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Thursday, February 20, 2020

Higher End Of Chaos


My lack of writing for the past couple of months can be chalked up to what can only be described as the higher end of moderate life chaos.

We were dealt one of those very unexpected life circumstances that all the platitude writers tell you about.

It all started with a very odd group of events.

The short version:

In July JP decided to leave the job he'd been at for almost a decade.  He was presented with what was to be opportunities that were not available to him at his existing job.  He had been basically told that he'd capped out - he could stay for another 10 years or 50 years but he wasn't going to make any more money - so leaving that less than ideal situation* was a no-brainer especially because the new job offered a significant bump in pay.  Additionally, the new job put him close to Berlin, MD, where I was the long-term solo resident artist at the historic gallery at The Globe. We were intent and excited to sell our northern Delaware home and buy in southern Delaware; he would be closer to his new job and I would be closer to the place where my art had been selling very, very well for a good long time.  Everything really seemed to be lining up nicely.

Then the first bomb dropped.



On a perfectly normal late October night, my daughter calls and asks if I was aware that The Globe was closing. She said she read about it on Facebook.  I was sure she was mistaken and had read something on the rumor mill.  I was the resident artist there for a lot of years and I had a pretty significant following in the area; certainly if the place was going to close I would have been given a heads up.  Especially since I had just been there a few weeks earlier to install a whole bunch of brand new framed art.
Except that it was closing and it was announced on Facebook and I had not been given a heads up.
Swell.

I would be lying if I said that the closing of The Globe had no effect on me.  I reeled a lot little bit. My artwork sold well and regularly there and was a not small part of my income; losing that hurt more than a little.

The next bomb happened maybe a week or two later in November when - again during a phone call - I learned from JP that after three months, he now had a new boss who was now doing the job he was hired for.
At first I didn't understand what that meant although I could clearly hear that he was very unhappy about it.  I have been around his industry long enough after being with him for 15 years and I knew that things flim flam on a regular basis but then most of the time work out.  I figured this was that and so I didn't ask any questions at the time because that works best for my anxiety.
Until his monthly commission came in and was several thousands of dollars shorter than where it should have been.
Yes, thousands.
So I had no choice but to ask questions.  Turns out, he knew it wasn't going to be good but he didn't realize how not good until that commission came in.
In a nutshell, his new job double-crossed him under the guise of "going in a different direction"...which in actuality translates to "we lured you away from our competition and then basically bait and switch'd you".

In subsequent days we learned that this is not an uncommon way to do things for this company. I have worked in many places in my life from tiny little family owned businesses to international publishing houses and his new job is very literally the most underhanded business I have ever seen.

Obviously if you have any self-worth, self esteem and integrity, you cannot continue to work for a company that has so little regard for how it treats its employees.  There was no question that he had to leave.

The rest of the details at this point are too long to write about except to say that JP secured a new position with a very reputable company where he will be working alongside someone he has history with whom he admires and trusts.  Big difference.

The new position is right smack in middle of the New Jersey area I grew up in which is so thrilling.  I've missed it there for a very long time so I'm beyond excited to be going back.

But New Jersey is a bit far from our house in Delaware so we had to make some decisions and that means selling our house (thankfully we had not yet gone forward with the plan to sell our northern DE house and relocate to southern DE).  Another painful blow but  as the platitude writers say, life sometimes has other plans for you.

In the meantime, JP can't be commuting from Delaware to New Jersey so we also decided to rent a place commutable to his new job.  Renting a place for the next year also allows us to take a breather during the transition from selling our Delaware house to wherever we decide to buy next.  Talk about full circle.  We've gone from wanting to buy a house in lower Delaware to renting an apartment in PA on the edge of New Jersey.

Right now we're still dividing our time between the new place and our Delaware house and so that's the current state of things: limbo.  But it's a fresh start even if some of the circumstances which led us to this point are kinda sucky and/or unresolved.

I sort of left out the part where, in the middle of all this happening, I kind of crumbled.
That's a nice way of saying that my coping skills disappeared.
In other words, I cried a lot...couldn't make a decision to save my life...spent a lot of time sitting on the couch staring at various walls in between crying a lot.  My ever-present anxiety exploded and took over everything.

OK, I didn't kind of crumble.  I severely crumbled.



*It wasn't just the money issue at his old job that led to his decision to leave but it was one of the main ones.

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