Broken Glass

Good days are a funny thing. As easily as they are had, they are also undeniably met and followed by a maddening amount of consecutive bad days. There are times when I am going about my day — smiling incessantly. My favorite song came on the radio and the skyline looks just right and the stranger smiled back when I gave them my awkward but happy glance and shit is just going superb. It’s then though that I remember that as good a day as this day is, tomorrow could be the worst day of my life. Dramatic? Always. Wrong? Never.

Take Friday for example. This past Friday was an alright day. The donut shop was out of donuts so that was a real Devlin of a situation. I mean who the hell runs out of donuts at eight in the morning? You have one job! Supply the dough. Not only did I not enjoy a hot, fresh donut but I also didn’t get to kiss ass with sprinkles and carbs. Now that’s a real bummer. However, I found a solution to the problem and got Taco Deli instead. I also got to chat with the cute barista at the coffee shop and I was still able to kiss ass at work. Definitely took an L only to bounce back. So again, pretty good day. However, it was when I came home and was met with shattered glass that I realized no matter my plan, the universe had an agenda of her own. That skank

While insignificant and easily manageable, I found the shattered glass to be somewhat of a reminder — a metaphor actually — of how life can be such a shit. Moments before the glass broke, I would like to assume that the red carnations were still blooming, waiting to welcome me home. Sitting perfect and so threatening-still — until someone (my well-trained felines) decided it would be okay to knock the jar-turned-vase over. Here we have shattered glass and an absolute mess.

Why is this relevant? If you work on that attention span of yours, you might just find out. I like a long introduction. If everyone else can blab about nothing, so can I. Anyway, back to relevancy.

What feels like a few months back is actually six months back (what the f**k). I got what most would consider to be a good job — I was a paid writer. To me, it was my dream job. After four or five months of unemployment, this was it. This was the Golden Nugget, the knockoff Chanel bag, the dank frankfurter from a street cart vendor at two in the morning. This was mediocracy and it tasted so sweet.

As soon as I took my first bus ride into downtown, I felt the shift. I felt like I was creating the life I wanted. It was no New York City, but it was the life most appetizing to my young self. I felt hopeful of the future; I felt positioned in the world. “Yes, hello. I’m Ashley McElmurry, Commerce Writer, lover of cats and a good time!” I got the business cards made — immediately. However, with all good things — there were a bit of not so good things. This includes but is not limited to: heartbreak, family drama and although I had a check coming in, I was only on contract. This meant that for me, job security was not a thing. However, I have been chasing jobs since college and never once had “job security”. How can you miss something you’ve never had? With that, I requested a lease extension just in case things went downhill but still continued to work my ass off for a job that I knew could be taken away from me in one hot, fiery second.

A few months into the job, things really started improving in my life — in all areas. I healed wounds with my best friend, I was starting to make new friends in a new city and I even met a guy that took my mind off everything else that I had endured when it came to the heart. But, like a perfectly placed flower vase in a home with two cats and no adult supervision, my life sort of fell apart. To even say shattered seems dramatic but shattered it did. I slowly lost the guy and put myself out there only to be greeted with rejection that, if I think too long about it, makes my stomach churn. After that, the intuition started to kick in and I felt like things were only going to get worse. Soon enough, my boss is telling me my job is on “life support” and a week later, I’m greeted with a generous offer coupled with a huge decision to make in what felt like no time at all. I was offered a new position at work but if I were to turn it down — I would be out of a job completely. And despite what my parents taught me about “securing the job” and being “practical” — I grew up to be the asshole that followed her heart. What a dumbass right? Knowing I wasn’t in the right place anymore, I turned down the job. The streak on good things turning sour came to an end.

So here I am on this Friday — you know, the Friday from earlier. The glass is broken and my first instinct is to yell at Memphis as if he could even comprehend what I was saying before finding the broom so I could start picking up the pieces, as you do when things break.

After shit hit the fan, I knew I could fall back into this depressive slumber I was in once before. I knew that was an option, an effortless one too. But instead, I took a look at my life and all of the thrilling possibility that comes with uncertainty. The ONE good thing about being alone is that you don’t have anyone telling you what you can and can’t do. I knew I didn’t have to stay in Austin, so I didn’t. Why I came to Dallas? Hell if I know. But what I do know is that things don’t just happen for no absolute reason. The day that I lost my job, I got an email for an interview for a job in Dallas. Was it a writing gig? No. But I knew I would figure that out eventually.  And that I did. Two weeks later, I was rooted in Dallas.

So I guess I’m going to finish this one off (ew, don’t even) by flipping the narrative. All bad days are also followed with super fucking great days. Days where you can’t wipe that shit grin off your face. Days where you meet random people who become friends that become family. Days where you get a job in a new city and things just start to make sense. The only thing to remember is that when the glass breaks, and things fall apart, just grab the broom and start cleaning up the mess.

And then remember to wear house shoes because shards of glass in your foot can be a real bitch. And that’s a whole different kind of bad day.

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