Tried to figure out exactly how to write this post and am not entirely sure I will do it in a logical way, so here goes nothing.
March 3, 2017 — three years ago tomorrow — was the day my ex and I decided to break up. Here is essentially the full rundown on how that day went. In a way, then, March 2, 2017 — three years ago today — was “the last normal day.”
I don’t really mean that, of course. If people’s dynamics are perfect, they don’t just up and decide to break up overnight. So in reality, the “last normal day” for me and her was probably sometime in 2014. We had a really fucking bad fight on the streets of Uptown Minneapolis around April 2014, and with the passage of time, I kinda feel like the day before that fight was really “the last normal day.”
But what do I know, really?
These types of posts can get incredibly self-indulgent, so I want to avoid that. I probably still will, however. Instead, I want to try and make a bigger point. Hopefully I can do that.
First off: President’s Day 2017
I’ve had this convo with a couple of my friends since, but here’s this little arc. A big reason my ex and I broke up was drinking, absolutely. That’s part of the reason why I type this three years later and I’m not drinking for Lent and trying to go to more AA meetings. (You might read that and say “Three years? Damn! Why not sooner?” Short answer is that I take a while to get to the right spots.)
So one of the funny (?) things about the demise of me and her is that on President’s Day (Presidents’ Day?) 2017, we spent that Monday basically bar-hopping. Think we went three-four places. Ended up at the place by our apartment. Pretty drunk around 4–5pm, honestly — both of us. Not just me. I actually remember that I took the dog for a walk and had to pee in some bushes because I had to pee so badly. PS I was 36 at this time. I evolve very well as a human.
That was maybe 2.5 weeks before we broke up. So I always used to wonder … was it hypocritical that we broke up partially around drinking when we were clearly both on that train about 17 days before the finale?
Eventually I stopped wondering that, because you need to get on with your life at some point. And that brings me to my next point.
I have read Sapiens, but not Yuval’s other two books. Yesterday, I had a 7am flight out of Pittsburgh back home after a wedding and I read The New Yorker profile of Yuval, which kind of makes him sound like he has no idea what he’s doing but also makes him sound very smart. (Read it for yourself and judge.)
One of his key arguments, that I’ve made before too and made much less money from saying, is that many of us are not that relevant. For every Steve Jobs that comes along, there are billions of people who just lived their life, left their small paragraph on the world, and departed this plane.
That’s life. It just goes on. Things change and you adjust. In some ways, that is the core of what makes us human.
This stuff happens at work all the time too. People stay in jobs, then leave jobs, and even though they constantly told you how busy and important they were while in the job, they leave and … the next Monday? Absolutely business as usual. Meetings, emails, calls, stand-ups, huddles, whatever. Gary is gone? Oh, OK. Cool. We’re good.
We’re all replaceable at some level and time marches on. And if you don’t think that’s a big argument for why people have children or want children, I have a bridge in Moldova I can sell you. (Plus some HR Tech.)
I think I finally arrived at my point
If today is your last normal day, or if it happens this week or this month or this spring or whenever … just know it will be fine. It doesn’t seem or sound fine at the moment, but it’s fine. You end up OK. You might even end up better than OK. You might end up worse than OK, then get better with time.
It sounds trite as fuck, but this whole thing is a journey. If you’re familiar with any story in history, from The Bible on down, journeys have challenges and roadblocks. That’s what makes them cool.
You shall have the same. And hey, if you ever want to talk about some of those journeys, come on this podcast I’ve been doing.
Whenever you think this is your last normal day, at work or in your personal life, believe me … it’s not.
Onward and upward, friends.