Hello World. It's been a while...

So, nearly two weeks ago, my circus life was upended a bit.

Bio-Mom called to say she was going to the hospital because her bronchitis and pneumonia weren't getting any better. She got sick in December and was diagnosed with bronchitis. In January, it grew to pneumonia. A few days after she was admitted, she ended up getting a shiny new heart valve. We are all completely thrilled that she came through the surgery just fine and is healing little by little.

Later that same day, my Executive Administrative Assistant position was eliminated from the place I've worked for nearly 24 years. There had been rumblings and rumors, and the company is undergoing some changes. To say I knew or had a feeling this was coming is true in the same sense that we all know we're going to die at some point, we just hope it's not today.

While I know this will be a good thing when all the dust settles, I can tell you this hit me hard. I was a bit teary during the exit interview, but held it together when I collected my things. I made it to the van and became a blubbering mess on the phone with my husband. It was a significant loss, expected or not.

Once home, after another bout of tears, I sat in the chair running through everything in my head. I decided I should probably get the vacuum cleaner out and vacuum behind the corner television that we never move in the family room. And then I realized I just might go insane... a short trip, really.

I haven't, though. I'm ok. I'm completely out of my comfort zone and I miss the people I worked with and I have some moments of disbelief, frustration, and major self doubt. And, I know it's only been about two weeks, but I have hope. Lots of hope. It comes in the form of advice from people I've reached out to, every new job listing I see, and friends and family.

My days are spent listening to my music, connecting with people, working my network, getting coached through this process, checking job listings, and tweaking my resume.

It may be a bumpy road, and I can't see how long it is from where I am now, but I'll get to where I'm going. And it will be good.


Kristi McKinnon said...

You got this!!!!Love you Dit

Jim said...

If anyone can make a huge-ass bucket of lemonade out of this pile of lemons, it will be you. Sadly the crap that life deals us makes us doubt ourselves and second-guess everything we do but remember that your brain, when you're under stress and in an uncomfortable place, will lie to you like nobody's business. Don't listen.

You totally got this. You don't know when. You don't know how. But you are where you're supposed to be right now.

Squirl said...

There's nothing that can prepare you for stuff like this. It hurts like hell for so many reasons. I hope you're resting and letting yourself work through all of the feelings. You're good and you'll be back working before you know it. We love you and are here to talk if you want/need it. Sending lots of good thoughts and warm hugs your way.

Ortizzle said...

Hey, Kelli! This is more like a mini-novel than a comment, but I hope you enjoy my story and find it encouraging. So here goes...

This reminds me of when I started over at the age of 46 when I repatriated to the States after 25 years overseas. I took the first decent job I could find: marketing and sales at a publishing company. Probably the only job in publishing I had never done, but it got me on my feet again. It also made my culture shock more palatable since it allowed me to travel around the U.S. and sometimes to Europe to attend all the book fairs. After about 3 years, I walked into work one day and was immediately called into the conference room. They explained that the company had to downsize, and in order to keep the computer book division alive, they had to sell one of the smaller imprints. Basically, the one I was in charge of. The entire thing was over in 20 minutes from the start of the meeting to collecting my personal belongings and leaving without being allowed to speak to anyone. Humiliating. Also: I got no severance pay. They paid my full salary for the month of November, but they also fired me the day before Thanksgiving. So one week extra pay. I remember calling my husband and crying most of the day. This was right before Christmas, of course, when it’s hard to get hired anywhere. I had no savings; my meager salary was barely enough to keep me afloat since I had had to start all over buying furniture for my apartment, a car, etc., etc. Desperate to be earning some kind of money while I was seeking a new job, I worked as a server for a catering service and even did some gigs at fancy holiday parties as the photo button person. Serving at parties was a real eye-opener: I remember chatting with the other servers in the kitchen: we all had college degrees and had lost jobs through downsizing. The jerks we were serving cocktails to were boorish, ignorant clients of the rich lawyers giving these holiday parties.

I spent nearly a month cruising internet job sites, sending C.V.s out, and networking with people I knew. Nothing. Eventually, I decided to try going back to teaching which I had done for many years in Spain. Except now I figured I could teach English OR Spanish. I did not have a teaching qualification from the U.S., though; just my B.A. in English. I decided to apply at private schools where a college degree was often sufficient. A few days before Christmas I got a call from a private school where I had interviewed and even taught a ‘sample’ lesson. They offered me full time work starting in the following spring. After my first year there, they said I needed to rack up a few more undergraduate hours in Spanish, since, although I was fluent, I did not have my degree in that subject. And that was how I ended up, at the age of 52, going back to school and eventually earning my M.A. in Spanish. The day I passed my comps, the chair of the department of modern languages offered me the job I have now as coordinator of the lower level Spanish program.

I love my job! And while the salary isn’t amazing, it has great health insurance and a good teacher retirement plan. Getting fired was truly the best thing that ever happened to me!

I hope my story cheers you up a bit. You have so much experience and so many skills, not the least of which are your amazing people skills. I *know* you will find your perfect niche somewhere... and quite possibly sooner than you think. Keep your spirits up, my dear!

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

Oh, Kelli, this is a big load to be carrying on your shoulders and in your heart!
It hurts to think about you having no time to process it all from being told it was happening until you had to clean out your work space and leave the building. That's so hurtful.

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