Overall, I think life is good. I didn’t always feel that way and found myself in an unhappy, dark place a few years ago. It was a bombardment of shitty things that left me asking, “Really?!” I honestly believed that my experiences were the examples used when explaining Murphy’s Law, because if anything could go wrong, it actually did. The opposing thought of “everything happens for a reason” or “look to the bright side” did nothing for me. “Roll with the punches” is great when you’re getting a few jabs now and again, not when it’s a full-on MMA assault.
Anyway, I’ve had to many good things happen as of late to maintain that philosophy. But, I do falter sometimes in my self-pity and have come to the conclusion that I’m the unknowing victim in W.W. Jacob’s short story, “The Monkey’s Paw.” For those of you who are unfamiliar, it’s a story about a withered, old monkey’s paw that will grant the owner three wishes. But, there’s a catch...there’s always a catch. You see, the hopeful person who makes the wish is messing with the hands of fate and must pay a price.
In the story, Mr. White decides to wish for money to pay off his house. His wish was granted. His son is in a fatal accident at work and the exact amount he needed was given to him by the factory as compensation. I won’t spoil the rest, but I think you get it. I’ve concluded that I have somehow obtained this monkey’s paw and made some wishes.
So, what had happened was....I got this job as a vacation planner last year and thought of it as a stepping stone to get where I wanted in the company. What I wanted to do was write and they had a content marketing department. My favorite job was for a hotel company essentially doing that very thing and I looked forward to getting back into the hospitality business. As I went through the training, I realized that this wasn’t necessarily a company I wanted to be a part of because I feel their business practices of luring people into timeshare ownership was deceptive. I found a way to work through my guilt by being completely honest with those calling in to plan vacations and educating them on the positive aspects of their investment. This did include warning them of the negative, but also how to make it work for them. It was amazing how much they didn’t know, even after years of ownership. I thought writing on the company newsletter or blog could fix that. But, booking vacations for them wasn’t the job for me. I wanted out—so, I made my wish.
I got my wish in the form of involuntary dismissal just before the six months ended, which was when I could apply for the other department. Not exactly what I meant Mr. Monkey’s Paw. The dismissal was not because of my performance. I consistently ranked in the top of my team with vacations booked. “Exceeds expectations!” I was told month after month. And, it wasn’t because of my customer satisfaction, because my surveys kept me around 100% when callers rated me. Their dissatisfaction with the company kept my overall score averaging around 92% in overall ratings. I got dismissed because I used my paid sick days. Yes, the company provided paid days off for illness, but you were penalized with an “occurrence” if you used them. The final straw was my leaving early to take my daughter to emergency care when her fever reached 103.8. This was the third time one of my kids had a fever over 103 while working for the company. Please note that aside from the common cold, my kids rarely get sick. Now to be fair, I understand I’m paid to be at work and the company has every right to expect my presence. However, life happens—which is why the company provided the benefit. Either way, I got my wish—I was out.
Another good example was finding the perfect home for the kids and me when I got divorced. The condo complex is gated and has a security guard. It’s very quiet and lush with trees and beautiful landscaping. It also has an amazing lakeside pool facing west to watch the sunsets. The location is perfect just south of downtown and practically across the street from two highly ranked schools for the kids. And, it has a great layout with a huge kitchen. A year after I moved in, the owner I was renting from decided she wanted to sell the condo. I was extremely disappointed and made my wish she’d change her mind. The first thing to stop the sale was the refrigerator breaking. In the course of six months with a half dozen or so repair visits and missing work to accommodate the appointments, I lost a few hundred hundred dollars worth of food and salary. Well, I didn’t have to move, right? It was taken off the market again a few months later when the roof started leaking. More repair visits. I’m still living in the condo almost two years after it went on the market. I think I could be winning on this one.
This is just a couple of examples in a series of wishes that make me heed the warning of being careful what you wish for. It almost doesn’t stop me from wishing for my dream job where I can write and be as creative as my little heart desires. The pessimist in me thinks something will go wrong. Like, my boss will love my work, but tell me they have an adversity to using verbs in a sentence. It could happen. I once had a boss that insisted on everyone using #2 pencils, but went crazy if they saw any eraser shavings on the desk. She would literally stand there as you cleaned up, watching to ensure every strand was gone. No amount of free lunches was going to make that better (I was twenty and having lunch provided was fantastic). So, yes, something could go wrong.
The good thing is that the optimist side is a bit stronger and keeps pushing me along—keeping me hopeful that I will find the right job for me. My fiancé insists that statistically I’m due for a great job. I sincerely hope the science of mathematics works, or rather it’s my wish that it does.
I am a woman-child at heart; continuously evolving to find my place in life. I am a mother, a daughter, and a sister. I am a lover and a dreamer--an explorer and a traveler. But it's my passion for writing that allows me to explore my ingenuity. This is something that undoubtedly carries over to the many roles that make up the ever evolving woman I am.