I kept it together for more than five months.
I was the epitome of zen.
I knew I would be laid off more than five months ago. And then was actually laid off more than three months ago.
And I was all zen about it. I knew that worrying myself sick about it wouldn't change the outcome.
I was diagnosed with cancer. And beat it. And throughout nearly that entire process, I kept my cool. Because freaking out wouldn't change the outcome.
And, truth be told, if I hadn't been laid off, I might not have gone to find out that I had cancer, and maybe I would still have it.
I scrimped and saved and threw my pride out the window and allowed my friends and family to spoil me. (Which they did, and I am so grateful for that!!!)
And then, within four days, I got rid of the cancer and found out I would have a job again.
But which job?
Would it be the 6th grade math/science position that my principal asked me to take back in FEBRUARY?!? Or would I have to change schools again? Maybe even go back to (::gasp::)ELEMENTARY?!?!? Because that would suck in a thousand ways. I gave away all of my elementary stuff. I would have nothing.
And this morning was the big meeting. Shockingly, I wasn't hung over after last night's shenanigans with wine and cheese and whatnot with my girlz. (Again, struck by how blessed I am with wonderful girlfriends who heeded a text sent just the day before. They knew I needed them and came over even though it was way past a couple of their bedtimes! (NOF was the only one who knew how badly I needed them. The others just thought we were celebrating, but rose to the occasion when they heard the other reason why I was so desperate for company on that particular evening.))
So, I got myself to the meeting place. There were 101 people in there to fill 101 positions. 140 of my colleagues are still left unemployed.
And then they handed us the packet that included all 101 positions. And then seated us in order of seniority. I sat next to my colleague who was gunning for one of the two positions I wanted. And then people started choosing their positions. And there were disappointed noises coming from behind me as jobs were chosen. And I kept breathing a sigh of relief every time another elementary position was taken. Because most of these teachers don't want middle school. I knew I had a good chance, but 30 people would choose positions before me. And the woman who was right before me was freaking out. I was trying to be all nice and encouraging to her. But inside my heart was pounding. My hands were shaking. My palms were sweating. It was hard to breathe. I was texting back and forth with my friend, RA, who was about 35 people behind me. My heart ached as he told me he knew he would have to "settle."
I breathed a sigh of relief every time someone chose a position that wasn't the one I wanted. But I'd mapped out a few Plan Bs, just in case. And then someone called out a number close to the one I wanted, and I frantically flipped through the pages of the packet before confirming that "my" position was still open.
My colleague and I were poking each other and squealing under our breath at each other, telling each other that it was looking good, we'd be okay...
The woman before me had crossed off several of her Plan Bs, and I told her that whatever she chose would end up being great. She rubbed my arm and said, "I want your positive energy to rub off on me!" I laughed and thought about how I totally had her fooled.
And then it was my turn. In a clear voice, I stated my position, and it was done. I hugged my colleague quickly, and went to hug RA and give him some support.
Then I went to fill out my paperwork, and I left the building.
My principal called me just as I climbed into my car to ask me if I had gotten the position. And I told him I had... Yes, I will be teaching 6th grade math/science at my old school. Just as we had planned so many months ago.
I sent out a few texts and made a few important phone calls on my way over to my school. And I was joyous driving into the newly painted parking lot. Looking at the brand new building in which I will teach for the next school year. I got my keys and went to explore my new home.
And there I was... In my room. With the boxes I'd packed back in June, plus a whole lot of computer stuff that doesn't belong there. The room is gorgeous. The teacher workstation is amazing. And I freaking adore my chair!!!
The first thing I did was put up the poster from a recent half-marathon. I put it in a place where I will see it all the time, and I will remember how I kicked ass there.
And then I looked at the boxes and couldn't breathe. I didn't know where to start.
I called Leon to ask if he wanted to meet for lunch, that I was too overwhelmed to deal with it right then. It wasn't going to work out, so I got to work.
And unpacked nearly all of the boxes. I put stuff in the brand new cabinets. And it was a beautiful thing.
And then I left to go pick up my son.
And that's when the meltdown happened...
Five months of keeping it together throughout this whole horrific process only to end up exactly where I would have been even if this hadn't all happened!
Yes, there have been countless blessings received that wouldn't have been if I hadn't been laid off.
But holy anti-climactic occurrences!
I was bawling. Harder than I did yesterday during the whole ClaRiTy thing.
And E took my call.
Next thing I knew, I was trying to think of a place for us to meet because she was dropping everything to drive two hours in my direction to meet. The kids would play and I would be able to vent.
And just knowing that she would do that for me made me feel better. Gave me the energy to go ahead with a couple of school-related errands before heading home for some chores.
Enter Leon. Again. Since I would be meeting her in his town, I needed his help. And he totally took my call and internetted (Yes, it can be a verb!) for me to find me a place to meet them.
So, E and her kids met up with me and the kidlet for food and shenanigans of the non-alcoholic kind.
And she brought me presents. Curriculum. Books. Science kits. And Bundt cakes.
I was so touched.
After dinner when we let the kids go play, she was the hot one that "creepy headphone guy" wanted to hit on. And when he found out she was married, he instantly turned to me... Said, "Well, you have a man..." To which I responded, "no I don't." Of course, he asked why. And I explained that I'd just broken up with someone two days ago... And he asked a couple of questions about it and then deemed Leon "a good guy". Which seemed to bum him out, actually. Later, a security guard would ask us if we were okay, that we seemed to have a visitor to our table quite often. Minutes later, he would tell us that the guy had been removed from the premises.
Good times in that town.
And it was with hugs and loves that we said our good-byes... The kids decked out in their , matching, friendship bracelets. Me with a huge bag of goodies over my shoulder.
And now, exhausted, I'm finally ready for the sleep that has been cut short for the last several nights.
While my eyes are still raw from the tears which poured from them hours ago, my heart is full... So much Light and Love coming from so many people in so many places... I could totally feel the support when I was in that room fighting for breath this morning. And I certainly felt it when E gave me a safe haven in which to break down... And I most certainly felt it when the kidlet and I were running across the street because we were so excited to see our dear friends.
So amazingly blessed are we... That I can have a MeltDown and have a friend drop everything to be with us. To celebrate. To listen. To laugh.
Thanks, E. I needed that.
Thinking of Kelly on her birthday
2 years ago