Friday October 5th marked my two year anniversary of being laid off. It's funny I still have nightmares about my exit interview. One day I'd like to tell the offending partner how unprofessional she was. But that's an entirely different train of thought.
The few weeks leading up to this day have been strange to say the least. So much so I didn't realize the day was approaching until the night before. Things like ultrasounds, biopsies, talking to ex's, other ex's having babies, talking about others careers or new job options, researching grad schools, painting, dates with men that have girlfriends they claim not to want, considering online dating, asking a dude out for a drink, panicking about my future, having strange people in my home, worrying about missing cats and sick family and friends. You know normal life stuff, but there are days when all these things happening at once feel just a bit overwhelming. And then when you add the pressure of social norms, and believe me they are out there, one might start to feel like a failure. But when I think about all the amazing things I've been privileged to do, people I've met, places and things I've seen. I know I am nothing close to being a failure.
Today I was put on the spot and had respond to those loaded questions such as: What are you doing now? Are you looking for a real job? Are you worried? It's nice to be confident in my answers and strong in knowing who I am and what I want right now. I may not know what I want in 5 months from now, but for now I know. I set the goal to paint for 6 months, not be distracted by work, men or travel. But as with any goal, no sooner have you set it do distractions start to come up. Or you create them.
Yes, I have legitimate panic about my future. But not every day. Most days I enjoy my life, freedom, painting, yoga, travel, reading, and of course pet sitting when I can. But having to cough up $420 for an ultrasound that turned out to be unnecessary caused some anxiety. Wondering how I was going to pay for a $700+ biopsy (thank you Oregon Breast and Cervical Program for under-insured low income woman over 40. Guess there is one benefit to being over 40) certainly caused more concern. Thankfully those results came back normal enough.
As with many of my posts, I'm not sure what the point is. That I'm happy to be unemployed, uninsured and scraping by on just paintings, prints and pet/house sitting? That goals are important? That I have great supportive friends and family to talk to when I need to whine about things? That thankfully my health is intact? That I have many furry friends too? That I have talent and inspiration?
I don't know. But what I do know and as I said earlier this week on Facebook, "It's true, I live a strange and interesting life, at times. And I'm never bored". I also really love a good run-on sentence!
I think one big lesson learned during the last two years is that it's my life, and I'm living it. My choices and my consequences. Doing the best I can with what I have, staying as true as possible to myself and hopefully giving something good back into the world as often as I can.
I'm sure I've quoted this before, and I'm sure I will again, but I leave you with this:
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” ― Mary Oliver