Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Pay it Backward?

Paying for my frappuccino yesterday, I decided to get the coffee of the woman behind me as well. She was a middle-aged working-class type, and seemed extremely over-particular and irritated as I could hear her order, even above my music. For some reason, I thought that a little caffeinated surprise would make life somehow easier today. When I asked the barrista to add it to my tab, she started glowing. "I think that's so great!" she said. "The universe is going to bring this back on you, big time, you know?" "That's not why I'm doing it." I responded, smiling and driving away.

Well, not only did the universe seem unimpressed by my minor token, it seemed to want to punish me intensely. I had what I can only describe as the worst day of my life so far. Too much about my day involves other people, which prohibits weaving my tale into a moving and memorable saga fit for the big-screen. I can, however, share the little bit that sent me into the frenzy which caused me to make the call that sent me into a panic.

Those of you who follow my blogs will know that I've had an impossible time trying to find daycare for my peanut-allergic son. Last month, I was finally able to find a daycare, but they bus to a different school than we are assigned, so I had to ask for a transfer. I was told yesterday that the transfer didn't go through and we were sent back to square one. After that, a chain reaction of minor tragedies on top of horrible possibilities began to mushroom into the threat of my worst fears coming to light. After a couple of moments of terror, I took a step back, looked at the present situation and pulled myself back into action. A couple of hours later, I had an interview with a principal at a nut-free school and was back on track. Still not certain what the outcome will be, but I am on a track. That alone is comforting.

Sunken in the thickness of a misty cloud of fear, I reached for my most reliable vices to pull me through. Very first, was my peeps. My mother, my special gal, my special man and my boys. Together, they reminded me in constant flow that I was cared for and that everything would be alright. Although none of them has that magic crystal ball that shows us living happily decades from now, each was very convincing in lending their support.

Secondly, was a big glass of grape juice. Though I'll be the first to admit that it's not a typical mind-altering substance, there's just something about its purplesque sweetness that empowers me.

Lastly is my megalomaniacal need to have my life under my own control. I think this is the source of my never-ending motivation, as well as the reason that I don't reach for drugs or alcohol in my most desperate times. The worse my life has been pulled into confusion, the more intensely focused I become on setting it right again. My ninja-sharp skills in improvizing have been tested wildly over the last year, causing me to zig and zag irratically in order to keep my end-goals in sight. To others, it may seem as if I'm vascillating, but the truth is that sometimes the less-direct path is the one that makes you most certain that you are where you want to be.

In any case, it's late in the evening now and I feel as if I've pulled out of the frightening fog. I'm ready for bed and willing to wake up and start a brand new day tomorrow. I will not, however, be stopping for coffee.

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