My new office… the kitchen table. Which also doubles as a meeting center and impromptu photo studio.
Okay- so maybe it doesn’t in fact, feel so good….I would take a real lay, or a Hawaiian lei, or even a layover any day over a lay (off). Blessings come in all shapes and sizes. When I ended my engagement last fall, it was difficult, startling and disorienting- the life I had planned for (not just the wedding) had unravelled before my eyes and I knew I was starting over from square one. Months later, things at my work started to change and I feared that a layoff would be coming down the pipeline- so every month I remained employed was a godsend. One month, to the day, of what would have been my wedding, I saw that HR wanted to chat, and I knew what was coming…(luckily, I only had 30 seconds to freak out before the news was delivered, they are swift and merciful!).
As with the end of my engagement last fall, there was a sense of relief. Things may be fraught with difficulty, but there is a freedom in knowing when something totally right has occurred. Sometimes, you know when the door is closing, the chapter is coming to an end and it’s time to pivot and find something new.
I posted on Facebook and people were kind of shocked that I took the news so well. I could tell from the private messages and some in person conversations that folks were baffled that I was upbeat about the whole thing. “What are you going to do about your next job?” I could hear the panic in their voice, and for a minute, it almost felt that I was missing out on the fear and should partake- but I insist I must breathe deeply and think clearly to keep moving forward.
Life is an odd culmination of lessons and blessons… (blessings + lessons which are usually painful or awkward blessings in disguise that teach us something if we’re wise enough to insist we learn from them). The ending of my engagement last year meant that I had socked away money to pay for the wedding which would no longer be used for the big party. Yep, that could have been disappointing- and at times it was, that a wedding dress is languishing in my closet, ready to be donated, having never been worn, but it also means that I now have money to sustain myself as I figure out the next steps.
I feel blessed that I was committed to having a debt free wedding two years ago. Also blessed that I called that wedding off when it became apparent that there were some differences between the other party involved and myself when it came to those financial choices. I feel blessed that I never gave up blogging for 4 years, even when juggling a demanding social media job, wedding planning, triathlon training, fundraising and all the other fun projects I took on, could have distracted me from. My wedding savings and my blog, coupled with frugal life choices that are pretty much ingrained into my DNA at this point, mean that I’m not panicking and taking a job I don’t want just because I’m out of options.
My Erin Condren planner is my paper brain. It’s where I plan my days, but also pour down my dreams on paper.
Was it work? Yup. I practiced what I preached- live frugally, save your money and live within your means to build an emergency fund. Now, my emergency has come but it’s not an emergency because I was prepared. THAT right there, is the theory in practice. I wrote it, I preached it, and I live it. I consider myself super lucky- but luck won’t pay your bills when you lose a job randomly, on a Wednesday. Save for a rainy day- I can say from experience, it’s true! Do it. Even if it’s $10 a week- that $150 over a few weeks could prevent your electricity from being shut off.
So, what’s next? I’m going to be relaunching my social media freelancing business to take on a few clients. I’m also going to take my woulda-been wedding day, June 6th, and will be embarking on a cruise to Bermuda through Holland America Lines. I will finally, FINALLY get to use that passport and I will also finally see Boston before sailing out. Woot, to the woot.
My good fortune kitty bank… My Gram used to hide cash in here for my college education to ensure I finished school after she died. I treasure what it represents and her investment in my good fortune those years ago.
You know, though the next few months are filled with what could easily be crippling uncertainty- I feel freed. I had no idea how the looming fear of a layoff for myself, and some of my colleagues, was looming over my head and impacting my sense of direction and my ability to lead. Leadership, in my work and my personal life was crippled due to the constant fear and back and forth about where my job was headed, and now that this has been taken off my shoulders, I feel ready to tackle a new set of challenges- challenges I’m excited about, as they’re challenges I have some control over.
I feel very fortunate for the last two years and for the opportunities I had at my last job- I met some amazing people, worked on some amazing projects for clients that taught me so much. It also provided me stability during a really unstable time with a death of a loved one, and the ending of a relationship. I have nothing but gratitude for the last nearly two years at that company, but I am honestly excited for what lies ahead, and simply put, it’s exciting to be excited again.
I feel I have a new vigor for my fitness, my blog and building a name for myself in business- I also feel reinvigorated by the outreach of supportive people in my network who reached out after I broke the news. Time and time again, I am floored by the amazing people in my life and extended networks. I hope to pay it forward and serve their thoughtfulness well in the coming months.
I’ll be launching my consulting business, a new online product (super excited about) that will help people do what I have been able to do with my blog, and I’m hoping to launch a charitable project too…in addition to travel. Lots to consider, lots to plan, and most importantly- lots to do.
Thank you so, so much for supporting this blog as a reader over the last 4 years. I hope you’ll join me for 4 more years (If I am lucky enough to keep your interest!)
Your support keeps me afloat some days and I sincerely thank you for being apart of an ever changing journey. Thank you. 🙂