Wednesday, August 15, 2012

How Do You Measure A Year?

Last year at this time, I was unemployed. Sort of.

Here’s what happened:

I went to work in the morning, as usual. I rolled up my sleeves, sat down at my computer, and got cracking.

At about 11ish, my boss – the owner of the company – notified all of the employees that we had a conference call. We all dialed in. He was a chatty fellow, and he liked to touch base with everyone now and again. No big thing, I thought, but I was annoyed because I had stuff to do, and didn’t have the time for a pow-wow.

There was no pow-wow. Instead, he told us that we were all fired, because ownership of the company was reverting back to the original owner (who I was hired by in 2007) and that the new/old owner would have to hire us back.

Then the line went dead.

As you can imagine, this was distressing.  (This is such an understatement, I can’t even begin to tell you.)

It was especially distressing because the new/old owner called everyone to hire them back EXCEPT for me. So my fellow employees kept asking me: Did he hire you back yet? Did you talk to him yet? And I kept having to say no, no he hadn’t.

I also kept trying to figure out where I’d gone wrong in my summation of the guy who’d fired me in the morning, who had essentially negated my ownership in his company (which I had) with nary a word or a heads up, but that is, perhaps, a story for another day.

Eventually I got the call.

And so it goes.

I did, of course, spend some time in the bitter barn regarding this whole issue. Sometimes, a girl needs to camp out in the bitter barn for a while, and get cozy with her rage. But eventually, gradually, it gets boring in there, and a little dusty. So you have to come out where the other people are, where there is laughing and dancing and the occasional sing along.

I wouldn’t even be mentioning it, probably, except my mom said to me “Didn't we all get fired a year ago?” and I had to say “Yes, we did.”  It all came flooding back – the panic, the sense of desperation, the fear of “Oh my God, what do I do now?”

I know now, of course, that as inevitable as those feelings are, it’s also true that you just keep going. When you’re scared? Keep going. When you’re desperate? Keep going. When you don’t know what to do next? Focus on what you’re doing right now. You’ll get where you’re supposed to be. Even though the journey can be sucktastic. You’ll get there.

It took me a year, but I learned it.

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