Wow. It has been a while. And it has been one hell of a year and we’re only halfway through it. The last post I shared was back in January, right before I left for Vietnam and honestly that feels like a million years ago.
As you can see from the title…. I was laid off from my job… via Zoom call.
I debated writing this post for a week now. Is this too much to share? Is this embarrassing? Maybe this is too deep? But, I feel like a lot has changed in 2020 and especially now with everything going on in the world, I think we all need a little more than a pretty outfit and a try on haul. I think we’re all trying to connect on a deeper level even if that’s via the internet.
Which is why I decided to write this post today. Because honestly, losing my job during a quarantine feels incredibly isolating and I’ve been stuck between talking to myself in my head and wanting to scream most days.
I’ve worked in corporate & in fashion for a few years now so I’ve seen layoffs. A coworker, a cross functional partner or a friend of a coworker, etc. It’s never an easy thing. It’s sad. You say “I’m sorry, I’ll miss you, better things are coming!” But, if you’re not the one, it becomes business as usual, your day goes on, your daily tasks take up space in your mind and soon you just move on.
But, when it’s you… when it directly affects you…when you’re one of the only people on your team it happened to… it’s just different.
When I found out I lost my job, I felt a wave of emotion hit me.
I was shocked.
I was upset.
I was angry.
I felt blindsided.
I was confused.
I was scared.
I didn’t know how to just be. After I got off the call, I just sat there, staring into space. I would watch a show or try to do something and then it would hit me and I would just freeze. If I laughed at something, I would remind myself of what happened to stop myself from being happy.
And the thing with being laid off, is that everyone tries to say something to comfort you. It’s a Pinterest quote of generic sayings from people who’ve never experienced it. And especially now in 2020 when the unemployment rate is so high. I heard multiple times…
At least you’re not the only one, so many people are dealing with this right now.
This isn’t personal. It’s not a reflection of you.
You’re a hard worker.
Better things are coming.
Everything happens for a reason.
Sure. All valid. I appreciate the sentiment. But it doesn’t make it any better. It doesn’t make it feel any less personal. I’m not suddenly comforted that I’m one of millions that now have to re-enter the job search. If I’m being honest, I’m scared. Coming out of this, we don’t know what our economy is going to look like and we don’t know what the job market is going to look like.
I don’t know how to communicate anytime someone asks me if I’m okay. Yes? Not really? Fine, given the circumstances? I’m scared of annoying the people in my life if I keep talking about it, but I’m also struggling with saying I’m fine and just continuing on the conversation like nothing has changed.
And as someone who has had to start over multiple times, I’m frustrated. I’m frustrated that I feel like I keep going, but I’m not getting anywhere. Frustrated that I feel like last year I took one step forward and this year I fell two steps back.
When I left the magazine world, I was unemployed for 3 months. I know the dark place that my mind can go to. I know the depression and anxiety that can set in and I think once you lived through it, the idea of going back is terrifying.
I have my good days where I do believe that better things are coming and I feel motivated to push on and then I have my bad days where I cry and the self doubt and sadness and anger settle in and I need to just lick my wounds.
The last time I dealt with unemployment, I folded into myself. I isolated myself and I can recognize that it made me feel worse. Which is why this time, I’m trying to reach out to friends. I’m trying to speak up and ask for help. I’m trying to accept the help. And honestly, it’s why I’m sharing this today, to feel less alone.
I’m not sure how to end this. I don’t have an inspiring antidote or story to share, I just wanted to talk and vent. So I decided to head to my safe space and share some thoughts so that if you’re dealing with this now, a few months from now, hell even two years from now, you know you’re not alone.
I appreciate you taking the time to read what I have to say today, sticking with me and growing with me as I navigate this new chapter of my life.