“I’m not the type of person who gets fired.”
These were the thoughts that ran through my mind as I sat shocked after an unexpected Zoom meeting at the end of the day. In that meeting, the company where I worked for just a couple of months shy of six years told me they were letting me go.
I’d barely said a word in the meeting as the shock took over, but that one thought ran rampant through my mind.
“I’m not the type of person who gets fired.”
I go to work every day. I’d called in maybe once in the entire six years when I had strep (although, had we been remote at that time, I probably would have worked then, too). I always requested time off several weeks, even months, in advance. If the work was busy, I offered to make up any hours I missed. I came to work and did my job, although I wasn’t always the best at the social aspect of office life.
The truth is, there’s no “type” of person who loses their job. It can happen to anyone under a variety of circumstances out of our control, but I took it personally.
I’ve worked multiple jobs since I was 18 years old and there were times I worked three jobs. I hated calling off at any job and it was something that made me feel sick to my stomach on the rare occasions I had to do it. I had a hard time saying no to extra shifts or hours, especially when no one else was willing to take it on.
Hello, I’m Stressed.
I still had a freelance writing gig I’d started a month prior, but this turn of events had me feeling completely stressed. Another thing I felt the second I got off that Zoom meeting? Strangely relieved.
I’d been unhappy with my work situation for a while now. Not because the job itself was bad, but because it wasn’t challenging enough for me and because I often felt drained from the environment with all the social expectations and falsities.
I didn’t know which direction I wanted to take next, I liked things there enough, and worked with a lot of great people, so I stayed.
But eventually, the universe decided to force my hand. With my recent engagement and the wedding less than a year away, along with a big upcoming trip, the timing wasn’t ideal and had my stress levels on high.
I was also about to make my return to boxing, my favorite stress relief and workout, but had to give up the added expense of the pricy membership and extra gas to get there. I hate having to worry about money and thrive on stability and routine.
I didn’t know what to do without the financial stability and routine. I went into full-on stress mode, which I’m already prone to. I also felt a lot of anger, one of my least favorite emotions. Anger just makes me feel…bad.
I was mad at the company. Mad at the situation. Mad that I had this new roadblock in the way of feeling excited for all the great stuff I had coming up.
After ten years of working so much, this sudden freedom was jarring for me. It was also something I’d been longing after for so many years. This made the time between jobs was a very conflicting time for me mentally.
I had free time for the first time in years, but I felt like a loser.
I had more time for things I enjoyed, but I was worried about money.
I had time to relax, but I was stressed about the future.
I had more room in my days to work out, but I often only felt like moping on the couch.
My days were mine, but I felt like a failure.
My mental health was in such a weird limbo where I was completely happy to be able to spend more time for myself, but at the same time, I was in a low place where I felt angry, confused, and questioned everything about myself.
The loss of structure to my days affected my mental and physical health. I’m a creature of habit and I suddenly felt like a speck floating around aimlessly. I couldn’t get into a new routine, I put on weight, and then I felt mad at myself that the extra time should have been a time for progress.
I was embarrassed. I felt bad for relying on Chris for more than I have our entire relationship. I felt frustrated that I didn’t know what I wanted to do.
I kept it from friends and family because I was ashamed and I didn’t want questions about what happened when I barely knew myself. I didn’t want questions on what I would do or suggestions on what I should do.
I wanted to figure it out in my own time, but fun fact, that’s hard to do under stress and watching the time (and your bank balance) tick away.
The Other Side
I have a new job now, and it’s nice to be back at work again. I’m still recovering from the mental terrorism I gave myself after getting fired and not having everything as “figured out” as I feel like I should.
Still, I believe things work out like they’re supposed to and I needed the universe to give me a little kick in the ass to make that change in my life.
I don’t have it all figured out, but I’m no longer stuck. I’m back to being excited about my trip and wedding plans. I was able to spend some more time on me.
If something unexpected happens in your life, remember that it’s okay to sit in your feelings about it. It’s okay to be upset. But also remember that it’s just another bump in the road and you’ll find yourself on the other side eventually.
Have you ever lost your job? How did you feel about it?