst part? I don’t feel like I have anyone who can keep me from falling. Which hurts, because I’ve been the net for so many people.

I used to be afraid of dogs. I find nowadays that the fear is fading. I don’t know how or why. I just know that I’m not as afraid as I used to be. Now, I will say that my fear of a dog has a direct correlation with my trust in the owner’s ability to control said dog, but I am definitely less afraid than I was ten, five, two years ago. I wouldn’t say I was over it, but it has lessened considerably. Another fear of mine that’s lessened? My fear of thunderstorms. I can remember crying for my mom and hiding when thunder and lightening hit the sky. Now, I pause a little. I get a little freaked out if I’m alone, or if I’m driving, but the fear doesn’t cripple me like it used to. I learned to cope, and then the fear started fading, little by little. The problem is, I don’t know how long it’s going to take for that to happen in this case. Maybe my real fear is that if something unexpected happens, if my safety net is snatched away, that I won’t get through it like everyone else I know. That when shit gets real, I’m not really strong enough. I’ve been talking in the last few blogs about having someone to lean on, about how I miss my dad more than ever. What would happen if he wasn’t there? Would I make it? By myself? And with all these thoughts, on top of everything, I feel ashamed. Because I used to have so much more faith. I used to have undying belief in the happily ever after. And I don’t know what’s happening to me.

Now normally, this is the part where I gather myself and wipe my face, and get back to the business of handling my life. And I will. I promise. But the more I swallow the tears and avoid the breakdown, the worse I feel. So today… I need to let it happen. I need to let those waves take me and stop fighting. I just… have to hope I come out on the other side.

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Age Appropriate

Ya’ll. Ya’ll. I need to just… man, seriously. Wait, wait let me gather myself.

Wooooooossssaaaaaahhhhhh.

Okay, I’m good now. So yesterday, I was on Twitter, being innocent, tweeting about the goodness of the Lord like I usually am, and then I decided I wanted to answer some questions. Some of my Twitter friends do this Ask.fm thing where people can anonymously ask you questions and you can answer them. You can post the answers, or not, and the person can tell you who they are if they choose, but mostly it’s anonymous. As you can imagine, with anonymity on your side, the questions can get a little raunchy. So anyway, I’m answering questions about… stuff, and I start getting inquiries about how young I’ll go in terms of dating. And then a young gentlemen tells me he wants me, and he’s 21. Sir. No. I mean, I can’t do this. Really. THEN, someone else asks me anonymously if I’m some sort of cougar now. And I responded that I didn’t think I was. But that I almost always attract guys who are younger than me. I don’t mean to. But it’s true. About 80% of the time, I do. But I don’t know why. So here I go again, with another thing to try to get to the root of. Now I’m going to break this down in sections, as organizing my thoughts is my way.

Hot Mama or Little Girl?

Now, when I noticed years ago that this happened to me, I figured it was because I came across too motherly. I mean, no lie. When I was 25, I legit met a bunch of guys who were 19. And as flattering as it may seem, it’s… sometimes not. I didn’t want to be seen as someone who’ll take care of you. And I felt like that was the case. Now, the conundrum with this is that I will take care of you. I am 100%, pure unadulterated nurturer in terms of personality. I will always make sure you’ve eaten, and ask you how you slept, and get on you about drinking enough water and eating vegetables. I am just built that way. So of course that’s how I come across; that’s how I am. But that doesn’t mean I want to date someone so much younger than me, whose main attraction is that reason. Got dammit, I want to be sexy to you! I want you to want to eat ME up when you see me, not your vegetables. So, trying to balance the facets of my personality has been a struggle for me. Either way, I don’t want to be your mom, mentor, or your “stability.” I mean, you’re cute and all sir, but I can’t do my work and make sure you get to class too.  As an aside, let me just say that this has nothing to do with the maturity level of these younger guys. Because I don’t go into it assuming they’re all immature. I think that would be short-sighted of me. This is all about me (as my blog usually is, lol), trying to figure out what I’m projecting into the universe. So, on we go…

Then my next thought was just as problematic. I started to wonder if I attract younger guys because I come across as someone their age, in terms of mindset and interest. Maybe they don’t see a mature, mother figure– maybe they see a young girl when they look at me. And I don’t take that as a compliment. I’m 34, and proud to be. I’m also a responsible, mature person. I pay my bills on time, and think before I speak, and hide my petty tendencies with the skill of a Jedi master. So is it a compliment that someone seven or eight years younger looks at me and sees a match in terms of mindset? Sigh. I don’t know.

