“This is to notify you that your position with blah, blah, is being eliminated for business reasons.”

I’m out.  Done.  Gone.  Free.

I smiled and my mind raced as my 2-up droned and mumbled through a legal script before giving me a perfunctory best wishes in future endeavors.  Whatever asshole.  I’m free.  The HR lady started telling me dates and amounts and I listened very hard to her and asked questions about my RSP and if I could really just logout right now…  I think she was a little confused.  Usually these things are sprung upon the blissfully ignorant employee who sits silently in shock, or maybe cries a bit, but, I’d been hoping for, asking for, sending fervent desperate energy bursts into the cosmos in service to willing this very thing to happen.  I was happy.  Tingling and tension releasingly happy.  I remember my first breaths of freedom after hanging up with her and sending a rushed email to my guys before the asshole had my access completely deleted.  I remember my screensaver on the Amazon Screen sitting in front of me was showing a picture I’d taken of the memorial at Culloden Moor.  This time the tiny, outnumbered, broken but still determined Scot won the day.  I got my package.  My life changed for the better in an instant.  Suddenly, I was debt-free with a maxxed RSP and a boat-load of cash.  I had run all the numbers for retirement, but had never really run them with this scenario, so as to not jinx it.  But now I did.  And I was happy.  And ahead.

England- Day 1

Arrived yesterday after uneventful flights from Victoria to Edmonton and then to Gatwick. I upgraded my seat on the long flight and it was so worth it!

Mom and dad were there, a little ragged, but ready and happy. We all needed some sleep and the hotel is nice, the staff, a little bit like it’s Island Time, but all good.

Today we’re off to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Bath. CSSMJ arrive this afternoon, not sure if we’ll have the energy to see them tonight or not. We’ll see.

FB with Adam and Fran and we’ll try to meet up on Tuesday after Fran finishes work to see the Magna Carta! They’ve not seen it either!

Things I want to see today: Tomb of Henry VIII, Stonhenge, the Roman baths.

A strong mind

Anthony Bourdain’s suicide is bothering me.  Suicide itself is something that, thankfully, has never come close to me, but I guess because he was famous and I liked his show and  manner, I felt like I knew him.  It’s hard to wrap my brain around what could cause anyone to take their own life.  Although, I guess for people with terminal illnesses or chronic unbearable pain, choosing the time and place of their passing is something I can support and understand.  I’d want that option, even if I’m not sure I’d use it.

Otherwise they say it’s mental illness.

Tony Bourdain seemed like a man who had a good sense of self.  He knew himself.  He embraced his past, his failures and embarrassments, learned from them and tried to do better in the present.  He didn’t seem affected by other people’s judgments or opinions, but he was a former heroin addict, so maybe the blood work will reveal that he was actually a current heroin addict.  I’d accept the chemical imbalance/impairment that comes with drug addiction as- while unacceptable just the same- a reason.

But for your own physically and chemically healthy brain to convince itself to give up?  I can’t fathom it.  I think of all the horrors in this world;  the concentration camps and human trafficking, the unbelievable hardships that are borne by millions in slums and ghettos…. How could whatever set Bourdain off compare?  Or Kate Spade, Chris Cornell, or Chester Bennington?  What convincing arguments were their brains selling them, that those suffering millions never hear?

I’m reminded of John Nash, the famous mathematician whose life-story was told in the book and movie “A Beautiful Mind”.  He was schizophrenic and, after finally being diagnosed and accepting the diagnosis, he was somehow self-aware enough to question and evaluate the signals his brain was sending him.  Someone with mental illness but a powerful brain nonetheless.  Incredible.

Is it possible Bourdain was too weak or too chemically compromised to challenge the things his own brain was telling him?  That, with everything he’d overcome already, the successes that had risen out of his previous failures, THIS time the obstacle was insurmountable?  Did all the pain, inequality and injustice in the world at large just overwhelm the tiny speck of ineffectual humanity he felt he represented?  What chronic or terminal condition did he think he had that could be best solved only by his own physical death?  With all his vast experiences, the myriad kinds of people he’d met, and situations he’d been in , how could he possibly feel that he was tapped out and there was no other option to try?

I just feel disappointed right now.  There is always another option.  Always.  Even if it doesn’t occur to you, it will occur to someone else.  Just ask.  Sometimes your brain acts like a weak-ass bitch.  Get to know yourself and have a talk with yourself.  Don’t let your own brain be a single point of failure.  Challenge.  Question.  Ask for help.

Today I start.

Today I started a blog again.  The last time I had one, it was to document a Change.

I like to see things.  I need to look at something to understand it.  I’m a visual learner.  Writing about myself helps me understand myself.  Writing about things that frighten me, or excite me takes the rough edges off the bad and lets me relive the good.

I’m not sure if this blog is the result of a Change or in anticipation of one, but I feel the need to write about something.

In May 2017, I embarked on a 3-week tour of Peru that I’d been planning for EVER but that trip was overshadowed with a numbing haze as it happened about 2 months after the death of my beloved cat Nyx.   I had a great time, met great people and checked soooo many Bucket List boxes; but I wasn’t as fully engaged in it as I’d planned to be and hoped to be.  I didn’t write about it like I thought I would.  I missed that opportunity, but even as I watched the time slip past and knew I could be writing, I couldn’t make myself do it.  I could feel myself falling into depression when I arrived home. I spent the summer being quiet and alone.  Being quiet and alone are two of my favourite things as I’m a raging introvert, but I know how to socialize and feel better when I do small-scale social activities with people I like.  I wasn’t doing that.

Here I am in June 2018 prepping for 2 weeks in England and Scotland with family and SERIOUSLY looking forward to it.  I have a new cat Quinn who’s healthy and happy and am still living life quiet and alone.  So.  Maybe that’s the Change I anticipate?  Breaking out of quiet and alone and into some targeted socialization?  Some therapeutic writing?  I felt driven to start this blog, and I’ve done it, which I take as a good sign.  I always know what I “should” do and what I “want” to do.  I don’t always have the will or desire to do it.

Today is different.  I’m glad.  Maybe I’m crawling out now.