The 24 hours following 5:30 pm on Thursday were unusually bad. Upon arriving home that day I had discovered that the burglars had been back and taken more treasured finds from my life. The trauma washed over me with the familiar feeling that the world was cruelly acting upon me again. I had no power to keep my home, my sanctuary, safe and protected from outside intrusion.
I wrestled with options of how to respond. How to find my power in the situation I hadn’t chosen but was forced to deal with immediately. Knowing that there was absolutely nothing I could do that would foolproof and prevent a determined criminal from doing what they chose. What bothered me, too, was that they always came while I was at work. And I had to work. Remaining home additional days was not an option. I was awake most of the night searching for answers.
Leaving for work Friday morning was hard. I looked around at the things I loved and had accumulated over a lifetime of travel and gifts. My fingers slid over a statue, caressed a scarf, and held earrings up to the light. How do I choose what comes with me knowing that I might never see the others again? The thieves might come back this morning, enter the house and take these milestones from my past. So many memories of people and places no longer a part of my present. My eyes embraced everything as I said a silent prayer that I would see them again.
Shortly after arriving at work, I was called upstairs to a meeting with my supervisor and an administrator. I was told that effective immediately, I was permanently laid off. My department and another were being dissolved due to budgetary necessities. In an instant I had become unemployed and had no income source. I was given the day to get my property physically out of the building and to tie up any loose ends before I lost my logins.
Exhausted and in shock, I located some empty boxes and began to pack up my office knowing that someone else may be packing up items in my home. This was an extensive job, in reality, as I had brought in many curiosities and comforts that made my work in the dark, cold basement as warm and relaxing as possible. Coworkers used to marvel at how nice my space was. This task gave me hours to reflect and to make plans.
As I packed, I began to work through the next steps. What I had to do to take care of myself, what support I could get and where and what my priorities were. Strangely, I wasn’t overwhelmed with panic. I knew I had just been knocked down repeatedly but I still had fight in me and I got back up, ready for more.
Since, I’ve identified my game plan for the next week. I’m clear in what I’m doing tomorrow. I see the events of Thursday/Friday as the giant push I was in need of to make major changes in my life. I see opportunity to create a new career for myself where I’m happier, recognized for my contributions and rewarded for them. This will allow me to find a better place to live. One that’s safe and secure and free from the drama and the repairs that haunt me at my present location.
All I see is opportunity. I’ve let go of what should have, or might have, been. That is my past and I have no power to change it. I can learn from it though and use it to clarify my vision of where I’m headed. I’ve survived much worse, after all. But then those are tales for another time.