“You’ve got your whole life ahead of you, don’t be so hard on yourself,” mom said to my twenty-nine-year-old sister after she received another email informing her that her job application had been unsuccessful.
“It’s not like you’re past your prime,” she added staring at me.
Wow, I hadn’t realized my moving back home was such a failure at the ancient age of forty-one. At least I had moved out for sixteen years. I tried to swallow the criticism down as usual, but I started coughing and choking on air and spit. My best friend’s words echoed in my ears – “Your thyroid function is going to deteriorate even further if you don’t speak your truth. Other people’s opinions don’t matter – even your families.”
I’d moved home after my marriage fell apart and I became unemployed because my soon to be ex-husband moved his bit on the side in to replace me as operations manager of his company. It wasn’t a job I’d wanted or loved but had tripped into to help him out and I’d been good at it – until he recently told me otherwise. I smiled at the latest gossip that everything was in chaos since I’d left. I didn’t want him to fail, but I wanted him to realize how much I did to keep the company going.
“Mom’s right Kelly,” I said swallowing past my troublesome butterfly shaped gland. “Everyone has their whole life ahead of them,” I added glaring into the pinpricks of the eyes of this woman who insisted on making me feel less than. “We don’t know if we have one day or sixty years left, but it is all still ahead of us and the best we can do is what we do today.” I gave her a squeeze as I left the room.
by Debbie Gravett © 2019.08.30