I was talking with a friend this weekend about the recent upswing in my attitude regarding all things Montana, and the conversation was going great until she asked me the following question:
“Aren’t you secretly grateful that you got fired?”
Secretly grateful?! Oh for sure, I definitely look back and think “thanks so much for that!” (But don’t tell anyone.)
Just in case you’ve never been there, getting fired sucks. A year ago, when it happened to me, I lost my shit. And while things are good now – I have a fun new job, my writing is getting some traction, I’ve met some rad folks and am paying off my debt. I bought a new car and I generally enjoy what I see when I look out my window in the morning. But am I “secretly grateful” that I got fired?
Oh hell no.
I was on top of the world. I had the most amazing community, yoga studio, coffee shop, roommates, etc. I still had my dog and I was on my way to a legit PR career. I LOVED Boulder. Let me reiterate – I WAS FUCKING IN LOVE WITH BOULDER. I could have kept on keeping on forever.
But things change, and as someone who gets bored easily, for that I am appreciative. I miss the hell out of my town and my friends (and maybe my paycheck), and while I am not for one second “secretly grateful” for everything that I had to go through to get where I am now, I do see the value of my experience, and what I’ve learned is this:
1. Easy come, easy go. Everything in my life that’s come on quickly has left just as fast. I got my last job in less than a week from “talking options” to First Day. Five months later, I got fired with no notice, no severence, no nothing. A check for hours worked to that minute (it was around 3pm on a friday) and minimal explanation. Same goes for the dude that sent me flowers after a first date and disappeared two months later. The slow and steady is far more reliable.
2. One huge life decision at a time. As a career change had just been forced on me, I spent the week after I got fired going to yoga, hanging out in my favorite coffee shop and hiking with my dog. It was good. I tried to do a little soul searching, but it’s hard to figure out who you are when you don’t know what you’re doing. Keep it mellow.
3. Do not call ex-boyfriends. Memory Lane doesn’t lead to The Future.
4. Manage your damn money. Three months’ expenses in the bank. AT. ALL. TIMES. I’m paying down my debt to ensure that I’ve got the goods to take care of myself should this ever happen again. God forbid.
5. Enjoy the moment. Seems cliche, but you never know when things are going to change. I’m so glad that I took the time to get to know the folks I worked with, practiced with, learned from, loved. I took every opportunity I could to build my friendships, my network, my sense of self-worth, and that has gotten me through the tough times. Invest in The Now – it will serve your future in ways you can’t imagine.
When shitty things happen – take it in, learn from it and make the best of whatever your situation might be. But, sweet lord, please don’t gloss over a heavy life experience with some woo-woo bullshit that really just makes the people who “want you to be happy” feel better.
When it comes to being grateful – I want to make sure that I am doing it right so I looked it up:
grate·ful [greyt-fuhl] adjective
What I find “pleasing to the mind and senses.” Right now. And it looks like this: