You thought that was a typo, didn’t you? It wasn’t. Last week I lost my job. Not in the sense that someone else has it or that I don’t know where it is. I know exactly. It was eliminated. Offered up as a sacrificial lamb to the God of the bottom line.
And look, I’m not upset about it. I wasn’t even surprised. You see, I have been blessed with the gift of intuition and a talent for reading between the lines. I felt it months ago. I heard the messages. I looked at the information around me. I did the math. I played out numerous scenarios and began to decipher how I would feel about which scenarios I believed to be the most likely. So in actuality I have been preparing myself for some time. As my colleagues would say, by the time the news was shared with me, I had already moved through the change curve and experienced all five stages of grief. I was already at peace.
Companies need to adapt and flex in order to be successful in the long term. It’s business and I totally understand it. And the decisions to eliminate employees are never easy ones. I had the luxury of not being one of those people who had to make or deliver the news of such decisions. Honestly I’m lucky in that all I have to contend with is how I handle the news and how I choose to move forward. My actions are all within my control.
So why would I share this entirely disheartening news with you? Accountability I suppose. Like pretty much all of my blog entries, it’s about putting something in writing. Giving it a name. Then being able to confront it head on; publicly. You guys know me – I tend to tread on the dark side. And I have been known to go full-on pitch-black, apocalyptic dark from time to time. See my history with depression isn’t always “history.” There are triggers in life that have the propensity to bring back the depression, the anxiety and all the terrible self-destructive behaviors that go with them. I have just a handful of triggers and not having a job is one of them. It’s not the biggest one but a strong argument could be made for second place.
But like I said, I knew this was coming. So months ago I began making sure that I was steadfast in who I am and what I wanted. I did the exercises. I did the self reflection. I came up with a solid foundation for what matters to me and where I want to focus. If you want the rundown, it’s the post in January. I’m proud of that work and it has provided me peace of mind once I knew for certain that my job was in jeopardy.
So I haven’t panicked. Yet. I have an effective lens in which to examine all of the employment opportunities in front of me. I’m not only asking “can I do it and be successful?” I’m also asking “does this fit with my purpose and how I want to live?” It’s nice not to feel like I have to or that I should accept anything just because I’m afraid to have nothing.
I’ve even gone on the offensive, setting up lunches and phone calls and social engagements to keep me from withdrawing – one of the very powerful tools of depression. Your lack of self-worth leads you to hide away, where you are left alone to feel worse about you being alone. So I’ve got enough going where I feel happy to see people and not so much that I’m rolling my eyes at the thought of dragging my ass out the door.
And then I’ve decided that Mere will spend one less day in daycare each week. Instead we will have one Mommy-Daughter day each week. She’ll never be this age again and who knows if I will ever get this opportunity to spend dedicated one-on-one time to play and learn with her. This is a gift. And it is a gift that I would never have thought to take when in this situation before – I’d be too wrapped up thinking I would never again find a job that I simply could not open my eyes to see that there are plenty of things that I could enjoy and still devote time to finding employment.
So I don’t have a job. And while I am not without concern about finding one, or going to battle with my depression again; I have my purpose; I have my people; I have my plan. And the one thing I have absolute confidence in is that it’s going to take a hell of a lot more than this to bring me down.