Sometimes you see that bright light on the horizon and you don’t know what to think. Is is the shining light of opportunity with a bright, shiny promise of better things, or is it the headlights of a rapidly approaching vehicle come to knock you on your rump? Fun question to ponder though isn’t it?
The last few weeks have been filled with dread for me because I have one of those lights on my horizon. Tax time is coming up, and I have been very afraid that we wouldn’t be seeing much of a refund this year. Getting a refund is critical to my going back to school and finally finishing my degree. I don’t have far to go, having only 13 credits left to earn before I finally finish my two year degree completion program that I started back before the twins were born. For those doing the math this program has taken me well over four years so far, and I am hoping to finally finish before it turns into five years.
At that same time, part of me has been dreading that there would be enough of a refund for me to go back to school. It has been a long, hard battle to get this far, and I am ready to be done. At this point I almost don’t care whether I finish or not.
Kicker is, whether I finish or not, I am still faced with a ton of student loan debt that frankly, we can’t afford to repay right now. Originally, when I was working for the bank, our goal was for me to have been promoted into a position that would have given us the necessary income to pay for the loans that I was taking out to pay for my education. Had everything gone to plan this wouldn’t be a pair of headlights rushing at me. Instead fate took a different turn, I was unemployed for over two years, and now I am starting over again with a new company. My income is nothing like it was, and until I get this degree I don’t see a huge opportunity for advancement. Granted, as was the case at the bank, most supervisors that I see on the floor are actively doing coursework at their desks as they start down the same path I am so close to finishing, but I still have to put in my time and earn respect and prove myself before I can be considered for anything of that nature.
See those headlights? Frankly, right now, that is what they look like to me. I know that opportunity lies behind them, but they pack a huge amount of weight and I don’t know how to stand up to it.
I thought I was being paranoid when I got this creeping feeling that my job was in danger earlier this week. I guess I was not being paranoid after all. Today, while the rest of my now former co-workers were away in a meeting I was advised that I was not being extended a job offer and that my services were no longer needed.
The last month has been filled with good times and bad. I think that right now the bad times are weighing far heavier than the joy of the good times can offset. At the start of this period I was working full time and feeling quite good about myself for the first time in well over a year. I was working with a great team doing work that I really enjoyed with every belief that at the end of my trial period I would be offered a permanent position. We got to spend the holidays with both sides of the family, and a good time was had by all. We got to be present for some major Heathen observations as part of a great group of fellow Heathens, and were privileged to be present when two of them swore oaths of matrimony on Twelfth night, the culmination of the holiday season of Yule. Yes, some very good times, and ones that will live long in my memory.
However, overshadowing the entire holiday season was the very real threat of losing my children due to an anonymous complaint of potential neglect because we let the children run around naked outside. Add in the notification by our friends and landlords that they were going to have to sell the house that we are renting the basement unit in. Then, as if we didn’t have enough hanging over us the brakes on the car started to growl and bind on us without warning. We got the brakes fixed at the cost of being able to pay part of our rent, and had the repairs done in the nick of time as they were a hair’s breadth from failing catastrophically. Then we finally cleared things up with the case worker investigating the complaint and were advised that the case was being dismissed as unfounded. Things were starting to look up, and while we still had to deal with needing to find a place we were comfortable knowing that I was working which would make getting approved to move in someplace much easer than it would have been a few months ago when I was unemployed. Then it all came crashing down as I was called in and told that my services were no longer needed. No more job. No more reliable income.
Where do we go from here? We continue to move forward, even with the odds once more set against us. I do not know how it will all work out, but I know that it WILL work out in the long run. These trials are making us stronger even as they cause us pain. I refuse to give in to the desire to hide away from the world and nurse my wounds. I have a family of my own to support now and I cannot afford the luxury of this kind of behavior. I may not want to be strong, but I have a role that I must fulfill, and I refuse to let these setbacks keep me from doing what I have to do to protect and provide for my family.
This morning I woke up with the distinct impression that I had just visited Jotun’s Bane Kindred. I dimly recall a dream in which I had traveled to the mid-west of our country to meet up with this group. I remember seeing some faces familiar only from photos, and the feeling of complete welcome. There was a lot of jocularity as people filtered in, and some actually recognized me though I hadn’t introduced myself. I have this strange memory of an exchange where a young lady wanted to know what was different in my part of the country, and if we did things the same way there. She was asking me a raft of questions along this line when an older woman led her away, telling her to let the visitor catch his breath. Things faded out from there and then my alarm clock started bleating for attention.
One thing that really stood out from this dream, aside from what I have already described, was the depth of warmth and welcome I felt. This was the warmth you only feel from a group of people who know you, who have been with you through some of the fires and tribulations that we all endure, and seen me through to the other side with a sense of victory. I am normally fairly articulate, but I find myself at a loss to truly describe the depth of feeling that I felt at that moment in my dream. Continue reading
Filed under Dreams, Religion
In my reading I learned that it is not uncommon for expectant fathers to have extremely vivid dreams as the delivery date approaches. I have always enjoyed vivid dreams so I was rather looking forward to these dreams, but I am discovering that the reality is different from the expectations.
Here is the dream I had this morning…
The setting was an open city park, picnic tables, a barn type structure. It felt like a summer camp type of setting, but in the heart of a city. Still, it feels like the country…
I am sitting at a long picnic style table with five or six youths, probably 10-12 years old. They are laughing and joking while working on some sort of craft project. The day is sunny with a few scattered clouds high overhead. Continue reading