Coming Home... Tears
I'm still crying. Super. Ugly. Crying.
Today has been a day of so much good coming in my way that I was literally overcome with an emotional onslaught tonight when the final amazing thing happened before I went to bed.
I woke up, started my day like normal, woke up before I intended, rolled out of bed and got ready much earlier than planned. This is normal, this happens at least 3 to 4 times a week, I can go to bed at 2 or 3 in the morning and be WIDE awake by 7am, it's a blessing and a curse. I thought, okay- cool, let's check the usual morning's musings: Facebook- done, nothing too exciting... Gmail- okay a few emails I should respond to, perhaps send some out if... Banking - nope, no direct deposit this morning yet, will have to... Gmail- send out email saying no direct deposit yet... Phone call? "Hello- this is Justin Schmitz"... "Uh, hi Justin, this is So and So from your bank back home in WI," "ah, yes! How are you doing?! How's the kids, how's the husband? How's life?" (These are great conversations because I know if it's an imposter quickly as I know my banking staff from back home, tight knit communities leave much less vulnerability for fraud, especially when the whole bank knows exactly what I'm doing.) "Yeah, so were you expecting a direct deposit today?" "Uh, yes actually! Hopefully it's finally figured out!" "Okay great! We'll go ahead and post your check!" (Insert at home, in chair victory dance) Gmail- send email stating infact life is better now that we got things sorted out! Praise jeebus, all praise be unto him.
Drive, by myself, across the actual brutal part of D.C. Alone. Scared. and a touch weary of what might happen. Within 3 minutes of what I had planned on, I was alive, well, and visiting with another job location that will take me through December and also into January. So it was also exciting to see a very familiar face and get in touch with good people in this industry. It has been firmly my fear from my first job I had ever taken in this industry that there was a bitterness that just came with engineering, and it has been to my own fault that I may have disproved this theory for years, but for some damn reason it keeps resurfacing in the back of my mind.
Got through our wonderful point, talk, discuss, bro-code agree life will be fine, head out to get home before rush hour traffic kicks into high gear. Monday will come soon enough, and so will working great weeks of mixing again!
Later, this afternoon.
I get back to my little nook of the DC metro area, and I stop at our grocery chain store. As I'm shopping around, passing along smiles to complete strangers, I get to the deli counter, and the sweetest woman was working today, treated me like I was one of her own family members, and made me feel absolutely valued. Blessings. Then, to my surprise as I was turning a corner, my stage manager from a recent production is suddenly embracing me in a wonderful hug! Both completely surprised the other was in this same grocers! Some great conversation and an "It's so great to run into you!" later, I'm pursuing the last few items on my mental check list of what it is I needed to get. Suddenly, another tap on the shoulder, and it's my composer from another show, saying hello! (I swear I can't make this day up.) We get a chance to chit chat and shoot the breeze, and we're both called off, he by his girlfriend, and I by the sweet tones of the probiotics aisle. (Trying to restore good body health after antibiotics is confusing when you're not used to sorting through the aisle.) Of I go again, to the check out, and this is where a great day turned into seriously?! day. The poor cashier, a gentleman of a mature age (read later 50's early 60's) has accidentally switched his computer from right handed mode to left handed mode, started my transaction and can't fix the machine, nor can he scan my spaghetti squashes.. insert me being one of the most patient people in the world... until 10 minutes later nothing is fixed and I'm bagging my own groceries. I think, it's okay- it's the holidays, this guy obviously just had a moment. Manager comes over, fixes the problems, and I'm on my way.
Early this evening.
I'm home, groceries in tow, and getting ready for a relaxing dinner of my own creation. Chicken breasts covered with fresh mushrooms, scallions, and topped with cheese, baked for an hour and brought out to resting perfection. Previously I made a small batch of pull apart cookies because I figured why not!? Dinner is halfway done and my roommates inform me that I will be alone for a good section of my night as they both are attending a rehearsal in VA, we live in MD, so that's a 40 minute drive away. I think- cool, whole place to myself, I can do a lot of cleaning, tidying, and organizing of my life during that time. Insert a wonderful text message from my dear friend Ally. We have a long standing pact that we invite each other to everything we do, and if we can't attend, no hard feelings, our schedules are insane, but when things line up, we promise to go. Tonight's event, a rousing little social at a bar only 5 metro stops away from me. I instantly say I'm in! We agree to meet at 10pm. This leaves me 5 hours to do things.
The in-between early evening and later shenanigans.
Not much happened during this time, I did dishes, packed up left overs, worked on tax materials organization, cleaned up my room, tidied up our living areas, and put in The Muppets Christmas Carol to watch and chat with friends on Facebook. My mom calls, we discuss Christmas travel plans and hopes, and then figure out a few odd ball personal things.
Ally messages me, she and her friends are at the establishment, when would I be down? I quickly change, jump onto a metro and arrive to the area. Nom Gallaudet University area. Now, for those of you going "why does that sound so familiar?" it's because it is America's university for the deaf. Tonight, I drank and partied with an entire social gathering of deaf folks, and it was one of the coolest experiences of my life. I walk in, there's music playing, the bar is packed, but it's quiet. Everyone's signing. I realized I'm a fish out of water, I have no means of communicating other than I know one phrase: "Hi, my name is Justin, and I'm a sound designer." Ally grabs me and introduces me to my new group of friends; Eric- who'd lost his hearing at 2 years old, and Alex and Coral- both hearing individuals, but like Ally are enrolled in a sign language course at a local community college and were invited to participate in DC's Deaf Nights Out. (Usually the first Friday of the month.) So, here we are, having an absolute blast, me learning and experiencing a completely silent communication, and trying my best to explain my job, finding and absorbing new words in sign, meeting new folks, watching hundreds of folks talking and enjoying company when it did not matter for one moment what any other person looked like, it didn't matter if they were gay, straight, brown, black, Asian, white, purple with pink polkadots, or hearing or deaf, no barriers were up, everyone was communicating like old friends. And I thought, here it is, here's the dream come true! Martin Luther King Jr, come down from heaven in this room and see your dream realized! We all chatted for a very long time, had some enjoyable libations, and then proceeded to head out on our own ways, me feeling bitter at WMATA for not having ANY metro trains heading in my direction for at least 45 minutes,
I Uber'd home.
To my surprise as I walked in, there were decorations everywhere. Christmas decorations. Adorning all of our common space. I started to become extremely overwhelmed emotionally. I had all but given up that I wouldn't have decor this year, except for Christmas day when I get home to WI. I look around, there are three curtly hung stockings on our kitchen bar window, a mini tree sits in our window, and garland, beautiful blue-teal garland adorns our dinning room table light. It was a lot to take in, because it was absolutely perfect, a dream truly to walk into... and there is a shutter fly envelope on my desk... thinking it was probably more Christmas Cards that I was sending out I didn't think much of it. It's 3am, and I was itching for a shower and rest... but I thought, screw it, I'm opening this. As I tear back the wrapping, a beautiful ornament falls out with none other than one of my closest friends' faces pops out with me next to her... a Christmas present from her was what sent me into a full out ugly cry. Not even a little consolable one, but a full blown, full out Felicia, sob fest for one.
I couldn't explain it.
It just came over me, literally every emotion just sort of worked its way out in one heap of a mess. I think really it finally means I have relinquished some of the angst and journey from grad school, from life in general, and from being a very active person. There are so many times I don't stop and take a moment for me, it's always the next project, always working, always bringing in income... never reflecting, never doing yoga and asking the universe for guidance and emotional divestment. I'm happy now, a good cry out of the way, but dang, what a blessed day! I've absolutely felt like a million dollars tonight.
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