Looking back, I guess the downward spiral started when I was laid off, though if I’m being honest I wasn’t happy in my dead-end job. But it was something I had, something I had earned and was good at. And it provided me stability, something I had never had to worry about. Until I didn’t have it any more.
Upon being laid off I was determined to stay positive. I kept up pretenses for awhile; diligently writing blog posts, getting up before everyone in my house, and wearing my rose-colored glasses. “I’m keeping routine!” I told everyone. And I was. But deep down inside I was terrified. I had the looming issue of running out of my severance and savings that was constantly on my mind, not to mention that after 10+ years in field of Product Management, my chosen profession that I genuinely like doing, I could barely even get an interview. I felt more defeated than I ever had before.
I love this blog but it’s my creative outlet. I don’t make any money from it and in a world cluttered with blogs on everything from A-Z, I didn’t start this blog to make money; I started it to simply share my life – a woman in her 30s who is figuring it out. I’m making mistakes, I’m finding myself, and being unapologetic about life as I figure out who I am, versus who other people think I’m supposed to be. I love sharing this part of my life with you all, but remember when I said I don’t make any money from it? Well that shit matters.
In my perfect world I would love to work on this blog full time. To be fully present for myself and for you. But I have bills and they need to be paid. Which is why the weight of being laid off and the struggle to find a job brought my down much further than I had anticipated and refused to acknowledge for awhile.
Ultimately, after several months of interviews and defeating “we’re going with another candidate” emails I simply stopped caring. A week went by and I didn’t write a single post. Then two weeks. I had nothing positive to say and the motivation was gone. Not just from here, but from life. I found myself wearing the same yoga pants and t-shirt combo often. I went makeup free in public more than ever before, I ate shitty food, and I started drinking too much. I also obsessively cleaned and organized, which I’ve learned is some sort of coping mechanism; a need to create order in my life when I feel like the rest of it is in disarray.
Then one day, last week, I started to come out of my fog. I decided to get my health on track and eat cleaner and drink less. I wanted to make my weekly to-do lists – something I had abandoned in the previous week’s after years of doing them. I started not just getting things done, but wanting to get things done. I’m not sure, but I suppose the pity party had to end sometime and my proclivity to be solution-focused crept back in.
I still don’t have a job, so to say that I’m back to my old self isn’t true, but I’m getting there. The truth is that I’m not sure if I’ll ever be the old Heather again. I walked through life organized, together, and doing what everyone expects of me, except through this experience I’ve realized that what everyone expects of me is to just be me. So I’m figuring that out. It’s not just the material possessions that are getting a makeover, but also my soul.
Life changes are coming and I welcome them. I’m getting married at the end of this year, I’m reclaiming my health, we’re going to move, and I want less “things” and more experiences. Going through life with constant stability is lovely, but this time in my life has proved to me that I can get through anything, even when it’s scary and you’re not sure what’s next. My sense is that that will be something I carry with me as life moves forward.
So long story short, I’m back. I’m back here, I’m back to the blog, I’m getting back to life, but I’m bringing with it authenticity and honesty. Painful truths and exciting life milestones. It’s time to settle in for the ride, and I do hope you’ll join me.