There was a moment during a recent morning commute when everything came together for me.
I had just settled into my seat on the X27 bus when I began my tradition of silently reciting the 23rd Psalm.
This may sound a little nutty to some people, but I find that it helps with job-related stress.
On this particular morning I had just started when the bus pulled up to an intersection and a fabulous ray of sunlight beamed right into me.
I could feel this purifying energy penetrate every cell of my body and it seemed like I was levitating right out of my seat, as I truly feared no evil.
Well, I’m going to need that kind of light, power, and courage since I have parted ways with my company of eight years and I am now officially unemployed.
I’ve been hinting at this situation in earlier blog posts, referring to a personal crisis and similar code words. Well, this is what I was talking about.
When I handed over my work ID on Monday morning, I felt physically lighter, somewhat exposed, and decidedly unwelcome.
My now former boss escorted me out of the building as if I were a plague victim and I walked down Frank Sinatra Drive in Hoboken to board the PATH train for the last time. At 10AM I had no trouble getting a seat.
I held back on my breakdown until I called my sister a short time later and told her the news.
“I’m tired of being the family fuck-up,” I said, my voice cracking.
I’m trying to focus on the future and not the fear, which has been quite challenging. I think it would probably be a good thing if I stopped referring to myself as a fuck-up.
Thy Rod and Thy Staff
I’m going to be 59 years old in May, hardly a prime time to be unemployed.
There’s a part of me that says I should be far more stable at this point in my life and that I ought to be looking at places to retire instead of pounding the pavement. I try not to listen to that voice.
I feel both frightened and excited; liberated and imprisoned. I need a source of income, of course, and I’m going to need healthcare, as well.
I’ve only been out of work for a short time, though, so my attitude might change in the coming weeks.
I’m revising the resume, answering job postings for full-time and part-time work and I’m looking for work in New York and California, though I’ll go anywhere for a good gig.
I want to get something positive out of this experience: acquire new skills, climb out of the comfort zone, develop a sense of gratitude, and learn how to make do with less.
I told the priest at confession on Saturday that maybe God is punishing me for all my misdeeds by taking away my job.
“I don’t think God acts that way,” the priest said.
No, neither do I, but I needed to say it just so someone else could shoot it down.
I’m thinking back on my commuting experience, how peaceful and calm I felt. Cynics will say that it was merely a combination of good timing, bright sunshine, and religious mumbo-jumbo.
Yes, well, screw them. I don’t need cynicism now. I need faith, magic, and mystery to restoreth my soul.
Wish me luck.