Within Reach

So. Very. Close.

I have been going through a rough experience many times over, the last week.

“I need to talk to you a.s.a.p.,” I’ve written and texted various members in my singing group.

The wait time before they responded was filled with heart pounding, messages inside my head saying, “What are you doing?!?!?!” and a topsy-turvy stomach roller coaster.

I doubted myself each time I reached out to deliver my message.

Each time I wondered if I was doing the right thing.

Each time, when I heard the initial response from the member I was breaking the news to, “Are you okay, is everything okay?”

I winced because I hated bringing this attention to myself. Causing others to stop what they were doing to listen to me.

Maybe this is all a mistake and I am perfectly happy, I heard a voice say inside. My inner cowardly lioness.

No, my broader understanding of myself insisted, you have made a decision that is very good for you. NOW DO IT.

So, I bared my soul. I told each of these women how I have come to realize a pattern of apathy toward a thing I normally love. That I definitely need to take time to explore other areas of interest. That I have been feeling badly for feeling so apathetic toward the group. That I had used my membership in this group to make excuses to not try other things that interested me. That I found aspects of being a member in this group that ultimately did not fulfill me as a musician. That I had made the decision that it was time for me to move on.

Surprisingly, with each person I told, I never got emotional. I was very matter-of-fact with my reasoning and, to my surprise, I was met with little resistance or backlash. In fact, I was met with a lot of support. Each of these dear women I have come to know through singing actually value my feelings. I had been hiding my feelings from them in order to keep things as-is, and normal.

So, in the interim, I have decided to take a sabbatical instead of outright quitting. This feels better to me, as I think it will be good to experience being burden-free for a while with regard to this group and have the option that, if in six or so weeks I find I can’t live without them, I can go back.

It’s been really nice to hear each of these women say that they value my friendship and contributions to the group. I don’t think that as a group we do that for each other enough.

Tonight I will break the news to the group, which will be funny in a way because I have already approached the leadership and five other members to tell them in advance of my making the announcement. The other leadership members wanted those who hold a role in the group to be informed before I announce as well. There will only be two members who won’t know before I make the announcement, but that’s because neither of them are my super close friends or involved in leadership in some capacity.

My final hurdle will be the announcement tonight, and then it’s Frosty time.

In other news, our renovation is in a bit of a awkward stage. Our contractor backed out last week, citing personal issues in his life which have made him lose confidence in his ability to do the work. So, we have to find someone else. Fortunately, we had some leads from when Josef interviewed contractors before we hired this one, as well as some new options that have surfaced. We know it will all work out, and we went ahead and painted the master bedroom and the hardwood floors were installed yesterday. We are keeping on, even if it’s not exactly in the order of progression we had intended. That feels better than dwelling, and as much as it sucks that the contractor quit mid-job, we’re mostly happy with what he had done before and glad he didn’t make a colossal mess in our bathroom because he was too upset and distracted about his personal life.

He also quit over email. Which means it must have been really bad.

It’s weird to consider the timing of my quitting my group  paired with his quitting our master suite renovation. It almost made me rethink my decision, based on how he made us feel. I knew had to stick to what I knew I was doing, even if it was super uncomfortable for me to say the words out loud that I have been writing here and running through my mind. I also can’t really compare what I am quitting with, say, a job someone’s paying me to do, like he is, but still, I know I got a little bit of the treatment from his quitting that I am giving to my fellow group members.

I think it also gives me less anger toward him than I would normally have. It was shocking to find out he wouldn’t be finishing our bathroom. We were left with more questions than answers. But, I still think he felt he had no other way of going about it — even if there were lots of other ways he could have gone about it, I know he probably couldn’t see the options. Poor guy. I know, that sounds weird to be saying, as a the homeowner whose contractor quit!

Onward and upward. It all will work out soon, and we’ll have a shiny new master suite and I’ll have loads of time to try out some new things.

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3 thoughts on “Within Reach

  1. Yay, good job! And I think it was perfect timing for you to be compassionate about your contractor. I know I mentioned this before, but I work for a general contractor and believe me, it is definitely better for them to quit when their lives need more attention, than to plow through.

  2. Hey–if you want our contractor’s info, email me. They should be finishing up on our house soon, and they’ve done great work!

  3. Thank you! We have hired the second contractor, but I will be in touch if he suddenly jumps ship, too! I don’t think he will.

    Knock on wood.

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