Friday, November 11, 2011

What Rejection Means, Part 2

First, a note from Mrs.: I know, you're probably thinking: "Wait, another downer post about not getting into grad school or something? Geez, what's with this broad?" You're probably right to question my choice -- after months of publishing silence, I really shouldn't kick this off with the kind of post with "rejection" anywhere in the title. But, I started this blog with the intention of writing from my heart, and that's what I'm going to do. Thank you for being willing to walk alongside me.

Coming to theaters everywhere.
Losing a job feels a lot like getting dumped. Sorry, not losing a job - getting fired from a job. Getting fired from a job feels a lot like getting dumped. There's the desperate need for closure, the endless loop of wondering, 'What did I do? How could I have made it last? What's wrong with me?' Because of course something must be wrong, if I didn't even see it coming.

Then there's the anger, the accusatory thoughts and sharp-edged feelings, the glancing around for something - anything - to blame. Outside the self, inside the self, everything becomes shattered glass. And then there's me, stuck in the middle and trying to find a way out without getting cut.

What bad breakup would be complete without the inability to sleep? Thursday night, after being informed at closing time that I wouldn't need to worry about coming back this week, I managed to make my commute home without crying, only to fall apart the moment I told Mr. what had happened. We worked together in the same office; he had stayed home sick that day. Never have I felt guiltier, never have I loathed delivering bad news more than having to tell my partner, "I was fired today." His face registered shock, fear, and disbelief before I finally let myself collapse in his arms. We went to a movie that night - a comedy to take my mind off of things. It wasn't my favorite, but given the circumstances, I suspect I wasn't in much of a movie-appreciating mood. Later, after he'd fallen asleep and I'd discovered my brain was spinning far too fast to stop, I contacted my favorite insomniac friend on Google+ and unloaded.

Like any good friend, he tried to deflect some of the anger that I was directing at myself. Namely, focusing the blame on those who had "wronged" me, talking me back out of that loop of asking why, blaming myself, asking why again, lather rinse repeat. At 2am, he asked if I was feeling any better and advised me to get some sleep, at 4am I finally felt the wheels begin to slow. Is it true, what he said? I don't know; I would almost believe anything to get myself over the hump of brooding self-doubt that sprang back the moment I woke up at 8am the next day. (Oh stress-induced four hours of sleep; how I haven't missed you.)

At the end of the day, of course, it doesn't matter - Why It Happened, or What I Did, or Who Is To Blame - I still don't have a job as of Monday, and my final paycheck will be deposited on Friday. Until I find another job, I'm dead weight on our finances -- so I don't have time to wallow or throw myself a pity party with all the trimmings; I must once again dust off my resume and leap into the void.

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