Friday, August 5, 2016

If We Were Having Coffee... (Vol. 6 - Waiting on Opportunities)

If we were visiting this morning over beverages, I'd finally be able to offer you some orange juice!  R just bought some last night and neither of the stepkids have spotted it yet.  If you want a glass, you'd better take me up on my offer before the bottomless pits who don't know the meaning of the word moderation wake up.  

This morning, I'd suggest sitting out on my deck.  It's not too hot yet, but it's still humid.  It's August in Kentucky, after all, what else can we expect?  The trees lining my property line are still full and lush.  All the rain we've had this summer, despite the heat, has kept them looking nice.   Sometimes, depending on the weather, the leaves looks almost cooked by this time of year.  

I'd collapse in my red adirondack chair and let out a long sigh.  As we'd settle in, I'd ask what you've been up to recently, for it's been a few weeks since we chatted last.  

After some time, you'd finally come out and say, "You look exhausted." I'd glance at you out of the corners of my eyes and confirm your statement, "I am exhausted.  I'm suffering from a hangover - a social hangover."  You'd give me a quizzical look and I'd explain.  "It's the side effects that many introverts, like myself, experience after a social situation that requires us to be "on" or after a social situation that was overly stimulating."  

"Yesterday evening," I'd continue, "I had to go to my school for the Back to School Bash."  The Back to School Bash is an annual event in which students and their families can come to school, meet their teachers, and drop off their school supplies about a week before school begins.  We also have some information tables set up.  "It's a great event, I'd say, "but I absolutely loathe it."  

You'd ask why and I'd share that I usually work an information table and that requires me to be "on" - to be sociable, to be witty, to be knowledgeable, to be accommodating, to be articulate.  In addition to me having to be on, it was hot, loud, crowded, and very overstimulating.  "In short, it was an introvert's nightmare and that's why I'm totally zonked today."  

You'd take a sip of your drink and ask if I'm ready for the school year to start.  I'd say with a chuckle, "As ready as I'm gonna get."  

I'd look out into the yard, wondering where Rascal is, and a few quiet moments would pass.  Eventually, Rascal would emerge from one of her hideouts and I'd let her up on the deck to join us.  "This," I'd say as I rubbed the top of Rascal's head, "is one of the things I'll miss the most once I start back to work."  I'd then drift off into a contemplative silence.

"It's going to be a strange year," I'd finally say, breaking the silence.  You'd ask why and I'd continue.  

I've worked at my school for almost 17 years and this is the only school I've ever worked at.  I'm one of the veterans and there are only five or six other faculty members who have been there longer than me.  Over the years I've seen a lot of people come and go, many of whom were very close friends.  This year, two of my very good friends, one whom I've worked with for 10 or 11 years, have taken jobs elsewhere.  

Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled for them.  One is trading off her current 45 minute commute for a 15 minute commute.  The other, who has been feeling somewhat stagnant in her career, is getting in on the ground floor of a new, innovative program that is being implemented this year.  "These are great moves for my friends," I'd say, "and I wish them all the best.  I'm just going to miss them."  

I'd know what you'd be thinking, that just because they won't be in the same building with me anymore, that doesn't mean that our friendships will come to an end.  I'd take a sip of my soda and then let out a long sigh and say, "I've just been around long enough to know that when proximity is removed, that it's harder to keep in touch.  Life will get in the way and our friendships will never be the same.  That makes me a little sad."

I'd look down at Rascal, who would be obsessively cleaning her front paws, and then say, "It's kind of weird being one of the leftovers, one of the remainders, one of the people who has not moved on to other ventures.  Sometimes it makes me feel...  I don't know.  Insignificant."  

I'd then laugh and say, "I know this makes no sense.  Hell, I'm even having a hard time wrapping my head around it.  I guess it makes me feel in some weird and stupid way, like I've been passed over, like I'm not significant enough for a door of opportunity to open and offer me a change."

Truth is, I'm ready for a change and I've been ready for several years.  I'd turn to you and say, "They say good things come to those who wait.  Well, I've been waiting, patiently I might add, for 3 years for a certain opportunity to present itself.  With any luck, this will be the last year of me being stuck in this holding pattern.  We shall see."

You'd give me a confused look, for you're not sure of what I'm referring to.  I'd continue, "I promise, I'll fill you in when the time comes.  I'm just a tad superstitious of talking about things that may or may not come to pass, especially this far out.  Just keep your fingers crossed for me."

With that, Rascal would spot a rabbit that had ventured into her kingdom through the gap in the fence to eat the abundant clover in my yard.  Rascal would let out a loud, throaty howl.  She'd immediately go the deck gate, wanting down.  I'd open up the gate and she'd leap off the steps, sprinting down the yard in hot pursuit of the rabbit.  We'd watch from the rail as she chased the rabbit all over the yard.  "Has she ever caught one?" you'd ask.  "Not yet," I'd reply, "but there's always tomorrow."


As always, thanks for stopping by!  Hoping this finds you gearing up for a great weekend doing as much or as little as you prefer!

Linking up with Diana @ Part Time Monster 

P.S.  No, that's not me in the picture.  Me?  With pink fingernails?  C'mon...  :)  The picture came from where there is a decent selection of photos that are free of copyrights.  Just a little FYI.


  1. If we were having coffee, I think that I'd probably force you to sit on the deck because it's too hot to sit outside in Texas right now! It really is so weird when people leave when you've worked together for a long time. It's always so sad! I also can't believe that you're already getting your stuff ready for back to school! I can't believe that it's that time of the year again!

    1. I know! I had to go to school Thursday to work the Back to School Bash and when I walked through the doors, I thought, "Wasn't I just here?" (In reality, no, I hadn't been in the building in 2 months!) Time sure flies!

      Yes, it is the end of an era and there will definitely be a period of adjustment.

  2. oh i am sorry about your friends, i know people say you can keep in touch and all, but it really does make it hard. i hope your friendships stay strong though, and i hope the door you're waiting for opens soon.

  3. Great post. I enjoyed your description of introverts and social hangovers; I think that just might be me as well, and I found myself smiling while reading it. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you! If you are interested, I composed a post last summer specially about social hangovers. Here's the link: Thanks for stopping by!

  4. I totally get your "hangover" being an intovert myself who relishes a chance to recharge in silence after a crazy day. The changing landscapes of the work place can also be a challenge. Two of the teachers at the school where I work retired this year. The classrooms are being filled with two young people filled with enthusiasm and great ideas and I am so happy for them, but I still miss my friends. This will be my 11 year and I find each to be a new adventure so I guess I am still in a good place. Luck to you in what ever endeavors you head for and thanks for the coffee!

  5. You know, this exact thing happened to me. Being one of the leftovers. My two best colleagues (and friends) left for other jobs last year. It was terrible, and still is. We used to talk every day for eight years and knew everything about each others' lives. Now we still keep in contact with a WhatsApp group but it's not the same. You're not going to write every single little thing that happens to you there. We meet a few times a year, I wish it was more. Maybe it affects me more because I was the leftover one? Who knows. I've been trying hard to find another job for a long time, as once my friends left, I also noticed that I was not happy with the job anymore. But it's not so easy these days! Have a great week :)


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