Tag Archives: regret

8 Minutes

When I was a baby, I sucked my thumb.

When I turned 9, I stopped sucking my thumb and started biting my nails.

When I got into University, I stopped biting my nails and started smoking.

When I stopped smoking, I started chewing on my lips.

 

It’s been almost 20 months now since I quit smoking, and let me tel you, I feel great.  My coughs are not as severe, I don’t get sick anywhere as much as I used to with respiratory issues.  My headaches are fewer, and I’m even getting into better shape.  For months after quitting even the smell of a lit cigarette nearby was enough to make me nauseous and run in the opposite direction.  I could barely stand to be near my brother and some of my coworkers, because they smelled of nicotine and ash.

 

That’s been better lately.  I’ve actually caught myself liking the smell of the cigarettes, not to mention the smell of nicotine on clothes.  It’s become almost a comforting smell to me, which is just bizarre.  And while I was working at the call center, I started to notice the cravings. Ever so slight, but sometimes, a group of people would go out for a smoke and I could almost feel myself wanting to go with them.  That was one of the other reasons that I stopped working there.  The smoke breaks were getting to be a temptation, the people smoking during those breaks were awesome and I wanted to hang out with them more.

 

But cigarettes are expensive down here. Crazy expensive.  But that’s not the only reason that I’m looking at the last 20 months and reevaluating where I stand, and why I’m happy to have quit and why I will fight my instincts and my need for something to do with my fingers until the end.   I saw a billboard the other day.  And while I’m not completely sure on the veracity of the claim, or the science used to back it up, it stated that every cigarette costs 8 minutes of your life.

 

8 minutes.  For every smoke. Every pack of cigarettes is 160 minutes. Every carton, 1600 minutes.  That got me thinking.  All those nights and days at the theatre, where we did nothing but smoke and joke around.  Those nights out at the diner where we could finish off a pack and a half easily.  Or at verizon or walmart where I could smoke a pack a day, maybe two days when I was cutting down.  I don’t want to even think about the money that I spent or wasted, but the time.  I mean.  All that time.  I’ve shortened my life significantly by smoking.

 

Now, I want to say that while I was smoking, I knew about this. I knew the health risks and the dangerous factors. I knew that I was taking a leap of life and limb every time that I lit up.  I knew it, and I didn’t care.  It was my life and I was going to live it how I wanted to live it. I was going to make my mistakes, hang out with my friends and bugger the future.

 

So what changed?

 

I found a future worth being around for.  I think this advert, and the thoughts that followed, effected me more now than they would have back then, simply because of where I was.  I was in the car, driving somewhere with Ee.  And I think of all the time in our life together, that I cheated us out of, by smoking.  Hypocritical?  Possibly.  Sentimental? Definitely.  But there it is.  Ee is the one who gave me the strength to try to quite, all those 20 months ago, the reason that I stuck it out, and now the reason that I won’t ever go back.

 

I want a life with this man. I want a future with him.  And our friends.  I want a chance to live a life and start a family and see my kids grow up and start their own lives.  And now, I kick myself, because I willingly cut off so much time from that dream on my own.  I have shortened my own Happy Ending.

 

This is not for me to post and get all preachy for others to quit smoking. I know that it takes time, and some people won’t ever quit.  This is for me to get these thoughts out.  8 minutes a cigarette.  assuming that I smoked a carton a week, which is not a big assumption, it comes out to just about 1.5 years that I smoked off my life.  Doesn’t sound like much, when you look at it that way.  but 1.5 years is the difference between your grandchild being born and not. Between your kid graduating from college and not.

 

Heady stuff.  I’m glad I quit.  I’m glad I have what I have. I’m grateful for what I have.  I’m just mentally kicking myself for that 1.5 years that I could have had.

Curriculum Vitae

To whom it may concern:

 

I’m an American woman, young though almost thirty, who has moved to these far shores on the off chance that life will somehow be better here than it was in the states.  I’m overweight by no small margin and though I am trying to change that, my willpower is not as strong as it should be.

 

I have skills in the dozens, but none of them the ones that you are searching for.  I can talk my head off about random obscure things, but I have no real capability to sell anything to anybody if I don’t believe in what I’m selling.  I can type fairly quickly, but I do often have to correct myself as I often type faster than my brain moves. Or I think faster than I type.  A mild case of dyslexia doesn’t necessarily help the cause.

 

I am friendly and cheerful, even on days when I want nothing more than to curl up in a corner and cry. I can put on a smile, I can do a little dance, and I can charm your socks off.  Even if you’re wearing stockings.

 

I’m a fast learner, but you have to be willing to take the chance on me.  Teach me a skill and I can use it to many different applications.  Just be willing to take the leap of faith.

 

Do I want to be your receptionist? Do I want to sit on my already large behind and answer the phones for you and take your messages and order the flowers for your anniversary so that your wife doesn’t beat you with a wooden spoon when you get home? No.  Not really.  But I will do those things and my job as well if you would only give me the chance.  I can do this job. I can smile as though my life and livelihood depended on it. I can be polite and courteous. I can make your customers smile and laugh while they wait for you to get out of the bathroom.  Just give me the chance.

