the girl who cried “rain!”

I lived through Tropical Storms Allison and Harvey, both of which inundated the city with more water than I thought was possible. I lived here for Hurricanes Alicia and Ike. And I’ve seen what just an hour of hard rain can do to otherwise safe streets. I have a healthy respect for rain and have learned to take advisories of inclement weather seriously.

So when my favorite weather site is saying that we’re going to have a bad storm, I pay attention.

On Tuesday I spent the day trying to convince people that they should listen to the inclement weather predictions. “They’re saying it’s going to be bad starting tonight and get worse later in the week,” I said. I encouraged clients to get their crisis plans in order. I successfully advocated to cancel a workshop my business was hosting the next morning. And I made contingency plans.

Of course, I was proven wrong the next day. The rain largely ignored the inner loop of the city. And while the outer regions were deluged with rain, the city itself stayed mostly dry. So on Wednesday it was business as usual.

I felt weirdly disappointed. And very foolish.

While I knew that the storm had hit neighboring cities hard enough that they were evacuating, I mistook the cloudy but rain-free sky this morning as an indication that all was well and I didn’t look at the radar until late in the morning. Then I left for a meeting.

That was a mistake.

I hadn’t realized that the north side of the city had been blasted with intense rain that morning already. I didn’t realize that the rain we were receiving was moving to cover the city. It was the kind that floods a city in record-breaking ways. I didn’t realize that I’d forgotten the “will get worse later in the week” part of my speech on Tuesday. I didn’t realize that I really should have stayed put.

I made it home without incident, after crawling my car through the freeway under a darkened sky with rain the entire way. Others were not so lucky.

  • My business partner was stuck in a grocery store for hours, caught by high water while he tried to pick up his son at school.
  • My siblings were stuck at work until the last kid was picked up (they are teachers).
  • My nephew went home with a friend (while my sister waited for other children to be picked up and my brother-in-law braved very high waters to make it back into town). Their car was stuck in high water and they had to walk the last few blocks to make it to his friend’s house. They made it safe, wet but safe.
  • And so on, and so on.

I spent the day watching news reports of the city’s flooding, of one of the top ten “wettest” storms do its worst. I spent the day checking in with family members as they each made their way to home and safety. I spent the day wishing I had been completely wrong.

How was your day?

I’m too sober for this

“I can beat that,” I tell my friend, laughing too loud even for the too loud cafe. We’ve been entertaining each other with funny and funny-because-they’re-sad stories from work. I know my next story will win the undeclared competition: “My boss came up to me at a Christmas party and honked my boobs.”

I can tell I have her attention by the abrupt silence and wide eyes. “A guy?” she asks me, I think already knowing the answer.

“Nope,” I tell her. “It was a woman.” And I smile and pause. “She was very very drunk, but that’s what she did. She came up to me and, well, honked my boobs.”

“What did you do?” she asks me, her tone a mixture of disbelief and disgust.

“She realized what she did and apologized. And I moved away from her quickly. If it had been a guy I might have made a bigger deal about it. I wasn’t actually sure what I was supposed to do, how I was supposed to react. It wasn’t sexual, but it was inappropriate.” I sigh and add, “It didn’t help that I was completely sober. I thought my face was going to burst into flames I turned so red with embarrassment. And I couldn’t even hide behind a nice buzz.”

My friend and I talk a bit, marveling at the awkward situation I just told her about … and she’d been the first person to hear that story, except of course for the dozen or so people who actually saw the boob-honking happen. And now, all of you.

“I should have realized then and there that our working relationship was doomed, when she honked my boobs and thought a laughing drunken apology would wipe the slate clean. Because, really, how do you get past something like that?”

And, of course, I win the worst-story-from-work contest we’ve got going. But, in this case, I really don’t think that’s a good thing.

Trying to reinvent myself

Reinventing Myself (more info at

One of the biggest challenges I’ve been seeing lately is trying to answer questions about my plans for the future, immediate and long-term. I’m unemployed, I should be frantically looking for a new job … but I’m not. I should have some idea of what I’m going to do for money (a job or freelancing) … but I don’t. I should have some idea of what I would like to do in a business (assuming I “launch” one) … but I don’t. I actually don’t know anything right now. It’s disconcerting.

I give my family and friends a lot of credit, they’re being very supportive. They haven’t started to freak out on me yet. They haven’t started to push yet.

I’m pretty sure I don’t want another job, but I haven’t “decided” that yet. I’m pretty sure that I want to start my own business, but I haven’t taken the first steps to make that happen. I know that I want to do more fun things and to be more visible in offline events; this is one thing I have actually started to do.

I have started to rebrand myself, from a new cut and new clothes, to changing the type of writing I’m doing and reassessing what I want to show professionally. I think this may be my first step. But I need to establish some timelines; I can’t spent too long finding myself. At some point bills need to get paid.

I changed my life … now what?

I changed my life ... now what?

Have you ever wondered what happens the day after “happily ever after?” The day after the revolution? The day after you upend your entire life and change everything?

I did that a few weeks ago — changed my life. Well, sort of ripped it apart a little. Made a change that has an impact on everything. Now I’m wondering what I’m supposed to do next.

We identify ourselves a certain way — by our families, loved ones, careers, achievements, even by our looks — and we get attached to that way of thinking. I am the sum of those parts. When you take away one of them, what’s left?

Don’t mind me. This is middle-of-the-night rambling. I’ll make more sense with more sleep.

So I quit my job today …


I didn’t intend to do it. I was going to be professional, calm, adult-like. I was going to update my resume, start to look for a job discretely, find something then leave. It was a plan.

I made that decision mid-morning.

Then I realized that that idea of going into this workplace on a daily basis was making me hyperventilate. It was making me sick to my stomach. So, then, I realized that I need to quit now. So the plan was that I was going to write my letter of resignation and turn it in tomorrow.

I made that decision mid-afternoon.

Then I sat in a meeting and got so worked up, so upset that I walked into my boss’ office and told her that I was going to quit and that the letter would follow shortly.

I made that decision late afternoon.

In two weeks I will be unemployed for the first time in my adult life. I don’t have a job waiting. I don’t have a plan. I don’t know what I’m doing next.

All I know is that I’m so relieved that in a few weeks I don’t have to go into that workplace any more. I don’t have to navigate those people any more. I’ll be done.

It’ll hit me soon. Right now I feel like someone pulled a huge weight off me. Ask me how I feel in two weeks.