This actually occurred exactly a week ago, last Thursday, 3/29/12. Best day of my life. The moment I walked out of the building, I felt like an oily veil of fear, doubt and chaos was lifted and I could see more clearly than I'd been able to in a LOOOONG time.
But of course, now I'm unemployed, and have to figure out what to do with that. I'll be okay for a little while, and an even longer while if I am able to collect unemployment (which may be an uphill battle, but I have smoking guns and am prepared).
Of course, I remember being unemployed last time, for over a year. It was really hard. Specifically on the psyche and spirit. No one could come out to play, and many days morale was so low that I didn't ever make it out of my pajamas. The job market was so bad I just got discouraged and at points, just stopped submitting my resume because it felt like it was just getting lost in the email void, never a "We've received your resume, thank you" or a call for an interview or...NOTHING. During that time, I sent over 150 resumes/cover letters out and got TWO interviews. One led to a 2nd interview. But otherwise, nothing.
This was where it started - my devaluing of myself, that is. I had just come back from grad school where I had excelled - 4.0 for three years straight, while consistently meeting all my assistantship hours and participating in a variety of theatrical productions in multidisciplinary capacities - and an outside job to boot. Then I got back to Seattle and suddenly, I was nothing. No one would hire me. Many in my previous theatrical network had left town. The economy tanked.
Finally, I got hired at a small theatre, mostly because I'd designed brochures for the AD before grad school. So desperate was I to have gainful employment at that point that I accepted the low salary and dove in with both feet, despite knowing the AD was a "challenging personality".
I did okay for the first year and a half or so. But then the AD got sick and things started to go downhill, in terms of everything got piled on me and the Education Director. Lots of work, but no more compensation. And by the time she returned, I was dancing perilously close to complete burnout. I hung around through the summer with a bad attitude, and things seemed to get a little better in the fall - interesting projects to publicize, fun outside people to work with. But despite hiring an assistant, new and more complicated work got piled on...but still - no added compensation, no word of how I was doing, nothing. There was never any catching up - I was always a hamster in a stationary wheel.
In the month preceding my dismissal, things had started to come to a head...and the funny thing is, my getting canned had more to do with getting OTHER artists at the theatre some kind of small budget than anything to do with my own salary.
Now that I'm gone, I see how I've allowed my love of theatre to be taken advantage of and how I've allowed myself to be devalued and more importantly to FEEL less than or mediocre...something which started while I was unemployed and persisted through this roller coaster employment situation.
Well...no more. I'm hanging up my gloves in the Carolynne vs Carolynne fight. I have some mad skills. There are a ton of things I'm actually quite GOOD at! And instead of wasting all this energy feeling like I suck at everything, am going to expend the energy celebrating those skills and honing them even more. GO ME!
As I was driving home from Olympia this afternoon, it occurred to me I could use my unemployment as a great jumping-off point for this blog that keeps stalling. Make a commitment to myself to either get out of the house at least once each day or do something significant at home that has to do with honing these skills. And now that I actually have the time to write...here we go!
Day to day thoughts, rants and mental detritus.