 

Do I want to sit in a call center and take phone calls and deal with irate customers for eight hours a day? No.  But I will.  I will sit there, I will multitask. I will work my fingers to the bone to earn the money that you are so generously paying me for being a punching bag between your company and the general public.  Just give me the chance.  You won’t regret it.  I can turn an angry customer into somebody who is calmer, more sedate. I can turn a disappointed customer into a happy camper.  If given the chance and the freedom.

 

Do I know what I want to do? No. I don’t have a clue.  I’m going to be thirty years old. I just finished my Bachelors degree in English last year because I made some stupid life choices when I was younger and I paid for them.  I don’t have the education to teach. I don’t have the patience or the desire to teach. I have no real direction other than ‘not at home being useless’.

 

But I need that chance, I need that opportunity that somebody somewhere is going to see me, think that I have the raw material available to become something great, or even something just decent, and hire me. Train me. Teach and point me into a new direction. Give my life some meaning other than just the good suzy homemaker that I am.

 

I’m good at being suzy homemaker. I can cook and clean and organize. I can manage a house fairly well. I can ensure that there will be food on the table for less than $100/fortnight.  I can work with budgets, I can make things happen.  And I can make sure you will enjoy them.  I can organize and put things in their places and make sure that even if they’re not where you thought they were, you can still find them.

 

I can be useful. Helpful. I can be a morale boost, always with an enjoyable story or some other way to make you laugh, even on the worst day.  I can get things done and I don’t shrink from a deadline, I meet it head on.  Often at the last possible minute, but the project is finished and the project is outstanding.

 

So how do I take all these things about myself that I know that I can do, and sell you on me.  How do I make myself sound like somebody that you would be willing to train, to teach, to mold into the person that you’re looking for.  And do it in only one page?  How can I show you my education from a prestigious school, but not be able to apply anything that I learned of any value to your organization?  And how can I convince you that I can do all of these things I know I can do.  If you don’t even call me back for an interview?

 

I’m at a loss.

 

I don’t know how to sell myself in such a short space of time.  And I feel as though I’m far too honest to just upright lie.  Can I use Microsoft word? Of course I can.  Am I proficient? No.  I can’t make magic unicorns appear from the push of a button or two.  I can make Excel do basic spreadsheets, but beyond that, I’m useless. Gimme an hour or two to scour the internet and I’ll find a tutorial to help me through.  So how do I just lie and say that I can use them both?  I haven’t made a Power Point presentation since my senior year in high school.  And that was twelve years ago!

 

I know that I should lie. Or at least tell half truths.  You’ll never want to hire me for me.  Or at least for the me that you see on those pieces of electronic paper that I keep firing off to your offices and your recruiters.  So I lie.  I tell white tales and half truths to get you to look at me. Give me more than two minutes of your time.  Call me. Talk to me. Interview me and you’ll see I’m so much more than those two pieces of paper could ever suggest that I am.

 

Of course, in talking to me, you’ll realize that I lied.  You’ll realize that I can’t make Excel do pretty ballerina turns by the flick of a switch or the tap of a button.  I can’t make Word sing ‘Hail to the Chief’ every time you walk in the room.  But I can be taught, I can do what you want me to do.  So do you hire the lie? or do you ignore the lie and hire me?  for who I am?

 

I guess, the big question of the day is, how do I sell you on me, when what you see on that piece of paper isn’t really me?

 

Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

 

Sincerely,

 

ahlterra

Heartbreak

Heartbreak is not something that I’m a stranger to.  I’ve felt those pangs of suffering, loss, and anger many times.  But none quite so deeply as I have in the last year.  I am a woman blessed to be loved by a man as wonderful as E.  I am a woman blessed to have another chance to give my love to somebody else.  I am a woman blessed to have the love of my family and my many assorted friends.  But I am also heartbroken.

 

It was the right decision to leave Maine.  It was the right decision to come home and start over again. It was the right decision to finally admit to myself that I was no longer in love with the guy that I was with. It was the right decision to finally end the relationship after seven years.

 

And it was the right decision to close myself off from everything to do with him and memories of him.

 

Sadly, depressingly, that meant closing myself off from his sister.  And her husband.  And their children.  And if there is ever a decision in my life that I regret, it’s not being a strong enough person to keep in tough with them.

 

I regret not being strong enough to separate the love that I had for K and her babies from the failed mess of my relationship with C.  I regret not being strong enough to fight through the flashbacks of being hungry, being afraid, being broke and at the bottom of the ditch in order to stay in touch with those babies.

 

J is going to be 5 years old this year, D will be 2, and I regret leaving those two babies behind more than anything I’ve ever done in my life.

 

I know that I did what I had to do for myself and my own health. I know that in order to be who i am today, I had to break out of who I was back then.  But I will regret not being stronger.

 

I know the likelihood of K or the babies ever seeing this post is smaller than a breadbox and probably just as common, but I have to get it out of my mind and off my chest.

 

I’m sorry, K. I’m sorry for not being the strong sister you thought I was. I’m sorry that I hurt you and N and the babies. I am dreadfully sorry and I know my apologies will fall on deaf ears and mean nothing so long after the fact, but they are meant with the most sincere voice ever.

 

I’m sorry. I miss you guys. I love you all.