Does anything in nature despair except man?
An animal with a foot caught in a trap does not seem to despair. It is too busy trying to survive. It is all closed in, to a kind of still, intense waiting. Is this a key? Keep busy with survival. Imitate the trees. Learn to lose in order to recover, and remember that nothing stays the same for long, not even pain, psychic pain. Sit it out. Let it all pass. Let it go.
- May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude
almost 10 years ago now,
it forced me into life’s deep questions.
why did this happen to me?
how could they do this?
where do I go now?
I wrote a lot
to try and appease the anger.
I met with friends
who kindly reminded me
that I had so much going for me
despite this loss.
Friends who told me
that this may indeed
be a good thing, somehow,
and that there may be a light
at the end of the tunnel.
I made art.
I wrote more.
i considered my options
and then got angry again
at being forced into this new life
of financial instability
The anger came in waves,
along with the hurt
and the relief
and the sadness
and the worry.I was bitter
and swore that I would never work
for a large corporation
I would find myself
another way to make a living.
I no longer knew
if I even wanted to continue being
a graphic designer.
This is what happens
when we experience change –
especially when the change
is not our choice.
We question everything,
And through those questions
we often discover
our own truths.
Months later, I began to realize
that losing my job didn’t define me.My reaction defined me.
How I chose to deal with it defined me.
I could wallow in my sorrow for years
and slowly disintegrate –
or I could put on my big girl panties
and get on with my life.
With MY life.I slowly found my bearings again
and I began to discover
a sense of wonder for the world.
A deeper gratitude
for the simple things,
like a good book,
or chicken noodle soup in a beautiful cup...
I scattered my eggs
in different baskets,
and found a balance
between graphic design
and office work
that allowed me to make a living.
To make a life.
I make less money,
but have more time.
I have less financial stability
but have more freedom.
I buy less things
but I lack nothing.
I love Mondays.
The idea of doing the same thing for 25 years,
all for the sake of yearly 5 star vacations
and a pension plan
makes me wanna shoot myself in the face.
I do not live my life for tomorrow,
because i have known too many people
who have not made it to tomorrow.
My friends were right.
Losing my job was a good thing.
(even if it felt like the opposite at the time!)
For those of you out there
who are going through difficult times…
Trust that there are better days ahead.
Eventually, slowly, carefully,
the scattered pieces will mend themselves together again
and although your life will never be the same
it can still be a good, good life.