I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

Living Lives Part Three


The First and Second parts of this three part series.

I left off when I met my husband, B. We’ve been together for over thirteen years. Seven of those years we’ve been married. Yeah, we took our time. We moved in together after a year and a half of dating (though we never went on “dates”) and were happy with that for awhile. I think I started to talk marriage first, but left it as a no-pressure option. Then he proposed on our 3 year anniversary. And then I freaked out! So we waited another three years and got married on our 6 year anniversary. It was a small affair, twenty people total in attendance, including the wedding party itself. It was a mostly non-traditional wedding, too. I mean, I wore a white dress (my only regret was that damned dress, not the color so much, but that’s another story), had a flower girl and bridesmaids and all of that jazz, but my maid of honor also officiated the ceremony and since we’re not religious it was simply based on love and commitment.

I had just started a new job that soon became an actual career path and finally a career. I felt like a fish out of water at first, but soon found my niche in the mortgage industry (I was in the appraisal department, thank goodness). I focused on providing excellent service above all else and quickly got recognized for that (and even a few awards). When the corporate trainer for my position was getting ready to leave I voice my desire to take over for her. It was a huge risk and a leap, but I am so glad that I did it! My managers were so supportive and it seemed everyone loved me! I didn’t even have to try! So there I was, rapidly climbing the proverbial corporate ladder and finding my footing in this new environment. I struggled to put together an appropriate wardrobe and to fall in line with all of the acronyms, jargon and expectations my new position held.

And then something happened, I did things I never could have imagined doing. I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone…waaaay outside! And I got fucking brave. And then? It got easier! And people wanted me in their offices to teach them my mad service skills! It was like a high I’d never known before. To be in demand, to be the go-to gal for all things customer service and efficiency in this department, it was magical! I put so much of myself into everyday that first year and a half in my corporate training position. I worked my behind off! I loved every second. Until I got a new boss. The company was sold to another and things started to fall apart. I kept on, but the strain was there. The tension. The awkwardness of hating a boss that doesn’t even know what you do exactly and is such an ass-kissing jackass that you begin to wonder how in the fuck they even got their job. But I loved the people I worked with and had two fabulous people in my department to confide in and rant with and just be with. They were real friends at the time, too. Sadly, I’ve lost touch with both and only consider one a true friend now, but that’s another story.

When I completed this huge project that I personally created, put together and implemented with rave reviews and super success, I was suddenly being asked to travel the country (I’d only ever handled the west coast until this point) I thought, “This is it! This is the big time!” And a month later my department was eliminated, we were laid off along with a thousand other people in California that day. I felt like the rug had been pulled out from under me, again! (The first time being when I was laid off from the music store, forgot to write about that, my bad.) I had to figure out where I fit in the world again and it sucked.

I spent the next two years unemployed, but going on enough job interviews that that felt like my full time job. I then got three of the worst jobs I’d ever had (and I hated working for the Gap but even that was better than these) and the absolute worst managers/supervisors I’d ever encountered (though only one tops the jackass from my old career)! I quit two of those jobs willingly (one rapidly as I couldn’t take the bullshit and crying on my lunches anymore) and the last one I was laid off. That was a bit of a shocker. I’d turned around a department that was failing. I hired people committed to the service we provided. I even hired my best friend because I knew that he would keep them all motivated, too. I was told the department was being eliminated (lie) and that everyone was being laid off (lie). I was so angry. I waited in my car for twenty minutes for my BFF, but he never came down. So I called Steph, as I usually do when I need emotional support (love ya, babe!) and she talked me down and scolded me for stress-smoking. I found out later that night that J got to keep his job and so did the other gal we worked with. So only a few from our department got let go. J ended up taking over my position on top of the one he already had. Poor fella. <3

After a couple of weeks of interviews, I applied to one I knew I could do with my eyes closed. The interview was x-mas eve at 9 am. I showed up on time, dressed to the 9’s, only to find an entire office of 18-30 year old men wearing jeans and t-shirts. When I walked into the manager’s office for the interview he gave me the up-down. He then explained that I wasn’t qualified for the job, but that he hadn’t actually seen my resume. The person I would have been taking over for loved my resume and told me he thought I was a great fit. This jerk-store then answered a personal phone call on his cell phone and spoke in another language for five minutes while I sat there like a turd. He could see that I was growing impatient and finally ended the call only to tell me that he’d filled the position thirty minutes before the interview. I had never been so angry in my life! I wanted to punch the bastard in his face! I couldn’t take it anymore! I stormed out and went home and screamed for awhile. I told my husband that I just couldn’t do it anymore. This bullshit emotional roller coaster that is being unemployed.

I had recently gotten back in touch with my old friend Marc from Jr. High/High School and he had told me about his dream of opening a drive-thru coffee place in Portland, Oregon. While his life took a very different path, a seed was planted. When I passed by an old abandoned Wolf Camera (with a  drive-thru window no less) I had an epiphany: Why don’t I open my own cafe?! I was too scared at first to tell anyone, but then began to slowly let slip the idea and was shocked at the support my friends (and B of course) gave me. Not that they were ever jerks, but I can be a bit obsessive and compulsive about big ideas I get only to drop them a week or a month or a year later. But I did a shit ton of research and mapped out my path. I went to coffee school (yes, there is such a thing and I chose the best one in the nation in my opinion) and felt I was doing everything the right way. I knew I didn’t want to go into debt and instead cashed out what was left of my 401K (about $9k after the market crash) and some of our savings and just did it. It was so exciting and terrifying and fun all at once. It took so much work and no one seemed to have answers for me, ever. So I DIY’d my way to my own business (opened in Sept. ’09) and while it gave me so much purpose and meaning for awhile? I am pretty much done with her.

