Post-work/pre-work reflection: “the in-between.”

Leaving a job is hard. And when said-job involves building and maintaining relationships, investing in people’s lives (and them in yours), and working around delicate situations where vulnerability and trust are rampant and inherent, leaving a job is actually horrifying and alarming. Retweet, right? Well, yesterday was the first day in five years where I haven’t been employed full-time or existed as a full-time student (I’ve mapped it out, and this would actually be “ten years,” if it weren’t for the brief three month stint where I worked at as a server “between jobs” – this was a dark time, and I’ll be forever scarred by the one-bedroom apartment I rented at $340/month and had to pay for in cash – I digress). Yesterday, today, I am free. Now, this will obviously be short-lived, as my new gig will commence on September 1st, however, today, I am unscheduled, unprogramed, and unapologetic. So, while you have me in this free-state-of-mind, let’s pause here for a moment, while I tell you a story about how I pooped my pants a few months ago.

Yep, I’m a grown man (, I’m now unemployed – temporarily), and I pooped my pants. I am most comfortable sharing this story, as the “cat” was let out of the “bag” the other night while being roasted by a few friends who were throwing me a goodbye party. It was all fun and games until the, oops-I-pooped-my-pants, story comes out. So, here goes…

A few months back, a good friend reached out to another friend and I to see if we wanted to go to one of the playoff baseball games in the area, and, of course, we obliged. Living in a college town during the summer, most young professionals either vacation for several weeks (months), or become total townies. I chose the latter. I always choose the latter. Before heading to the field, my buddy and I decided to grab a bite to eat, and since I have spent the year exploring Qdoba over Chipotle (I know, I know, let me have my journey), we decided to stop in the big Q and enjoy a beautiful steak-nacho bowl (chips on the side, drain the black beans, please). It was epic, and just what I needed to go watch some baseball. And so, we went.

We got to the field, said a few, “hellos,” and decided to sit behind the outfield, where my friend’s little firecracker 2-year old could run free and continue to be perfectly adorable. Ten minutes into the first inning, I politely dismissed myself to the bathroom in order to enjoy the game…more comfortably. Halfway through my walk to the bathroom (which, of course, was a five minute walk from where we were sitting), it hit me: the moment where you realize that what is ahead is not just an easy, walk-in-the-park, pooping experience. I shuffled quickly to the bathroom and waited awkwardly for a stall, despite the several urinals available for use. I will skip the, in-the-moment-play-by-play, as you are probably well-aware of what was occurring. And, unfortunately, this was not just a one-hit-wonder.

shit emoji

I went back to my friends, laughed and visited for another inning, only to dismiss myself yet again for the bathroom. Poop, rinse, repeat. Simple, right?

As soon as I sat back down with my friends after this second time, it hit me again: the, you’re-not-finished-you-dumbass, stomach-gurgle. I, again, excused myself to the bathroom, but this time, noted casually, “Man, something must be wrong with my stomach – I really don’t feel too well.” I walked the five minutes, this time, in a near trot, waving to a few friends and students as I scurried to the bathroom, yet again. This time was different, though, and around the one-minute mark from making it to the bathroom, it happened. I pooped my pants. Now, this wasn’t as dramatic as you might conjure, however, it was still quite unsettling, and it was at this point when I took off running to make it to the bathroom should any additional shart’ing occur. Thankfully, my same stall was open, and I felt solace within the walls of this unair-conditioned sweat-sauna of a bathroom.

Refraining from rushing the process, I allowed for two cycles of…moments…to occur, and after cleaning myself up, I ditched my underwear (boxer-briefs, if you were curious), washed my hands, and did two Hail Marys for guidance and protection. I did the five minute walk back to our section, and held my phone to my ear to appear as if I had “an important call,” or something related (thus, the urgency, right?). I was fooling no one. The minute I sat down, arms and face soaking in sweat, I looked at my friends and said, “I think I need to go home.” At this point, we were barely into the third inning, but I knew at the rate I was going, my stomach needed to be no less than ten seconds from a toilet. And, before I could be hit by Hurricane Rita (a few of my friends and I call this stomach issue, “Rita,” in hopes of seeking an anonymous affirmation from one another when it hits). I said my goodbyes, and sans-underwear, darted for the exit, phone back on my ear with the hope of creating an, “oh, he had somewhere he needed to be,” moment. Again, I was fooling no one. I am happy to report, I made it home just in time for the final round of Rita to hit.

Let’s pause for a moment, just for all of our sanity. I agree, this was a lot of information, and if you are still reading, I thank you sincerely, and in advance, appreciate you for not judging me.

How is the hell does this post relate to yesterday being your last day of work and some sense of “in-between, you might be wondering? Well, aside from shit happening (figuratively and literally), I am reminded of this today: control what we can, and let the rest go. And also note, sometimes, “letting it go,” can be messy, and scary, and also really embarrassing (if we’re still using my nightmare summer-experience as a metaphor for life, you should be tracking with me). And this is okay, y’all. This wasn’t fatal. I didn’t pass away in the depths of that baseball field sweat-lodge…I mean bathroom (can you tell, Im still bitter about how hot it was in there?). I’m alive. And life is good. And outside of this being an, oops-I-pooped-my-pants, moment, I have a good friend who likes to say, “Control is only an illusion.” Now, of course, she is not talking about our bowel-movements, but the relevance is here, y’all (plus, this particular friend is a member of the Rita-Pact).

This baseball field-incident was completely out of my control. Aside from sitting in the sauna/bathroom until my insides were no longer intact, there really was not much more I could have done. As much as we are trained to control our emotions, our thoughts, our energy, etc., the list goes on and on, we actually do not have control of some of the external (or external-internal, in my case) issues that arise. And this is totally okay. Being wired to think we have control is sadly only another example where we are misled and steered away from looking at the bigger picture (let’s hear it for another round of, #TTMFP!). Trust the process. Again, and over and over: trust the process.

The same friend mentioned above, who believes control to be only an illusion, once texted me something that continues to affirm all of this processing: “… And most the time, I have no idea what is coming down the road, but I trust that I’m prepared and ready to handle it.” Real. Talk.

You (we) are prepared. And you (we, definitely) are ready to handle it (whatever, “it,” might mean for each of us). Be confident. Be ever-forward-moving. May you find your key, use it, and unlock your world. May you also never have to be publicly horrified while navigating a bowel-meltdown. Now, go. Do. Be.

Free,

Michael

Use Your Key

2 thoughts on “Post-work/pre-work reflection: “the in-between.”

  1. Of course, like many of your other posts I have connected. I appreciate this one more so because I am going through a new job transition/relocation adventure myself. The reminder to #TTMFP is always a necessary one. Thank you. Again, so happy to have met you one lovely week at UIFI.

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    • Give into the transition, love. I, too, am so glad we met last summer, and I’m also glad we have been able to somewhat keep in touch. I hope you know how proud I am of you. Keep on keeping on. Oh, and let the transition happen. You’re better for it, and can handle more than you know! Xxoo

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