When I was in the sixth grade, I broke my arm. When it gets cold or the rain comes down, I can still feel that ache in my bone like it happened yesterday. I've been told that people who lose a limb still have phantom itches and pains. Imagine to not be able to use your arm or leg but to still be bothered with the need to scratch it.
Lately, that's how I feel about the loss of my job. It's so terribly silly I think. To still be bothered by something that happened months ago. To know what lies ahead for me, but still, it makes me sick to my stomach. Like the ache of losing your first true love.
It took a while for me to realize it, but I'm stubborn as hell, headstrong and ridiculously ambitious. It was said that Caesar was ambitious. And if it were so, it were a grievous fault.
Is that my fault? Living a life of too much responsibility leads to the feeling of needing that responsibility. I have long suffered in my jobs. Quiet until I can't hold it in any longer, like a tea kettle percolating until it screams to be removed from the heat.
I struggled to get into advertising. A hard, long road paved with favors that never materialized, pulled strings that did nothing and acres of paper in the form of resumes and cover letters.
There are some things in life that you just never get over. You will never let go of. You hold it to you like the smell of a shirt from a long lost friend. This is one of those times. Like when we ran over the family dog when I was 13 and it died in my lap on the way to the vet. The sting of humiliation from a spanking as a child for something you truly knew better about.
Losing a job, especially a job like this was, and still is, hard for me. I worked hard to get here. I begged, pleaded and dammit, I just plain tried as hard as I could. I knew that I wanted to go into advertising when I was fifteen. More than half of my life, I've known just what I wanted to do. And for a while, I got to do it. And for that, I should consider myself lucky. But instead, I find myself angry, sad and missing it terribly.
There are skills you acquire as you work a job, any job. When I worked retail, I could glance at a piece of clothing and immediately notice details others might not. Things like flat busted seams, contrast stitching, nipple rivets and could tell from the lay of the buttons whether the shirt was intended for a male or female. Now, I find myself identifying typefaces, recognizing needle drop music in TV shows and commercials. "I've used that piece of music before." I said last night as we watched Dateline. "It was in a commercial about a man and his daughter." Or the piece I hear on House Hunters all the time that we used for a pitch. I had picked that one out. I still like it.
Eventually, these skills will fade. My awareness of them diminished. I will go back to a time when advertisements simply cluttered my magazine and interrupted my shows. Instead, I will find myself tasting the subtle nuances in the chocolate. I will become aware of the texture of cakes. I will explore flavors and pairings and learn techniques that involve things like himalayan pink salt and madagascan vanilla. I will become well versed in whipping meringues and gum paste flowers.
My life is different now. Another book set on the shelf, collecting dust. And while right now it makes me sad, it makes me tense, it makes me angry; eventually, I will look back with the rose colored glasses of the past and smile. While hindsight may be 20/20, the past is best viewed through the fuzzy glasses.