Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes…

Exactly two weeks ago today, I was on a business trip and walking through downtown Chicago when my phone rang. It was my supervisor from work asking if I had a moment to talk.

Y’see, every year at work we have annual evaluations on our work performance. We discuss what we’ve done and also where we want to go within the company. I had given a few different ideas of where I wanted to go and, as fate would have it, my supervisor was now on the phone asking if I wanted to discuss one of those ideas for real.

Of course, I jumped at the opportunity.

It’s not an upward move, though…it’s a lateral move in the corporate world…so no pay increase or anything insanely awesome will be coming my way any time soon. But here’s the thing…I’ve been doing the same job for just over three years now. And not to sound cocky, but I’m better than what I’m doing. I’ve got more to offer my company. I’ve got more to bring to the table…I just need a legit opportunity.

So upon my return to work last week, I had a “secret meeting” with my potential new supervisor. He told me, flat out, that if I did the job I was capable of doing in this new position then my next move WOULD be an upward move.

So I’ve been keeping this secret for two weeks now. I’ve been going day-to-day with my co-workers and have been unable to discuss this new position with anybody. It’s one of those “let’s keep it hush hush until all of the red tape is completed” kind of deals.

Today, however, is when the announcement is supposed to be made.

My work location will be different. My teammates will change. My entire job will be something new and exciting. As a result of this new job, my visitation with Ankle Biter will also change (the ex and I still haven’t come up with a permanent alternative plan, but she’s absolutely willing to work with me to not only accommodate my new hours, but ensure I still get quality time with my son).

How I work with these changes, not through them, is going to be the real test.

The Cactus

I’m frustrated. I’m disappointed. I’m confused.

I’m not always there for Sunshine when she needs me. I try my best, but I’m far from perfect. What’s worse is that we’re in a long-distance relationship, so it’s even more important that I’m there for her when she needs me. The problem this weekend was that I thought I was, but I wasn’t.

She was having a day where she just wanted me to reassure her that everything was okay between us (no need to go into the details as to why). I told her in a way that was short and sweet and to the point. I just said,

“We’re fine. I love you. XOX.”

To me, the answer served its purpose and I didn’t really feel it needed much more than that. She wanted a bit more, though.  Not excessively, though…she simply asked me to provide some more reassurance and do so in a gentle and loving way.

I didn’t know what else she wanted.

I asked her to tell me what she wanted to say because I immediately felt backed into a corner…like what I had originally said wasn’t good enough or that she didn’t want to take me at my word.  I felt like I was being asked to be somebody I wasn’t. I got defensive.

I turned into a relationship cactus.

She tried telling me, but I just couldn’t get it. I felt as though she had this ideal set up for me…that because I’m such a great boyfriend most of the time that I had these expectations to live up to ALL of the time.

I’m just not built that way, though. I am who I am.

Here it is two days later and I still don’t know what I was supposed to say that would have made her feel better. Maybe it’s because I’m still being defensive and I refuse to open my mind to the fact that a few extra words would have made all the difference in the world.

She’s tried explaining it. I just don’t get it. To me, I gave her what she wanted and when she wanted more…I just started shutting down because what I gave her apparently wasn’t good enough.

It’s not her fault. It’s totally mine.

But I’m still confused.

Never underestimate the kindness of strangers (or those you don’t know very well)

I honestly wasn’t sure how yesterday was going to turn out. When I realized that I needed $250 to book the cheapest flight possible to bring my daughter down to visit me for two weeks in August, I jokingly turned to Twitter and asked what body part I should sell.

Kate kinda jokingly said the following:

Now, I really didn’t think much of this at first. However, as the evening went on I started asking “Why not?”  As I mentioned yesterday, pride takes a distant second to seeing my daughter.

I mentioned my idea to Sunshine on Wednesday night and she thought it wasn’t a bad idea. I honestly…absolutely 100%…didn’t think I’d raise the $250.  I thought people would donate a couple of dollars here and there…maybe $5, maybe $10…and I’d be a lot closer to $250 than I was the day before.

I can’t even begin to adequately explain my shock when I started getting email updates.

