One of my reader, – one of YOU – , wrote me that I am ‘courageous’. Courageous to write down things openly, warning me that my ex-colleagues or friends can read it.
I am not sure if this is courage per se or not, but I know they are reading it. What is more: I would kindly ask them to read my thoughts. As a sort of intellectual revenge. Since this is my tool, I can write but I am not good at people-games; talking one thing showing other, I am unable to go along those unwritten rules of how to manipulate others and so on, so I was unable to cope with them in their own language. I was not ready for such office politics.
But I think the problem roots deeper: I am not and was not willing to do so!
And like it or not, it is big disadvantage is today’s world – not able, not willing to play certain compulsory games is risky. A risk – that I always tend to take. No regrets.
Two months ago I took the risk to quit my job. And again, I am ‘courages’ to write down that some of my ex-colleagues were even happy for this move. (well, if only they knew that I was happier). This is a fact. Some felt they have to feel sorry for me, because I will not have a job for long. (well, how would they know?) This is an other fact.
It was a complex misery. A struggle, a fight, a contest. Until the last thread has snapped…
There was I, standing at the junction and seeing road A and road B. Risk to the left, risk to the right. Your brain says left, your heart says right.
Why is there no middle way actually? Why do we always have to live with the ‘opportunity cost’ in life?
Life is an absolute twist, this is the third upcoming fact: I was telling to all my friends: ‘never quit your job until you have an alternative. Especially, today. Its too risky.’
Why was I so keen on protecting them, yet, throwing myself into the dark road B?
I CHOSE to quit my job without any alternative. I did not protect myself, and nobody else did. Nobody else could have.
But in that moment I was free and relieved.
Soon after I became free and scared.
Then free and analyzer.
Then free….and just plainly: free.
I was officially unemployed. A stigma that today you don’t say out loud, unless you want all the faces turning to you with big-sad-sorry-for-you eyes and fake smile: ‘ah you are going to find something soon’. But actually no: you will not!
When I say I was scared, I mean that I was scared to say it out loud. After all, it is against the expectation of society. After all, they are going to put the stigma on me. After all, what will they think? After all, I will really not have a job for long maybe?
Oh my God. I was going to panic. Me? Not having a job? But I am gifted, skilled, put a lot on the table in my life already? Why me? What am I going to do? What am I going to tell to people?
Hey-hey-hey, slow down a little bit. What is wrong with you? – asked myself after a few days.
And this is where the magic started to happen:
I genuinely accepted my new status in life. My new lifestyle. My new THING.
It never occurred to me to regret what I did, but I certainly did not think of the next day and what is awaiting me once I get the paper: YOU are UNEMPLOYED.
After those few days of meditating over what happened, the usual why(s), how(s), and what if(s), I started to feel good. I started to feel very good, feel proud, feel like ‘I never want to work anymore’ (oh, how naive – and it is certainly not the case anymore).
But the punch line here is the following: I got rid of expectations, stigmas, pitying faces, fake smiles. I turned the situation around and I felt good about it. I am happily saying out loud: I am taking some time off!
I started to go through the stages of my life and realize (again) that things do happen for a reason, indeed!
Yes of course, you can ask me now: why to be unemployed? What is the benefit of loosing your job? Why is it good for you? And so on, and so on. Justified questions that I have posed to myself as well.
Frankly, I cannot tell you, why is it good for YOU – it is YOUR journey. But I can tell you, that I found the reasons in my life and I am happy. (and if I did, you will, too)
If I do not quit my job, if I do not have so much ‘me time‘, if I do not have all the talks with myself, I would never arrive to these awakening thoughts about me, my life, my goals.
As if I got the chance for pressing a restart button – don’t we all want this option always?!
Nobody can assure us anything. I might get a job tomorrow (even though I have other plans), I might remain unemployed for months. BUT!
It will still not define me! Having a job or not will not define me! It will not stigmatize me and it will certainly not placing me in the society higher or lower!
I am in touch with several young people, who are seeking for their first job, or a new job; I read all those rather de-motivating statistics and interviews with these youth, and if I would keep on reading them, I would soon stop getting up in the mornings!
So I chose the contrary, and stopped reading unemployment rates, sad stories of not having a job for years – instead, I share my story with you and I attempt to motivate you to find your twist in your own story! After all, it is not a sad melodrama!
So this entry is for you – for all of you:
Not having a job is not defining you, it is not making you a failure!
It might give you the time to reflect on your life, to see your boundaries, face your limitations, figure out what you really want, teach you patience, lead you to discover new things about yourself, motivate you further, prepare you to be stronger, make you better, educate you to appreciate…
… But it is never a waste of time! It is never pejorative thing! It is never something to be ashamed of!
So join me, and be a happy, proud unemployed, who knows that this is not the end of the world, but the beginning of a new life! (Your re-start button)
And as a final note: I am not encouraging nobody to be unemployed! Regardless of the good elements, it gives you bad days. Days, when you want to give up and cry. When you don’t see the light in the darkness. So my advice remains as always: appreciate your job, work hard, get better – but above all enjoy it!
And some of you might never need to experience the status of an unemployed, maybe your life hides other adventures for you – but it does not make us different:You, employed, and us, (temporarily) unemployed.