*Copyright: This material is protected by copyright owned by Meg Farrell, Farrell Writes LLC. 2016
I arrive to work about an hour ahead of my normal start time. The office is a ghost town. The lights aren’t even on yet. I settle into my desk and start reading my resume again and check my calendar. I have several administrative things to do today. My interviews are interspersed between other obligations, and I don’t know why I always volunteer for so much. My current job is the lowest rung of the proverbial ladder. Sometimes I think it’s one step below entry level.
It’s not about where you are; it’s about where you’re going. Irma’s reminder echoes in my mind whenever I think about her words. Her reminders sometimes feel like admonitions for a lack of faith. I look down at the tattoo on my wrist. It’s a beautiful script, which reads, “Actually, I can.”
Six months ago, when I was having a really low day, I ran across this phrase and knew I needed it as a tattoo. It was such a bad day that I considered quitting school. The only thing that kept me going was knowing how quitting would hurt Irma. It was a day when I was thinking of Ethan, my son.
Ethan was only three years old when I had to run for my life. His tiny face is always in the back of my mind. I don’t have any pictures of him, and I haven’t been able to see him in five years. I had become very good about keeping my thoughts off of him. He lived only in a tiny compartment of my mind that I accessed when I was alone.
On that particular day, I met another Ethan. He was some guy in my civics class. We were doing introductions as it was the first day of the semester. When he said his name, I jumped and turned to look at him. He had light brown hair and green eyes. The same green as my own. The same as my Ethan.
It was a silly, coincidental moment. It wasn’t enough to really call it coincidental. I think Ethan had been on my mind lately, and it was the tiny straw that destroyed the wall holding back all of those pent up emotions. I ran from class and hid in my car. It was a hell of a thing to explain to the teacher when I returned to class on the following Thursday.