February 22, 2009

Rainy Sunday musings

You all got so excited about me seeming like I was in a positive mood and doing well. Unfortunately, I hate to burst your bubble, but it’s not all rainbows and flowers.

I still can’t shake the up-and-down emotions associated with unemployment, no matter how hard I try. Yesterday, I woke up feeling like I had absolutely nothing to do (even though in truth I had several obligations – they just weren’t immediate deadlines). So what did I do? Had a quick shot of alcohol – not to get me drunk, but just to get me sleepy. I then slept till 6 PM, waking up in time to get together with some friends. Totally not the right move, and I’m not proud of it, but hey, it’s the truth, and that’s what I aim for on this blog.

In true consulting fashion, my company helpfully provided an emotional management graph for me as a parting gift. Who needs a paycheck and real work when you can sit home, collect unemployment, and graph your feelings?

I’m not sure that “anger” and “acceptance” are the right words for what I’m feeling, but I’m definitely going up and down between two emotions. I think “feeling like a failure” and “feeling excitement” are the phrases I’m looking for, though those aren’t nearly as succinct and eloquent as the ones in my chart. Perhaps my inability to make such a graph is the reason I was let go. (I’m kidding!)

Honestly, though, that is the hardest thing for me to come to terms with. No matter how many times people tell me (or I tell myself) that it’s not my fault I was let go and that it’s not a reflection on my performance… I still feel like a failure. I try to remind myself daily how awesome I am, but all it takes is a few seconds of looking at my personal finance spreadsheet to start feeling hopeless.

I realize that in order to keep the lifestyle I’ve been living (and therefore, to keep moving forward instead of taking a step back), I need to find another job. My job has been such a big part of my life that I can’t help feeling like it defines me. I know there are plenty of other cool things about me, and I know that I’m a successful woman, but it’s really hard for me to shake this feeling of failure, at least more than temporarily.

There are ups and there are downs, but more and more I feel like I’m getting stuck in that big trough of depression. And sometimes I just miss my comfy home at the bottom of the crest of ignorance and in the cave of unreported exceptions.

To end this on a happier note (and further demonstrate my capricious nature), I do have some good plans for this week:
-Three phone interviews
-Various leads on other potential interviews
-Finishing my self-designed course on hedge fund management
-Finishing my self-designed course on writing macros using VBA
-Starting my self-designed course on writing SQL
-Cashing my first unemployment check and using it to completely pay off one of my student loans! This is a day I have been awaiting for months… just ironic that it would happen when I’m unemployed
-Watching my daily DVR of Judge Judy. God, the people who go on there are hilarious!

Perhaps I will make it to the gym too? One can always hope.


19 thoughts on “Rainy Sunday musings”

  1. My best advice (unsolicited, I know) for unemployment: allow yourself to feel the emotions that come to you. Losing a job is a lot like a breakup. If you don’t allow yourself to feel whatever you are feeling, it’s going to take you a lot longer to get through it.

    I’ve been there. This too shall pass.

  2. Hey! Someday you will look back on all this and laugh..and think about how it helped you grow into the person you will become. Its OK to feel sad…its even OK to feel like a failure…like you said..your job defined you. Now you are going through the process of defining yourself.

  3. Good for you for keeping it honest! Believe me, I’ve had those days too. Keep plodding away, it’ll get better in time.

    VBA is interesting, SQL is annoying. 🙂 I used to “code” in both for a brief stint.

  4. Geez, Laura, sounds like a tough day! If it’s any consolation, you’re probably helping out a lot of other folks in the same boat by posting so honestly about all the ups and downs. (Though I’m sure a cool new job would be an even better consolation. 🙂 )

    Take care.

  5. so, i’ve never met you but came across your blog last week while i was wasting time becaue I was also just laid off. now i’m kind of addicted because you describe the emtions very well. I agree it’s between “i’m a failure” and “excitement”. I was also kind of in finance and it sucks. I am just hoping this will lead me to a job i like better than the one I had. Also up side is the gym is way less busy in the middle of the day! I have tried to make sure that I do not end my month (or however long it is) of unemployment and then wish i had enjoyed my little “vacation”…. anyway, thanks for the fun blog.

  6. What’s up with the graph? Was that a joke. Seriously.

    I hope something comes around the corner for you soon. In the meantime, keep plugging away and spend your time and money in as positive a way as you can.

    Good luck

  7. That graph is just hilarious, thanks for the much needed fit of laughter.
    I didn’t get a graph as a parting gift, so I’m going to have to borrow yours. Hope you don’t mind.

    Keep on keepin’ on.
    In the meantime, I’m going to go figure out exactly where I stand on that graph, so that I can be prepared for when the opportunities start rolling in 😀

  8. I think it’s completely normal to be feeling both up and down about your current situation! Congrats on paying off your student loan though, that’s definitely a very good thing!

  9. Good luck with your job leads. I know the feeling of a job defining you. My hubs always tells me it’s just a job BUT I have a hard time thinking of it that way until I think of all the other wonderful things in my life, like family and friends.

    Wishing you lots of luck!

  10. When I was unemployed (for a week after moving to NYC) it was the most boring thing ever. The high point of my day was going out for groceries. Instead of getting addicted to Judge Judy, I started to build a bond with The Nanny, because Fran Dresser is from Queens and I had just moved there.

    It gets better Laura, it truly does.

  11. I’ve been fired before, and I’ve been laid off before (back in November, and I’m still on the unemployment). I have to say, getting laid off honestly felt worse to me, because when I was fired, at least I did something wrong and I deserved. I DID fail. When I got laid off, it just felt totally unfair because I didn’t even deserve it. Way more depressing, at least to me.

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