It’s funny. I find myself saying “Get over it” to my kids sometimes when they’re whining about one thing or another—usually something insignificant in the grand scheme of life like someone eating the last brownie. If only the phrase worked for more significant things. Getting over it would benefit me in so many ways.
One year ago today I was unemployed for the first time in my adult life. I was scared, depressed, and hurt over the whole situation. I tried to put on a brave face for my family, but I know they could see through it. About two weeks after that first day of unemployment, I accepted an offer at ArcBest and then started work on August 2, 2021. My one-year anniversary with the company is coming up. I have amazing coworkers and genuinely enjoy the writing I get to do. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss my old career.
I can say without a doubt that I haven’t gotten over the ATU job loss yet. I also haven’t gotten over the loss of friendships because of misunderstandings over a blog post I wrote. I don’t know that I ever will. At some point, when getting over it isn’t possible, we just have to learn to live with it. So that’s what I’m trying to do. I’m living with the pain and not letting it stop me from living my life. I’ve considered going back to the therapist I saw a few years ago, but I haven’t made a concrete decision yet. I can hear her voice in my head telling me that I’m not responsible for how others feel or act, and they’re not responsible for how I feel or act. Repeat one hundred times.
Despite having that perpetual therapist voice in my head, why do I still have dreams about working at the university? Sometimes they’re good dreams, but other times I wake up with a sense of dread. And some nights, I have trouble falling asleep because of the hopeless cycle in my head wondering if there was something at some point in my career that I could have done differently to avoid being a target for layoffs. I guess it doesn’t matter since I don’t possess the ability to go back in time. If I did, I probably wouldn’t waste the power on something that was only devastating to me.
I think I had a point when I started writing this post, but along with everything else, the last year has affected my writing and healthy thought processes the most. I want to write but the process of doing it can be painful enough that I also want to avoid it for a more passive activity. I know that’s something I need to work on both with writing more on my blog and working on my novel.
Lydia’s story is in progress. I know the whole story in my heart, and typing it on paper is painful since I’m giving her a lot of my feelings of loss and betrayal. Lydia and Jason are characters I’ve known since I was a young teenager when I wrote a novel called When Does Life Begin? that had enough characters to overwhelm soap opera writers. I’m scrapping most of that story (kind of like I did with the two stories that became Jordan’s Sister) and keeping only a few of the characters. I’m sure the rest will have their own stories eventually. Once I get my mojo back. It’s still there under the dark circles accenting my eyes and the extra 20 pounds or so my body’s still carrying.
Ah…the point. It’s okay to tell yourself to get over it. Just don’t forget to give yourself grace if the process of healing isn’t easy. It’s okay to be sad when something doesn’t work out the way you wanted. It’s okay to need a minute (or a year or more!) to collect the pieces and at least resemble who you were or who you want to be.
Thank you for reading,
Brandi Easterling Collins