Sunday, November 7, 2010

Round and Round She Goes

I wish it were all easier. I feel as though I don't fit in anywhere. I'm not finding entry level jobs, nor higher level jobs. Where are the ones that would fit me right now? Those in the middle? I'm apparently not qualified enough for the more professional jobs and yet when I see who is working at the entry level ones, it is clear that I don't fit in there at all. I applied for two positions at the local grocery store. No interest in me, even with my Big Box Store experience. When I shopped there the other day, there were three middle-aged cashiers gabbing, waiting on no one and the one at my register didn't start waiting on me until they stopped chatting. I just stood there waiting to see how long it would take and didn't say a word. So here is who is working there and someone like me who jumped on taking care of customers gets passed over. Very frustrating!

A couple of weeks after my husband died, I was in the grocery store reaching for some pears. And a quite elderly woman's hand brushed against mine. She had come to the store from the retirement home and I remember thinking to myself, I am sure this woman is a widow. And yet, here am I a widow also, at age 44, probably 40 years her junior. That is the first time I referred to myself as Widow in the Middle. I wasn't an widow as she was but nor was I a widow with little babies, a young widow.

Now I don't even know where I fit in. Certainly no longer in this community of intact families. I have sadly learned that a community doesn't make a home no matter how quaint and pretty it is if you're lonely and have no one to share life with. I've stayed here for the boys and high school but at this point am ready to relocate. Living here is a hindrance for me. I understand now why people say it can be a good thing to move and start over fresh in a new location.

I have never disclosed the real reason I plunged into a deep depression at the end of the summer. I found out that my Master's degree qualifications to sit for counseling licensing in my state were changed about two years ago. They increased the number of hours in the Master's program and I don't have enough to sit for the license. So in a way, my MA is worthless at least from the perspective of being a licensed professional counselor in Illinois. This absolutely devastated me.

Now my mood is more stable and the dust has settled. I will have to use my Master's in Psych/Counseling as a launching point into a new career. I suppose I can find a social services job in the field but with all the managed care requirements for payment, they want licensed professionals. I doubt I'll find work as a counselor since I am not license eligible. Very distressing.

Having gone to all these financial aid meetings for my son going on to college, I am considering going back to school myself for some job retraining. A program just at the community college level - maybe the Library Aide or something in health care management. I don't know what else to do to progress so I can make somewhat of a decent living for myself and my sons.

What also upset me in the past months is the disconnect I have felt with Sam - we haven't seen one another since mid-August and a main issue between us is his inability to commit to some sort of exclusive relationship status. I am tired of that and want more. I deserve better. Widowhood is hard enough than to be dealing with a guyfriend not on the same page in regard to what the definition of a relationship is. I haven't given up on Sam because he still means something to me but I am discouraged.

I've already experienced a lot of ambiguity these past few years and to be in an "undefined" relationship, without work, on my own stumbling along here makes me long for some part of my life that is defined, known and predictable. I know none of us really know where we will be tomorrow. Nothing is ever a given. But I want to know that I have a decent job/career, a kind man in my life who loves and respects me and our relationship and I want to know that I'm headed out of this pit of uncertainty. I want to laugh more and feel joy (real joy) in my heart again. I want to have a man buy be a cup of tea or glass of wine and be interested in what I have to say (truly). I want to be of value to an employer again and to have my financial burdens eased.

All these steps I'm taking just to keep on living and going on and yet I only seem to be turning around in circles.


  1. Hi
    I haven't been around much, so I've had a few of your entries to catch up on. You sound more settled.
    I also have had trouble with guys who are not on the same page. I get close to them and then they move away, repeat ad nauseum. I have come to realise that that kind of relationship is not worth the emotional energy.
    I love your talk about knitting, because I am a crochet queen. It is not a common craft now-days but I love it. I crocheted lots and lots of scarves this year, keeps my fingers busy while I'm watching tellie instead of feeding my face.
    Anyway, loving your pictures of 'fall', in Australia it is spring, and we are looking forward to some warmth.

  2. I just know from lots of experience that it is not worth one second of your precious energy on a man not on the same page. No amount of hope, change on your part, or giving yourself away works. I am so sorry to read about the licensing issue in your job, but I think you are on the right path to retrain. It should be a worthwhile and easy path, given your experience.
    Keep yourself in all its forms it is a place of healing.

  3. Julie - It is nice to hear from you again. I didn't know you are from Australia. I thought you were from England. It amazes me sometimes to think that a person so far away has had an impact on my life because you more than other readers have really sometimes challenged me to the depth of my soul!

    I crochet too, but just enjoy knitting more. I tried to crochet a turkey pattern I found on the internet last night for Thanksgiving but it did not turn out as I liked so I'm scrapping it. Crochet is probably more common here in the States.

    I don't want to think about the man/men/guyfriend/boyfriend issue today at all. But the key is what you said - emotionally, in the end, it is not worth it and we are worth more.

    CCK - I am also glad to hear from you again and appreciate the wisdom of your words. The beauty of nature is helping me heal and hold me together. That and some good books, strong tea and my knitting. And kindness from afar too!

  4. I could have written some of the same feelings as you shared about not fitting in ~ different circumstances, maybe, but the same sense of "where do I belong." I, too, feel the urge to relocate, but it is not the right time -- my youngest still has 2 1/2 years of school left and I have elderly parents that moved here to help me out and now they need my help. One day, maybe. I am ready -- I think! I do believe, though, that you are going to find your place. You have made great advances and I see a strong, determined woman who has made the best of truly difficult circumstances.

    When you finish some of your knitting projects, please post pictures. Would love to see your work. It's great that you have a creative outlet that you are passionate about.

    Blessings :)

  5. Beth - It is truly a relief for me to know that someone else shares what I feel too. I also feel positive knowing that I was unable to move because of having to care for my dying Mom and that staying here for the boys to finish high school was what was best for US. They were not easy decisions to make, partly the cost of even a marriage. But I have to believe that in the end, they'll count for the greater good.

    Pictures of knitting and crochet will pop up.

    I truly appreciate your comment about trying to make the best of difficult circumstances. I wish I heard that more often from the people closest to me... My Mom provided a lot of verbal support to me and it was a Godsend. The absolutely least I could do in return was be there with her in her final months/days. I know you too share similar feelings about your parents. It is as it should be, although people seem to forget how more difficult it is being an only parent parenting kids and parents at the same time!