Our past matters

I had an email yesterday that led me into a trip down memory lane and finally has severed my connection to my last company. I had been wondering for a while what had happened to the person who ultimately became by boss over my last couple of years working. Amanda and I had sort of kept in touch, not really friends, but we touched base occasionally, then suddenly about 18 months ago, she stopped contacting me. I felt at the time ready to let go of my work years, we all move on, but there was still that tiny thread that remained. Then out of the blue just over a month ago, I found an email from Linked In waiting in my inbox. I get them from time to time and usually delete them without thought. But something made me go to my account, somewhere I haven’t even bothered looking at for over 3 years now. I was somewhat surprised to see that my recommendation from Amanda was gone. I couldn’t think why she would do that, it seemed just a little odd to say the least, but as I am no longer looking for work, well it didn’t matter. Yesterday’s email prompted me to return again, this time, though, I was going there to close that account down. It was then that I remembered there had also been a recommendation for another college from the same company, had also gone. That got me more than wondering and I simply had to start investigating. Both Amanda and Tracy had worked for them since they left school, over 25 years for both. Amanda and I had both become sales managers at the same time, but we went in different directions when my health slammed in and she completed a business degree. I became Operations manager and Amanda eventually Call Center manager. At that point, she made Tracy the only sales manager as we had restructured and only one was really needed, but I worked closely with both.

Just at the point that I became housebound, Amanda became Sales Director. I was shocked, not that she didn’t deserve it, but we had both frequently said that there was one job never to take in that company, and that was Director. They had an uncanny habit of making people up to Director level and within 3 years, getting rid of them. Yet she took on the role and I tried to be happy for her. My investigations yesterday has shown me that not only is Amanda no longer working for them, but neither is Tracy. After over 25 years service, they are both gone. Clearly, I don’t know what has happened, but with both of them gone, it has severed my last links of loyalty to the company and my view of them, has changed completely. I could sit here and imagine what scenario could have lead to such a thing, but they have once more shown their colours. I can only guess why Amanda removed her link to my Linked In profile, probably because she didn’t want me know what happened, she didn’t want me saying, “I told you so”. I had on the day she was promoted congratulated her but reminded her to watch her back. Somehow their demise has severed that string that held me connected to that point in my past. I have frequently found myself going over things that had happened there, some with warmth and some with pain, but this change, feels as though it has put all of them to bed. They were the only constant in those 13 years, and now they’re not a constant any longer, they too, are gone.

I suppose, it is understandable, that once you are housebound that you do hold onto the last things you knew in the outside world, tightly. I don’t remember, even once, finding myself going over any job that I had before that since my world was diminished in size. I suppose, that the fact, that I worked from home for a further three years, hasn’t helped in any way with breaking free. After all, right where I am sat at this moment was my office. Work and home for quite a long time, were actually, the same place. Even allowing for that, my determination to put things right in my head, at least, if not in reality, has been strong. It is almost as though that by reliving and reliving, I was going to find that flaw that would let me back in. As long as I knew that Amanda and Tracy were both still there, two people who I very much saw as on my side, even though I was made redundant, there was that possibility, that my help would be called on. That is now totally gone. I guess none of us like to believe that anyone can cope without us, even when I totally agree, my role in the once again restructured company, wasn’t required. But when it was the final blow, after fighting for so many years, to actually keep working, it was painful.

When all you really have, is the past, it does skew your view somewhat. Most of us, are so busy just trying to keep up with the now, that we don’t have the time, to go over and over, the thing that happened before. My now, is the same day in and day out, and I don’t exactly have a future to look forwards to. Don’t take either of those in the wrong way, I am not saying that my life isn’t good. It is just so different from normality, which usually involves a list of life as long as our arms, without work, to keep ourselves busy. Each event, is different from the one before, with a good dose of unpredictability to go along with it, that means we can’t say for certain, even what today will hold. I can. I can be certain, not just for today, but for next week and the one after that, and the one after that, especially, as I have now removed the danger of falling. I can even tell you who I will talk to and on which day, my life is nothing like what it once was. When that happens to you, well oddly, the past is an exciting place. Even those people you haven’t spoken to for years are important, and very alive back there, it is such a different place to be and somehow, because I can’t change the present, I try to change the past. I go looking for those small details that I missed, changing perspective and looking again. I guess, there is one other thing going on as well, a fear that if I don’t keep reliving, that like so much of my life, it will disappear on me, and then, I truly won’t have anything, but the now.

Being housebound is actually easier than I ever expected, but it is also much weirder. I expect, that everyone would have to build their own world and their own way of dealing with it. Clearly, it would be impossible to write a guide on surviving being housebound. Actually, I think, it is impossible to write a guide on anything that involves people. We are all so different, so if it is anything other than how to feed and water yourself, or how to build a shelter, you can’t guide anyone else through anything. I know how I have reacted, how I have worked through the things that have happened to me, but I don’t have the slightest idea how you would survive it. Without a doubt, we all lose our friends, oddly no one seems to be willing to come in here with us. If you are the sort of person who needs to be surrounded by people, you will find it much harder than I do. I have always, thanks to my family, been used to spending time alone. What we learn as children, really does, no matter how you try to shake it off, shape your entire life. I wasn’t allowed to invite friends into my home. No one was allowed inside, not even into the garden. So I learnt at an early age, how to entertain myself and to enjoy my own company. I thought that having such a huge and rich selection of memories to feed off, that I would never run out. But once I had done my forgiveness run, forgiving everyone I could think of including myself, who ever hurt me, they dried up. I was stuck with just those from the last 10 years and nearly all of them were about work. Like it or not, that is where we spend the majority of our waking hours, so it is logical. Just as logical, I remember my failure, far more than my successes, even though they outnumber the first.

I know that I have said in the past that it is important if you know there is the possibility to build a cocoon, a home that is filled with beauty, and somewhere you want to be. I will always believe in the importance of that, but now, well now I wish that I had somehow also built memories, good ones. If you know this is your future, build happy memories, go places, do things, whatever you can, that you can look back at, with happiness. As the only thing that I know for sure will apply to all of us, is that our past will always be important, if for nothing else, other than a route to escape along.

Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 24/10/2013 – Removing the blinkers of life

It is amazing how we all go through life with blinkers on, it isn’t a choice, it is just part of being human, if we took in everything to its fullest extent, I believe we would implode unable to simply cope with cold reality. It doesn’t matter if…..