Thursday, April 9, 2015

Back To Work I Go

Last fall I started back to work as a freelance makeup artist. It wasn't something I was planning, it was actually kind of a fluke. I was buying makeup one afternoon and ran into a former employee, who now holds a relatively significant position with the company. After overcoming some psychological resistance on my part, seeing as I thought my cosmetics days were long behind me, I decided freelancing was a great way to pick up some much-needed cash, as well as reclaim a piece of my life my illnesses stole from me. But it was scary. For my first assignment I had to drive forty-five miles away, work in a fast-paced environment with the *gasp* general public, and spend eight hours running around on my feet. Then drive forty-five miles back home on one of LA's most infamous parking lots, the 405 freeway. All by myself. 

Of course I was so nervous about being late, I didn't sleep the night before. That lasted a good three months. Upon arriving at work, I learned during the four years I was home convalescing a bunch of products were discontinued and new ones appeared in their place. To whom exactly was I supposed to sell what? Did I still know how to put makeup on other people? Could I even make polite chit chat while hoovering an inch away from a strange woman's face, or remember how to sanitize my testers so I didn't give my customer's pink eye? While the questions whirled around my brain, I got to work. Needless to say, it went swimmingly. I actually even had fun. My future assignments were sporadic and geographically vast, so last month when an opportunity came up for a part-time position not too far from my house I decided to take the plunge back into the land of the gainfully employed. That was scary too, but not as bad as the first step forward. Maybe because I already knew I could do the fundamentals of the job. Now I just had to relinquish all control over my own schedule to the retail gods, and pray for mercy. 

One month in, and I'm on my knees begging and pleading for that mercy. I'm flippin' exhausted! I can't sleep at night, and waking up at six in the morning is quickly turning me into a miserable wretch. I'm grasping onto my luxurious lifestyle of eight hours of sleep and yoga and the gym and juicing, all the things that make living with fibromyalgia manageable for me, by a frayed little thread. And my book...the passion of my life I've spent the last four years fashioning into something magical, has been painfully shoved onto the back burner of my cold, neglected stove. I'm simultaneously trying to ignore the fact that my life is spiraling out of my own control, while doing everything in my power to hold on to my progress. 

I have to remember this is a transition. Transitions are hard, especially for the chronically ill. As I struggle to keep my footing, I'm constantly reminding myself how hard I toiled to get to a place where working part-time was even a viable option. All my attention is focused on how healthy I am now, not how sick I was in the past. I'm juicing with habitual vengeance, and believing it will keep my deficient immune system functioning well enough so to keep me from descending back into the hell of this life-sucking disease. And I'm praying. A lot. I'm believing if God bothered to drop this surprising opportunity in my lap, with enough hard work and determination I will be successful.

Thanks for joining,

#fibromyalgia #chronicillness #chronicpain #job #work #employment