There is not much keeping me here these days.
I love Detroit. I do. I love it’s essence, it’s soul, it’s grit. I love that its like sand paper – rough and bumpy and wearing you down until you realize that it’s actually making you better. Tougher. Smoother.
I love that there isn’t a single weekend when you can’t find at least a handful of good shows to choose from – incredible musicians playing songs they poured their hearts into for $5 a head at the door, flying under the world’s radar at some hole in the wall dive bar in Corktown.
I love that Opening Day for Tigers baseball is a damn holiday in this town. That tens of thousands of people pack into every parking lot, vacant lot, street, corner, alley and bar to kick off a new season.
I love that no matter what – no matter hard it gets it, no matter the politics, the crime, the corruption, the poverty – Detroit stands back up. Each and every time. Back on its feet. I think that’s a lesson we all need to learn from time to time.
So could I leave? Can I leave? Would I? Will I?
I need a change. I know that much is true. I need to feel like I have a new beginning, a fresh start, a way to get my feet back under me. A chance.
The last two years have been hard.
Really fucking hard.
Death and illness and change, change, change, change and more change.
Lots of people have left my world – death or over miles or over I don’t even know what because 20 years didn’t matter to them any more I guess. I asked and didn’t get answers so… It is what it is. I used to hate that phrase, part of me still does, but it fits. It is what it is and I can’t change any of that. Sometimes you have to let things be. Just let it be.
I love the people that I have left here – extended family and the few friends that remain. I love the familiarity of the only place I’ve ever called home. I love driving by familiar places and remembering “that one time…”
So could I leave it? Can I walk away from that? Can I start over some place new, where at least my immediate family would be there?
Is there really anything here that I say I love that I couldn’t still get on weekend visits a few times a year?
Most of my relationships exist over text messages and the occasional face-to-face once every couple of months if I’m lucky. That’s just not enough for me anymore. If I moved 700 or 1100 or 3000 miles away, none of that changes. It’s still texts and Facebook statuses and “we’ll get together real soon” that rarely happen.
I love the people I work with but the position itself is beyond taxing. I dread going in every day and getting yelled at by people on the phone, all day every day. Not simply cranky customers but people that are genuinely mean and angry. The stress has definitely taken a toll on my health, particularly these last few months, and I don’t know how to change that. There are only so many ways to “power through” bad days when you have bad days every day. Every. Single. Day. People comment at least a few times a week “I don’t know how you put up with it.” I thought for a long time I was able to handle it all, then the migraines get worse and hit more often, the random illnesses and weakened immune system and depression and anxiety and prescriptions and pills and appointments and I’m supposed to “buck up” and “power through.” I make decent money, have benefits and after another 4 years I’d be vested for my pension. These things are hard or damn near impossible to come by these days but is it worth for another four years? Can I even last that long in this position? I don’t know the answer to either of those questions.
A fortune cookie this week read “Investigate an opportunity that will soon become an option.” Of course, like horoscopes, it’s written to be vague to apply to anyone who reads it in one way or another. But it got me thinking about options – real options. Real choices. Real risks. Factors and non-factors. Privileges and sacrifices. Home in a physical sense and home in the heart. Friendships and acquaintances. Family and FAMILY. Pleasantries and politeness and duty and expectations. Happiness and contentment. Complacency and stagnation. Wants and supposed-to-wants. Needs and things we’re simply taught to need. Questions and answers. Questions without answers.
I don’t know what the future holds. I don’t know if I’ll leave or if I’ll stay or if I’ll die tomorrow or live till I’m 80. I don’t know if I’m meant to stay here forever or I’m meant to be some place else. I don’t know if anything is really “meant to be.” I know that I’m tired. I know that I’m over certain things. I know that I’m just beginning certain battles and that I need to conquer certain others. I need….something. I’m just not sure what. I don’t know what the big picture is supposed to be. I don’t know that if I left if I’d be happy or if I’d be back in six months or a year. I don’t know what the future holds.
One thing I do know is that I’m tired of feeling like my whole world is going up in flames and all I manage to do is bring gasoline for the fire.
Decisions must be made and I’m both afraid and excited that those decisions will have to happen sooner rather than later. Leave. Stay. Quit. Try harder. Give up. Should I stay or should I go now? You just sang that in your head.
So again, I wonder – could I leave? Can I leave? Would I? Will I?
If anyone has the answer, please fill me in.
Note: This part was posted on Facebook but it applies here as well, I believe.
On another note, last time I posted a similiar note I got a direct message from someone I barely know asking why I would put so much “personal stuff” in a note on Facebook. Is it over sharing? Guess that depends on your own personal limits. I’ve always been an “all cards on the table” person and that’s one thing I know will not change. I don’t post these things for validation or attention and whatever other reason this person may have bounced around in their head. Why does anyone write? Why does anyone pick up a book? Why does anyone have those heart to heart conversations at 3:00 in the morning that are the most honest you’ve probably ever been because its dark and you know they can’t see the look on your face or you see the look on theirs? We’ve built a whole world, a whole life, designed to keep others out. We carry smart phones and iPads so we don’t dare have to look a stranger in the eye while we’re waiting in line at the grocery store. We post witty status updates and snarky tweets and while those are certainly part of who we are, it’s not ALL that we are.
There have been so many times when I’ve read the perfectly dialogued chapter or heard that song lyric that was so RIGHT ON that I had to pause. It’s a reminder that we’re not the only ones. So I post a jumble of thoughts here once every six months and if even one person reads it and thinks “ya know what? That’s what I’ve been trying to say/sort out/deal with” – even if I never know that..that’s why. Someone has done it for me, those authors and songwriters, and maybe this is my way of paying it forward, so to speak. I don’t think a little honesty and humanity sneaking into our digital lives is a bad thing. Sometimes we need to look up and remember that we’re people. That profiles and social networks have brought us in touch with people we may never hear from otherwise while distancing us from people sitting across the room.
As always, I’ll end with what I feel is an appropriate lyric.
“…Sometimes you gotta look up and let the world see all the beauty that you’re made of…’Cause the way you hang your head nobody can tell….Put a little light in the darkest places, put a little smile on the saddest faces.”