Today was the day I decided that I would take the time to just “sit” with the fact that I am no longer employed. Today I said I would “process.”
I think what I really meant was, “I’ll read books and listen to podcasts and do all the things to see if something stands out to me.” But what I actually needed was to stop the noise. Today isn’t about defining what’s next but about being in the present and understanding where I am right now.
It took me until 2:30 PM to figure this one out. Lord, help me.
One thing I hope to talk about if I continue blogging is what I’ve been learning about myself lately and about processing my emotions and shame, where it came from, and how it shows up in my life. But to give you a brief glimpse into my heart journey, I will just say that I’m quite avoidant. I don’t just hate conflict. I hate feeling all “bad” emotions. I don’t know what to do with them. I don’t like feeling uncomfortable or ashamed, angry or sad. And I certainly don’t want to cry because that might mean my heart is leaking out. And when that happens people see you. And to some of us, being seen is a deep longing but also a terrible fear because what if I am seen and am still rejected? Does that mean I am unacceptable?
We’ll come back to that another time.
On Saturday, I shared the news of my job loss with my friends and family and the community that follows me on my personal Facebook.
Five years ago this happened, but the result was completely different. In both cases, I saw it coming. In 2018, I was in denial. This time, I was prepared both emotionally and spiritually. Five years ago, I was devastated. My world felt as though it had shattered around me. This time, I feel okay. God is always up to something, and I want to stay in this place of curiosity, keeping my eyes and ears open to what He has for me next. I am especially excited for one job lead I have received, and I am hoping and praying that will work out.
Just thinking through the drastic change in my responses, I’m tempted to think that maybe there’s nothing to process today. But I know there’s more underneath–things like “what if I don’t get this job I want?” or “what if I don’t get a job soon enough and money starts to run out?” Things like fear and maybe a little bit of anger. I’ll process those too. But for the sake of this post, I’d like to focus on the monster in my closet: confusion.
I hate being confused.
Being confused for any length of time gives birth to so many more uncomfortable emotions, and, as I said before, I hate feeling uncomfortable.
But here I am–mildly confused at what just happened. Seeing the whole thing coming doesn’t mean I’ll understand why. There’s nothing wrong with my performance. No one can tell me what I did “wrong.” It’s those vague answers the leave me dumbfounded–things like “we’re restructuring,” or “our goals don’t align,” or “we’re going a different direction”.
So instead of clear direction on how to improve, I’m now looking at the future feeling a bit more insecure and maybe a bit dejected. I am the queen of trying to exceed expectations so having not met expectations and not knowing why really leaves me scratching my head while simultaneously wondering what criteria I was being measured against anyway.
I know it’s “nothing personal.” Business is business, as they say.
When you’re left with no answers but what’s in your head, it’s tempting to run down a rabbit trail of negative thoughts. Confusion in my head looks like, “I feel stupid. Why don’t I know what I did wrong?” “I feel angry. Don’t they see how hard I work?” “I’m not good enough or smart enough or energetic enough. I’m just not enough.” “I’m too emotional. I’m too rigid. I’m too much.”
Those are those uncomfortable feelings leaking out. Oops.
What I’m thinking today as I sit in the discomfort is that I may just have to be okay with feeling confused. I will likely never know what the true reason was–just like the last time–and that needs to be okay. What I cannot be okay with is staying in that space trapped in my negative thinking.
The good news is that my thought patterns are much better now than they were in 2018. For one, I feel more confident in my skills. As I was refreshing some of my training, time and time again what I thought I knew to be true in my industry was confirmed. (I don’t know about you, but sometimes I start to doubt myself.) I knew I was doing the right thing professionally. I’m also confident in my relationships with my co-workers. I never intentionally harmed anyone and was never made aware of any other grievances–so I know my behavior was not the problem. I’m leaving with a clear conscience and with confidence so there’s nothing to fear.
Sometimes things just don’t work out. And I need to be okay with this one.
What I am telling myself these days is that, while I may not ever understand the earthly why behind all of this, God does have a plan and a purpose. I love LOVE LOVE The Passion Translation’s version of Romans 8:28:
“So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together for good, for we are his lovers who have been called to fulfill his designed purpose.”
I may only see the messy middle right now, but He has something wonderful planned, and I really am excited to see where He takes me next. Please pray for me as I follow His lead.