Change, like sunshine, can be a friend or a foe, a blessing or a curse, a dawn or a dusk.
~William Arthur Ward
Change is inevitable. As a general rule I embrace it and find ways to navigate the new paradigm shift. Most of the time, the changes are positive and just what I needed to shake me out of the complacency that comes with being too comfortable in where my life is at any given moment.
At least that is what I tried to remind myself when everything recently went to hell in a hand basket. Have you ever faced a moment when everything you expected and counted on, everything you knew about yourself abruptly went out of focus? It is frightening, isn’t it?
Losing a job isn’t the end of the world. Far from it. But losing a job after twenty years with the same company tilted my world on its axis. Finding myself standing outside the doors holding a box containing personal items from my desk left me stunned and lost. My brain literally shut down because I couldn’t process what had just happened. It didn’t matter that I was just another victim of corporate downsizing or that it wasn’t anything personal. It felt damn personal to me.
I’d like to say I handled it like a pro, but the truth of the matter is there really is a grieving process with any unexpected loss – including a job. There were days when getting out of my pajama’s was too much effort and a lot of nights I slept on the couch because it helped mitigate the panic when I woke up each morning and realized I wasn’t going to work. After twenty years of defining myself by my accomplishments and position within my former company I suddenly had to identify myself as unemployed. It felt like failure.
To say I am blessed with family and friends is a gross understatement. They helped me even when I found it hard to be comforted by their support and understanding. They offered encouragement, laughter when I needed it most and a steady presence that made it possible for me to work my way through the dark hole I fell in to.
I still have a lot to figure out and finding another job is at the top of my list. The creativity energy to write is slowly returning and that is a huge relief. It was doubly scary to find words had deserted me and my characters were silent.
As a general rule I am an optimist and working my way through recent events has shown me I have more strength than I realized. I will be okay. Truly, who knows where life will take me next. All I know is stepping boldly to greet whatever comes my way is much better than allowing past events to defeat me.
Change is what we make of it after all.