Note: This blog is simply a reflection on what has occurred in our own family. It is not meant to be anything but a reflection. Life goes on. We’ve gone on with our lives.
Okay, so to be honest, I’ve never been fired from a job. Never been asked to leave a job. But I am an intimate acquaintance of one who has personal experience with this situation, and it is — simply put — not pretty.
When one’s salary is cut drastically, the first feeling is panic, followed by questions of why, followed by anger, and finally, acceptance. Unlike so many in the world, there is still a job.
But when, in the middle of the day, one is handed a letter stating that one’s parttime job is in conflict of interest with one’s main job — and requesting that one resign from one of the two positions by the end of the day…confusion reigns. Confusion, indignation, anger, and finally, refusal. Then, a quick consult with two attorneys and an HR expert determine the best response.
The end result? Fired.
While I can’t pretend to know exactly how it feels to be fired, I do know that the “fire-ee” felt confused, insulted, hurt, angry, failure, embarrassed, and at a certain point, completely drained. Oddly, though, there existed an overriding sense of relief. No more waking up on Monday mornings with an acute sense of dread.
Then reality sets in. How to break this to one’s children? Parents? Siblings? The responses were diverse — from anger to indignance to confusion to — my favorite — “GOOD! Now you can focus on what you enjoy.”
Support from the community was immediate and amazing. Stunning, in fact. The reverberations are still being felt.
So…what does one do upon being fired? Naturally, the first step is to carefully consider the financial concerns. In our case, we were fortunate. House and cars — paid off. Children — through college with no loans. Still, there was that upcoming wedding — yet we managed that without any problems. So in a way, we were very lucky despite the emotional heartbreak.
But after just a few weeks, the freelance jobs began pouring in, a fun and challenging job came through, and life began to resettle. The “fire-ee” was smiling more than ever, happier, more sure of himself. A long-time dream of creating an online product allows us to do journalism the way we love. The response to this has truly been amazing — the support we’ve received from not just the community but from individuals all over the U.S. and internationally, has proven that hard work does lead to success.
Which brings us to the present…”we” have weathered this storm together, just as we weathered my recent health crisis together. After nearly 30 years together, we are truly a we. We continue to plan for a future that includes all the things we love.
In retrospect, it hasn’t been an easy year, but essentially it has been a good one. I often think I should write a thank you note — perhaps there were other forces involved in this — but what was initially a shock has turned into the best thing that has happened in years. There are no hard feelings on our parts.
Proof again that the oft-quoted axiom by Nietsche is right. “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.