Call it a blogger's curse: you can add my name to the list of bloggers like Frank and Torr that are between paying gigs. Yes, I was let go from my producer/reporter gig on Monday soley because of budget reasons. There was no ugliness to it; there was no shouting, no name-calling and no storming out of a room. I had suspicions that it was going to happen to me and well, it happened. However, I didn't combust, lose all my friends and family or be chased by a swinging baseball bat because of this. This was just like being in a car accident, getting cancer or getting excessive junk mail - this can happen to anyone. Of course it's not fair, but then again, life doesn't bend for us - we bend for it. I had no control on whether or not I could keep my job; I just was let go and that was that.
I have no ill feelings about my former employer. However, the feeling I've had since Monday morning is the feeling of being dumped. I've felt this feeling before but then again, I was swimming backstrokes in a pool of despair back then.
From being kicked out of my apartment by my roommate (and best friend) of three years to being let go from a band that I went out of my way for, I felt unceremoniously dumped. There were thoughts of "Now what?" but I eventually found a new apartment and a new band. I wasn't happy about my dismissals but since I'm someone who usually gets let go more than someone who quits, it's old hat.
There is definitely a fear of facing the boogeymen in the worst of our imaginations. Well, I realized a few years ago that the chances of something worse happening is equal to the chances of something better happening. The point that I keep coming back to is to do stuff (from writing, watching movies, networking, talking with friends, listening to records, reading) instead of sitting around and having never-ending inner monologues. I used to think "What did I do?" about things not working out but then I realized that I didn't do anything "wrong." Because of living with those ill feelings for so long, I decided that I didn't want to mentally self-abuse myself with shame and guilt anymore. Just like Carly Simon said years ago in "Haven't Got Time for the Pain": "Suffering was the only thing made me feel I was alive/Thought that's just how much it costs to survive in this world." I'm not setting pain aside here. I acknowledge that pain is in the same room that houses other thoughts but I choose to not make it become a leach.
I will tell you this, my friends, family and fellow co-workers have really come up to the plate for me emotionally because of this layoff. Talking about it with a wide variety of people has been a very comforting experience. On top of that, my now former employer has helped me with leads with different places. Yes folks, the same respect, help and encouragement I got out of hardcore back in the day really does exist in the workplace.
What I'll exactly do next is very up in the air. There was a reason for this separation but what exactly that reason is can only be decided via hindsight. For now it's an obstacle. Later, it won't be. Despair and speculation may sell, but hope and understanding stick around longer.