photo from pixabay
Julia felt like her life was just one big sit-com. Either that, or one of those horrible pop songs—the ones you hate to love. In short, she felt like her life was just one big joke.
She had it all, at one point in time; she had it all. She had the big time job with the fancy office in the big city. She had the perfect little apartment in the nice neighborhood. She had the little yappy dog she named Riley, the high-end clothes, and the expensive car. She was living in a cloud of perfect. Nothing could knock her down. She felt like nothing in the world could ruin her picture perfect life.
This would be the “little does she know” episode if her life really were a sit-com—you know the one where the audience is secretly laughing at the main character’s innocent naivety because, we all know, life is never that perfect.
Well, Julia learned that lesson fast, when one day, it all got ripped away from her; in the blink of an eye it was all gone.
Her big time job at the big time law firm blew up big time when her boss was found involved in a very long list of various types of “fraud.” Including, but not limited to: insurance fraud, tax fraud, and financial statement fraud.
Did it matter that she, an up and coming lawyer who always kept her nose clean and her work legal, didn’t have any part in any of the aforementioned frauds? No! Because if the boss was gone, the company was gone. No one would hire their law firm again, ever.
So, slowly her perfect life started to fracture. First, the job, then the apartment (can’t pay rent if you don’t make money!), then the car (traded in for a used piece of crap), then she even stooped so low as to sell her nice, barely worn clothes on Ebay—Ebay of all things! Cue the “comedically tragic” episode—the one we’ve all been waiting for. The “life has come knocking, and it’s time for a harsh reality check” episode that’s always funny when it’s not happening to us.
The only thing she kept from her life before was the yappy dog. He was a good dog. But, even he didn’t enjoy adjusting from his old life to his new.
She had tried to get a job at one of the other high-end law firms in the city, but as soon as they saw her boss’ name on her résumé, they quickly, albeit politely, sent her packing. So, she was forced to take work as a civil servant, working at small claims court. It was nowhere near as exciting and fulfilling as her old job; but, it was all she had.
The only part of her day that she looked forward to was when she returned home from work and took her dog for a walk. It helped her to relax. She enjoyed the fresh air, and so did Riley. Although, he did seem to notice the sharp contrast in their surroundings. The manicured lawns, brightly painted park benches and large shady trees were replaced by grass that had patches of sand scattered about, park benches that had seen better days and very few trees.
After a few weeks, though, he didn’t seem to mind, and she didn’t either.
They walked the same route everyday. It took them a total of 30 minutes, and led them through a small shopping district, where she often stopped to get a coffee.
On one life-altering day, she was in such a hurry to get in, get her drink, and get back to Riley who she had tied up just outside, that she left her wallet sitting on the counter. “Wonderful,” she muttered under her breath when she realized. She was already back home, sweat pants on, and Riley was sprawled out comfortably on the couch.
Reluctantly, she pulled her jacket on over her hoodie and exchanged her slippers for gym shoes and headed out the door. She didn’t have to go far, however. As she rushed down the street one way, a somewhat familiar face was rushing down the street in the opposite direction.
“Hey!” the man said after he hurried past her.
She turned around. “Me?”
“You’re the girl,” he said a little winded.
“I’m a girl,” she replied, looking at him suspiciously.
He reached into his pocket and pulled out her wallet. “You left this at the coffee shop,” he said walking up to her slowly and handing it to her.
“That’s where I know you from,” she said with a smile. “You’re the boy from the coffee shop.”
She had always thought he was cute. He had a crooked smile and a mop of hair that almost covered his eyes. But still, somewhere under all that mess of blond she couldn’t help but find him very attractive.
And that was how it happened—the typical “boy meets girl” episode of her sit-com life.
His name was Tom. He was an artist—or at least trying to be. That’s why he worked at the coffee shop. There wasn’t much money in painting at the moment. “It’s still fun,” he said to her one day over dinner. “I get to talk to people all day long. It’s never boring.”
“But, it’s not what you want to do forever, right?” she asked, wrinkling her nose a little.
“What does that matter?”
She looked at him with wide eyes. “What does that matter?” she choked. “Tom! It matters a lot! Don’t you want to be moving forward? Making progress?”
“Well, I don’t think I’m moving backwards,” he countered.
“I am,” she muttered into her bowl of pasta.
“No you’re not,” he replied, reaching across the table and setting his hand on hers. “You’ve just hit a little bump. It’ll get better, you’ll see.”
She didn’t know how he could be so positive. He didn’t seem to have that much more going for himself than she did. But, over time, his positive, content attitude towards life started to rub off on her.
She didn’t know where she would end up, or how her life would develop. She had fallen from the top to the bottom. But it was at the bottom that she found the person who would hold her hand through everything. At the top, she realized, she was completely alone (besides Riley, of course).
So, maybe her life was happening in episodes (the time they bought a house together, and the time he proposed). Maybe she no longer had a “five-year plan” but she did have him. She continued working at small claims court for a long time, but it didn’t bother her anymore. Because when she got home, she had more than walking her dog to look forward to. Her life suddenly wasn’t about her job anymore; it was about living.