Thursday, April 8, 2010

When Life Hands You Lemons...

To begin, I apologize for the delay in posting any new blog updates recently.

Last Friday, I officially became unemployed.  That's right...I lost my job.

It came as a bit of a shock to me, but for the most part I've been okay.  I've been trying to keep a positive attitude and a fighter's spirit, knowing that something better is right around the corner.

I had been with my previous company for years, giving them my full dedication and lots of hard work.  If this wouldn't have happened, I probably would've been a lifer and never would have tried looking elsewhere for another opportunity.  Therefore, this may be a blessing in disguise!

However, waking up in the morning with nowhere to go is a bit depressing, and not my style.  I feel fulfilled going into the workplace. 

I can be honest here with you guys, right?  

The disappointment of losing a job, mixed in with a couple more recent personal disappointments, has really led me to lay there in bed with such a heavy feeling. Thoughts of disappointment and failure are typical for anyone in my position, I'm sure. 

Wondering where I went wrong, what I could've changed, and what I have learned and can grow from for next time.

But you know what?  Sometimes I have to force myself to get through this.  Get up, Paul!  Keep moving.

I know, I know...some of you are thinking, "But Paul, it hasn't even been 2 weeks yet," which is true.  However, I guess I am not like most people.  I want to work. I want to feel like I am contributing.

So, I have been out there taking all the right steps.  I have sent my resume out to some places, I've met with a recruiter, etc. I am determined.

Yesterday was rough for me.  I woke up in a bad place.  Feelings of regret and failure were heavy on me.  I didn't want to search for jobs, I didn't want to keep taking the proper steps and not hear back from anyone. 

I forced myself to go for a run.  A long run.  13 miles, in fact.  It was also raining pretty hard. 

A good run has always settled me down, cleared my head.  Somewhere around mile 6, I just completely lost it.  It's a good thing that nobody else was out there, because I probably looked like a complete idiot, balling my eyes out like a little baby.

Like Robyn says, it's a good thing tears never show in the pouring rain!

My emotions were going crazy.  I wanted to stop running, but I also wanted to prove how strong I was. 

SO yes...Overall, I'm in a good place, but a bit of a fragile place. 

Wow, this is all kind of hard for me to admit.  I like the appearance that I am always such a strong individual!  I like staying positive.  Nobody likes a downer...

This old song lyric keeps coming to mind, and kind of explains where I am:

'They don't know that I go running home when I fall down.
 They don't know what picks me up when no one is around.
 I drop my sword and cry for just a while...
 Cuz' deep inside this armor, the warrior is a child.'

Okay, now...

This morning, I got emotional for a different reason.  I was overwhelmed by some of your generosity.  There are so many wonderful people out there who have been very kind to me; providing me job leads, sending me information on their company's open job posts, referring me to recruiters, or just calling me everyday to make sure that I am in a good place.

The funny thing is...The people who have really reached out to me are people that I never would've expected such generosity from.  Some of these people I am not even that close to.  There are REALLY some good people out there!

But I have so much respect and newfound love for them.  They didn't have to reach out to me, but it's nice to see that I have people on my side.

I am grateful for these new friendships, and hope to one day return the favor to them!

Thank you for letting me speak honestly, and for allowing me some time to process all of this.  I will try to get back to blogging regularly.

But for now...it's back to the grind!  Keeping my chin up, my hopes high, and determined to work as hard as I need to.

This story WILL have a happy ending! 
Stay tuned...

54 comments:

  1. I am sorry to hear about that! I know how you feel, as I am still looking for a full time job being on part time for a few months.
    Glad you find kindness and friendships out of this dark time! Good luck with the job hunting!

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  2. Oh Paul, I'm sorry to hear this. I'm not too worried about you though. You are a very intelligent, driven person who will be back in the workplace in no time. Just keep your head in the game and be patient. Sending good thoughts your way!

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  3. It sounds like your company was quite stupid. To give up an employee who actually wants to go to work and one who would be so dedicated to them? Their loss. Go out there get a new even better job and let that be a slap in their face.

