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Musings from the Laundromat: Laid Off edition

It’s been quite a week.

For a while (a couple of months) I had felt something almost tangible in the air at work.  

Things were just ‘off’.

I’m very in tune to energy around me.  I pick up on facial expressions –  body language, other people’s emotions – sometimes I don’t know what I’m picking up on, I just feel waves of something that isn’t stemming from me.

I’ve been told I have empath traits – and from what I’ve read about empaths, I would agree.

My closest friends and family told me I was probably imagining things.  But I can usually trust my gut.

My gut then clenches around the disturbance like an iron fist and all negative perceptions are transferred to me.

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A couple of more obvious clues might have been when my immediate boss stopped sharing news with me (like the fact that he got married) or when he gave me a bar of chocolate for Christmas.

Okay, it was a really large bar of chocolate – but a bonus it was not.

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I carried on, kept doing my job.  Waiting for the shoe to drop.

Last week my less immediate, but more powerful boss came into town.

I didn’t know she was here when I emailed her asking if I could please go home for the rest of the day.  I had been sick for over two weeks – and had almost fainted a couple of times going back and forth to the printer.

“Feel better” was her response.

The next day, I received another email.

It was one of those ‘we need to talk’ emails.

Shudder.

Is there any worse feeling?  Even in my 40’s I felt like I was going to the principal’s office.

I knew it wasn’t going to be a reprimand – I do my job well.

Crippling anxiety ensued, in my head.  On the outside, I kept working and smiling.

Meeting time came, and I sat opposite my boss, and her husband, who is president of the real estate office we work with.

In a nut shell, I was laid off.  They were closing the processing center.

Unfortunately for me I was the ‘processing center’.

I sat and nodded and agreed it made business sense – all while playing out the scenario of being unemployed in my head.

I know I’m capable of landing on my feet – I’ve done it before, but did I really want to start all over and worry about providing food and shelter for my little family?  Um, no.  Of course not.

I had my son moved in with my parents, my dog in a new home and me sleeping in my car all before the next shoe landed on the desk.

I was offered a job.

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The thing about bonding with people around you and caring, is they notice.  And people notice when you show up and work hard.

Who would have thought?

The agents and staff in the realty office that our loan company was housed in did not want to see me go.

A position was created for me.

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I had never felt such relief, appreciation and humility as I did in that moment.

These people who I consider family – that I care about … cared back.

I think it’s pretty obvious from my past posts that I am a grateful person … but let me tell you – when I got home that day, the shoebox we live in never looked more beautiful.

My nightly ‘thank you’ to my higher power was said with tears in my eyes.

The next day the alarm clock never sounded more melodic and the gift of being able to pay my bills was never more appreciated.

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Tomorrow I begin a new adventure with a new company, approximately 12 steps from my old office.

But I begin it with familiar faces – people I already love.

And I am so grateful.

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Caramels

I sometimes sit and watch people and cock my head in wonder.
Other people confuse me.
I don’t understand you.
Not because I don’t care or because I’m incapable.

But because I am unlike you
and like you …
but mostly, I feel so very unlike you.

But I am empathetic.
Sympathetic.
I feel you.

If I saw a discarded sweet box in your garbage can, I would buy you caramels.

I just never quite fit in.
Or understand the rules.

I seem always to be the girl who says too much,
feels too much,
thinks too much.

I laugh too loud, emote too publicly.
I cannot hide my exuberance or my sadness.

I have a giant world in my head and heart!
Colorful, fantastic, dark and macabre
Consistent extremes
Always there – always.

I have conversations with you in my head.
“Do you want to just watch movies and eat cake?”
“Yeah! Sure!”
“Can you bring cake?”

I share some of my world with a few
On my terms
And occasionally I’m pulled from my comfort zone because i want to please you.

My special friends are always there
They don’t expect me to be like them
They embrace the parts of my world I show them

Real people tucked inside my head
Characters in my internal play
Scenarios imagined – scripts written
And we eat my caramels
and share your cake

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