I have been reading Rob Breszny's horoscopes for longer than I can remember. I love his imaginative style of writing and that his more recent work has been informed by Pronoia, the notion that the universe is conspiring for you. A couple weeks ago, I opened his weekly newsletter to find the following at the end of my horoscope:
Reclaim your power to define your own fate from anyone who has stolen it from you.
What a timely reminder. One of the hard things about finding your future suddenly not as secure as you once thought it was is remembering that you do have some control. When I lost my job, my response to feeling powerless was to chop off all my hair off and dye it red. It sounds superficial, but it was oddly empowering in the middle of feeling like the rug had been pulled out from under me to be able to make a drastic change that I had planned.
I won't say that everything is just peachy. I've gotten to go back to work for a month, but still worry. My job is only until the company goes up for auction on the 22nd. After that, literally anything could happen. It all depends who wins the bid for the assets, if they want to resurrect the company, who they hire back if it is resurrected, or whether they just end up liquidating.
What has really helped is that in my head, I am thinking of this as a temp job. At least, this way, I am as mentally prepared as I can be for whatever happens now. Even though I am doing approximately the same work I did before the big layoff, I am also finding that it doesn't consume me as much as it did before. If I'm honest, after years I'd fallen into a rut of putting my work before myself. In the end, it became a reason not to do the things I wanted to do for me, because I was too tired, too busy, too immersed in having to work overtime.
As unpleasant as being laid off has been, it's been a reminder that there is life out there beyond work. In the couple weeks since I've been off, I've been writing more, reading more (and more challenging material!), studying different religions and mythologies, cooking more, focusing on my diet, my health, all the things I'd let fall by the wayside. While I don't like the uncertainty of being laid off, rediscovering the fiery red haired me who likes to write songs, study random subjects, read, write and noodle around on the violin has in its own way been a gift and a reminder that whatever I end up doing professionally, I need to do a better job at finding balance, reclaiming myself and redefining my own fate.
Update 4.28: My return to work is now permanent!!! More on that later!