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  4. Sorry to hear. I had no idea. When I saw you last weekend you hid it very well. If I can help in any way, even just being a listening ear, let me know.

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  5. Love you, Paulie! Can't wait until the day you can look back at this realizing that your life changed for the better because of it.

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  6. For what it's worth this complete stranger has his fingers crossed for you :)

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  7. Sorry to hear. But you are right, the way you feel right now is normal. It doesn't make it suck any less - but it is part of the process. So don't feel bad - about feeling bad. Sometimes you just need time to lay low and "lick your wounds". Good for you for continue to fight through it. Hope things turn around for you real soon.

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  8. First, HUGS to let you know you're loved. Second, the emotional rollercoaster you're on is normal. After all, being with a company for years, as you were, then suddenly having it whisked away is like experiencing death. You're in mourning, you're grieving, possibly a little angry. All perfectly normal. And no one faults you for bawling like a baby in the rain. Again, HUGS. I admire your positive and "can do" attitude. You ARE strong. (You're also way adorably cute, which is probably an inappropriate thing to say right now but eh. Had to say it.) BEHR HUGS!

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  9. Paul, there is much more good in the world than bad, it is just harder to see it. Goodness isn't flashy or showy; it doesn't try to get your attention so you don't see it. Being emotional is a good sign Paul;contrary to popular belief, human beings have feelings, and they need to be expressed one way or another. I'd be very worried if you were not depressed. Try not to take being let go personally, because more than likely it was not personal, and there was nothing you could have done to change the outcome. You'll probably have setbacks and disappointments, but don't let them take you down.

    I would wish you luck, but you don't need luck, you need to use your determination and strengths and move your life in different direction. You have the inner focus and emotional depth to move past this and forge something from those ashes. You are your own special creation and nothing should be able to keep you from what you need, unless you let it. Above all else rely on the people you have in your life that you can trust; that's what they are supposed to be there for. Go knock the worlds' socks off Paul!

    P.S. Paul, I'll keep you in my daily meditations until you get things sorted out. :)

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  10. Patrick in SeattleApril 8, 2010 at 10:29 AM

    Are you on LinkedIn? I'm a recruiter in Seattle and we use LinkedIn all the time to find great candidates. It's also a great place to network and search for jobs. Keep the positive outlook and if I hear of any interesting positions I will pass them along.

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  11. Hey Paul! I completely feel you. This is exactly how it all felt for me - I was so depressed, I didn't do ANYTHING. But then I realized that this was the only time I've ever had to DO things. I definitely think you should look for something new, but also enjoy your time. Realize it really is a gift, not just so you can find a better company to work for that actually appreciates its good employees but also because now you have some time to explore and do things you might not have done in the mundane life of work. Let me know if you ever need someone to talk to!

    xo
    Jonina

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  12. Sorry to hear about your job. It sounds like you have the right motivation and spirit to turn this into a good result. The emotions will come. That's normal. Hugs to you!!

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  13. Thanks for sharing your heartfelt emotions. I am so sorry you lost you job. I can completely relate to that feeling of waking in the morning and having no where to go. If I may suggest, develop a new routine that replaces the old one so you continue to have the structure on your schedule. If you need to vent, nothing better than writing your thoughts down and if you need to cry and fell all kinds of emotions. Honour those as well.

    Although I am way out here in Canada. I am sending you good vibes.

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  14. Damn, this really sucks. I know people are probably all telling you the same thing, but hang in there and be strong. There is no way that you won't find another job soon. You are very talented. Are you looking for work as a writer? You would be excellent.

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  15. Sending you positive thoughts!

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  16. You are such a beautiful person. I know it's difficult sometimes, but keep thinking positive thoughts. Yes, it's ok that you are having these other feelings as well, but don't let yourself get weighed down by them. I hate to hear when bad things happen to such great people. You will come out on top.

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  17. Hang in there Paul. Go for lots of runs and fill out those unemployment forms - not fun but worth the effort until you get your new job.

