December 19, 2014

Laid-Off for Christmas: Pop the Champagne!

WikiMedia Commons

On December 5th, I was laid-off from my job.

Just twenty days before Christmas. Ouch.

The timing sucks. Because, duh! It’s Christmas! A time of joviality and good cheer. A time of giving and exchanging gifts. A time of peace and good will towards men.

And let’s be honest, a time of year that can already be stressful.

So what would be the appropriate response? Anger? Tears? Resentment? Yelling?

When I heard the news, I didn’t experience any of these things.

At first, I felt a bit of shock. Some disbelief. But as the news sank in, I felt a funny thrill in my chest.

It may have just been my heartbeat quickening, but not from anxiety. It was from… excitement? A sense of freedom?

I had this strong, undeniable feeling that somehow, this is exactly what was meant to be.

Crazy, right?

But if I may speak honestly—I wasn’t happy at my job.

Now, don’t misunderstand, it was a job that served me well for several years. A place where I’ve met many unique, talented people I call friends. But what I was doing, the actual work, was never something I wanted to do.

It was something I fell into out of college. It was a good job with benefits, and it paid well, so I plugged along. As I got older, started a family and bought a house, the job became a necessary means of survival.

I knew the company was struggling. A couple years ago there were mass lay-offs that happened. People were let go that had been with the company for several years!

I began to question my own security with the company, and made the decision to pursue yoga teacher training. The idea of doing something I loved for my livelihood was thrilling! I figured it’d be something I could keep in my back pocket in case things ever went awry.

So I went through the training and started teaching yoga in addition to my 9-to-5.

I also kept writing, which has always been my initial passion. I’ve wanted to be “a writer” since I was ten years old. I got my degree in English, but the job I found after college happened to be in a completely different field.

But as I wrote more and taught more yoga, I began to daydream. I’d fantasize about finding some sort of employment situation that allowed me to utilize my English degree and also teach yoga.

Of course life is complicated. Things like mortgages, health insurance and putting food on the table can put fantasies to bed.

I couldn’t just quit my job to pursue a pipe dream. But I couldn’t quite pursue the dream actively, while clocking 40-hours in a cubicle either. I needed to be responsible—for myself and my family.

But to have the Universe stop me in my tracks and say:

Hey! You don’t have to go to this job that makes you unhappy anymore. Hell, you can file for unemployment while you figure sh*t out. Good thing you did that yoga teacher training couple years ago—it’s time to hustle, girl!

Well, that is something to celebrate, isn’t it?

So, I completed my “exit interview,” accepted my last paycheck and cleaned out my desk.

On the way home, I stopped and bought a bottle of champagne, so I could celebrate that evening with a toast to new beginnings and the start of a new chapter in my life.

(Ok, full disclosure… It was actually a $5.99 bottle of “Sparkling Wine” from Trader Joe’s. But hey, I’m on a budget now, after all!)

It’s been about ten days, since it happened. And I’m not gonna lie—there have been some tears. It’s always a little sad when one chapter comes to a close.

It’s also scary! I no longer have a job. Money is going to be tight.

Never mind Christmas, what about the month-to-month bills? What about the new pair of glasses my son needs? What about the $1,100 we put on the credit card when we had to rent a car for a month, after the car accident in October?

That’s just the tip of the iceberg—but it’s enough to drive a person mad with worry.

So I won’t. I won’t worry.

I will have faith instead. I will trust.

I will trust that God and the universe have a plan for me. I will trust that I wasn’t just given a creative voice for no reason. I will trust that it’s not a coincidence my heart guided me to train to teach yoga. I will trust that there are better things in store for me, than just driving an hour in traffic every day to get to an unsatisfying job, where I do work that doesn’t help anyone in a way that matters.

Because if I let myself fall into the pit of disillusion, worry and anxiety—what will happen?

Will it solve my problems? No. Will it make me or those around me feel better? No.

The worry will just make me miserable. And I refuse to be miserable. I choose happiness over misery. I choose to celebrate this amazing new hand that life has dealt me. I choose to persevere, overcome and keep moving forward.

Some days are harder than others.

The fear, the worry and the anxiety are always lurking in the wings, just waiting for an opportunity to slither their way back into my psyche.

It takes a good deal of effort to keep them at bay… Because the future is a big question mark right now.

There is a sea of the unknown before me, and that’s f*cking scary.

But it’s exciting too. It’s a sea of possibilities.

And that’s why I say: Let’s pop the champagne!


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Author: Yoli Ramazzina

Apprentice Editor: Yoli Ramazzina / Editor: Renee Picard 

Photo: Steve Ryan via WikiMedia Commons

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