Landing on Two Feet When the World is Upside Down.

Isn’t it funny how life ebbs and flows, typically ebbing when you really need it to flow, but flowing when you think you would be able to gracefully handle the ebbing? Which, if we want to be honest with ourselves, do we ever really gracefully handle the ebbing? I’m sure we can all think of that one person (most likely female) who seems to handle every.damn.thing with the most astounding amount of grace (and perfectly manicured nails)?

Brace Yourselves: I, my treasured readers, am not that woman.

I stress out, which means my eating habits turn to crap (Hi. I’m Nicole and I’m an emotional eater) and I cry (alone). Oh, and I don’t exercise, despite the elliptical in our bedroom which I had grand plans of using to cut the slob from my physical appearance. I’ll start next Monday.

The ebbing started on April Fool’s Day of all days. I received a 30 day notice of termination of employment. While not the perfect job, I had been there for 2.5 years so I felt like I had a grasp on the systems and processes and had a good level of seniority which allowed me many perks I still miss. I was also paid well enough to support our house of sometimes 5 (the kids are only with us 40% of the time) and that was being taken away from me. I may have cried a few times, and I definitely lived up to my emotional eater status. (Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, anyone? Where are the sprinkles?!)

I can’t tell you how many phone screens and interviews I sat through during those 30 days. At the end of my time with my beloved company and work friends, I had 2 jobs I was waiting to hear back from concerning a full time offer. I was going to be fiiiiiiine. I had farewell lunches and walked away with a smile, ready to tackle a new challenge with a positive outlook.
I heard back a week later, on the same day, literally 2 hours apart, that I was rejected from both jobs. I completely broke down. My sweet boyfriend (bf) hugged me and told me there would be other jobs out there and I was bound to get one. Unfortunately, my concerns were financial and I was having day-mares of living under a bridge (or moving in with my in-laws. Whatever. I’m not dramatic.)

About a week later I had 2 more onsite interviews lined up on the same day downtown. I had a laissez-faire attitude going into the first interview at 7:30am. I just didn’t care. I felt hopeless. I then met up with my little brother for a late breakfast on the North Side before meeting up with a former co-worker before heading to my second interview. I went home feeling neutral about both options. However, 3 days later, I received a verbal offer from the 7:30am interview! It was a temporary position, but whatever. It gave me time to find another job if needed, and if anything, was an amazing resume booster. I also got 3 more weeks off before I started. All I did was stay home, but let me tell you – it was the best break I could have asked for. My world was finally flowing again.

I went to work the day after Memorial Day (in which bf broke his foot but that’s a whole other blog entry…) bright-eyed and bushy tailed and excited to join such a world renowned company and best in class campus recruiting program. This excitement was short lived as I quickly realized this was not a fun-loving company like I was used to – this was a heads down, nose to the grindstone, get your work done and then go home and work some more kind of place. I came from the tech world – lots of cutting edge ways to stay in touch with your co-workers while also having fun (we had a game room complete with PS3, foosball, and board games) so this new world where people looked visibly uncomfortable making idle chit chat was slightly stunning, but I could adapt. And adapt I did. The only time I worked less than 50 hours was when I dared take time off of work. I was getting in early, leaving late, and continuing to work at home. And the travel schedule was exhausting. I was used to travel – this was not anything new to me – but this was rough. As I only had 3 months left on my contract, I started looking for new opportunities. I didn’t realize until I started job hunting how seriously my life was not flowing. Work wasn’t staying at work, where I liked to keep it as much as possible. When I received an offer with a start date 1 month prior to what was supposed to be my end date, I jumped on it. I gave my employer 3 weeks notice and made sure I fully transitioned everything.

I have never hated a job as much I hated that one. And I used to work at Toys R Us. During the holidays. Yeah – let that one sink in – I would rather work Toys R Us during the holidays than a well-paying prestigious career.

I left that job 2 weeks ago. The whole week leading up to my last day, I was filled with dread. Dread that I wouldn’t finish everything by the end of Friday, dread that it wouldn’t be a smooth transition, dread that I was going to deal with animosity from my boss (who had told me ever-so-delicately that I was leaving her “up shit creek.” Sorry hunny, this is business). I didn’t leave the office until 5pm that Friday, but at 4:45pm when I was turning in my computer, I noticed a couple other people also turning in their things, signifying their last day as well. I also noticed we all had the same slight grin on our faces, the same load lifted from our shoulders.

Commence the flow.

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