Posted in Personal Journal Blog

Fitting in


At 54, I never imagined I would have wondered where I fit in. That’s something high school girls do. I watch our 16 yr old daughter as she questions her friendships, and I listen to how she is annoyed with this person and that person because they want too much of her time. I tell her, “enjoy it while it lasts because there will come a time in your life when no one needs you.” it sounds sad, really, but it’s true. I’ve realized that I had a friend group once upon a time, but half of them have died or become recovering addicts, which has left me floating in an empty sea—floating alone without a group from my past to cling to. I spend many of my days alone and find myself in conversation with only my husband after a long hard day’s work and 16 yr old child. I have so much silence around me; I find old memories resurfacing and swirling in my mind. I thought I would have had it all figured out by now and that I would have had this life full of love, companionship, and peace, but really that’s not the case. I Shipt shop to fill my days, have created a business venture that will take time to launch, and have enrolled for a third time to university.

I think about the relationships I’ve had and how I have taken more than I deserve from some and given more than I should to others. I feel like I am a floater at this point. Never really climbing to anything or anyone in a solid secure way. I wonder if I’m the only one who feels this way at this stage of my life? I wonder if I will ever fit and make a difference to someone else. I am the friend who texts and checks in and rarely the one whose phone rings because someone was missing me. This is not self-pity, just a realization I have made. I have many silent days and nights. I am lonely and privileged enough to have time to myself, but it’s too much time.

I’m often thinking of Dr. Suesses, “oh, the places you’ll go,” and feel I am in the waiting place. I think of the days when I was a well-known singer bound for greatness and all of the expectations those who love me had for me. I am floating, digging deep to find meaning in what I do from day to day. 2 thirds of our children are gone, and the last is home, but now independent, finding her way. Good on her. I hope she finds it. I pray she has lasting friendships with people who reach out to her because they love her. I hope she never becomes a pet project of someone who befriends her because she is broken and they need someone to fix. I hope all of my girls find love and lasting fulfillment, and I hope they bring to the table whatever I didn’t that makes people stay.

Author:

I have had a wonderfully colorful life, rich with varied experiences. My ability as a singer and career as an administrative assistant/marketing communications manager; have presented me with a wide range of opportunities. I have been fortunate to work with and learn from some accomplished and intelligent business owners, executives and artists. I have explored the world, markets and non-profits I would have never dreamed of exploring. I started out performing in community theater then professionally in night clubs and working as a studio vocalist at the age of 12 in Naples Florida, my home town. My vocal studies began at the age of 8 with my mother who gave me my first vocal lessons. I have had the opportunity to learn with some talented vocal coaches since those lessons with my mother. With them I developed the ability to sing Classical, Jazz and Pop; which allowed me to make a living in the music industry for over 30 years, in America, Europe and NZ. I became proficient in handling the business end of performing and teaching and developed administrative skills that would be used more prominently later on in my life, which I cover further down in this piece. I managed all my own performance bookings and began promoting myself as an up and coming singer, beating the pavement in Nashville TN and learned how to sell my talents in a place where everyone and their mother can sing. Performing in front of large audiences has forced me to be more than skilled at holding my own. I have also been a studio singer and voice over artist, taught choir and private lessons and was the president of a local non-profit music school in NZ for 3 years. Once my husband and I began a family, my career focus shifted more to assisting others in their businesses, along with marketing and often selling their products. I took on the roles of Sales, Marketing Communications and Administrative Assistant full time. Environments where I have worked in these capacities have varied. The most joy I find in my career is having the ability to tap into my creative side where I have been encouraged to indulge in my love for creative and copy writing, both personally and for professionally. I worked in our own residential and commercial playground company and for a Website development/social media management company and cherished watching the birth of our new products become known to the public and seeing our client base grow. I have developed the skill for marketing and promoting products and services through the written word, but I am also a strong and persuasive sales person face to face. We moved from NZ where we had been for 12 yrs, back to Naples Florida in 2015. I took the position as the Administrative Assistant to the Pastor, at the church I grew up in. In my position there I used every skilled I had acquired over my lifetime, from administrative to performing as a vocalist/worship leader. I am a passionate employee and business woman and find it easy to fully immerse myself in my work while still finding joy in the day to day, what I do and the people in my life. My passions are still singing, promoting, creative writing, encouraging others to pursue their dreams while achieve their goals and being outdoors. I love my hometown of Naples and take advantage of all the beauty and outdoor opportunities it has to offer on a regular basis. Being an active person I work best when on the move and busy, socializing and intellectually stimulated. I also thrive in a situation where I have the opportunity to continue learning new skills. I work on being the best version of myself and strive to give it my best shot every day.

4 thoughts on “Fitting in

  1. I’m a little bit older than you Jeri but I understand where you are coming from. But I feel blessed that some friends from the past have been reaching out to me. I think COVID is providing more time for people to think. I have just bid a friend and former work mate and her partner goodbye after they made a trip from the city to us three hours away to have lunch with us. We hadn’t caught up since her 60th in 2012. So many memories to rake over. I’m sure you have a place and will find the right anchor to keep you from drifting too far from the shore. Also remember there are people out there who care more than you might realize. I’m not much of a floater at the moment after a huge lunch and a couple of wines!

    Liked by 1 person

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