    And please, keep us up-to-date, it may be hard to share but I think it helps.

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  18. hey Paul,

    2 years ago the company I had been working with for the last 4 years and that took a chance with me by hiring me after college and sponsor my visa, got bought bought by an out of state company and I found myself without a job, a job I was really comfortable with and that I thought I'd be there for many more years.

    I was freaking out because without a job my visa was not valid, I had 90 days to either find another job that will sponsor me (very hard to do) or leave the country. I had already been here for 8 years, own my condo, have a wonderful relationship...everything seemed in jeopardy. Well, after looking desperately for any kind of job as long as they sponsored my visa for many days, on day 89 I got 3 job offers :-)

    This new job is SOOO much better than the one I thought at one point was the job of my dreams. So looking back in perspective, I tell people that getting layed off was the best thing that happened to me. It shook me up and told me not to get too comfortable, and provided me with a very important lesson...Embrace change. Something good will ALWAYS come out of it at the end.

    So be strong my friend...

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  19. You, my friend, have been through worse and I've seen you hold it all together somehow. So although this isnt a great situation I am not worried about you. This is just another teaching moment in life.

    It sounds like you have the right attitude about it all. Keep thinking good things. Before you know it all will be better.

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  20. Well, of course it'll have a happy ending. A person with your work ethic--I mean, let's be honest, not many people LOVE working--would be an asset anywhere.
    As for the feelings of doubt, I think everyone who goes through any kind of upheaval, deserves a few days of sadness and melancholy, for that's what will inspre you forward.
    We'll send lots of positive energy and thoughts from Smallville!

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  21. So sorry to hear about this. I have nothing new to add from what everyone else has said, but I just want you to know that I am here for you.

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  22. Aww Paul I love you! So hopefully this will make you feel better.

    My biggest fear for a long time was failure in life. It wasn't dying, it wasn't ending up old and alone, it wasn't disease, etc. Losing my job, losing my place, losing what I had worked hard for was what scared me to death. Well my worst nightmare came true not too long ago. I went through everything you are going through now. Every single thought came to my mind. What could I have done better? How could I have prevented this? Maybe I should've majored in something different in college. Blah, blah, blah. F that. You can't do that!! It's ok to be sad. Have your pity party for second but then you have to move passed it. You must remain hopeful and optimistic. You have no other choice. It's either be positive or be depressed. Answer is easy.

    For me, being unemployed gave me the chance to explore other interests. It gave me the chance to look at my life and say, "Wow, I'm on clean slate. I have a fresh start on a new life". How many other times will you have this opportunity?

    So I ended up planning and executing a HUGE event that drew about 250 people. I've always wanted to get into event planning but never had the opportunity or time. I remember at my event, looking out into the crowd and thinking to myself, "I did this. It's because of me that this is happening." I've never felt so much pride in something I did. It gave me that sense of worth again. I've re-evaluated my life and priorities. Since then I've continued it and have another event coming up in a few weeks!!

    This your time to shine Paul! Show the world what you got. We spend our late-teen and early-20s "trying to find ourselves". Use this time to grow and see what your next step is. Be excited about life. I mean how exciting is it to sit and think, I wonder what tomorrow will bring? The possibilities are endless!

    There is only one way to go from here....and that's up!! Remember how I said failure was my biggest fear? Well I overcame that. I was put to the test and know that if I can handle my biggest fear, I can do ANYTHING I want! I can beat any challenge.

    So you fell on your face, so what? Get back up and use this time to try new things and see what you will conquer next. Whatever it is, I'm sure you're going to look back and say, thank God I was laid off....because otherwise I wouldn't be where I am today.

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  23. Oh I'm so sorry to hear this :( I bet it came as a shock, which definately doesn't make it any easier. But you seem to be going in the right direction with getting over it - wondering where you went wrong and what could've possibly be changed can be depressive but it's natural and healthy and the way it's supposed to be... I love how you say you've also been thinking about what you've learned and how you can grow from it for next time. This is definately a good indication of your very healthy approach to it, so you're on the road to full recovery. I'm sure all's going to be perfectly fine very soon for you!

