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An Incredible, But Scary, Journey

Updated on February 8, 2015

Get yer tickets, folks!

It's a Family Affair

My daughter and I are going on an incredible journey. It must be pretty incredible because I’ve been distracted lately, anticipating it. I actually burnt a pan of ramen noodles. Ramen! Who burns ramen, anyway? And, I’ve been late more often feeding the cats and dogs at dinnertime. I do secretly admit to enjoying them staring, en masse, at me, expectant and awaiting. They look so sweet and hungry, and they confirm my sense of purpose. But, I digress.

An incredible journey. Thinking about it has caused, and cost me, innumerable moments of sleep as I’ve restlessly awakened at odd times with thoughts of what’s in store. And, you know, once your half-conscious mind wakes itself up, you cannot get back to sleep. So, you remain awake staring at the ceiling or into the darkness (ooh, the irony) experiencing all kinds of slightly crazy, quick-edit thoughts about what’s next, what excitement awaits, and just how bad it will get.

An incredible journey. I wish I could say we’re headed to some wonderful, warm, comfortable, peace-filled place, a place where we’d like to stay forever or, at least, visit often. A place I’d gladly tell loved ones and friends about, the kind of place we all wish for. Someplace welcoming.

Good Trip, Bad Trip?

That is not the case, not this trip, anyway. My daughter and I are en route through places that have accommodated plenty of transients over the years, the past several more difficult than most. There is no sense of joy, or wonderment, or eagerness about what’s next.

And, honestly, not much mystery, either. This is a well-traveled road on which many have realized the most severe consequences to their families, homes, and entire lifestyles. Our “now” could easily pale by comparison. As a loved one recently commented, we’re using the same metric when comparing our woes to the innumerable less fortunate folks around the world. Still and foremost, consequences relevant to our immediate situation make it nearly overwhelming to us.

And, aside from the constant distraction, there’s the fear. This is a new road for us, and the journey hasn’t been any fun at all. I am meeting helpful and friendly people, but it‘s like floating next to an already-full lifeboat with a preserver but no lifeline. While most of my “new friends” have helped as they are able, they have few answers and little pull.

Life’s tough for everyone, one way or another. And we’re not opposed to challenges but, what’s coming is extreme. This trip has been well documented and offers very little upside, unless you’re a “That which does not kill us…”Nietzsche nerd; that’s valid, but of no practical help at the moment.

No, this is just spooky. You work hard for decades, eke out some wiggle-room, elevate that credit score and improve your lifestyle and, WHOA DADDY!, where did the floor go? Life seemed so peachy that you completely overlooked your own poor planning. Without realizing it, you underplayed your over-expectations, downplayed the downsides, and were completely surprised to find you’re reaching the end of the line while still exceeding the speed limit. Oh, and feeling more helpless than ever. Oops.

Vacate, not Vacation

I’m talking about a notice to pay or quit, an unlawful detainer, eviction. We’re being evicted from our humble home of 12 years. Well, it was a good run that we’d have liked to continue for lots of reasons, many the same as anyone would think of. There are no contentious relationships occurring, it’s all just kind of quiet and sad. I mean, everyone involved is feeling the pain sans anger, like no one wants this to happen. But, things being as they are, this slow-motion wreck appears unavoidable.

Eviction, and all that comes with it. The feeling of being a deadbeat, of not providing a dependable home, of not being anywhere near in-control of our personal destiny and unable to keep it all together. Having trouble catching my breath sometimes is new to me, and should possibly concern me. But, I hope it is just a panic attack, or momentarily overwhelming stress. Just another dimension of the aging process.

Well, we haven’t stopped trying. We’re not kicking and screaming but definitely dragging our feet to slow this collision. I continue seeking work; I have an interview tomorrow (as I write this) and I look forward to it. My daughter is exploring new lines of commerce that she’s in process of developing. Nothing overnight or on the fast-track here, it all takes time, which is becoming a rare commodity. Of course I always knew time wouldn’t bend to my will, and this is a blunt example.

We are more scared than we’ve ever been; not like we’re physically under attack, but more that we’re terrified about losing our home, our base, the safe place for my daughter and our furry family zoo (ok, the reptiles aren’t furry but they are cute). There are several souls facing displacement here. Not a comfortable realization.

Now, What?

I’ll update this post as to WTF is, or is not, happening NOW, for your dining and dancing pleasure. This little excursion is likely a trip no one wants to take, but the train has left the station and we’re all aboard. So, we welcome you to travel with us through this new and unfamiliar landscape, meeting folks wonderful and wise, and otherwise. Have a laugh or a cry, or just be happy this isn’t your trip. Maybe the story will be yours. There are way too many folks who have already lived it.

Up to Speed, Somewhat Reluctantly

Presently, we are attempting to secure legal representation because we have no idea how this will work or what options may be available. I’m working with legal aid but without results, yet. We can hear the rapids and see the mist way up ahead, but the waters around us still seem deceptively calm, though certainly propelling us now more quickly.

No one faces arrest or prison, no one’s stuck on or slipping off a ledge, no one stands under a falling safe or piano, but no one can relax, either. The situation requires immediate attention and it has ours, completely. But, like driving on icy roads, the going is tiresome, unforgiving, and slippery, and is best navigated with great care and difficulty and, sometimes, without success. Like those before us, we are doing our best.

But, hey, this is first-hand reality-show content, real life with some zig-zags, delivered to you at your convenience. And, it’s a chance for me to vent (or ramble, depending upon your POV). Slam, dunk, and Bob’s your uncle, we’re all winners! Consider this a learning opportunity if it’s your first time. We hope to get something out of it besides grief; stick around and see how things devolve. We’ll be here, wherever that is.

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