Win or Lose, There’s Always CiCi’s

How ridiculous it now seems, my thinking that the dead shell of a ladybug that had perched on my nightstand would somehow give me luck. I allowed myself to feel excited for a time. There had been hope. And now all that seems to have been dashed. I told my husband that I felt that this would be the week of my breakthrough, that by Friday I’d have secured a new job and things would start to look up. I was terribly wrong. Yes, Friday is not yet here and with its entry there is still the possibility that I’ll be surprised, but I’m not holding my breath.

Forgive me if I seem jaded. In fact, I very much am. In this moment and much of today, jaded was my name. Since my last post I’d had interviews with three different companies and while I thought that two went well, I bombed the interview I had with the third today. My chance to work in my home county and for a very decent wage was dashed in a mere fifteen minutes. I wore my unlucky lucky outfit (lucky because the first interview I wore it on, I got the job, unlucky because it was the job that I had for all of one day). I was not meant to repeat a day similar to today that occurred almost 15 years ago. In front of a panel of community leaders of Rockdale County I was interviewed and selected as Miss Tempus Fugit (a contest tradition at Rockdale County High School where every organization and class at RCHS is given representation and for whom the students are “academically sound and involved in various activities in and out of school.” A male and female are then selected to reflect being the most well-rounded among their esteemed peers). To think about it, how pathetic is it that such a memory would have any relevance in a life that has accomplished considerably more since then?! Regardless, there was no repeat. In its stead I experienced the shortest interview I’ve ever had while being on the applicant side of the table. I knew I bombed it. The warmth of the chair I sat in in front of the firing squad, er, interview panel was still warm from the prior candidate who’d held it considerably longer than I had. I did nothing to extend that warmth.

A glutton for punishment I called to follow-up with the other companies that I’d interviewed with. I seethed as I came to realize that I was a rarity in my prior role as an HR Manager. I always emailed not only applicants, but most especially those who I’d interviewed regarding their status. In one case today I called and was told what I’d already assumed, that they’d selected another candidate and in the other case, I’m still awaiting a callback (I sent an email as well – I need the finality and closure). It’s frustrating, humbling, perplexing, just all in all batty how these things seem to work – or, in my case, not work. I’ve doubted myself and my skills and that’s definitely not a good space to live in. And to add further insult to injury, my husband lost his job on Saturday. Our health insurance apparently also ended on that day. Not good for someone like me who is diabetic (really, I’m borderline as I’ve yet to have an out of range glucose reading) and who has other maintenance medications that I am required to take. And so, as I look at a very bleak and further stress-inducing future, I allowed myself a few moments to cry. In the end I was too exhausted to shed more than a few tears.

I’m not going to pretend or sugar coat it. I admit being defeated. It happens to all of us. I’ve repeatedly said to those closest to me that I feel that I must’ve murdered someone in a prior life to now be where I am. There is nothing glamorous about living in my brother’s house, unable to provide any financial support. A younger sibling should not have to take care of the older one. I was raised to be the independent one, fastidious in academics and life. However, I feel like the younger deadbeat sibling mooching off of family. I hate that feeling. In anger and exhaustion I texted my mom and told her how I felt like a complete failure, that I didn’t have the energy today to apply to another 60+ jobs only to be overlooked and rejected. “Years of experience, 5 college degrees and I am flat broke and will not be able to pay any bills as of 6/1/15.” She assured me that things will get better but in my pity party state, I didn’t want to hear it. Yes, I know that its inevitable that something will turn up, but I can’t understand why this is a part of my life’s journey, and certainly not now. I fully and tirelessly devoted myself to my library career and now I feel like the mere mention of my name in public libraries must replicate the effect of wearing a scarlet letter.

It’s hard not to wallow in it. It’s hard not to be angry at everyone and everything, to curse the God that I doubt exists, but today was one of those days. I’ve not had a restful night’s sleep for weeks and on a day that I felt was to mark a new beginning, I felt wholly defeated. The rational me knows that there is so much to be thankful for. My family. My friends. My skills and abilities. And so that’s what’s meant by the title of my post. When my brother and I were younger and played softball on our church team win or lose we always went to CiCi’s. And sure enough, on a day where I lost, my brother took us all out to Cici’s. I needed that nostalgia more than he’ll ever know.

3 thoughts on “Win or Lose, There’s Always CiCi’s

  1. Quite touching and trying words LaToya. I went through this phase about 13 years ago, and I feel exactly how you felt. A few differences I see, was that I was single and didn’t have kids, I used to (still do) live in a city about 3,500 km away from my native place where my father lives, and I didn’t have a mobile phone (cellular phones weren’t common in India till the early 2000s) to communicate with my dad – so I used to write him letters, the plain old way. So yes, it hurts, it makes you cry (yeah I too did) and feel lonely and deprived and also doubted not just about the existence of God, but also about my own personal ability and degrees. But then you have to pull through, fight with yourself and the world around you to make yourself happen again. I wish you all the very very best – as always – and shall continue to cheer for you.
    –Manu

    1. Manu,
      You are always so very uplifting and kind. I’m trying as much as I can to be steadfast and do what I need to do to push forward. I find that writing about what I’m experiencing does help – it’s a bit cathartic. Thanks again for continuing to read my blogs. I really do appreciate it.

      Sincerely,
      LaToya

      P.S. – It wasn’t until the late 90s that cell phones became really mainstream here in the US. Most of us had pre-paid phones since the post-paid plans were sometimes ridiculously expensive. By around 1999 I had a post-paid/contract phone. Also, I still “write” letters to my grandfather in Jamaica (now I type them and fax them to him) so I completely know what you mean.

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