Oh My Unemployment: The Highs, The Lows, and The In-between

The day they told me that they weren’t renewing my contract, my heart was broken. I’m not going to lie – I bawled. The first person I called was my sister, and between sobs I tried to tell her what was going on. The amount of emotions running through me were insane. I had a feeling it was coming, because I’m not an idiot, and I expected one major emotion: anger. But anger didn’t hit right away.

I was hurt. That’s the only word I can use to describe how I felt. Hurt. I had just spent over six years of my life giving everything I had into my job. You can ask my friends – the occasions I had to miss due to work commitments were endless. From holidays to birthdays and everything in between, I had really dedicated myself to my job. Looking back at it now, it probably wasn’t the right thing to do, but I’ve always told myself to have no regrets.

Everything happens for a reason.

I don’t have those words tattooed on my back for no reason. Everything does happen for a reason. In the month and a half since finding out that my career with the company was coming to an end, I’ve got through the stages of grief. As one does. My denial was more like shock, then I hit anger, I didn’t bargain, but I definitely went through bouts of depression, and then acceptance. And I still go through them. Some days I step back one, but some days I step forward two.

As much as it hurt, I knew that I wasn’t meant to be a lifer in that department. I had hit a point where there was nowhere to grow – not without wishing my co-workers farewell. We were a small department, and the only place I had to go was outside of the department. But I always thought that if I was going to go, it would be on my terms. When I had something lined up, something ready to go for when I walked out the door. The thought that there was something else out there for me, that there was somewhere else I could grow and thrive – it’s what helped me let go of the hurt. It’s what helped me move on.

I know my worth. I know I can succeed at any job I’m given. I’m a great employee. And yes, I had six great years working for the company, but if they wanted to make changes – they have every right to do so. And I know I’m going to find something spectacular. Something amazing. Something that really shows how much I can succeed, and how much I can fly – and I’m going to soar.

I’m working on myself. For myself. By myself.

I applied to jobs for the first two weeks after finding out I was losing my job when my contract came up. But then I stopped. Because I thought to myself – I just spent six years of my life giving everything I had to one corporation – and I barely took time for a break. In 2017 I can tell you I didn’t take a week off. I worked every week, and if anything would take a long weekend. Of 365 days in a year, I worked about 70% of it. I just worked my ass off. And in 2018? Yeah, I finally started taking some vacation. But I was still working my ass off. I threw so much of myself into that place that I thought – you know what, it’s the holidays. I’m going to take a break.

So I have.

Some days I have highs, and some days I have lows. I’ll be honest, I’ve spent a lot of my time either visiting my mom or watching Netflix. I’ve been spending more time with my dad, and just pampering myself. I’ve been trying to pick up hobbies (probably should’ve picked up going to the gym – but I haven’t). I’m not going to look back on this time and regret things I should’ve done, or could’ve done. Because it’s not often that I just get some time to be me, and do me, and embrace the break from having to report to someone every day. You know who I report to right now? Me.

And I’m loving it.

Unemployment – it brings the highs, and it brings the lows. It brought me here, to my local Starbucks, where I sit sipping on a latte in the middle of the day. I can’t tell you the last time I was able to do this. So while I’m experiencing those highs, and those lows, I’ve got everything in between. I’ve got second chances, and new firsts. I’ve got time with friends, with family, and I’m getting the chance to find something that I want to do for the rest of my life.

Do I know what that is right now? No.

Am I okay with that? Yes.

So bring on the highs. Bring on the lows. I’m ready for whatever life throws at me. But let me finish my latte first.

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