My phone rang on April 24th, 2018 at 8am. The ring itself startled me but it didn’t wake me. I was up already. Well, in the spirit of transparency, I was up because I hadn’t slept all night. Allow me to shed some light into my predicament so you could understand better the situation.
In April 2018, I was unemployed and had been for 10 months, which is a heck of a long time for any person in their mid 30’s or any person, to be honest. We are not even going to talk about how unemployment affects one’s mind.
I was broke because my unemployment insurance had been unexpectedly cut off and I was dipping into my savings. I frankly had not clue as to how I was going to pay my rent and the other bills by June 2018.
I was heartbroken because in January of that year, my relationship had ended and being single after a 2-year relationship isn’t easy. I will not be macho and pretend it didn’t hurt because it did.
Health wise, as if I needed another punch in the face or my spirit, I was slowly recovering from bronchitis which hurt like hell and I still don’t know how I fucking got it!!Moreover, some family issues were bothering me and ultimately, the combination of all these issues gave me insomnia. Is it too late to say that I was immensely overwhelmed, angry and tired? I think not! I am sure I am simply stating something you have already deduced.
Despite my state of mind, I looked at the phone to check who was calling. I wasn’t in any mood to talk to anyone, but my curiosity got the best of me. The moment I saw the name, I smiled. My brother David was calling.
I would need a book to describe David and what he means to me. He is my brother even if we do not share any genetic material. We were friends at some point in the past, but we left the friendship behind and he has honored me with his love and respect. I feel I have known him all my life, but I met him nearly a decade ago. I was working at BMO at the time and he came in to replace my then manager. We got along right away, and we even became friends while he was my boss. So, we had to hide our friendship in order to avoid any accusations of favoritism towards me. As soon as I changed departments and he wasn’t my boss anymore, we “came out” as friends. Yet, I do have a feeling that everybody already knew about our “hidden” friendship and they just played along to humor us.
As soon as I answered the phone, I asked him why he was calling. His birthday is April 25th which meant I was supposed to call him the next day, as I always do. As we were talking, he told me, confessed even, if I may be so bold, that something inside him told him to call and check up on me. I couldn’t help but smile. He then said, “how you doin’ brother?”
In that moment, the question disarmed me. I had put on an armor and raised my shield for weeks, pretending I was ok and wanting to prove I was ok. However, his question just hit me in the face, and it made me think. I already had the famous, generic, bland, politically correct, mundane and dismissive answer that is “I am good bro’, how you doin’?”
I swear to all the Gods; the damn answer was on the tip of my tongue. Nevertheless, a little voice in my head told me “stop pretending. It’s ok. Let it out, talk to him.” He is and always has been my brother. He is trustworthy beyond any doubt and he called especially for me. How could I pretend I was ok when he called me out of the blue to see how I was? What kind of brother would I be to him if I lied to him? What kind of man would I be myself if I deceived him and especially if I deceived myself?
But I wasn’t fucking ready to talk about my situation, my state of mind, my dire financial issues. I wasn’t ready for that. I wasn’t ready to be vulnerable. I wasn’t ready to tell him the truth because the truth wasn’t pretty. My self esteem wasn’t at its peak at that moment, I am sure you can understand that. I felt ashamed to have failed on so many levels. Yet, my fucking ego was trying as hard as it could to compel me to shut up and keep my burdens and problems to myself. I was ready to stay silent and pretend everything was peachy. I am sure he knew as well because it took me a while before I could answer. I did the wise thing, almost against my will and spoke to him.
“Actually, bro, things are messed up and chaotic right now.”
“How come? Talk to me.”
And I did. I told him everything. The unemployment, the financial bind, the heartbreak, the insomnia, the family issues that were messing with my mind, the health issues that were getting better. I told him everything. I emptied my soul. At some point, I thought I would cry but for unknown reasons, I didn’t.
He listened, like he always does and when I was done, I asked him how he was, which made him chuckle. He wanted me to be ok before we could talk about him. I told him my issues weren’t fixable in a blink of an eye and he told me he might have something for me. He was about to start a new job at a new company beginning of May and he would try to get me a job there, which could be a start towards my long and overdue rebirth. We hung up and I called him the next day to wish him happy birthday as I always did.
Two weeks later, I get an email from him, with a link to apply for a job. I did and then 3 weeks later I was hired. I started on July 9th 2018 and it is the best job I have ever had and I get to see my brother more often since we work in the same company and we can share lunch anytime we want, which reminds me that we are due to share a big ass steak, on him!
I still don’t know what to make of this story. I still don’t understand what happened and how it happened. I keep asking myself what would have happened if I hadn’t picked up, if I hadn’t told him the truth, if I hadn’t become vulnerable.
You can call it fate, destiny, God’s will, karma or anything you like, it matters not. We tend to see what we want to see, or we were taught to see. The only thing that matters is that it happened. Why? I don’t know.
I went against my will and became vulnerable in front of someone I love and trust. I didn’t know what was going to happen. My mind and my heart told me to let it out and I did. The rest was just circumstantial at best, if you ask me.
Try to be vulnerable every now and then. Allow those you love and who love you to see what is going on, no matter how messy. If you have people that care about you, I believe you owe them the truth. You also owe yourself the truth. Deception is bad but self-deception is worse. I knew by talking I was healing partially. It was a small victory during a time when all I had were losses.
It isn’t easy to admit you have hit rock bottom and that you have failed at something. It takes a lot of practice and a lot of failures might I add, to learn how to deal with your own ego.
I know I got lucky. I wish you the same luck if you ever get stuck.
Thanks for everything bro. You are literally the best. Thank you for your love, support and everything you have done for me. I am lucky to have you and I will never take you for granted.
Just one man’s opinion.
Now smile and go on with your day.