A Birthday Present

A month ago today was April 10, my 31st birthday. I’d partied (a little too hard) the previous weekend, taken the day off to celebrate with a little Me Time. You know, the usual: massage, lunch, mani/pedi and a little shopping. My day was filled with love from friends and family and countless Facebook and Twitter posts just because. Life was good.

I happily returned to work the next day. My inbox was filled with birthday wishes from coworkers along with an Outlook appointment to meet with my supervisors. To catch you up, two years ago, I transitioned into a new position at my job as a Resource Development Coordinator, which really means I do whatever my supervisor, the CEO, requests, including sitting in on board of directors and executive committee meetings.  There was a board meeting going on at that very moment and thankfully, I didn’t have to attend.

Long story, short, in that meeting I was informed that I would no longer be employed as of May 31 due to budget cuts.

Oh.

Happy belated birthday to me.

I didn’t say much. Gave a few nods, signed my agreement form and told my higher-ups that business is business. There were no hard feelings. Truthfully, there weren’t. I guess I saw it coming. After five years of doing a “whole lot of stuff” at this organization, being laid off was a gift in a way.

Why? Because I don’t like my job.

I don’t hate my coworkers, the fringe benefits or being paid a decent salary every two weeks, but I do hate the job itself. It has almost sucked the life out of me. I’ve read every “Signs You Need Another Job” story the Internet and magazines have to offer, and I fit the description of all of them. Recently, my mother asked me why I was dressing like a bum to go to work. There was a time when I lived in dresses, skirts and heels, even when I worked in a warehouse in my previous job. These days, I rock flats (ick), the same four or five pairs of slacks and cardigans with little to no fashion “umph” whatsoever. How tragic. I told her, “I guess I dress how I feel.”

This exact time last year, I was fresh off of a six-week medical leave. I didn’t want to come back. I was writing, making more contacts, doing what I wanted to do, and NOT going to work. I vowed to give it six months and then I’d kick the job search into full gear. Maybe apply for this fancy summer journalism course in New York City. A year later, I’m in the same position. Complacent and bored to tears.

That’s when God stepped in. He knew the only way to get me out of this place was by force. I’d gotten comfortable with my situation because I’m blessed and in this economic climate, people would kill to have my job, any job anyway. How I wish I could’ve secured a job on my own and turned in a two weeks notice, but it didn’t happen that way. I’m not mad nor ashamed because this 8-5 deal isn’t me. In fact, I’m happy. A weight has been lifted. Yes, I’m a little scared, but that’s normal and healthy.

What now?

I trust that God will help me  find my way to bigger and better things. I figure, and I pray this will only come around in my life once, so I should take advantage while I have no attachments. I have skills that can bring in income. I write, teach school and facilitate trainings. It’s a running that joke between friends that I am a “Jamaican” or similar to “Tommy” on Martin. I’m always asked “What the hell do you do for a living?!”

Since April 11, I’ve wondered if I’ll be as happy as I think or will I become depressed. Turn the lights off, close my blinds and drown myself in microwavable dinners and wine? Or will I get up, get out and do something? I guess it’s time to show and prove.

So in short, life is still good, but this time around, I’m on the countdown. Twenty more days, and I’ll say farewell to my “old” life.  Let’s see what happens next.

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8 thoughts on “A Birthday Present

  1. I am beyond proud of you sis. From someone who has known you as a fellow journalism college student, I know what you’re capable of. I know in my heart that God is going to put you where He wants you to be, just keep the faith. Your gifts are too precious to be wasted on a job that you hate. Be blessed and I’ll keep my eyes and ears out for you, but I know that your next position is going to be one that is going to shock the world. Love you!!!!

  2. Alisha,

    You are encouraging me… Maybe I should blog… I have a lot on my mind, on a daily basis… I don’t talk about it… I hate my job… Hate is a strong word, sorry.. I really dislike my job. I returned to school this past year, and I can honestly say it’s been good for me. I even have an internship this summer, I’m excited about. Long story short, I know God has something better for me coming..Sometimes you have to shut the world out and trust him completely. Being laid off is probably a gift in disguise to you, since you really disliked your current position. I know bigger and better things are coming for you. It’s a gift and a curse loving the arts. Your day is coming where you will love what you do… Mine too.. Keep the faith… Thank you for sharing…

  3. I have been there. Use this opportunity to do exactly what you want to do. You would be surprised of how things will turn out and the happiness you will have. I taught 7 years and I got to the point where I hated it. I was sitting in my evaluation and all of the lies were being told, and then they said that my contract would no be renewed for the following school year. I cried, wondered what the heck I was going to do for income, and immediately began looking for a job. After searching and applying for jobs, going to meaningless interviews, being insulted by salaries, I came to the conclusion that my heart wasn’t into any of that. I talked to my mom and she encouraged me to just go to nursing school, which I had been putting off. I applied and after taking some prereqs this semester, I will be in nursing school in the fall. I have been able to survive, money has come to me, and I am completely happy including my social life. I know that God is in control of it all. Some ask me do I regret leaving Memphis because I lost my job in New Orleans, but I know that leaving Memphis only prepared me for this blessing. In Memphis, I was scared to not work because I have a mortgage, car note, and bills. Since I have been gone, I have a long term tenant, who pays their rent on time every month, and all of my bills, including apartment rent, is paid on time every month. Alisha, I know that God is good and will never fails us, just remember, He is watching over you. Just keep trusting in Him. Whewww…was this reply long enough? LOL

  4. It’s amazing the way God steps in and closes doors so we can continue to move forward and progress in life. I’m sorry to hear you got laid off, but glad to know you’ll be free to move onto more gratifying endeavors.

  5. My fellow Jaguar,

    I just want to encourage that all that you have endured God has taught you that time and seasons never stop running its course but it always bring change so God can produce the BEST in you. I have been where you are today four and a half years ago and I will tell you that what is coming your way is so much better than what’s been in your life. Continue to maintain your prayerlife so that God will show you where to go and how to do it in Holiness. Trust God beyond how you trust people because when God opens the door no man can close and vice versa. I would have never thought that you write as articulate as you have done in this article. We might not have worked together on a project in undergrad but in the near future there is a project we can tackle. My testimony is that I have been unemployed since October 2008 and I will tell you God has taken care of me and family. My wife and I paid out two vehicles and just purchase a new vehicle last September!! Just know that God is Faithful to His Word!!! I look forward to the next article because I know what God can do!!! Stay Focus and Sho’nuff Stay in the Will of God!!!

    • Thanks so much for reading and for your kind words, Terrance! Long time, no see. Glad that you and your family are doing well. God bless.

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