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June 23, 2020

I Lost my Job to Coronavirus: How I Cope when Sh*t hits the Fan.

Slowly, life has been going back to normal—”the new normal.”

And while we adjust, we face the real consequences of the pandemic—not only the loss of human life to the virus, but also the loss of jobs, income, and the ability to pay rent in the face of shattered economies.

I lost my job today. And before I lost my job, many other colleagues and friends had lost theirs already. It’s something I knew might happen and had tried to prepare myself for, while also trying to understand when it happened to others.

But when it did happen to me, sh*t hit the fan.

When it came down to it, I only heard “blah blah blah” and saw my life crumbling down upon my head. I thought, the “human” in human resources must be a silent word.

In this moment, I find myself living in a foreign country (my choice), with now one month to leave my apartment and my residency visa to be canceled; just like that, everything I’ve built during the last five years about to turn into something new. Something unknown. Something that scares me to the deepest core of my soul.

I’ve never been one to plan my life down to the last detail. I’ve always floated with wherever the wind was blowing and, somehow, things just fell into place at the right time.

Now, everything is scattered into a million little pieces—just like a broken heart. All over. My mind is like one big David Lynch movie at this point. I know nothing. I understand nothing.

I only know I’ll give myself one night to cry and feel utterly lost. Tomorrow, it’s time to get up and react. First things first—update LinkedIn profile, apply for jobs, send messages to people whom I believe somehow may help, whether they actually can or not. Bureaucracies, money, contracts.

I need to do what I need to do to allow myself to progress toward my dreams—even if it means delaying them for some time. I know it’s up to me to replace this dark hole that’s hovering over my bright light. And this light of mine, this light we all have, is the one thing that will guide me.

It’s hard to believe good things can come from being unemployed, but if I choose not to believe this, no one will do it for me. Only I have that power to not give up. Only I have the power to fix this.

But, just like a broken heart does, I am still beating. I’m still alive. I’m still healthy. I still have family and friends to go back to, if it comes to that. I’m still in love with life. I’m still so grateful for all of it. And now that I’m free, I see I’m still a hostage to money.

I don’t believe in making money my main driving force. However, seeing myself deprived of being able to sustain my way of living, my independence threatened, and the real impact and consequences of not being able to provide for myself, makes me want to not be free again. Not because I yearn for it, but because I need it to keep a roof over my head and get the minimum requirements for my peace of mind.

It’s my pride in being a self-made woman. In the meantime, this self-made woman will continue to grow and dream. This problem-solver is going to get through this the same way so many others facing the same doubts do. It brings me down, but it doesn’t knock me down.

I hope you don’t stay down either. Let’s get up and do this.

~

It’s now been nearly one week since I wrote this.

There’s a growing sense of relief in not being stuck with something I didn’t like doing anymore. I felt like my skills were neither used nor appreciated in any way. I wasn’t useful in my work and for me, that’s something I need to feel.

I wasn’t seen. I felt drained every day. It was a sacrifice waking up to go to work and my sleep wasn’t as smooth as it usually is. My whole life was sliding by with a feeling of wasted energy.

I’m now trying to put myself in a place where I can actually exist and be seen. Where I can reach other people and help them somehow. There are so many ways people can be helped if they wish to do so. I am  excited about this new beginning! I am excited about the world of possibilities out there, even if I can’t see them yet.

I know this is for the best. I’m scared, yes—I’m so scared. But deep down, I knew my freedom was bound to happen sooner or later. This release was needed for my soul. This setback is for my growth as a human being, rather than a human resource.

And I don’t know what’s coming, but I can’t wait.

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Sofia Santiago  |  12 Followers

author: Sofia Santiago

Image: Andriyko Podilnyk/Unsplash

Editor: Tara Lindsey