A month ago, I was laid off.
An hour afterwards, I got to work — sending off resumes, messaging friends and colleagues, starting a newsletter, updating this website. I’ve kind of been at it since…
But was that a good idea? I’ve never had a transition phase in my life, not really. Even when I decided to move from California to Chicago, Chicago to New York, New York to Chicago and back again, my life has been a blur of decisions and action, decisions and action. I’m a master of abrupt moves and last-minute changes, somersaulting from one thing to the next. Even between jobs, I’ve only ever allowed myself a couple of days of rest; I could always find time for self-care later.
And this is true, even still, as I develop my routine for exercise, yoga, meditation, stillness. But I’m starting to think that carving out routine is merely a reaction to the upheaval I bring upon myself.
Of course, the layoff was not something I sought out (LOL I live in NYC, have you seen our cost-of-living?). But this transition, this liminal space I’ve been afforded, well, I’ve been reacting to it like I have in the past. Decision, action, decision, action. Everyone has told me what a blessing this transition may be, and yeah yeah, I hear you, but I also gotta get things done. It’s in my bones.
At least, that’s what I thought up until literally an hour ago, when I was journaling and pulling my tarot cards and otherwise being reflective about how I’ll go about the next few weeks in the job search/freelancing game. I finally listened to everyone: What if I slowed down and actually took time to ride this wave presented to me? What would that look like?
In the weeks since the layoff, I’ve traveled, and journaled, and even started taking podcasting classes at a Brooklyn media arts center. While all of that is good, it also all seems to come from my natural impulse to keep myself booked and busy. I realized that maybe, I’m afraid to reflect, afraid to be by myself.
Instead of filling up my calendar with projects and meetings and long-to-do lists, maybe I should be afraid for a little while.