It’s been years. I used to journal everyday. It was my morning routine, along with coffee and a run. Now, my journals are packed up, and some even gone. But today I need to journal. You see, I got laid off on Thursday. To be fair, I kind of knew it could be coming, but I’ll be honest, it doesn’t change the hurt and upset. At first, I was “fine.” Later, I wasn’t. Shame was holding my hand, and hell, I jumped into its lap. I fell asleep telling myself I wasn’t good enough. I know that line well. If I didn’t know better, I’d say I was born believing it.
There is no amount of preparation for a moment such as this. A loss. We don’t beat vulnerability to the punch by scripting out ahead of time how we will handle it. The last 48 hours have been an interesting ride, and the story I have been making up and telling myself is all about how I am not good enough. Afterall, if I was, I would not have been laid off. Oddly enough, I am writing this while on work travel for the job I was just laid off from. I am fortunate. The way my company works is that transitions take time, and employees are given support and resources. I am using my time to pause and reflect. I also grabbed my copy of Rising Strong by Brene Brown, and threw it in my bag – a smart move for sure.
I am on page 26 and already feeling better, and perhaps even a bit, dare I say it, optimistic. This line has taken my breath away:
“When you’re on your path, the universe will conspire to help you” ~Paulo Coelho
Corporate America is not my dream. Yes, it’s been good to me. I have done some amazing work during my 20 years here. I have met incredible people, grown up, expanded my worldviews, and provided for my family. But it’s not my dream. It’s not who I am, not completely anyway. Sure, it’s been a part of my journey, but I am more than my career up to this point.
What I want to do is to support our middle school girls. I love that age group. I want them to know that their stories matter. I want them to know that they matter. I want them to know that they are more than this moment, and that it is okay to struggle. I want to provide them the permission they may not be able to provide for themselves. Lastly, I want to support them as they build a safe place to fall.
I actually already have a program. I created one 2 years ago, and implemented it at our daughter’s school. But I wasn’t brave enough to go beyond her school where I am close with the administration, and I knew I had their support. I was sort of in the arena, but not totally. I was playing it safe to a large degree.
I’ve thrown out every reason why I can’t take the leap. We are saving for college, retirement and a rainy day. 9 times out of 10 this whole argument with myself comes back to money. Am I saving enough? It’s scarcity thinking, and it has kept me so small. It is so limiting which is fitting considering it is scarcity thinking: “Don’t be too big, you’re not that good.”
But what if…
What if this sudden change is the universe conspiring with me, not against me? What if just maybe this is my moment? What if my desire to create a community for girls is more important now? What if I’ve made my last PowerPoint deck?
I’m writing this blog on a plane. Best I can figure, I am over Lake Erie. It is so peaceful and quiet. I am letting my mind open, and allowing myself to be brave enough to dare to dream. I don’t have to decide today my next steps so I’m letting my thoughts flow, and it feels good. There is a bit of hope here, and writing that line brings me to tears. Yesterday at this time, I was vacuuming which is my go-to in stressful moments. I also recall grabbing a large trash bag and throwing out anything questionable sitting in the pantry or fridge. Bleach, a vacuum, and black trash bags are my closest friends in moments of struggle. Thankfully, I now recognize this behavior and know a fire has ignited, and there is some personal work to do.
I don’t have answers yet, but I have a glimmer of something equally important. It’s name is Possibility.