Today I left the house...for hours. While that doesn't seem like a huge feat, I haven't left my home for 2 weeks. You see on 10/13/17 I was "released" from my job...for no reason. My employer walked into my office at 2:30p and said "we've decided we no longer want Human Resources, so effective immediately we are shutting down the department". WHAT THE FK!!! How is this possible...I have a kid, I have no way to pay my bills without this job...are you kidding me? However I didn't say any of that, instead I maintained my professionalism, knodded, took the wack ass 2 sentence letter they had just typed (the ink was smeared from folding it on the way to my office) that said I was being let go and I could get unemployment, stood up, packed and walked out. Never to return, never to look back, and with full knowledge that I would never work for another ma/pa establishment again.
The sad thing is that I was angry with them, but I was more angry with myself. I mean, how did I let this happen? I got home and had to look my daughter in the face and tell her the truth...mom for the first time in your 17 years...doesn't have a job. I was ashamed. I felt like a failure.
So for 2 weeks I have been depressed...crying...being a royal B (yes, very capital B), and completely confused on why this happened to me. I go to work, I do my job, I'm respectful, a team player (I can continue bragging, but you get it)...so I didn't get it.
Saturday. I sat in front of a group of homeless working parents and had to sit in my truth. How dare I? How dare I say that I want to encourage and support parents without ever going through one of the main things that hurts us the most...financial calamity. I mean yes, I've had lights cut off, even couldn't afford to pay rent and got evicted...but always landed on my feet because in some way I was in control...this is the first time that life decided that it was going to sit me down. And when life decides it's going to do something, it gives you no real warning.
So here I am, writing to you from the local library (had to give laptop back) because I am constantly looking for jobs, but also here I am truly going through the emotions that so many of you go through. Fear, despair, worry. Looking at our children and wonder how we are going to take care of them. Looking for that support system that never really existed in the first place. Feeling alone. Feeling judged, and feeling less than because of what you can/cannot do. Just wanting someone to fix it.
But no one will.
It's taken me 2 weeks to accept that...no one can fix this. I have to sit in this lesson, learn everything that I can, make the best of it and trust that if I found a job before then I can find another one. So here is what I've learned so far....
1. This shit sucks
2. This shit sucks (in case I hadn't made that clear)
3. My identity shouldn't be tied to a job...and it was. I allowed my ability to provide to define my parenthood despite everything else that I do for my daughter. Without my job I was a "failure" even though all the things I've taught my daughter that are going to make her successful had nothing to do with me working. The few wonderful people in my life aren't there because I was working, they are here because of who I am.
4. I've worked to survive, for us to survive, only to survive. All business & entrepreneurial ideas that I've had over the years I never pursued because of the comfort of that check. So now I sit here and see how long I've sat on things that I could've accomplished by now. Eye opener.
5. I've worked so long to make sure we were okay that at no point did I ever get a chance to ask myself what would even make me happy at work. Work was a mandatory assignment (which it is for most of us) but I worked for years in places I hated because I "had to pay the bills". Now I can choose and mold myself into who I want to be, and I never would be able to do that working...#4 proves that.
All these lessons are current and I'm going through them all right now, but I've definitely been humbled and am (slowly, very very slowly) becoming a little excited about what I will be doing next. Reason being...I'm now seeking employment based on who I am and where I know I will be successful, not just because I have to.