Some of you gave been curious about what the Microsoft Christmas party was like this weekend. I've been contemplating on the overall experience and how it really made me feel. I guess in order to understand what I'm talking about I need to share a little story...
I will not forget the day Daniel received the phone call for a job offer with Microsoft. It was the same day I was putting my Allen on the bus for his first day of school. My family was all gathered in my mother-in-law's front yard. We were taking pictures of the boys in their matching GAP outfits and cute backpacks. Even though Mason wouldn't be attending school, I still purchased him a little backpack, notebook, and crayons. Moments before the bus turned around the corner. My phone started ringing. It was Daniel. I clinched my phone. Took a deep breath, and pressed "answer".
"Hi, Love!" I beamed into the phone.
Then came the news we has both been waiting for all weekend, "I got the job!" he confirmed.
I exhaled. I can not describe the feeling of joy and happiness I had for him. He didn't have long to talk, so we ended our conservation. My family was all staring at me waiting to know the news.
"He got it!" I confirmed.
Just then, the rumble of the bus could be heard turning the corner at the top of the street. I walked Allen on the bus. I cried. My family cried. There were so many emotions I was feeling in that moment. My Allen was starting his first day if school. This new adventure he was about to embark on was going to be short, since it was confirmed we would be moving our life to New York. I know my family felt similar feelings. We had only been home from North Carolina for eight months. They would no longer be able to watch my children grow or share in these special moments with me.
I've gotten used to change the past five years. Before moving back to Kansas City, Daniel was in the Marine Corps. Six weeks after giving birth to Allen, we moved to North Carolina. I haven't been home for Christmas in five years; I haven't been able to see family whenever I wanted, and I've learned the importance of long distant relationships. I knew this move was going to be hard on both of our families. Likewise, I knew it would be challenging for me even though I always like to try my hardest to act like I'm not as affected as I really am over a situation. I was nervous about living in an apartment, taking the subway, and Mason running off from me while walking down a busy street. I was only a little nervous about the people, until my dad decided to have one of his "heart-to-heart" conversations with me.
"I'm really nervous about you making this move," he confessed.
I sighed. If there was something negative or awful about any situation, he would make sure to let me know. He also will make sure to magnify the problem at hand. He is my father, and he knows my weaknesses. The problem at hand? My insecurity with myself. I hate to point fingers, but he has been a major source of my insecurities I have with myself for long time. I still feel like I'm battling the damage that he inflicted on my ideas concerning my self worth. All of these thoughts quickly ran through my mind. My inner conscious reminded me: remember, what he is about to say will only bother you as much as you let it.
That is when he told me, "You know, I really think you won't fit in there. New York is going to be a different world than what you are used to. And, well, you aren't prepared for it. Where you are going the people are going to be educated,and you don't have an education. I really wish you would have gotten your education. You are going to have a hard time fitting in".
I took a deep breath and processed what I was about to say before I spitted something out. "I plan on finishing my education. I'm happy with my decision to have Allen and Mason, and I wouldn't have my life any other way".
"You're missing my point. I just don't think you will fit in because you don't appreciate finer things in life".
"Okay, well, maybe I will learn to. I have to go".
I walked upstairs, said goodnight to the rest of my family, thanked them for having me over for dinner, and I left. The next day, my dad called me. I watched the screen on my phone light up as it notified me of his incoming call. I let my voice mail pick it up. My phone then notified me I had a voice mail.
"This is your dad; call me back".
After five minutes, I dialed him back.
"I just wanted to make sure you were okay. You seemed a little down yesterday".
"Don't be nervous about moving. You should be fine".
"Okay. Well, thanks. I have to go," I lied.
That was the last time I spoke with my father. It has been almost four months, and I have not heard a single word from him. He didn't come to say goodbye before I left, he didn't call Allen on his birthday, he didn't talk to me on Thanksgiving. Nothing. Silence. I don't think about him. In fact, the night of the Christmas party was the first time I gave any thought to our last conversation we had before I moved.
Daniel and I were seated on the top level of Club 40/40 overlooking the rest of the club. Christmas music was blaring, a snowy winter scene was projected on the jumbo screens above the bar. Tons of people around us were laughing, mingling, and flaunting their Christmas attire. Waiters were serving hor'dourves. I looked at Daniel sitting next to me. We were both the youngest couple I had seen from all the people that were walking by. It was in this moment I remembered my dads harsh criticism. At first I felt a pit in my stomach start to form. I don't belong here, I thought. I looked around again. The people that were walking by didn't look much different than I did. The women were all dressed-up, laughing with their significant others, and enjoying the food. I started to think. While I might not have completed my college education yet, that doesn't mean that someone else at this Christmas party hasn't. I'm sure some of these women also share in similar interests as mine. We might be stay-at-home moms, like the same foods, enjoy reading the same books. I realized in that moment that I didn't know these people, but I shouldn't be intimidated to get to know them.
Daniel recognized someone he knew, and we ended up spending the majority of our time with him, his wife, and three other couples. I met three amazing ladies. While talking, we found we a lot in common, yet we had our differences too. It was comforting to know that despite our differences in our background, age, and even our education, we were able to laugh, talk, and enjoy each others company.
I can confidently say I had a good time. I can also confidently say that I belong anywhere I decide I want to belong. Right now, I belong in New York. My experience are unique to me, as well as my choices. I hope living here helps continue to fuel my confidence. I hope I can continue to overcome my fears. I also hope to always remember to forget what has hurt me in the past, but never forget what it has taught me.
Here are some pictures!
|Overlooking the venue from our seat.|
|Cool lights in the entryway.|
|Here we are before we left!|
|My one little picture of food I took. For dinner, they served steak, chicken, pasta, salad, and roll. It was a buffet -style meal. It was really good. I had pasta and steak with salad.|
If you'd like to see more pictures of what the venue looked like, click here to view their website.
Something to think about today: