On purpose?

Christiana White


Photo by Edgardo Ibarra🌛 on Unsplash

I’m the very definition of unmoored now. I willingly left my home of 26 years to move to a flat closer to downtown Oakland. As of Monday, two days ago, I am also without a job. I am “free.”

But “free” isn’t really so when you need income. Freedom is just plain scary when you can’t relax into it.

Yet, this is what my life has become, what it looks like now.

And I have feeling I did it to myself on purpose.

At the very least, I must admit I muttered under my breath more than once over the last couple of years that it might be best if I just got fired because I could never quit such a good job.

I wanted my freedom. Or more freedom, anyway. I wanted something that to my mind is simple: a more-than-two-week vacation. Somehow, that possibility has been painfully unavailable to me for my entire career. That is, for decades.

In the gaps between jobs, I usually was too broke to do anything fun before taking the next job.

Of course, this is my own fault.

It’s not taking the reins of my own life. It’s letting myself be buffeted about. I’ve done this my entire life. I like to say I tend to land on my feet. I used to feel pretty good about that. I thought it was a good thing.

But, it obviously implies that I find myself flung into the air a good deal. I was not holding the reins of my own life.

I’m still not… but this time, I feel, well, not entirely panicked. And that is new.

True, Monday wasn’t fun. It was the proverbial kick in the gut. But I didn’t break down when I got the news. I was oddly calm. I think I sensed a tinge, just the barest tinge, of opportunity.

Yesterday was harder. I succumbed to depression halfway through the day and felt I was moving through water. Very thick water. Sludge, in fact.

Today is better. For one thing, I learned that a good number of my team was laid off with me, and the list is eye-popping. I know the majority of these folks to be valuable, talented employees who fulsomely sang the praises of our company. They had really drunk the Kool-Aid.