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  24. i am so sorry to hear you lost your job. The Man sucks. i hope nothing but amazing things come your way in the near future. you've got a great attitude and dedication! good luck!!!

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  25. We are all rooting for you, Paul! If these comments aren't enough already, then let me add one more. It's very difficult to find a writer who's words really move you, but I often find myself touched or inspired in some way by many of your blogs. I'm going to be pulling for you so make sure you keep us posted.

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  26. I love you so much, Paul!

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  27. You have always inspired me and in this you are no different, just reading how you have handled it is wonderful...just keep doing what you are doing, chin up old chap...some company will thank there lucky stars they find you, and you will look back on this and realize just how strong you are...

    even in this bad time, Paul my friend, thank you for being you...your awesome.

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  28. sorry to hear about this. I hope things will turn around soon, maybe this is a blessing in disguise

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  29. Oh Paul, I love you! You are one amazing person! Remember, when life hands you lemon, it's because you are meant to squeeze them, make lemonade and get rich! xx

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  30. Paul, you are such an amazing person. And you inspire me and all others to be cheerful when times are bad. We all go through these awful times. I have also been through tough situations when you just feel at times where you want to just lay in bed and just say fuck it I'm staying here but we have to pull through and search for new opportunities.

    And sometimes the people that we least expect to help us are the ones that reach their hand out to us and comfort us with words of love and wisdom.

    You will be victorious once again in no time. :)

    I love you Paul! ;)

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  31. That's tough. Especially when it comes out of the blue. I'm sure it hit you like a hammer. Breath deep and hang out. It will turn around. Especially because you seem to have such a great work ethic. Sending a BIG hug your way

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  32. Of course it will be a happy ending! You seem to be a postive person. And knowing you gave your all at the job is all you could do. I have a feeling that had nothing to do with it. There are all sort of factors that go into when a company leaves people go. I was left go from my job last January, and I was only out for three months. They did let me come back part-time,which was nice. After five months I was back full time again. I was let go because of my salary. So it could really be anything. But EVERYTHING happens for a reason. Who knows, you may end up with a even better job. You seem like a real sweet guy and a hard worker, so just hang in there and keep your chin up, even though it feels like a kick in the gut. This too shall past. I'll keep you in my thoughts.

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  33. First off, my apologies. There's too much of that going on. We've got to get this country back in shape and people back to work.

    Secondly sounds as if you're doing all the right things. Those cathartic moments are normal and necessary; it's good to purge.

    We all like to feel a need to contribute and our jobs often help us in that way. Keep searching. If I can do anything, let me know.

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  34. Paul!!!!!

    I'm SO sorry to hear this! My heart goes out to you.

    I remember when I was laid off this past July it was on a Wednesday. It hit me especially hard the following work week, when I should've been up and working.

    I give you credit for jumping back in there so quickly. I've been sulking ever since!

    (((HUGS))) Paul!!!!!

    -Dean

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  35. Sorry to hear about the job. I hope you find something soon.

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  36. Paul, this is my first time here. I feel so sorry to hear what you've gone through but at the same time encouraged by your tenacity and positive attitude to pull through this difficult time. I can also identify with you because I went through the same thing a few years ago. It was painful and tough, especially when you worked very hard and make sacrifices, saw good results and yet not appreciated. I was very thankful to be surrounded by many who showed me love and care. I also started badminton and gym to help me to cope. I just felt so good to smash that poor shuttlecock! Today I'm really good in badminton and have got over with it and moved on. It has made me a much stronger person. Paul, I love your attitude and I know you will definite get another job...a better one. This incident will make you a wiser, stronger and better person. There's an inner strength in you that I know you will go through well. Stay strong. You are surrounded with so many people who care and support you. When life hands you lemon, turn it into a lemon cake...a post that I wrote just beginning of this week. Please take care. Mary

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  37. Oh! Sorry to hear about your job! You seem a brilliant guy. I'm sure you will find a job in no time.
    Honestly since economy crashed, I fear everyday about my job too. It is really tiring. emotionally.

