I’ve had a job since I was 15 years old – I am now 26 and I was just laid off, due to budget cuts. This is the first time that I have NOT had a job in my adult life. I went from being sad, to being mad, to feeling like a piece of garbage. Having a job has always been a part of my identity. So, what do you do when a piece of you is removed from the picture? Unwillingly mind you…
The first job I had at 15 (and a half) was at Girly Girl USA. And no, it’s not a strip club – however we did shuffle many calls for bachelor parties… Girly Girl was a birthday party place for little girls. We had different themed parties and I worked there almost until I graduated high school. The picture on the left, is of me and my best friend, whom I met while working there. Girly Girl was such a good experience to have had at a young age.
So, from 15 years old on, I’ve worked. I bartended in college (you can bartend at 18 in New York) and I moved on to mixology when I came back to Reno. I basically managed a restaurant in Florida after graduation; and I took a HUGE pay cut to get my foot in the door with marketing when I moved back to Reno again, but I did it. I am blessed to have followed the path that I have.
But now that was all taken away.
All my work, my hard work ethic, everything I had planned for and worked towards – taken.
And some of you are thinking I’m being dramatic – but that’s how I felt. I’m being honest.
I’ve always been a contributing member of society. I’ve always taken pride in that statement. That was another phrase our parents would say to us – that they were raising us to be, “Contributing members of society”. It has been engrained into my schema, into my being.
I don’t know anything about unemployment or the process. What about my health insurance now? Do I pay out the nose for Cobra? Do I need to get on ObamaCare (gag noise)? So many questions!!! All of which I have never had to deal with before…
Part of my identity, was taken away – and I’m still not sure how I feel about it.
I joke around – like, “Hey, you know I don’t have a job, so I’ll be at home!” I try to make light of the situation, when it’s not a light situation at all. A large part of me feels hollow – missing. It’s a crap feeling.
I don’t know if you’ve been laid off, or if you know someone who has been – but I’m sorry for what you or your loved ones are going through if you have been. It’s a mess, and it makes you feel like a mess.
Not being able to contribute, not being a “contributing member of society”, has so taken me aback – it is such a foreign concept to me that I don’t know how to handle it. I don’t know what to do with “unemployment”… besides of course, hitting the ground running looking for a new job.
Let’s get REAL about how we identify ourselves.
Let’s get uncomfortable and show our vulnerabilities.