Anyone who knows me knows that my dog is the love of my life (sorry, Chris). My relationship with him is the longest I’ve ever had. When I was young and reckless in college, he gave me life. He gave me a reason to take care of myself because I needed to take care of him. He has traveled the world with me and he teaches me things all the time. Like after college when our walks taught me to see the world through a filter of wonder. He taught me that tears can be licked away and a smile revealed like a rainbow that will give you just enough energy to start the day anew.
Recently, he developed cataracts causing his visibility to be drastically reduced. It started out small. I noticed his eyes would shine green in the sunlight. He would step extra carefully down the stairs. Then he started running into the other dogs much to his surprise and their disapproval.
Whenever I tell people that he’s basically blind, they sigh and express pity. I felt this, too, once. It’s hard to watch someone you love struggle and there’s not much you can do.
But Orbison was never frustrated. He was never sad about his situation. If he hadn’t started running into things I would have never known his eyesight had deteriorated so much, because he runs and jumps with the same fervor as before.
A few months ago, I lost my job. It was a job that caused me to develop an eye twitch and one that I was dying to be rid of, but it was still a blow to my confidence all the same.
Searching for work is like jumping with your eyes closed. Sometimes I would be afraid to apply somewhere because I couldn’t see how it would work or what it would be like or if I would fit in. When I felt like that I would think about Orbison and how he jumps with his eyes closed all the time. No fear. Sometimes he misses and bumps his head. But mostly he lands and he is where he wanted to be.
Last month, I started a new job where the majority of my day is spent taking care of animals. It’s a complete career change and I’m being generous when I call it a career because it’s so specialized I might just have to work there forever. There were a lot of things that sounded scary about this job; different wages, different schedule, different people, so much unknown, and so much poop. But when I felt unsure about what I was jumping into, I remembered how Orbison jumps with his eyes closed all the time so I’ll just have to too.
So far he’s never led me astray.