How do you handle loss, difficult moments and disappointment? Do you shut down and play dead? Do you go off? Do you spend money, over eat, drink, etc? I recently realized how I’m dealing with crisis differently than I used to. It took a series of crises to get me to a different point. A set of evolutionary tales to make me ask whether or not I valued myself and how I’d choose to make decisions going forward. How do you respond when something negative happens? Write down the different ways you’ve responded in an emergency or in a crisis (your own situation, that of a loved one). Have you evolved over time? Writing out and taking time to consider how you respond can help you understand yourself. – From Rae’s Life + Writing Prompts Vol. IV on Untitled, 1975.
I remember the day I got terminated from a job back in 2007. The unexpectedness of it all is what hurt me most although I was well aware of my actions and what lead to that moment. I knew I had done wrong, but I didn’t think that I would be let go simply because of who I was. My longevity at the company would be on my side. The accolades and recognition at the job would prevent me from being fired. They needed me, I thought, but when I was called to the office and was told “we no longer need you” by the supervisor I was close to, I was in for a shock.
I believe management had that particular woman notify me of my departure from the company because they were well aware of our bond. When the root of your disappointment comes from someone you’ve connected with, it stings a little more. As the words fell from her lips and echoed into my ears, I knew it pained her as much as it did me. Eight years later, that common theme of handling loss and dealing with the unexpected aftermath of it all, has resurfaced. I’m well acquainted with failure and acknowledging when something is over for good, but when a relationship collapses and I feel blindsided by it all, it really takes an emotional toll on my well-being.
I struggled with wanting to write this post. I feel betrayed by the recent actions of someone I considered close, internally dismissing the explanations behind the whys and the apologies that followed. I do this thing of shutting down when people hurt me out of nowhere, and for the sake of self-preservation, I rarely ever find the urge to reconcile. From your parents to your partners, taking a blow from the people you’d least expect, subconsciously brings about trust issues and paranoia, feelings of doubt and questioning of self. And so, it took a while to write this and wanting to see if that forgiveness bug would bite and I could let bygones be bygones.
But I cannot.
And I remember that supervisor’s voice, her words, and the affirmation, that my presence was no longer a necessity for that job. Who I was didn’t negate what I did and I think that there are so many people in our circles who live their lives this way; believing that dependency on their existence is simply enough. Assuming that forming some sort of alliance over weekend drinks and giggles, and maybe even sex, is okay for a pardon. It’s enough to brush off and pick up where you left off. Their company is sufficient to exonerate the wrong, but it’s not.
I left that building with a sense of shame that day and it all seems a blur, but those words, we no longer need you, falls clearer on my ears than ever before. This post is not a declaration that I have burned my bridges, but in tying the two experiences together, a reminder that life is nothing but a mystery and the surprises it brings, simply a norm, but when in comes to handling loss, difficult moments, and disappointments, what matters is how I handle the cards I’m given.
When shit hits the fan, I eat uncontrollably and splurge on things I have no business spending money on. I’ll stay in bed and wallow in emotions until the point of nausea, but sometimes – on days like today, particularly – I’ll remember when I got fired and my approach on it. I had to keep it pushing; had to find another job; had to learn from the errors in my ways; had to recite Ecclesiastes 3.
Seasons – fitting for the transitions in nature right now, applicable with Mercury gearing up to be back on its bullshit, relevant to the verse that’s been in my spirit (“whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before”) since my birthday. I’ve been here before. Different faces, different names, different scenario, but the same lesson to be learned: it will hurt, it will come from the ones closest to you, it will be just another stepping stone to becoming who you were supposed to be.
Another band-aid, turned badge of honor.
Another abrupt moment of misfortune meant for molding.
Another disaster that’ll do me some good.
Disappointments – in ourselves and in others – serve as opportunities to flip the script and look at it all as a win in the long run, instead of a loss at the moment…