The feeling of rejection when you lose your job digs deep into the soul, causing severe doubts to arise. Doubts about your worth, about your ability to support your family, about your ability to ever find another job. Especially when you find out what people really think of you... in writing. I'm not bitter, just disappointed that I won't have the opportunity to repair those relationships. I miss everyone, even after what they said about me.
I try to keep it light by saying, "I didn't really lose my job. I know where it is, but they won't let me have it back." But after a while, when the lights are out and it's after midnight, you lie awake staring at the ceiling. The pain is real... well, that's my diabetic neuropathy. But the emotional pain is just as real.
You look online through all of the job boards wondering if you really can meet the minimum job requirements. Your sense of self worth is shot and every job seems to require a doctorate, or at least a GED. The state employment security department calls because they can't tell from your application if you were fired for cause or not, even though you followed the union's instructions on how it should be filled out. They tell you in a voice mail that they need to hear back from you by Friday. You return their call and leave messages, but Friday comes and they haven't called you back.
Several jobs that interest you pay about the same as what unemployment will pay. Maybe even less after taxes. The last two interviews I had were actually before I was "dismissed." Both were absolute disasters. I didn't hear back from them and it's been over a month. I can't say that I blame them. When you lay an egg that big, why would they call you back?
Hopefully it wasn't the gray hair and wrinkles that turned them off.
I found a job listing that really seems to be right up my alley. But it's in Portland and I live in Spokane. Telecommute the majority of time? I hope so, but I wouldn't be surprised if they would rather not go that route. Maybe that's the pessimist in me, or a premonition. But I don't take much stock in premonitions. I just don't feel that God wants me to move again.
I get encouragement from friends on Facebook. Not just "Facebook friends," but people I actually know and have met that just happen to be on Facebook. I always wondered how you could call someone a friend when you've never met them. Interesting... I feel that I have only had a couple of true friends in my life. One is Vern Fenton, the Pastor at Loomis Community Church in Loomis, WA. The other is Scott Manley, the Pastor at Flood the Sound Fellowship on Olympia's West Side. Of course, there's my first and foremost friend, my wife, Sharon, who is sticking with me through thick and thin.
I've got a project gig writing web content for a small Internet firm in Michigan, Blackdogz Internet. I enjoy writing, and it looks like I'm pretty good at it based on Sun's reaction to my latest submission. If you know of any writing projects that I could apply for, send them my way. I will be grateful... maybe not eternally, but for a very long time anyway!
I think I'll try to regularly blog my thoughts and experiences from the realm of the unemployed; hopefully to encourage someone else and let them know they are not alone. Maybe my fears, hopes and dreams aren't unique to me. Maybe there's a few other people going through the valley that can relate to my experiences. I hope I'm not unemployed for so long that I give up. I simply can't do that. I can't give up and I won't.
I like to eat in a dry place.
So for now, I sign off with a word of encouragement. Matthew 6:25-34 (NIV):
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life [or single cubit to his height]? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, "What shall we eat?" or "What shall we drink?" or "What shall we wear?" For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.