If you read this blog you know that B & I have been having some problems lately, but I think for the most part we’ve got a handle on it and things are improving. I know now that I wouldn’t die if we broke up, but I am comforted by the fact that I know this won’t happen anytime soon. We do enjoy each others’ company and are finding ways to compromise when that isn’t the case. He goes fishing, I do fatty things, it works for now. We are communicating a bit more and I think he is starting to realize just how much we’ve both changed in the last two years. We have sacrificed so much for each other (his massage school tuition and my cafe) and still find a way to get by, even if it is a struggle. Yes, we are one tiny disaster away from being on the street, but I don’t worry about it too much these days. I have amazing friends that support me and always know what I need somehow. B, too, always seems to know what I need when I need it most. We may not always agree, but what fun would that be anyway? I’m still madly in love with that man. As much of an old grouch as he can be, he is still all I want. He is such a great pug-papa and tabby-daddy that I know if we do have a kid one day, we’ll be just fine.

Now, the next chapter in my life? That is a big mystery. What I do know is that I will continue to attend and support as many fat events and activist things as I can and write this blog-a-ma-thing until I have nothing left to write. I would love to write a book (and Steph keeps pushing me, thank you!) but am not sure what about or even how to do it. I would love more than anything to sell the cafe right now, it would solve all of my problems!!! If you pray or believe in putting your intentions and hopes out into the universe, if you could please give me a little thought in this regard? I am focusing all of my hopes and wishes and thoughts on selling it right now. It would literally change my life. I’m selling it crazy-cheap (mostly just the cost of the equipment and improvements I’ve made), but don’t want to advertise so as not to lose customers. I rarely ask such things of people, but it would mean the world to me right now. So thank you if you do decide to help in this. I have another business idea that would be so much easier and cheaper and healthier for me to do (and it’s fat related), but until my commitment to the cafe is over, I can’t even think about that.

B wants us to buy a house in the mountains and I have agreed once I leave the cafe behind. This is huge as I had no intention of moving out of the south bay, but I feel I should at least give it a shot if it works out in this way. And then who knows? We may have a baby. I may find work helping abuse survivors. We may start new and totally different careers. I may be a rock star…the possibilities are endless. I don’t wanna think about what will happen if I can’t sell the cafe, but I keep pushing that out of my mind to prevent full-meltdown panic attacks. *breathe in…breathe out* I’m okay though. I’m healthy. I’m grateful. I’m happy for the most part. I am loved. And best of all I am still passionate as hell about the social injustices and inequality in the world today. So I will keep on fighting! No worries there.

Thank you for reading this blog and supporting me and my writing. Your comments always brighten my day! <3

If you ever would like me to write about something specific (or not) do let me know! A commenter had asked me to write about my separate lives and that is what inspired this series of posts. If you’d like to talk but don’t want the world to see, drop me a line:

5 Comments to

“Living Lives Part Three”

  1. On July 11th, 2011 at 12:35 pm Ashley Says:

    So, I am totally going to focus positive energy on you selling your cafe. A few weeks ago, I was disappointed that I didn’t get a job I desperately want that I thought was the perfect job for me. Well, last week I had an interview for what I thought was a less perfect, but geographically more awesome (by which I mean in California) job. So, on Tuesday night, I sent an e-mail to like 20 friends telling them I had my interview the next day and that they all needed to concentrate positive energy or pray or whatever else they do for me at the time of the interview the next day. I thought the interview went well, and they told me that they would be making a decision in about two weeks. Two days later they called and offered me the job. Further, I have now talked to my future boss and next highest boss and they seem totally awesome. So maybe this job was the better fit after all!! Currently, I’m compulsively checking my e-mail because I’m suppose to get my new contract today. Anyway, long story to say, not only do I think people should do this for you, but I think you should designate a time for everyone to do it simultaneously.

  2. On July 11th, 2011 at 12:44 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    Ohmigosh! Thank you!!! Just reading that first line made me cry. I’m a mess! Ha-ha! Thank you for being so supportive and awesome! Congratulations on the new job! That is a rad story! I hope all goes as smoothly when you start. A time? Hmm…not sure how I’d manage that but I’ll think it over. Thanks again! *Hugs*

  3. On July 12th, 2011 at 3:36 pm Veronica Says:

    That was amazing! I feel very much that what I am *supposed* to do with my life right now is finishing my studies, then find a job and “settle down”. I’ve only recently started realizing that a life like that; husband, kids, the same job or something similar for the rest of my life, a house and a mortage; is just not the way I want to live. The thought is stifling, and I feel like I am walking around with this weight on me. I have just started opening my eyes to the possibilities that lie in front of me, and this post was like a vitamin injection to those thoughts. So thank you for that! You’re brave, and I expect you know it, but just in case you don’t you should know that I recognize your bravery. I think it will help me be brave in my own life, so thank you for that!

  4. On July 12th, 2011 at 3:45 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    @Veronica: Oh my gosh! Go us!!! Who the hell says you have to live your life so specifically? I hate that women especially are expected or pressured to want those things let alone go after them You do what feels right and the rest can fuck right off! Thank you for saying that I’m brave. I don’t feel it, especially right now, but I recognize that it appears that way and perhaps I can look back and see it for myself. <3

  5. On July 13th, 2011 at 8:09 am Veronica Says:

    Gods, I don’t know. And I’ve always been fairly “alternative” in the way I live my life, but so have my friends been, and now they all seem to be settling down. I’ll do what makes me happy, I really think everything will fall into place if I do.

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