I Got Laid Off One Year Ago Today and It Ended Up Being a Blessing
For the last couple of weeks, I've thought about how I was going to approach all of this. Would I mention it? Would I ignore it? Would I even remember about it since it seems like an actual lifetime ago?
Now that I think about it, I don't think I've ever really talked much about this. I feel like I've mentioned it in passing in other articles and even on air, but just sort of in passing and never really revealed much about it. Until right now.
Let me tell you a tale about my life on January 14, 2020. I woke up like any other morning. Watched a little Tulsa, Oklahoma news -- now, I'll be honest, I watched it partly for the actual news, but I watched it mostly for this guy in commercials for multiple furniture stores who made weird arm motions and talked about furniture and mattress sharks. Here, I'll show you what I mean (the weird arm thing comes in at the end):
And as an added bonus, while looking for that commercial I came across this gem -- A LEGIT SONG.
Anyway, I'm a little off track, but how can you NOT get sidetracked by that? Long story short, I got ready, I took my dog (who was still just a little pint-sized pup at the time) Remy out, and right before I left for work, my boss text me saying he needed to see me around 9:30 in his office.
Cool, no biggie, figured he needed to talk about something with a client we had been working with. The radio station in Tulsa was in a big ole bank building -- rode the elevator to the top floor, walked in the lobby, and found the front desk girl in tears. Now, we had become pretty close friends, and she was pregnant at the time (and now has an adorable baby boy), so my first fear was something bad had happened.
She went on to tell me that she was sure she just watched one of my co-workers get "walked out" (another term for being laid off and having to be escorted out of the building). And suddenly in that moment, I knew exactly why my boss needed to see me in his office at 9:30.
I knew I was going to get walked out, so I told the front desk girl to say goodbye to me because I didn't know if we'd be able to talk after it went down. I walked right up to my boss' door and told him I knew what was about to happen, so we could just rip off the band-aid. I walked in, he did what he had been instructed to say off a nifty sheet of paper, gave me a buddy hug goodbye and thanked me for everything, and I went home. 20 minutes after I had left.
The day honestly flew by, probably because my phone was blowing up the entire time between checking on friends in other radio markets and former co-workers. It wasn't just a localized Tulsa thing, it was a nationwide layoff, which, if you're going to get any comfort in being laid off, at least you know it's not a YOU thing, it's a company thing.
Something honestly happened to me that day, though, because my entire outlook on everything changed. I won't lie, I've ALWAYS tried to put out some kind of positivity, but inside I was just burnt out, a bit grumpy, and just...I guess "unhappy" is a good word. And for whatever reason, when all of that went down, everything just clicked into place. It was like the last piece of a puzzle being put into place.
I think it was probably because deep down, I knew I was going to get to come home. I moved out to Tulsa for work, work was no longer existent, and even though I knew I'd be leaving and miss some of the best friends I'll ever have in my life out there (and I do miss them a ton), I knew I had a no strings attached path just paved for me to get back home to New England. And as a cherry on top, said best friends and I had a cruise we were going on 2 weeks later, so there was absolutely ZERO stress in prepping for vacation, and no anxiety while on the trip to wonder what I'd be coming back to at work.
I think the one of the best parts of all of this is it finally pushed me over the edge to grow up a bit. Now, don't get me wrong, I still think and forever will think that growing up is a trap, but there's some points in life where maybe if you're in your 30's, you can't keep acting like you're 21. Your mindset and priorities have to change a bit.
The other best part? I'm super tight with my family. And my mom is my best friend hands down. Being away from them, and especially her, for the 19 months I was gone, got to be a real rough time. Since then, I've gotten to make up for that lost time (at least with her, not so much the rest of the family because...ya know, pandemic), and it's been great. And honestly, when I tell you the universe knew EXACTLY what it was doing.
Mom needed knee replacement surgery at the end of the summer, and I was there for her entire recovery to help her out and take care of stuff that she needed to work her way back up to. And while all of that was going on, I got to stay physically and mentally busy so I didn't get TOO much cabin fever from sitting at home, all day, with my dog, with nothing to do other than trying to find a job again.
Which, again, the universe knowing what it's doing all the time, all worked out since as soon as Mom was pretty much good to go and once again independent as heck, I landed this job and started right before she actually went back to work herself.
Look, I know this has been a lot of words, and if you don't know me well yet, you may not even care what happened a year ago today. And that's totally cool, hopefully I win you over someday. But if you made it this far, first off -- thank you. Because clearly whether you realize it or not, you cared enough to support me while I rode the highs and dealt with the lows, and I appreciate the heck out of you.
But also, if you made it this far and you've gone through the same thing -- a layoff, a furlough -- anything. It's okay that it stinks at times. It's okay that you get frustrated and fed up and cranky and have moments where you have zero patience and get a little snippy. Getting laid off during (or slightly before, since it hadn't really kicked in yet) a pandemic is ROUGH, especially mentally, nevermind financially.
But one year ago today, I posted on my Facebook page that I took an L (loss) and that tomorrow, I'd bounce back. Tomorrow may have taken a long time, but the bounce back came. And the bounce back has been so much greater than the setback. You're going to be okay, and you're going to be better off than you were originally. You just have to realize you're good enough to be, and you need to make sure you keep in touch with people willing to fight for you because they know who you are and what your worth is. That's how I ended up here, and there's honestly no other place I'd rather be.