My friend Teri thinks I’m over thinking this. And a small part of myself does as well. I had the thought that I should be happy to even be approached, because that means I am giving off a vibe of approachability, which was hard for me before because I’ve struggled so much feeling attractive and adequate. Let’s not rehash that. You guys know how it was. Anyway, part of me thought I should go with it, and enjoy it. Teri agrees with me. Believe me, I’m trying. But it’s hard to get something in my head and not flesh it out, so here we are.

My Own Age?

Okay, so I went through the first part of this, but there’s more pieces. The second piece to this is that I have a harder time gaining, and keeping the interest of guys my age. I don’t know why. Do they see me as immature? Or am I too motherly for them too? I’d say it’s about half and half. Half of them want younger girls, spry and 25, at the latter end of the party girl phase that they can start families with. I’m not too old for babies, by any means, but 25 is not 34, that’s for sure. And it could just be a clash of personality. Maybe our interests don’t line up. And maybe my interests typically coincide with people that are younger than I am. A lot of times I feel like guys my age are looking for women that are more… “ladylike,” I guess is the term. Girls that wear full face makeup and stiletto heels. They always have their nails done, and perfect pin curls. And I’m barely out of my adult Punky Brewster phase, lol. By that I just mean that I’m not a “girly girl.” You’ll have to excuse the generalizations. I know none of these types are absolutes. So don’t lecture me in the comments, okay? I’m just saying. There seems to be a bit of an expectation that I don’t meet in terms of personality. But I’m working on my sexy. Watch me this summer. Anyway… to the last thing…

Sugar Daddies?

Now. Older guys. Oh my goodness. First of all, most of them smell so damn good. But that’s neither here nor there. The crux with them is that most of the time our interests aren’t lining up. If I have to tell you who Action Bronson is, I don’t know how far we’re going to go. That sounded shallow, didn’t it? I apologize. It was just an example. But you get the overall picture, right? I never meet an older guy whose interests line up with mine. NEVER. I suppose it’s not impossible. But I have no knowledge of this life. I have a Twitter follower who’s an older guy that I think is so awesome. Not too much older. Early 40’s. But still. He’s kind of in a class by himself. I mean, he listens to hip-hop and knows (like I know and everyone else should know) that Rakim is the greatest MC of all time. How can you not love him? But like I said, he’s the exception. Most of the time, the rule is jazz festivals and me having to explain who Action Bronson is. No bueno.

I was talking to my best friend about this, and I sensed she didn’t think it was worth the mention. But that’s how she’s always been about this. Most of the time when I tell her someone significantly younger shows an interest, she acts like I shouldn’t even entertain it. I wondered if I should listen. But her dating life hasn’t ever been anything like mine. I mean, she’s met assholes. We all do. And she’s struggled. We all do. But she hasn’t had the trouble even getting approached, like I have. She’s never felt out of place and small in a room full of her FRIENDS. She’s never been the one girl at the bar who doesn’t have anyone talk to her ALL NIGHT. I have been that girl. I have complexes and confidence issues. I give myself enough grief. I think, for this, maybe I should relax. And I’m not saying this to say I should entertain everyone. I’m saying it to say that age seems like a smaller thing, when other things are so much bigger. Did I just solve my own problem? Hot damn!

So now that I’ve done exactly the opposite of what Teri told me and over thought this, I’ll just end it here and go back to Ask.fm. Apparently, someone on there wants to tickle me very badly, lol. Thanks for reading. Love you!