Tough Year ~ But one worth living!

You ever feel like you just need to vent? Like the enormity of what you are dealing with is so large, so profound that you are almost crippled with indecision? Like the plate you are given to hold the amount of stuff you can handle is of one size but the mean old lunch lady in her ill-fitting hairnet and dirty apron is ready to slop on another heaping pile of life, creamy style, suffocating and smothering all else you have going on until you just can’t decide what next to take a bite of? Me too!

Earlier this year my mother passed away, something that, generally speaking we all have to deal with? I am not saying that I am any different than anyone else or that I am special because I have experienced this particular phenomena, rather that I find myself asking the question, how do people deal with it? One day your mom (parent(s)) and you are talking and the next you are planning a service for her (them).

For me this was a mixed blessing. I HATE that I cannot talk with my mother any longer. Well, in reality I talk but she doesn’t answer any longer. I do find myself telling my mom about my day and how things are going, knowing she isn’t going to answer me but a part of me hopes that maybe a small part of my mind will snap just a bit and allow me to hear her voice in my head. I know that at that point I would be certifiable and classified bonkers and really don’t want that to happen, but I kinda wish there were a way without all the straight jackets, medication and rubber rooms – oh and great big neanderthal men that speak in monosyllabic idioms. So that happened. But I am HAPPY that my mother isn’t suffering any more. She had C.O.P.D. (this is one of many sites to read about it on) which is a terrible god-awful disease that can take years to do its nefarious work.

Then my sister who was my moms roommate got a bad infection in her right foot that spread to the bone. A really bad infection. So bad that she had to have it amputated. Once below the knee and later above the knee. While my sister was dealing with all of that and in no way able to figure out where to move to, my parents-in-law and I moved out the things of my sisters that we thought she would want post surgery.

After spending days and days going back to my sisters apartment to scavenge anything I think she might want to keep (or that I could sell for her) and then going to the hospital to be there for my sister, I found myself with time for little else. I spent about 6 weeks getting things in order as much as could be before I had to hustle to finish an audio-book I was working on. Oh, and I had to plan a service for mom. I did my best to work around everyone’s schedule. In the end, I was very happy with the turn out and the beauty of it. The Chaplain was very respectful and wove a wonderful eulogy together from the conversation she and I had and she and my mom had. My oldest sister could not make it because she was and is still under medical care.

Once I completed the audio-book and submitted it for review to the author, and my moms service was over, I went back to auditioning for other voice-over (VO) gigs. This can be really frustrating because you audition over and over and over and unless you get the gig it is like non-validation for what you are trying to be a part of. Like the little kid that tries his hardest to join the team but just isn’t good enough yet. I feel like that little kid right now. One thing about that little kid though, he never gives up. He will make the team.

Lately I have found myself attending a get together for like-minded people that want to work in the industry of VO but haven’t quite made it there yet. We talk a bit about what we have been doing and what has and hasn’t worked for us but by and large the most I get out of it is that there are others, like me, that are struggling just as much as I am with breaking into this industry. That’s actually a pretty big deal. To know that I am not alone in my struggles.

I guess the long and the short of this diatribe is that with all the things I have gone through this year, I may be a little bruised and battered but I am most definitely not broken. I come out the other side a little stronger and more resilient than I would have thought. And finally, I am not alone in these struggles. Not to say that I am unique, rather, MANY people struggle with the same or other equally important issues of their own. I think the biggest take away is that I have a great group of friends to lean on, family that I love and am especially grateful for my loving and ever supportive wife that has been there through this entire journey. I hope everyone is as lucky to have a support system to help them through the tough time with.

I believe that people are resilient and much stronger than can be given credit for. The adage, That which does not kill us makes us stronger (Nietzsche) is something I believe in after the year I have had. And the year isn’t over with yet!

Embrace life, make the tough choices, pursue your dreams and love without question.

Peace be with you!

More to come…

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2 Responses to Tough Year ~ But one worth living!

  1. Michelle says:

    You are one tough cookie, James. And you have and are doing a great job. Hang in there kid. M.


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