I have received some very scary news. I’ve been laid off from my job. And since then there are a million thoughts running through my head. What’s going to happen to me? Why are my employers such jerks? Do I have a tent anywhere? Cuz it’s looking like I’ll be homeless.
Of course most of the scary thoughts that pop into my head are gross exaggerations, but it brings up a very valid point: how do we deal with anxiety and stressful situations without our heads exploding?
Everyone’s immediate response tends to be fear or anger. Mine was definitely anger. I’ve worked at this job for going on EIGHT YEARS. I’ve gone through renovations and closures, I’ve worked in other jobs or positions to scrape by, I’ve earned my full time status and I’m a damn good employee. So how dare they just throw me away??? I feel like Gloria Allred going on a massive human rights rampage. Or doing something vindictive like, “Remember that Non-Disclosure Agreement you made me sign? Well I’m fired now so everyone’s going to know the gossip!!!”
But I won’t do that. Instead I’ll do something like get into a fight with my boyfriend. Oops. That wasn’t the most enlightened thing to do. I’m sorry. I wish I could tell you with all this work I’m doing on myself I was perfect. But sometimes the stress is literally through the roof, and my verbal sensoring system works about as well as my mother using an iPhone app. And what will a stress fight do really? Sure, I’d love to be coddled right now, but the fact is no matter what anyone else says or does I have to deal with this on my own, and learn to deal with it in the best way possible.
It was a mass layoff at my job so I’ve been talking to many of my coworkers and friends throughout the week. And everyone has handled the stress in different ways. Some cry and worry about how they will survive. Some pick fights or let their stress creep out through anger and condescending comments. Others put on five pounds due to all the candy and wine their drinking. (Or if you’re like me you do a variation of all three! 😜) But at the heart of all these things is the fear of the unknown.
But I’m here to tell you the unknown is OK. It can even be exciting! I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ll say it again, I was once engaged and living in a house with my fiancé. When that ended I thought my world was over. I was LITERALLY homeless. But guess what? I was never on the streets. I received more love than I ever thought possible from friends and even mere acquaintances. And at the end of the day, it was the BEST thing that ever happened to me. Not only would I have been miserable if I had married that guy, it also started me on my Spiritual path.
And now, because of that, I am stronger and much better equipped to handle this situation. Now I can see from the jump that this is a BLESSING. You don’t even have to know me, just read a few blog posts from the archives, and you will see I hated my job. I lament being stuck as a server when I’m really a writer and actress. I even joked many times that I wish they would just fire me so I can go on unemployment and do what I really want to do. So I don’t think this is a coincidence. I think this is synchronicity and God answering my prayers. Now I have the time to get up and write EVERY DAY. I can actually get this blog off the ground, finish my pilot and screenplay, submit to literary agents. I can send out acting submissions, get new head shots, update my website. I can do my whole To-Do list without that pesky serving job in the way! Yes, it’s still scary. I’m going to have to be very frugal since unemployment barely covers my bills and I don’t want to blow through my savings. But it can be done. And everything else that comes with that teeny tiny sacrifice is exciting as hell!
I believe that God has a plan for my life. And I can’t stray too far from that. I needed to be at this job for a time, but for the past two years I knew I needed to leave. I was miserable each day going in, I had low energy, and this overwhelming feeling that I was wasting my life. I was meant for something else. But I was scared. Scared to jump into the unknown. God gave me plenty of time to make the decision myself and then He was like, “I can’t take it anymore! If you’re not gonna make it happen, I WILL!” So thank you, God. I owe ya one.
And to everyone reading, if you’ve just been laid off, or broken up with, or come into any kind of hardship, I know it’s scary. It definitely isn’t always fair. But maybe, just maybe, there’s something even greater out there for you. Maybe this is the fire under your butt that you needed to make your destiny happen. I love the saying, “If not this, then something better.” So here’s to a way better job for me, (and you!) and a better future for us all.
And so it is.