As is the story of my life, nothing comes without struggle. I have literally had to fight for every single thing; places to live, food, ginger ale, my job, my dog...my life. Last year, actually a year ago today (I believe) the fight for my life began. Now this year, the fight for Redirection begins. I'll explain this in a story called:
|If you look up and toward the right|
there's a dark blob.
That is the cat.
Now, this can't be fully proven. But the first or second night at my new place, I let Baxter outside to go potty before we went back to the basement for the night. His ears perked up, a sure sign he saw something. Within seconds, he darted into the darkness, there was a loud crash (I thought he'd run into a tree, or taken down a tree). After screaming (quietly because everyone in the house was sleeping) he returned unscathed. I figured whatever he went after was unscathed, too.
In the morning, my roommate told me her cat was in the tree. And I don't mean ten feet off the ground, scared to come down. I mean thirty feet in the tree, meowing like she's dying. My only thought is Oh crap, that is totally Baxter's fault. But I smile and play sympathetic, because well...I don't want her to hate me the first week I'm here.
So night comes, the cat's still up there. Morning comes, she's still up there. I have the morning off, so I decide to take matters into my own hands because it's ridiculous that she's been up there so long and chances are, it's my fault. First failed attempt was trying to climb the tree. Well, the branches were small, and the tree I tried to climb was pretty much dead, so each time I put weight, the branches broke...and I have bruises.
After some time stairing upward, I call for reinforcements. Soon, my Partner in Crime arrives. (Turns out he lives down the street. Huge perk to the new place!) I show him the cat, and his jaw drops. Then he asks, "What's the plan?" I explain that I'm going to be like a contestant on Ninja Warrior and still shimmy the tree, but I need a leg up first.
|Yes, I totally treed myself|
We bring over a picnic table, and angle a slide. I try to shimmy it, and it wobbles. This plan fails, too.
At some point, I stand on the picnic table, and look at the broken branches. Some of them look like little grab-able hand holds. I'm small, but I have a decent amount of upper body strength. So, I jump off the table, and start climbing. I'm going strong until I do the thing you do not do when going high places.
I look down.
And Partner in Crime is very small. And the cat is still above me. "Well," he calls. "You're half way there."
My legs start to shake. My breathing comes in wisps. My heart starts pounding so hard I think it's moving my shirt. "I'm not sure I can go any higher."
I talk to the cat for a few minutes. I tell her I made it half way, it's her turn. She doesn't budge. I get Partner in Crime to take a picture because I blog and tweet about everything, then climb down, forgetting that I'd launched myself from the picnic table. Coming down would mean a small drop. But a small drop to a girl with knee injuries means death, and maybe some crying. But definitely crutches.
With Partner in Crime's guidance, I get as close to the ground as I can go. With my arms fully extended, and my legs dangling beneath me, I prepare to let go. Only...my hands don't release the small stubs I'm clutching. I dangle for all of ten seconds before panic sets in. "Help! Help! I'm stuck!" Meanwhile my head is saying, Then Lynn(e) goes splat. Then Lynn(e) sprains an ankle, ends up in surgery again. Then Lynn(e)...(enter worst case scenario.)
Like I weigh all of a clump of fur, Partner in Crime comes, wraps his arms around me, and sets me on the picnic table. I have more bruises.
|The last plan|
"Now what?" we ask. The cat hasn't moved. At all.
We resolve to our next plan, which is also ineffective. After, we leave the tires and the branch so if the kitty so desires she can climb down something that's less steep. We sit in the yard drinking iced water, and catching up about life, and he shows me pictures of Burton's new snowboard line. Then he leaves.
Later that night, the cat is rescued by the roommate's son and a ginormous ladder.
So what is the point of all of this? First of all, I wanted to tell you this story, because it's fun (and funny). Secondly, because sometimes we have these plans. We see them happen; climbing the tree, stuffing the cat in the backpack, and being on the stable ground. Everyone is happy. Everything goes according to plan.
Unfortunately, my plan for the next two years of my life fell through yesterday.
After I'd done my motivation speaking bit, I decided I wanted to enlist in Teach for America. It's a two year commitment to teach basically, in underfunded schools. It was the first time I'd felt passionate about something in a long, long time. I planned to move across the country, be a teacher, write after class, influence kids, help save lives.
But I checked my e-mail, and I wasn't chosen for a phone interview. And I sat at the computer in the library and cried. Then went to the pharmacy, and bought wine. Then went home, and drank an entire bottle and a half of wine, and cried for a couple more hours.
The question circling in my head continued as, What now?
Simply because this was my plan. This was my climbing the tree, stuffing the cat in the backpack, and being on the ground. (The tree being the application process, the cat in backpack being the actual teaching/writing, and being on the ground being selling novels and finishing up with a teaching degree and saving the world.) But sadly....that is no longer the plan.
So this morning I'm on to finding redirection. AWP is in Boston this year, so at least I'll be close for that (plus my family lives like an hour outside of Boston so housing fees won't suck). I've gotten some pretty heartbreaking rejection letters this week, too. But life changes. Plans change. Gotta shrug it off and keep going. I believe everything happens for a reason (and I've seen things like this happen and fall perfectly into place later). I guess this TFA thing was just me treeing myself trying to rescue a cat.
Last night, I shrugged via wine and cigarettes. Today, I went running with the Partner in Crime (horrible decision. Turns out I'm quitting drinking until the road race in October). I'm sitting in a library and writing this blog post to say that things change. Plans change. Don't fight it. Go with the flow, and find out where it's taking you. Chances are where you'll end up will be a fuck ton better than where you wanted to go.
Oh, and have a good weekend :)