The other day, I received this email from an old friend who had recently been laid off from her job:
“I was really shocked by the decision and completely unprepared, both financially and mentally. But I think I am coping well, and in the end I think it’s a way to make me finally pursue what I want – I just enrolled for culinary school yesterday and I have an agent and I’m going to pursue food hosting full-force. But it’s still super scary and I vacillate between depression and normalcy/slight elation throughout the day. It’s pretty rough – one minute I’m crying, the next minute I’m super productive and applying for jobs.”
After reading this, I felt sympathetic, sure, but you wanna know what I really felt? Jealous. It’s crazy, it’s stupid, but throughout this economic downturn, as friends are being spit from their positions left and right, the one word that comes to mind is … lucky. Because I know they’re smart cookies and will ultimately be okay. Better than okay. Their circumstances are propelling them to act, to reinvent themselves, to create from scratch the lives they’ve always dreamed of.
Perhaps I’m the only one in this nation who is glamorizing the recession, but how thrilling would it be for someone to rip the ground from under you and your only two options would be to plunge tragically or soar higher than you ever could imagine? To do or die.
I’m in awe of what my laid-off friends have already done for themselves. One started her own graphic design business, something she’s been wanting to do for years. Several others are applying to grad school. I understand that not everyone has the means to take such leaps, but I do believe that this is a unique time of opportunity. I hunger to do what I want to do, too.
But of course, if you do have a job and even utter the “Q” word, especially now, no one will dare say, “Congrats on taking a risk!” Instead, you’ll be greeted with oh-so subtle remarks such as: “ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR EFFIN’ MIND!?!”
Today, as I finally have some time to breathe a little, I sat on the bike machine, flipping through Vogue. I happened to come across a profile of Stephanie Meyer, you know, Twilight lady, and while reading it, I started nodding my head yes. It was a good story, not mind-blowing or anything, but good, satisfying. And I was just like, hmm. You know, with a lot of practice and reading and mentoring and maybe some more training, I could maybe one day do this. As in write for big publications like Vogue. It sounds crazy, but is it really that crazy?
I have big dreams every now and then, but they always seem to get squashed by the chaos of reality.
I don’t know why I’m writing this post. I am fortunate to have a job right now. I believe this deep down somewhere, I really do.
But in time, I want to see how high I can soar. And to do that, I could really use a push.