tomorrowland

I lost my job on Tuesday.

I filed for unemployment on Wednesday. It’s not going to be as much as I had hoped. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to live on it. At the very least, I will have to redefine what it means for me to live. Of course, I have little in the way of savings. I do not want to drain my 401(k).

I want to thank everyone who’s reached to me, via Twitter, Facebook, text message, phone call, and e-mail to offer their support and their advice. I am now actively monitoring my Linked In profile, for once.

I missed out on saying goodbye to a bunch of people at the old job, and if any of them read this, I would urge them to get in touch because, well, I miss you guys already.

But right now I need to figure out a plan. A plan to find employment without sacrificing dignity or health or sanity. I’m eyeing the bag where I keep my medications, wondering how long I can make them last.

People who’ve reached out to me since Tuesday seem to be split into two camps about what I should do. For some reason, Twilight came to mind when thinking of these two sides of a very compelling conflict.

Team Edward says it (the former gig) was never what you wanted to do anyway. You should totally take as much time as you need to find yourself, remember what you love, and let that drive you into something new.

Team Jacob says you gotta get right back into the game and to find a job immediately so you can pay your rent, buy food, and afford health care. Times are tough, but so are you. Get back in there.

Both sides also remind me that I did good work, I was helpful and dedicated and loyal for 11 years, I’m smart and it shouldn’t be difficult to find something not unlike what I was doing before.

I think that’s pretty accurate of the advice I’ve received so far. I still don’t know how I feel.

Actually, that’s not true. I know how I feel, but how I feel changes and has been changing a lot.

I apply for unemployment and see that the estimated benefit is less than what I made when I was 23 years old, so I feel panicky and anxious.

I get good feedback on the first draft of my resumé, and I feel proud.

I get an e-mail from Chase saying that my check for this month’s rent has already been cashed – panicky because that’s less money but good because at least I have a roof over my head through the end of the month.

I came home Tuesday to find my tv and internet has been shut off because I had to pay the bill – awful. I make the minimum payment, then reach out to Comcast Executive Customer support for help – better. A wonderful woman named Marta from Comcast calls back to tell me she can reduce my cable tv bill significantly for the next six months – so much better. I get off the phone and start crying – dear god.

I find out that the writing staff of “The Walking Dead” got let go on the same day I get let go – wow, Hollywood really is just like real life.

I announce a project called “Take Your Jasmine To Work” Day on my Tumblr, where I visit my friends at their jobs, in the hopes that I make some progress in meeting people who can help me find work and also because I think it’s hilarious – proud that my sense of humor seems to be intact.

I think of my parents, who I haven’t called yet because I don’t want to upset them, especially since my aunt Ruby (mother’s sister) died of breast cancer this week. I have no feelings for this. Feelings aren’t enough to describe the sorrow and love I feel for them and for my mother’s loss. I cannot bear to call them with more bad news. It’s too soon, too much.

I’m not sure this is what Dave had in mind when he suggested I write this blog post. It’s step 3 in an exercise that hopefully should help me figure out what happens next. It’s just what happened.

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5 Comments

Filed under health, personal

5 responses to “tomorrowland

  1. Joseline

    I’m sure you’ll be back on your feet in no time. You’re really intelligent and charming. Fortunately you have a vast network of friends you can hit up for job referrals, advice and moral support. In the mean time do what you’ve been doing like make sure you leave the apartment every day even if it’s to only go grocery shopping or take a nice brisk walk. I’ve been having a rough time myself and it’s easier said than done but once you make a commitment to take care of yourself everything will fall into place.

  2. I’m sorry about your job. I am currently underemployed and all the platitudes make me want to start throwing punches so I’ll spare you. Good luck.

  3. As a person who’s twice been laid (okay, once was fired), I can absolutely relate to what you’re going through And let me assure you that it’s not nearly as bad as you at first think it will be.

    Like you, in both instances I had no savings. And except for a meager severance package, I too, had to depend on unemployment benefits. Although our life situations differ, I can tell you the most effective strategy that got me through it all was cutting back on RVERYTHING. You hit the nail on the head when you said you’d “need to redefine what it means to live.” When I was in your shoes, absolutely every single superfluous thing that was costing me money got cut. And of course dropping money on eating out everyday was a thing of the past. Instead of going out and dropping $50 on booze on a Saturday night, I politely declined invitations.

    I realize this is all rather obvious advice. But the point I’m trying to make is that you can learn to live on less, especially when you have no choice.

    As far as healthcare goes, there’s options. COBRA, of course but that is insanely and unfairly overpriced. I suggest asking your doctors office if they have any sort if financial hardship program. I was just at Northwestern Memorial Physicians Group (http://nmpg.com) yesterday. And because my income is so low I was able to get hooked up with their program. Saw my doc yesterday for FREE. I’ve found that with healthcare there are options, you just have to ask the right questions.

    I know you will bounce back. It looks bleak now, but believe me when I say that it will get better. You’ll have to male lifestyle changes in the interim, but it will improve and things will be manageable with some effort.

  4. Jasmine, I’m sorry to hear you lost your job. Contact me on LinkedIn at http://www.LinkedIn.com/in/robtpatrick and I’ll introduce you to my contacts, perhaps there’ll be someone/something there that will get the word out about your talents.

    Nothing but best wishes, Robert

  5. Oh no! That truly sucks. I’m sorry you’re going thru this but you’re a clever woman and I’m sure you’ll find something soon. Hang in there, lady.

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