An Anniversary

Yesterday, June 5th, 2009, was officially the one year anniversary of my unemployment.

Last year it was on a Thursday, the week before Bonnaroo. I needed to leave by early Sunday to make it there by Tuesday afternoon for my check-in for my volunteer shift, so my last day was on a Thursday, in order to get every last minute thing done. And it was still in the air if I would be carpooling with anyone. That was back when gas in LA was already over $4 a gallon, but thankfully the rest of the US’s average price while we travelled turned out to be $3.89/gallon. These days, I get upset if I have to pay more than $2.50/gallon. Then again, I’m not sharing the costs with anyone this time, I was thinking, so this trip is a little more expensive in actuality.

I started off with a super awesome plan, a little fun and relaxation of visiting a number of music festivals, travelling by car, and then back to work after three months of goofing off. September was when I planned on getting a new job, October at the latest. Then the bottom fell out of the economy, and no one wanted to hire. They wanted to see what would happen in terms of presidential elections. And once those were over, they wanted to see what the consumers would do during the Christmas and other religious winter holidays. And then it was the new year, and well, there was still a wait and see attitude.

Like I said, I had a good plan, based on many, many previous years of hiring. I knew enough to know that December and January were total losses in hiring for permanent positions, there was usually just too much going on at companies, and things always picked up in the spring. My plan just didn’t take into consideration that the economy would do anything extremely unusual that particular year. Which it did. 

So, it has turned from a three month planned shut down, to a one year unplanned hiatus at the company of Sarriah, Inc. Fortunately, there has been a recent nibble at a job website I am on, and not just from some random company, but a legitimate one, with actual interest in my previous career. We shall see how that plays out. Right now I shall be mum about it, since I am still just in the tentative stages of their interest, and secondly, because everytime I have gotten excited about a position, it mostly hasn’t worked out. Don’t want to jinx it.

So as much as a year later looks suspiciously like the previous year’s plan, I know that it isn’t. For one thing, I must get a job now. Before it was merely a good idea. I have some upcoming expenses that I no longer have the savings for, and will need to get that money together soon.

In the meantime, it seems like I know more about myself in the intervening year. I know that I really do need to be around people, even if my work demeanor sends them away. Now I know that is something I need to work on, and I need a work environment to practice something different. In the intervening months I actually have taken on a more happy persona, and people have commented on how relaxed and well I seem to be. I also need to do more to not just take my body for granted, but actually cultivate a healthy body. Not that anything has gone horribly wrong, just the little scares that call attention to that fact. I have a healthy body, that could be not healthy in a moment’s notice. I need to honor this fact, that I do have a wonderfully healthy body.

And there is also the warmth of knowing that I have family that cares and loves me, and wants to contribute to my wellbeing, even if financially, and they would never let me suffer needlessly. I just have to ask.

There is also the certain satisfaction that I can get through a bad patch. I will admit I have not hit rock bottom, and have not resorted to selling everything in my possession, but could if I had to. I got through this terrible economy on my terms, without governmental unemployment aid, and was able to grow and develop myself some more, even without the certainty of a paycheck.

That’s a little priceless, in my book.

So here’s to my one year anniversary of full-time job unemployment, and may there not be another!

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