a coincidence, I promise.

I started in July 2013, after not having a job for 5 months. I quit my job at #WellKnownTechStoreThatRunsThePlanet in February of that year for a multitude of reasons. For starters, they had been (predictably) treating us like shit since they were forced into a company wide pay raise. Our hours were getting cut sans any explanation or heads-up. We were being micro-managed to death about a job that wasn’t THAT difficult. Working there became stressful because of management and the disastrously low levels of morale in the building, not the job itself.

Nonetheless, I left #ThatStore and became a Soundrop employee in July, as previously stated. I really was a paid intern at first ( I just never had to get coffee or any fake character building bullshit like that). It was me and another dude in the Social Media Specialist role. He got a job elsewhere and left; I picked up his slack. More money (the very little we got), opportunity, all of that good stuff. I was asked to build our social media strategy from the ground up. I put my passion and vision for Soundrop into it. I didn’t even know what I was doing. I just knew what worked, so I rolled with that. I knew in my heart that the amount of work I was putting in surpassed my compensation, but I did what I had to do.

As I’m really rolling and improving at my job, discussions about my future at Soundrop began to happen. A lot of positive things were said about my contributions, but I wasn’t 100 percent sold. I’ve been involved in the industry in different ways for a while now; things fall apart quickly. I didn’t get too excited but I continued to work and push more of my ideas into the very fabric of the company. In my heart of hearts, I knew things weren’t right. There were internal power struggles, doubts about the direction the company was taking, ridiculous situations concerning me being paid on time…I just couldn’t buy all the way in. While being aware of all of this, I knew the end was near. I simply continued to work and apply to other jobs, to little fruition.

Alas, one morning in early August of this year explained it all. My boss turns to me in the office and tells me in no uncertain terms that I’m being let go, effective immediately. They just had no use for my role in the new direction they were taking. She then let me know that she was leaving soon after (and she did). That was it. The Soundrop that I knew was…done for. My boss helped me with some other opportunities. They didn’t end up panning out, and one of which involved me moving to Atlanta ASAP (something I wanted to do, but my heart wasn’t really in it). She was the only one who assisted me in any way or spoke to me after I was let go. No emails from my CEO or anyone else. Soundrop doesn’t even exist on US soil anymore. We were a small, close-knit yet “clique-y” collective who accomplished some cool things. But once everything changed, that was erased.

All of this ended so abruptly and uncomfortably, and it sucked. My work email account recently stopped working; imagine getting prompts that your password doesn’t work every time you turn your computer on. That was the extent of any type of severance or being wished well; deactivate your account and shuffle you out of the door. I was told I would be instrumental in our future, but does that even mean anything at this point? I’ve been told this at quite a few stops; nothing has ever happened. I’ve been relatively pissed off concerning how I was hung out to dry for this company, but I kept it to myself. At the time I was let go, I definitely knew it was time for a mutual split. I just hate how it was handled and how something with such promise went to shit. Things going sour in the music industry (or any industry) are just part of the game. Doesn’t mean I have to be happy about it. I will continue to work and remain hopeful; its the only option.

Oh.

Hire me, too.

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clark kent.

I was worried all week.

At that time, I was worried most weeks.

Afraid that I’d wake up, and she just wouldn’t want to talk to me anymore. That she’d find someone better. Not that I don’t treat her as well as I can; or treasure her presence like a clear night sky or a warm summer night. But there’s always better. Always.

Afraid that we’d just stop talking over something stupid. Or there would be something about her that I just couldn’t deal with. I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. Because there’s always a shoe. I was so concerned that I was fraying at the edges, making mountains out of molehills. Except this was a little worse; the molehills were purely of my imagination.

So….I pick up my phone and begin to type frantically into IMessage. This is a summary of what I said:

“We’ve been talking a few months, and we’re getting serious, but im not ready to get married soon, even though we aren’t even official yet, and I’m concerned about the marriage thing because I lowkey feel overwhelmed by the fact that you’re a little older than me and so focused, yet, I’m younger and a fucking mess(P.S. I’m not admitting this last sentence until after the fact).”

The actual message read like the ramblings of a madman. She’s asking me “What are you saying?”. I’m explaining. It’s hitting me….I have no idea what I’m saying. She keeps working with me, even though I’m clearly losing my mind and don’t know what point I’m even attempting to make. Her response, amongst other things, is why she is very, very special to me. (more paraphrasing)

“We are hypothetical, it could all end out of nowhere. I don’t want it to, but I don’t worry about what’s next. Of course, I’ve thought about how you might ask me to be your girlfriend one day, but I don’t dwell on it. I just try to enjoy what we have. I also haven’t really thought about marriage, thats years away. I’m not ready for that either!”

Relief. I felt relief. But through that entire text conversation, I felt myself getting more and more upset. Not because of her or anything like that; but because of something going on internally. Around the middle of the conversation, I was blinking back tears and admitting that I felt so stressed and out of sorts because….I’ve really never gotten to this point with a girl I really liked.

I didn’t know what to do. There was no bullshit between us; all of our times are good. In the absence of negative energy, or me being pissed, or her doing some ridiculous shit…I filled it with worry. I was afraid. Afraid this would go how it usually goes; things go well and then things just go to shit. I’d like to say I’ve become numb to it; I have not.

Regardless, here I was, destroying a good thing for absolutely no reason. I called her later that night because when you text someone a shower of emotion, its the LEAST you could do. I also had to do something else I’m not familiar with: talk her out of rinsing her hands of me.

We planned to go on a date that weekend and she texted me (the same night of this discussion) that maybe we shouldn’t see each other that weekend because “maybe you need to figure things out”.

Ok. Full disclosure: I was begging like fucking Keith Sweat. NEVER IN MY LIFE, HAVE I DONE THIS. Girls do not cut me off, ever. It legitimately happened ONCE, my entire life. Either we just agree to go our separate ways or I end it. If a girl wants to go, I accept it, I keep sliding. She wanted to allow me time to sit down and all I saw was “this shit OVER, ROBBY!”. I couldn’t allow that to happen. Her reasoning behind canceling was due to her feeling that I was insincere about wanting to be around her, and I understand why.

My original text message was the type of shit guys say to girls when they want to create some distance. I didn’t want distance. I wanted clarity on my own made up concerns. Only I had the answers.

To bring things up to speed, I’m still working through the paranoia from my past, and pouring myself into my current situation. I never believed I was self destructive, but I clearly have the traits. I will work through my shortcomings, because she is important enough to me that I will address them. Life provides you with plenty of good things, but to squander them because of your own fears is paying the universe a disservice.