Ask me how I am and the most accurate answer I can give is “I don’t know” or “I’m everything”. I’m devastated, I’m excite, I’m dejected, I’m scared, I’m hopeful, I’m tired, I’m resigned, I’m renewing, I’m thoughtful, I’m terrible, I’m OK, I’m ashamed, I’m embarrassed, I’m proud, I’m loving, I’m angry, I’m frustrated, I’m respectful and I don’t know what.
I’m waiting to go to another job interview. But it feels like I’m going thru the motions of finalizing my funeral rather than seeking another opportunity. It’s still another internal job interview of the kind that will preserve my 21 years of employment within the same company. It’s hard, but then again when I look around me and the sign of the times for so many years, it’s almost like some people might say to me, “well it’s about time you moved on. You stuck around so long that the only way you could graduate and grow is for someone to forcibly kick you out.” I’ve known so many people that have been layed off at some time that it seems that losing your job is really just another rite of passage in ones spiritual development. Some key things that would be on that check list of things to experience in your life might be: birth, first car, first job, first relationship, first breakup, going thru school, death of loved one, marriage, kids, losing your job, divorce, first life threatening injury or illness, experiencing great shame, and death.
So while I write briefly sounding rather calm, intellectual and introspective about things, IT STILL HURTS right NOW! My rational mind looks at things and it’s really not so bad. I mean even if I’m unemployed in theory I’m quite some distance away from starvation and death. I mean when you’ve worked in a major corporation for over 20 years at the very least you’ve got a fair sized 401K. Not that you’re supposed to be even touching a 401K plan until you’re about 65, but in theory if things got really bad it could hold you up for a significant amount of time. A panicked voice shouts within me: “yes but if you were to touch your 401K you’d be penniless and distitute some years down the road” But then I retort to that panicky voice: “Really? What quantitative evidence do you have, and how many years are you talking about?”
I remember back in early 2008 talking to a fellow coworker who made the statement “please please don’t let me lose my job” Then at the end of 2008 he lost his job. Then he said: “please please I hope I find a job soon. If I don’t find something in 2 months, I don’t know what I’ll do.” And you know what 2 months came and passed. And after almost a year he was still unemployed. He actually found some new passion in mastering some video games and catching up on some movies. There was no longer a desperation. In fact he seemed almost comfortable existing, and exploring things while being unemployed. It seemed the biggest thing he had to face was not so much a financial issue but a pride issue.
So I wonder in what way is my hurt in this journey a pride issue, or more accurately an ego issue.
The very foundation of this blog is probably my ego, my outer self trying to renew my sense of worth. I’m caught in this disease of thinking I need to be more famous or make more money. I am caught in this disease of feeling like I’m better when I can bring myself into situations where I get lots of validation and praise from others about my gifts and about how special and unique I am. I mean I do know I am special, I have gifts and I’m unique, but I guess I’m still not mature enough to truly believe it. I’ll still pick another’s voice of validation or invalidation over my voice.
The one good thing I can say about going thru a phase of failure, of loss and grief is that it forces you to start shedding that ego. Amidst moments of great loss, failure, catastrophe that ego is like a shiny solid gold jacket of pride weighing you down as you are trying to stay afloat in the ocean. Note that gold is even heavier than lead and so it will weigh you down to the bottom of the ocean and so if you ever hope to breath you’ll eventually need to let go of that jacket, that shell.
So maybe the best analogy is that I’m like a lot of still materialistic people in a 1st world country struggling to acquire more gold jackets and the economic tides of this world are like ocean waves of varying size and depth coming into shore at times challenging us to shed off some gold. Some people will be given situations where their entire life the water never really rises above their ankles and they will be allowed to accumulate and retain material wealth in uninterrupted comfort. But the vast majority of the world will experience water going above their heads.
And once again I am sounding rather calm, intellectual, and introspective about things, but IT STILL HURTS right NOW! I want my job back. I want things to be just the way they were maybe 3 months ago when I had my job, was really starting to get into the swing of things, and the possibility of unemployment was so remote. I guess my hurt is just about letting go of things and accepting change. My hurt is an inner child that just wants time to stay still and me wake up every day start and end just like it is today and never ever change. I will ask for no more money, and no less money. I will aspire to be no more or less than I am right now. I will go to my computer and re-enter the same piece of computer code every single day just like I’ve always done. I will greet my wife and my dog every single day just the same way under the same unchanging circumstances. No one will ever age, grow or change. I will not achieve any more successes, nor will I fail anymore. Nothing will ever change.
It will be so boring, predictable, trivial and mundane. And I feel like I will be so happy, more happy than I’ve ever been in my life! Honestly it sounds a bit wierd to me, but that’s how I’m feeling right now.