The Alarm Goes Off
* Beep * * Beep * * Beep *
An incessant noise signaling the start of yet another day
Why I don’t change that damn alarm sound, is beyond me. Maybe it’s because I know it’s one of the few sounds that will actually break the barrier between my expansive dream world and the barren reality that has become my day to day.
Smacking my hand aimlessly at my dresser, hoping, through some miracle, one of my fingers will land in the exact spot on my phone’s glass surface to silence that ever-intrusive noise. I roll over and shove my face even deeper into my pillow.
It has completely escaped me why I even set the damn thing. It’s not like anyone is holding me accountable to my job. Last night was the first time I’d heard from my boss in almost two months and yet, during his absence, I still woke up every day to the obnoxious chirping of my alarm, rolled over, and proceeded to curse the day ahead of me.
A low whimper comes from the side of the bed; my puppy (aka old-fart-of-a-dog or Simba) gently telling me he’d like to go outside soon and that I should probably put on pants for such an excursion.
Moaning, I throw back the covers and clambered out of bed.
Upon opening my bedroom door, I am elated to be enveloped by the wonderful smell of fresh brewed coffee. I take a nice deep inhale and as always, an uncontrollable smile spreads across my face as I think, “life just got marginally better”. (Yes, you can bet-your-bottom I am one of those people who absolutely, undoubtedly, and apathetically is in loooovvvve with coffee, deal with it.)
The warmth of the hot liquid emanates through the sides of my ceramic mug as I curl up on my couch overlooking the world shuffling-about four stories below. The street’s speckled with moms pushing their strollers of nestled children wrapped in blankets, shielding them from the mist that was most definitely stinging their cheeks. Men taking a casual afternoon stroll, eyes narrowed in on the path their feet took seem lost in their own thoughts. A young woman speed walking, wrist raised to her face to see the time before she quickly breaks into a jog, most likely rushing to make the 8:25am train into the city.
Gazing out my living room window, the sun has taken a vacation, if only temporarily residing over some far-off land, leaving the city veiled in a grey, damp gloom.
Letting my mind drift, my eyes grow cloudy, and I let my coffee mug rest in my lap as I become lost in what is almost a dream-like state. I had been drawn into the timeline of the last few months.
Nine months ago, I was laid off from the company I had been working at as a Technical Designer for contemporary womenswear clothing. Scared to be without a job, I accepted a position as a personal assistant for a friend of my old boss. As it turned out the job was in a field which I had absolutely no experience in, Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation. I was introduced to light cases of addiction and recovery but unless you have experienced it first hand, you never will understand the intensity of addictions. I had seen some ugly, some good, and a whole lot of mind blowing. I heard horror stories and met some of the strongest most inspiring people I know. But, I was miserable. I liked the aspect of helping people and I wanted to be a resource for the guys who were in recovery that I saw on a daily basis. Yet, my boss was dealing with his own crap, which made my job extremely difficult especially the final two months in which he was never around.
Shaking my head, pulling my focus back to reality, I find my pup staring at me with wide, hopeful eyes. My coffee’s grown cold and the time is creeping on 9am. Time to pull myself together and get on with my day.
“We’re laying you off.”
Those were the words delivered to me as I sat across from my boss for the first time in two months. A single text at 11:14pm the night before had lead to this. I was without a job and given one week’s notice. I can’t say I was completely surprised but I was mad. It wasn’t a month prior to his spontaneous absence that he had given me a long lecture about how he needed me to be loyal and patient. How, if I remained so, I would reap the rewards. Well, I attempted patience and remained loyal if with a bit of resentment festering until he finally crawled out of the woodwork to deliver those four devastating words to me.
The worst part was I couldn’t even be upset with him directly, I wasn’t granted that satisfaction because the man looked like death had chewed him up and spit him out. It was obvious he had been battling something deep, something well beyond even himself. Yes, I was disappointed and mad but I feared more for his safety then for the security of my next paycheck.
Finding myself back in my apartment, curled up in my favorite spot, my eyes scanned the horizon, watching the steam puff out of smoke stacks atop brownstone houses, playfully wafting into the air unbound by expectations and obligations. How I wish I could be on a puff of steam, drifting higher and higher, twisting and swirling in the atmosphere at my heart’s content. Imagine the world I could see; pearly sand beaches draped in lush greenery or tepid mountains fresh with the scent of dew and flowers blossoming in the light of a spring sun. I crave the beauty far beyond the likes of the gloomy sky that’s resting over my Brooklyn home.
That’s what seems to happen here, and maybe everywhere, that I find my emotions are played upon by the moods of my city. A city known for its energy and excitement, yet on days like today, days of quiet reserve meant for snuggling up and watching movies, I find myself wishing, if even longing to be anywhere but here. Anywhere but wondering of my next step, my next paycheck, my next problem in a long line of problems.
“It’s all a matter of perspective.”
My friends’ words of wisdom resonate in my mind.
I had called her after I had been given the news and it was in my misery she had offered this token of advice, a simple phrase and nothing more.
Of course, my response had been to roll my eyes and dish out a look of utter dissatisfaction with the quality of friendship she was offering. Was it not obvious to her that what I needed was a pat on the shoulder and a simple, “It’s going to be ok”? I did not want to hear how my own mental state of self-loathing and dissatisfaction was, just that, my own state-of-mind. I contemplated buying “Friendship for Dummies” for her right then and there.
But, she was right in what she said, I could sit here for a time and I could drown in my sorrows but it would be a choice I made, a choice with an outcome that got me nowhere. I had known for some time I needed a new job but I had gotten lazy. I wasn’t willing to make the effort to make the change. But I just got the biggest push life/ destiny/ fate could give me and so…
Pulling out my phone, opening the app for my alarm clock, and scrolling through the settings to find “sound”, I make my selection. Tomorrow morning, at 7:30am my alarm will go off to a different tune. Only this time, I will begin my day as a fresh start, a new beginning of endless possibilities because after all, it’s all a matter of perspective.
I hope you guys enjoyed and find some inspiration!
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! 🙂