Yesterday I was laid off. So many people keep saying they’re sorry.
Well, I’m not.
I was trapped. My job was soulless, helping the rich get richer. I used to love what I did. But that was before what I did for money absorbed all my time and energy, and left me with nothing to give my daughter, my husband and myself. Sure there were some really great people I worked for. People I admired. People whose lives I truly care about. I wanted them to succeed, and I would do what it takes to help them, even as it sapped from what little I had for the rest of my life.
I managed to get my hours dropped from 40 to 30 when I got back from maternity leave. And even that was too much. Too much time sitting in that cubicle staring at a screen. Too much time sitting in one place, damaging my back and my fingers and my wrists and my arms. And for what, a nice paycheck. Well that paycheck was just numbers that went into my bank account and right back out again.
I work to pay others to do what I don’t have the time or energy to do, because I’m working.
Well, yesterday I was set free. I packed up my almost 7 years of stuff, it wasn’t even that much, and I put it in the trunk of my car. I said my goodbyes, people confused at my happiness (I told them I was still in shock, which is true).
Almost immediately job leads flowed in. If I wanted to do my same job, I could start on Monday. 14 years of experience and some big names on my resume, make me a precious commodity. But what if I don’t want to do the same thing. What I want to do is – something that really matters. I want to work with and for people that are making a difference in this world. And this layoff is a very special gift to me – freedom, with a financial buffer. I mean, c’mon, that’s really awesome! And, I qualify for unemployment. That means I could choose to not work for a long time if I wanted to. I know that I won’t want to wait so long. That my responsibility to house finances, and my sanity, require me to become a responsible adult again.
But this is just the first day after! Give me some breathing room. Other people that are laid off are given time to go through the grief graph. Maybe I will too, maybe I won’t. But in the meantime, I want to celebrate this gift. I’ve been set free. I know I rock at what I do. I know I interview well. But for today, and for a little while, I just want to take a break. A breather. I had started the unhealthy cycle again. Rushing to work, rushing home, rushing to work again – at the expense of my sleep, my sense of calm, my sanity. I was not happy. But I could not see a way out. Not one I was willing to take a risk for. It’s hard to be motivated to leave when the pay is good and you know your job blindfolded.
So I told the Universe, “I want a part time job, doing something I love, working with people I love. Make it happen.” And, bam!
I don’t know what the future will bring. But I’m ready for my next adventure.