Spoiler alert: This will be my last post for the foreseeable future. And it is a long one.
A lot has happened in my life these past 5 years and much of it has been captured in the virtual pages of this space. I created this blog in 2017 when I was literally on the cutting edge of life. I had taken more than I could handle—with my professional career and my relationships. My health was in the dumpster and my children were suffering from my emotional unavailability. I was a hot mess.
Here’s what happened at that point:
I made a decision to start writing about all of it, as the first step to wrap my mind around both the details of every day and the big picture of my life and what it had become. That was early 2017, January, after I returned from my sister’s destination wedding in Mexico.
That trip I spent half the time totally wasted and the other half hungover and hating myself. I “drunk” texted everyone I could think of so as not to text my ex. My forever love that gave up on us because I gave up on us. Until about a month before that, I still had hope he would be going with me to Mexico as my forever +1.
Little did I know he was already dating some other girl. I digress.
By that time, he was only part of my problem. The other part was my job.
I had been put in stressful situation after stressful situation with no light at the end of the tunnel. The new-ish president of the company was a relentless tyrant who took away any hope for further professional development and I was told to stay away from my mentor as it would be bad for my progression to dev/product architect.
How would I ever learn more or prove my skills if I wasn’t allowed to speak with my mentor? It was garbage. They put me in charge of so many projects I’d never have time to learn anything else new, and as soon as I got back from Phoenix go-live (where I saved the company’s ass might I add), Miami was on fire again. There was no end that I could see and I was in desperate need of a break. A long break, to get my mind right.
I surveyed my savings account. I consulted with my closest friends. I performed my version of prayer and walked into my boss’s office with a request for a sabbatical. I even offered to take it unpaid. She said she would take it up the chain.
I knew they would say no and I was prepared with my resignation letter when they called me into HR to give me the news.
Sliding that paper across the table was one of the best decisions I’ve made for myself in my entire life. I loved my job, most of my coworkers, my team, and my customers but I had to let it all go to save what shred of sanity I had left.
I could live on my savings for a good long while. At least 5 or 6 months before starting to look for a new job. And that’s exactly what I did.
I started going to the gym every day and spent more time with my children. I planned a few awesome vacations for us. I let go of a dream of having a honeymoon in Hawaii and took them to Maui. I used the free airline tickets I won at the company Christmas party the previous year and took them to Portland and a road trip up and down the west coast. And I didn’t worry about money. It’s only money and I knew I could make more.
I also wrote about all of it. Right here in this blog. If I want, I can go back and relive my transformation from zombie to human being again.
By the end of 2017, I was ready to start looking for a job. It wasn’t hard. I had a great career and reputation. I knew I wanted to work from home and not more than 25 hours a week and that’s exactly what I did.
I also applied for the MFA program to get my masters in Poetry and was accepted for a Winter Residency/Spring semester start. My aim was to learn how to be a better writer and poet. I wanted to gift myself with something that was just for me, for once in my damn life. Another great decision.
I was able to let go of the 5-year love affair that had haunted me and somewhere along the way, I felt healthy enough to start dating again.
I got in on a free dating app called “Bumble” and had some cringe-worthy experiences but in Q1 2018 (March 3rd to be exact) I met a person who would change my life. In less than 6 months, I would find myself saying “yes” to his marriage proposal and that whole “forever” bit for real. Another great decision. Needless to say, I was on a roll.
In January 2019 my kids and I moved into his house with his kids and we sealed the deal by adopting our third cat, Doug. I still had my job, was full-time in school, and also had to drive 2+ hours every day to taxi my kids to their school and back. It was a busy time and I struggled with the transition.
I was now writing daily, but not to try and climb my way back to health because I had already done that. Instead, it was to work through all the changes in my life and the daily struggle. As Jim and I inched our way to our wedding date (February 2, 2020) I was still going in the right direction, but experiencing some really tough days.
I thought now that I had life figured out it would be easy, but it’s never easy and never final.
The wedding came and went and on the heels of that, the pandemic hit home. Hard. I kept working because for a time there, we weren’t sure what was going to happen with Jim’s office. The project I was on was demanding and I offered up more hours to try and keep things going smoothly. It began to remind me of my previous job. Nights, weekends, me making excuses to my kids when I was unavailable. I didn’t like the taste.
I had already taken one semester off from school and was in the home stretch with my last one. I didn’t want it to suffer but ultimately, it did. I kept working full time while I finished my thesis. At the same time, I was navigating life at home with a depressed senior missing her final semester of high school and a sophomore who couldn’t be happier staying home and playing video games all day. I was crumbling but everyone around me felt like they were crumbling too. There was no “normal” in sight.
