Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Remember the Rainbows

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. 
If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. 
But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."
Friedrich Nietzsche
This is a rant. I've earned it. 
Whelm and overwhelm have, essentially, the same meaning; however, whelm (as you may have noticed) is a rather archaic word, lately (since we stopped using Old English) out of fashion. 

I would accept either one, though, as the definition of my current state.

Here Are the Facts in the Case of Justus J.

I am going through a life changing transition. Not a small, insignificant change. Every stable aspect of my life is changing dramatically. Every aspect

I am, as Gabe reminds me, recovering from a surgery...and I ought not be overdoing, well, me.

I am in the process of moving permanently to another country--after a long immigration process--to live with my love. I have lived away from my love for almost three years. We've traveled more than the circumference of the world just to see each other.

I have moved everything I own to another country and leave it there during the week while I commute to another country for work. This means I live out of a suitcase right now, and have for weeks, while I make this transition.

I have had to quit a job I love. My last day at work is next Thursday, April 12th. I face unemployment. I cannot tell you how much this terrifies me. Given my previous experience with unemployment and how long it took to get my current job, I am not reassured by anyone's "you'll have a job quickly!" reassurances because this is not reality. 

At this job I love, we're going through a huge software change, and as one of the trainers for this new system, I've turned into the person everyone depends on to fix errors and make everything--especially items that are not in my realm of understanding and influence--right. Today I could not finish any of my own work because I spent the entire day helping everyone else do their work. I was contacted for help by people all over the province--not just my region--and it got to a point where I had to hide in the boardroom to have my break. My supervisor came to my office and asked me what I understood my job right now to be (because on a ministry call other people seemed to say "Justus can do it" or "I have Justus working on that" or "Well, I talked to Justus" or "I have Justus in mind for that"), and I had to say that I didn't know, because I've been asked/ told to do pretty much everything--whatever is asked of me by anyone who asks. She's going to help me get limitations established.

I have friends asking me to help them with various tasks, and I understand these tasks are very important to them, but I don't have the time, energy, headspace, or will to fulfil any of these requests in light of my own personal large life changes. I cannot extend myself further than this. They ask. I say no. Do you know how much it kills me not to be able to help? I want to be able to say yes. I always say yes, but I can't just now. Do you understand that? I have nothing more to do. I want to say %*#$ off and figure yourself out, not because of them, but because I am that overwhelmed. I wonder if maybe, just maybe, they may consider that what they need is not forefront in my mind, not the focus of my ideas, and may not even register for me.

Do you know how much stress I am under right now?

After work today I went to my sister's house to make waffle batter because I'm making waffles for my own goodbye party at work tomorrow. That's my farewell -- I make waffles for people, a task I usually love but at this point would do anything to have another person take over for me.

That won't happen. No one will offer because I'm the yes girl. The one who does whatever she's asked. Except now I can't.

After I returned to my dad's place, my brother asked me to program our grandma's number into my phone so he could call her, and I wanted to scream and found myself blinking back over-exhausted tears.

My brother is the sweetest kid in the entire world. Seriously. I love him to pieces. I am just that overwhelmed.

This exhaustion has no end; it claws at me, behind my eyes, and wraps its slimy self around my gut. 

I can't even find the energy to download a free e-book I have won (one I would very much like to read). I can't even read. 

I am in the middle of a life-changing transition, and I need space to recognize this, to digest this, to adjust and grow in this. I am taking this time now.

This means my answer is probably no. :) And I'm okay with that. 

Homer-pants: Ultimate De-stressor

At one point today it stopped raining. Outside the skytrain window I saw a rainbow that stretched up in a perfect, tall column. No arch, just straight line ever upwards.


  1. Awwww... big hugsies! When life hits me like that, I pick one or two things that I allow myself to say yes to, like work or the move (if those are the two most impt things) and then everyone else gets a no. But it's tough if you're used to being a "yes" girl!

    1. Being the "yes" girl is hard--you know this from recent experience! You hit that wall and others still expecting you to be the source of "yes" because of the efficiency you employed when completing all those other “yes” tasks.

      I’m going to practice saying no at work today…although after a night of no sleep I’m tempted to say "no" from the get-go and attempt to catch those missing zzzzs.

      Thank you for the hugsies—they made me feel much better! Keep updating your blog – I love reading all your adventures!!