The approach of a new year always lends itself to the inevitable look back at the year that was.
I always want this blog to be entertaining and hopefully uplifting but I also promised always to be honest in what I am going through.
2016 was really divided in half for me — pre-job loss and post job loss.
If anyone else has been restructured from a career you know that it is truly a journey. There are as many emotions that go with it as they are reasons it happened to you. The feelings come, sometimes at unexpected times.
I was recently at an appointment and the person who I had never met was just making conversation when he asked “So, where do you work?”
Such an everyday, routine question.
At that moment, I felt my heart jump into my throat.
I could not force myself to say the words “I am unemployed”.
Those stereotypical ideas of being jobless flooded into my brain. If I say I was dismissed, he’ll think I was bad at my job.
If I say I don’t work, he’ll think I’m lazy.
And so — to my shame — I pretended I was still working.
That is totally embarrassing to admit but it is what happened.
You would think as weeks and months go on, the reality would become easier to accept. In some ways it gets worse.
It is holiday season and there is no Christmas party invitation — you are no longer invited. There is no gift to buy for the Santa exchange. Even though I always hated the Christmas pot luck (because I didn’t want to make anything), it still hurts to know you are no longer welcome.
I explained it to a former colleague this way.
Insert “job” for “guy.”
Its like being dumped by a guy and you weren’t expecting it. You loved him and you weren’t ready for the breakup. You spent lots of years and effort, attention and affection on the relationship and then one day it is just over.
You thought you mattered but you did not!
Then, you start stalking the guy on Facebook to see if he might be missing you. What you see is the guy has moved on just fine. He’s celebrating successes posting — videos and pictures — and you are not in them anymore. Some newer, shinier version of you has moved in and you are gone — long gone. And, it stings.
Then, a new day comes. You realize you now have time to find out what kind of job you really want and go after it. Dust yourself off. Find your passion again. Keep your head up and eyes looking ahead.
In my heart, I do think someday I will look back and see this as a true gift.
Maybe not today — but soon!