But this past year was different than 2008. The 2008 tofu fight was insignificant compared to 2012. I lost my job in January as the result of a merger. The business side of my brain completely understood that the acquiring firm would keep their own people. I worked for the acquired firm. I was offered the option of staying on with the acquiring firm for an additional month to assist with the transition. I accepted the option because it meant a larger severance package.
This is where my head started fighting the tofu. The "rational" side understanding that being laid off was a business decision and had nothing to do with me per se. The emotional side taking it all very personally, feeling very kicked to the curb. Soon enough the rational side stopped talking and the emotional side took over completely by fighting itself. I, for whatever reason, stayed on the rough, jagged edge and went for a wild ride, pulling myself--and sometimes others--down the rabbit hole of despair. Just about everything was painful. And I wallowed in it, rarely bothering to peek over the top to see that maybe, just maybe, there were pleasant things outside of my hole.
This, of course, made looking for a job difficult and the tight job market didn't help matters. I've worked professionally in a niche market for a very long time. For too long, I defined myself by that role. So what am I now?
If I follow Natalie Goldberg's advice about fighting the tofu, I need to go deep and discover what I really am beyond the narrow view of who I was professionally. So I'll start here.
I am (among many things)
- a mother
- a knitter
- a spinner
- a girlfriend
- a cyclist
- curious about the world and other cultures
- a pretty good cook
- an avid reader
- a survivor