On Thursday, June 15, 1995, I walked up the football field, stepped on a makeshift stage and accepted my high school diploma. On Sunday, June 15, 2008, I noticed something was missing. You know the general feeling you have on Sunday's? The "why is the weekend so short", "why did I drink so much last night", "why can't I win the lottery/find a wealthy man/invent some insanely famous/successful trinket so I don't have to work anymore" feelings? Those were absent from my subconscious this June 15, due to the fact I was ceremoniously laid-off from my job on Friday, June 13.
Reflecting back on the fact that it's been 13 years since I ended my high school career at age 17, it's a little odd to be in a very comparable situation at age 30. At this point, thanks to a little severance and getting paid out vacation days, the world is once again my oyster, just like it was when I was heading off to college. Well, not the world, but perhaps a small portion of it. And not indefinitely, the money will run out probably before football season starts, but still. No more having to work with those mean girls (not all, but most). No more trying to sell something intangible to people who just want to rock out to good music from a good vantage point and don't give a shit about the fucking wine dinners. No more having to feel like a little portion of my soul is being sucked out of my body when I hear the question "Well, what will make us the most money?" time and time again. I can say that since 3 p.m. on Friday, I've felt smiles appear on my face a little more quickly, my laugh feels a little more sincere and my overall zest for life has started to return.
Since high school I have gone to and graduated from college, worked three different jobs, been involved in several different volunteer organizations, moved from Trenton to Bowling Green to Trenton to Royal Oak to Ferndale to Chicago, attended bachelorette parties, wedding showers, weddings, baby showers, birthday parties, seen friends and family members through both good and bad times, seen the Red Wings win the Stanley Cup a couple times, celebrated when the Piston's won the NBA championship, attended seven Opening Day's at Comerica Park, traveled to three countries, and been on a lot of unmemorable dates. There's a lot more but c'mon...you get the drift.
I think my sense of relief when I was given the news that I think, according to all the "I'm so sorry to hear about your job...what are you going to do?"'s I've heard, was supposed to devastate me, is partly due to the fact that I pretty much felt like life was speeding by and I was completely unable to reach out and grab a hold of it. I felt as if getting laid-off is giving me the chance to stop for a minute, figure out what makes me happy and go after it. With vigor.
I have started multiple blogs in the past with a really honest intention to update them regularly and make them something special. Like most ideas in my life, it hasn't happened. Now that I have a laptop but have a lot more time on my hands, I plan to document my "unemployment vacation" (don't tell the Unemployment Office I called it that) as much as possible. I'm sure there will be days when I feel down on life and wonder how I got to this station, but I have a feeling there will be days when I feel like this was, in the words of Becky Norsic, the best decision I didn't make.