you’ve just learned you have lost your job and yet all you hear is how to not take it personally. i wish the people delivering the message could hear themselves say it. unfortunately, the humor and the irony is lost in the moment…
at first, i didn’t take it personally. i believed what everyone told me when i was being briefed on my departure. during that meeting, i was elated to be free of the shackles!
however, within days, i felt rejected and unloved and as though my 4 years of undergrad and 2 years of grad school were a complete waste. i really wanted to enjoy the fact that i was now free to be home with the kids, but my ego had taken a major hit. there was bit of denial: surely they would call and want me back! ok… so that didn’t happen.
my next emotion was anger. i was extremely ticked off. it takes a lot to make me mad and i got very mad. they decided i was no longer valuable to the organization after i played by all the rules, fairly and appropriately. how can you not take being laid off personally? i was so angry at myself that i had invested all of that time plus emotional and mental energy – and THEY were the ones to tell ME to leave? i vowed to never give so much of myself to anything outside of my family ever, ever again.
i have heard it all: to be laid off is a badge of honor, a rite of passage, and of course – been there, done that. but you know what? it still stinks like a 3 day old diaper. i am glad it’s behind me.
it took about a month for me to nurture my ego and pull myself together. i had to grieve for the loss of my job and the majority of the relationships i had cultivated over 9 years. it helps that i have a great family and great friends who rallied around me daily. most of them were glad i was home, visibly more relaxed and available to play more. genuinely though, i think they just wanted me to be happy which they could see i was not – at first.
i am very aware now that i was missing some of the best parts of life by being cooped up in that office every day. i love spending my days in a swimsuit, loving on my kids, getting sprayed with a hose, going to parks, breathing the fresh air… you really can’t beat it. i may not get paid, but the joy is deep.
and one thing i know for sure… the best is yet to come.