On August 2 I celebrated 2 years of freedom from Corporate America. Plainly stated, I lost my job on August 2, 2012. Let me say again that Intel took great care of me when I was well and when I was sick. They kept me on longer than they were legally obligated to but the ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) doesn’t cover cases like mine – i.e. when there’s no timeline for a return to work. Multiple docs have filed paperwork for me with heartbreaking assertions of my inability to work but I have to concede the point when I’m so grateful that I can shut down my online presence at the drop of a hat bc I’m not feeling well.
This does not take the sting away from not being able to earn a living. When I was terminated I was terribly sad even though they gave me a couple of months to get used to the idea before we had to have the actual conversation. I cried and cried. My siblings and their progeny were visiting and on “Separation Day” my brother, Ernie, gave me that fabulous pep talk while we were at the mall with our cousins. We sat in the food court and he told me, Ning, now you can do whatever you want.
How’s that for perspective? Thanks, Ernie! Way to have vision.
PS. Seriously, read 101. “I Eating Chicken!” This story makes me laugh so hard.
He told me I should write children’s books. A week or two later I had written Ed goes to DC. Then I roped my friends into taking the pictures for me downtown. I set up a Flickr account and asked them to send the files there. After I got a slew of them obviously taken from a moving vehicle from the driver’s side I was like, Thanks, guys – I’m all set. Xoxooxo
I love having helpful friends. They encourage me daily and I am so grateful.
But I have multiple friends who could use a little pep talk themselves. They are facing situations where they must grapple with the possibility of leaving their profession entirely, or handling circumstances that will make their professional life extremely difficult.
I won’t sit here and tell you, Hey, it’s a privilege to be able to earn a living (even though it is), so do whatever it takes to put food on the table. There is an element of baseline maintenance to working that makes slogging away at whatever job is available a financial necessity sometimes. But the situations I’m thinking of are geared to the “personal fulfillment” side of employment. You were trained for this, you’ve invested money and heart into this, and now, through no fault of your own, you’re staring down a professional path none of us would want to walk.
But I will say that I’m privileged to know people who have walked that path even though they didn’t want to. They were forced to bc of severe injury. I told a friend recently, Life didn’t turn out the way you thought it would, but you made something of it anyway…and from where I’m sitting, it’s looking pretty good right now.
So I know it’s possible even though it’s a messy and a completely not-fun process. As you get ready for combat please know that I’m rooting for you.