It’s been one month since this happened.
It’s still a mix of emotions. So in recognition of this, I thought I’d share what the first 30 days has been like.
It starts out simple. You sleep in, stay up late, or maybe you get up at your normal time because that was your routine. You wake up, make breakfast, watch some TODAY Show, but the act of not going to work feels weird. Because THAT was your routine. But you don’t have a job to go to anymore.
You file for unemployment and start job searching but it all feels like a weird dream. Did this really happen? Yes, it did. You imagine where you could work next, but it’s tough because you didn’t see yourself NOT working to begin with.
News gets out around your former office, you hear from a few people saying sorry and offering to help. Those gestures mean something because your confidence has been destroyed, so maybe that can start building it back up.
People ask, what’s next? And, what’s your plan? Sometimes you know, and other times the idea of something else feels so overwhelming that you just clam up. They mean well, but you don’t know how to answer.
So when some ask, “are you totally signed up for fun-unemployment,” you lie and say, “yep,” because you don’t want to open the floodgates and say, “look I’m a total fucking mess, no, nothing about this has been fun yet.” That’s not what they want to hear.
You have good days where you’re all FUCK YEAH, I’M FINE! And then, something happens and you want to give up. Because being unable to do something that should be so easy, feels like a mountain to climb.
You talk to work friends (who are also your IRL friends) but it’s weird because the thing that brought you together, isn’t there anymore. And it’s weird the first time you see them too. It won’t always be that way, but you’re falling apart (at times) and they’re not. And it’s obvious. Especially when they look at you like you are a kicked puppy, which you are…kind of.
So, you go through the motions of the day and just try to figure it out.
You settle finances and the stress, anxiety and emotion gets to be too much so you get the fuck out of town to clear your head and get away from the signs of your former employed life.
And then you come back, and keep plugging along. You still have good and bad days, and try not to get upset with people who volunteer to help and then don’t follow through. And it makes you more grateful for those who do.
Then, the end of the month comes and you say bye bye health insurance, bye bye corporate gym membership, and it feels like another loss. And it’s bittersweet. Now, you have to fully let go.
But no matter what, you keep moving forward.
I don’t know where we go from here, but forward motion is something.