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  38. Sorry to hear that, seems like a jerky and short-sighted move by your former employer. In this economy I think we are all vulnerable, still sucks when happens to somehone you know.

    Sounds like you heave a healthy atititude and are doing all the right things -- keep it up, good things will come to you!

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  39. Sorry to hear about the unexpected lay off. I experienced the same thing several years ago and know far too well the feelings that can come when you're looking for a new gig. You are absolutely doing the right thing by staying positive, while still feeling your feelings.

    What field are you in? My company embraces telecommunting and I'm happy to let you know of positions they are looking to fill.

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  40. This isn't the end, it's the start to a new beginning, Paul. I've been in your shoes before. Always know that you can call me any time if you need advice.

    PS - my company is hiring like crazy. Given that I was just recognized for my achievements the company knows my name... I'd love to refer you if there's an opening. Just let me know!

    Your old skool side kick.
    Chase

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  41. I am so sorry to hear about your job! :-( I think it is completely normal to have your ups and downs, but try and stay positive! And like you said, maybe it's a blessing in disguise. Maybe you'll find something you absolutely love!! I personally think you should look into writing for a living! You're so talented!

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  42. what else can i say but good luck and i hope that exciting things come your way :)

    i'll keep you in my thoughts.

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  43. Paul, I hope all goes well for you in your new job search. I, too, may in the same boat with you sometime soon. Hubz got 'downsized' a few months ago from the banking world and there's a possibility we may be moving to either LA or back to NYC, so I'll be jobless for a while again. It took me 6 months to find the job I have now. Life is interesting, isn't it. If anything, always a challenge, but the good times ARE more often than the bad.

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  44. Hello my beautiful, gorgeous sexy friend. How's it going? It's been two weeks since you posted this. I hope you are doing well and that things are slowly settling down and are looking brighter. I Love you tons and miss your blogging. hugs*

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  45. Paul, I only just read this; I am astonished yet relieved at the same time because you seem to have some good support behind you. It's ironic that this situation of yours falls in line with a post I threw up on Facebook yesterday: "Ex Malo Bonum"! (Good out of evil) I bet in no time at all you will be looking back on this and thanking your stars that it happened, because I know you will be in a better spot. If there is ANY way I can possibly help just give me a holler!

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  46. Hey guy, just checking in. I haven't heard from you in a while. I hope your spirits are up again, and you're energized to hunt down a job and join the workforce again.

    Stay focused and keep pushing, and remember when you ask someone for a job, the worst thing they can say to you is 'No'...so go for broke, and get that job you really want!

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  47. Hey, I am very sorry to hear that you lost your job, but perhaps one day soon in retrospect it will be a good thing as it will allow and force you to move on, move up and move along to something better. I hope that for you. I also joined your blog as a FOLLOWER. I hope you will check out my blog MY BIG ITCH - mybigitch.blogspot.com I am a new blogger. Living in NYC, gay but not really out to all and just a regular good guy dealing with the struggles and ups and downs and downs, did I say downs, of my life and my love life. Sometimes its hard and its sad and I act pathetic but its all true and its a place for me to vent and speak honestly. Please come and see me and I hope you will take the time to join as a follower. Thanks for listening,

    Steve

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  48. Checking in on you....hope all is ok and miss ya! Hope to hear from you soon!

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  49. Paul!

    Post something soon.....or else!

    (~_^)

    -Dean

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  50. Stopping by to say "hi" and I hope you are doing well! Hope to hear from you soon!! HUGS!

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  51. Hey Paul - post soon - bloggy friends want to know you are doing ok!

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  52. Just checking in. Hope all is well and if you're not too busy working on your tan, maybe you can give a brief update?

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  53. I have often found myself letting go of my emotions whilst out for a run!

    I am glad this has now been resolved and I have really enjoyed reading your stuff.

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