Sunday, December 23, 2018

Putting My Life Back Together

Wow you guys. Wowowowowowowow.

Not gonna lie, this was pretty much the shittiest three weeks of my life to date, which I guess all things considered is a good thing, as I have lots to be grateful for. Chief among them: healthy kids and spouse, family and friends who love me, and skills that I know will be well-used in new and nobler pursuits.

Still, being unceremoniously and illegally booted from an institution I've served with unblemished distinction for over a decade felt like an enormous betrayal and a loss, and it was. I lost my work family. I lost my community. I lost my sense of daily purpose and my intellectual outlet. I lost faith in the people and the institutions that I was naive enough to believe would protect me. I lost them at the hands of people who don't know me for reasons that have nothing to do with my work. And I'm not sure any of it will ever be repaired, and I know I will never be the same.

I've had moments this week when I expressed to friends that I wished I was dead. This is not to be confused with being suicidal. I would never in a million years commit suicide, because I would never do that to my kids. Also, I have way too much left to live for and to do on this earth. 

But I think it's important to be open and authentic and real about how upset I am, how wronged I feel, and how profoundly I am grieving. That is what my readers expect of me, and that is simply an honest reckoning. Feeling robbed of a part of your existence does make you want to die, because part of you has, in fact, been killed. I think it's okay to say that, even to the trolls who keep sending me links to unemployment insurance and the vindictive sadists who targeted me.

At the end of the day, though, my mom said it best. The real successes I have had are because of who I am, not because of a job. And I can't make everyone happy, but I know what's right and wrong, and I'm not afraid to say it, with four letter words or otherwise, because this is America and we have freedom of speech and the press for a reason. So I am putting this long chapter of my life in the rear view mirror and focusing on three things: (1) using my voice and my time in ways that feel authentic and meaningful to me; (2) moving on with my life and my career; and (3) making sure that what happened to me never happens to anyone else ever again.

You can stay tuned for all of that right here, because I'm not going anywhere.

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