It was 1:49pm EST…not even seven hours after posting my plea for a helping hand…when the final donation came in that helped me reach $250.  I updated the blog post and said something on Twitter right away to make sure everybody knew and didn’t continue to send me money.

I was flabbergasted.

So now the flight has been booked for August 11th and she goes back on August 25th…two full weeks of Rugrat awesomeness!  And what’s even better is that her trip coincides with my one-week vacation with Ankle Biter (while his babysitter is on vacation) and then Sunshine & her two girls will be coming to visit for a few days.  So all in all, August is now going to be a tremendous month for so many reasons.

And I have all of you to thank.  Even those who couldn’t afford to donate, your kindness  on Twitter or in the blog post comments did not go unnoticed or unappreciated.  As cheesy as it sounds, it truly IS the thought that counts.  And the fact that you took the time to write me about wanting to donate but being unable to financially meant just as much to me as if you did donate.

Okay…I feel like I’m rambling now.  The bottom line is that I’m humbled and so very appreciative for the kindness of others…some of whom I really wish I knew better…and my face is beginning to hurt from all of the smiling I’ve done over the past 24 hours.

So I guess all  really want to say is…

My Plea To You…

<– This is my daughter, Rugrat.

Long story short, she lives with her mom and her step-dad in Ontario, which is a 2-hour plane ride away (and for the record, her mom is a wonderful woman and her step-dad is a really good, hard-working guy).

Because of the distance, the two of us have never been extremely close.  I do whatever I can to ensure that she knows I’m always thinking about her and that I love her more than words can say…but the distance can really throw a wrench into things.

The distance (along with both sides of her family not really raking in the big bucks) mean that we only get to see each other twice a year.  I normally pay for one visit and her mom pays for the other visit.  It’s a fair deal and it normally works out for the best.

This time around, though, I’ve run into a bit of a snag.

I’ve saved enough money to pay for the round-trip flight, but I’m short on the taxes and the unaccompanied minor fee…which combined adds up to another $250.

So that brings me to my plea to the Blogosphere & Twitterverse: can you help a  single father out?

I’m NOT looking for a handout. I don’t want donations from people.  Whether it’s $0.25 or $25, consider these loans as I plan on paying back every single penny that gets sent my way.  My goal is to see my daughter and spend an awesome two weeks with her in August.

So I’m asking you, my readers, to see if you can spare ANYTHING. And I really don’t care if it’s $0.25 or a dollar or ten dollars…it’ll all add up in the end.

My PayPal account is listed under Canadian.Bald.Guy@gmail.com. I can also provide my merchant name and ID number in an email if you’d like that, too.

Just remember…whatever you donate will be paid back to you.  I don’t want to sound like I’m just begging for a handout here.  Rather, I guess I’m just asking for a helping hand, instead.

So that’s it. My pride is taking a distant second place to my daughter at this point.

I realize times are tough all around so if you can’t afford anything, I totally understand.  And I also understand that some of you may think I’ve sunk to a new low here…but I think if you were in my shoes, you may think about doing the same thing if you had the opportunity.

Anyway, I just appreciate the fact that you’re reading.  If nothing comes from this, I’ll find some other way to make this work…somehow.  I just can’t imagine it any other way.

********

“THE BLOGOSPHERE IS AWESOME” EDIT:

Tonya over at The Quest for T is absolutely amazing. Thank you, T, for mentioning my situation on your blog last night and for donating to the cause.  And you did it before I even posted this…so that just proves just how amazing of a person you truly are.  Thank you so very, very much.

And then this morning the love of my life, Sunshine, has done the same thing with a blog post of her own.  I so very much appreciate that, baby…thank you from the bottom of my heart.

1:49pm EST GOAL UPDATE:

I can’t believe it’s happened so fast (that’s what SHE said), but the $250 goal has been reached! 

I just can’t thank everybody enough for all of your support in this venture.  The tickets have been purchased and my daughter will be flying in to see me for two weeks in August.  It would certainly be pretty difficult to wipe the smile off my face right now.

So again…a very HUGE thank you to the Blogosphere and the Twitterverse.  You know who you are and I’m so very, very grateful for your support.  To say I’m humbled would be an understatement.

You all rock.  Never underestimate the kindness of strangers.

Thank you.