Monthly Archives: September 2011

i surrender.

I didn’t want to go there. And I’m not sure if I’ll actually publish this. If I decide to, I’m not sure when that will be. At this moment, though, I’m feeling it, so I’ll go with it.

In, well, let’s leave it at before the end of 2011, I’ll be without a job. I’ve been laid off. Frankly, I’m feeling grateful. We were given a ‘warn period,’ which means we got a few months of work before becoming unemployed. As that ‘warn period’ winds down, however, the reality is starting to hit me. In the foreseeable future, I won’t have a job. And believe me, it’s not because I haven’t tried. I’ve looked every day, and applied for every position I think I’d qualify for and then some. I get it now. It’s not that easy. I apologize for all the times I judged before, even if it was just in my mind. As I just said, I get it.

Before we get too far in, let’s take a little trip back in time. You see, I’ve officially been employed since the day of my 16th birthday, and I worked (Shhh.) full-time during summer breaks before that. In high school, I worked nights and weekends, and held two jobs during the summer – one with typical full-time hours (With an awful commute in Philadelphia traffic, to boot.), and a second job on nights and weekends. I worked around 20 hours/week while attending college full-time, and on college breaks, both winter and summer, I again worked a full-time, 40+ hour/week office job. Simply put, I’ve never stopped. (Okay, busted. I did take a 2-week break after graduating from college – frankly, I thought my dad was going to have a heart attack over it, and honestly, so was I. Needless to say, I don’t do free time well.)

So imagine how this concept of unemployment is weighing on me. What the heck will I do during the day??? Of course I know there are things to do, because people do this all the time, but honestly, I’m overwhelmed with the thought of being underwhelmed. I feel like I’m on an island where no one understands. Let me remind you … I simply don’t know how to not work. I don’t know how to let it all go. I don’t know how to take some time off for me. I just don’t know. I’m one of those people who can’t flipping stop.

I get how it feels to be laid off now. I feel the pain. I’m educated, hard-working, and facing a whole new life in the very near future. One I didn’t choose for myself. And I’m scared. I’m sad and feeling very, very alone. And I’m starting to feel the panic.

Without a doubt, I’m a ‘glass half full’ kind of gal. Even when I’m griping, I’m smiling. Well, most of the time. I’ve been told a million times over that I’m too nice. But I’m starting to feel the stress of it all. I’m starting to worry.

My ‘happy go lucky’ side reminds me that it will all be okay. We have our health. We’re an amazing family. I have a daughter that I simply love to pieces. We have our home. And thankfully, we have a plan to move forward through this trying time. But that ‘plan’ won’t last forever. I work for two reasons. (1) Because I want to. It’s who I am, if I haven’t driven that home enough. (2) Because I need to. We have mortage-sized monthly school loan payments between the two of us. It simply is what it is without getting into the gruesome details.

We’ll be okay for a little while. But oddly enough, that doesn’t make this a bit easier. It’s all still there.

The worry.
The burden.
The responsibility.
The panic.
The feeling of isolation.

It’s all still very much there.

So forgive me if I say things that sound uncharacteristic. If I gripe about my dead battery, 5 quarts of leaking oil inside my husband’s truck, dog getting stung in the rear end by a wasp kind of day. You know, in my ordinarily chipper kind of world, it’s totally not that big of a deal. But these days, it is.

Forgive me if I quit focusing on my person, putting my #Mamavation commitment to myself on the back burner for now and instead becoming consumed by this new unwanted distraction. I’ll be back, Sistas. Promise, I will. I gave it my all in the beginning (And lost 10 lbs., thank you very much!), but I’ve got to be honest with you all – I can’t do it anymore.

And forgive me if I’m particularly hateful after reading articles about discriminating against the unemployed. Let me remind you that I didn’t ask for this, and neither did many of my colleagues. Because there were more than a handful of us who were laid off. Many more than a handful. We don’t deserve that.

I know there are many worse things in the world. Believe me, I think about them every single day. But to me, right now, this is a pretty big deal. Things in life are always relative, and I’m remembering that. But that doesn’t mean I’ll suddenly know how to do this. That doesn’t mean this is any easier, or any better.

Are you with me? And will you be here to celebrate when I tell you I have a beautiful, bright and shiny new job? Believe me, I’m going to need you along the way, whether for a celebration or a pick-me-up.

I’ve already needed you, I’ve just been afraid to let you know.

life’s decisions.

Life is full of ups and downs.
Full of questions with no good answer.
Full of uncertainty.

One thing life is also full of is opinions and advice. While sometimes that advice is just what you need to make a leap of faith, other times it punches you in the gut.

I’m in the midst of a decision with plenty of both types of advice. While I’ve gotten some really good advice and reassurance, at the same time some people close to me have let me down – big time.

Thing is, I know in my heart what the right decision is. But a bit of uncertainty surrounding the future is making me question what I should do.

I said going into this that family is my #1 priority. I said I would not, under any circumstances, compromise that. Yet here I am, listening to people telling me otherwise. I know what I need to do to stay ‘me.’ Making this decision the way I know I shouldn’t would affect that, making me someone I don’t want to be. Yet I let them get to me. I let them get to me because I trust them.

This one decision is making me think about my relationships. And it’s driving me further and further into my cave. If I can’t lean on those I trust for reassurance when I need it most, why bother asking for reassurance in the first place?

I get the risk. I understand the uncertainty. And if I’m willing to deal with it, why aren’t some of my friends & family with me? I understand that they’re concerned, but truthfully, one outcome is just as scary as the other. They both have ugly endings – one long-term, and one that could end up being short-term or long-term. Me? I’m willing to risk it. I know things likely won’t be perfect, but I’m willing to let this ugly choice (and the first, may I add) go for a chance at the possibility of something better. Because there is better. And my family is worth it.

Opinions are just that – opinions. I guess if I can’t take all of what’s given to me without letting it get me down, perhaps I shouldn’t ask in the first place. Just seems that in this time when I feel like I need support the most, that support is causing me more stress than I already place on myself.

I know what I need to do. Now I just need to put on my big girl pants and do it. Without question; without hesitation.

sad.

We were watching Open Season last Thursday night and had gotten to the part where Boog breaks the dam and all of the creatures are washed down to the hunting grounds. Everyone shakes off, then Boog tells Elliott that he’s done. As Boog walks away, he’s sad.

I told Lily, “Aww, the bear is sad.” What would normally get little or no reaction from her brought her to tears last night and I felt so incredibly bad. Right after I told her, she got the frown face – like she was thinking about Boog being sad. About 10 seconds later, she busted into a full out sob, telling me, “Sad!”

Oh my gosh, I will never, ever do that again. Talk about feeling bad. That was the ultimate ‘uh-oh’ on my part! My heart broke, and it breaks even writing this now! My poor baby!

That was a true mom fail moment. Got any good ones to make me feel like I’m not alone?!