Along the way, I had begun taking Xanax which had been prescribed to me for sleep. I fell into periods of deep exhaustion and brain fog during the day and a new primary care doc told me it was a side effect so I had to slowly ween off. That shit is dangerous and very habit-forming. Add one more issue to sort out.
But I did, all the while writing and crossing my fingers for the pandemic to end so I could graduate in person and my daughter could start her freshman year in person. Neither happened.
Eventually, I got fed up with my job and was not willing to sacrifice any more of my time for “the man.” I gave a months notice. It was a good run but Jim and I worked out that we didn’t need my income and “we” were more important. I finished my last contract in October 2020.
As it happens though, I did not find myself without a job because I also spent most of 2020 starting a new organization—an online literary journal run by myself and my fellow MFAers. At the time, I had no idea how much work would be involved. Turns out.. it’s very close to what I had been spending at my job. But it was mine and I was spearheading the startup AND planning to do some good in the world which is, I think, important for me to feel good about myself and my contribution to society.
Late in 2020, I got an acceptance letter from a publisher willing to publish my first poetry collection. Soon after, I officially graduated (albeit virtually) and was deep into my new lifestyle of stay-at-home mom & wife/editor/writer.
In 2021 I found myself writing a lot less, blogging a lot less, and using my “creative” time toward revising and submitting my existing work. I had pretty good success with that, all things considered but was a touch bothered by the fact that I wasn’t writing anything new. “Anything” being poems or essays worthy of submitting.
The truth is, I didn’t feel inspired to write and I struggled with that more and more as the months wore along. 2021 was a tough year for my family as my dad was struggling with newly being alone and my mom was diagnosed with stage 3C ovarian Cancer. I found myself playing designated daughter in both cases and didn’t really feel like writing much about it. And what I was writing, was mostly complaining. Despite the whole purpose of this blog, I didn’t really want to be on the rambling “poor me” train anymore. My life had taken a turn for the good.. Then the better… then the best, so who was I to complain about anything anymore?!
Outside of a few memorable vacations, published poems, and the forthcoming book, I didn’t feel as though I had “blog-worthy” things to write about. And let’s be honest… there’s only so much one can write about their health, goals, sleep, cats, kids, and work before it gets super monotonous and booooorinnnnng! Snoring boring!! I became sick of it. I still am.
I turned to Bachelor, Bachelorette, and Master Chef as my alternatives for treadmill time over trying to crank out posts. And I enjoyed that.
Now we’re getting close to the end here. The point. The final huzzah.
I think I’m done. I think I’ve written myself out of a hole and around a few bumps in the road and am ready to call this Miss SugarCookie adventure quits.
As I stated earlier, no matter how much one has things figured out, life’s never easy and it’s never final (until the true end), but as I have done recently with other aspects/goals in my life, like improved sleep, meditation, reading, and trying hard to please everyone, I’m taking a leap and letting it go.
All of it. No pressure to publish, no pressure to blog (not that I ever felt pressure to blog), no pressure to write a number of new poems like a work quota or something. I’m just going to do what comes naturally and try to enjoy my life more. I’ve found/made a great life with Jim and just want to be done with any notion that I’m not good enough because I should be doing more.
If it sounds as though I’m trying to convince myself.. In a way, I am. But this is really it, as I said, for the foreseeable future.
It’s officially been five years, two months, and eight days since I posted my first post here as the clandestine (and totally organic) Miss SugarCookie… 1,892 days ago–January 15, 2017.
I’ve written 1337 posts. I’ve had 16,832 views by 10,585 visitors and accumulated 8495 likes. I officially have 825 followers–at least 20 of which are actual human beings who read what I’m rambling about on a regular basis. 😜I’m grateful for all the people who’ve visited and liked my posts and those who have commented with kind words and well wishes. It’s great to feel love from complete strangers (and one IRL friend) and goes a long way towards restoring one’s faith in humanity.
If you’ve made it all the way to the end with me today. Thank you too.
With that it’s time for me to say Adios, Aloha, Ciao, Sayonara, and Goodbye.
One more time, for the road…
Peace and Love, Always,
PS. In order to count up those beloved stats, I had to log in to WordPress on my laptop. I also scrolled all the way to the very first post to pinpoint the exact day of that. In doing so, I noticed that the featured image is a stock WordPress first blog post image. It is the sun in the distance over water, just above the horizon. In the post, I comment that the sun is rising. But of course, now I realize that we can’t know that from looking at a photograph. The sun could just as easily be have been setting when it was taken. How appropriate.