what it's like to lose: day 1
I don’t even know what to call this yet – or do I even know what to write to make it universally relatable. But I find it incredible important to write down where my head is at – starting with Day 1. Starting immediately after it happened.
I kept my composure until about the end of the call – where I could then hear my voice shaking and I could feel my face getting heated and my eyes getting wet. And when I finally stopped wanting to talk, I quickly closed the call… and tilted my head back and let myself cry. For 10 minutes. Ten minutes of shock, anger being upset at the fact that after being with a company for five years, after spending the last few months shutting down my laptop at 10pm after 12 hours of work so I didn’t slack – that I had been let go from the bulk of the work I have as a freelancer. Even harder to hear that it had not been from any lack of passion, results or dedication that I have had to the company – but just an unfortunate result of a change in leadership and priorities of the company.
After 10 minutes I opened the operating budget I had running for my company. I figured out how much money I was losing. I figured out how many hours I now got back into my day. I figured out how much money I needed to cover my expenses. I wrote down a list of everyone that I needed to tell – all the texts I needed to send, all the emails that I needed to write. I promptly printed out additional pages of my planner and stapled them in so I could re-do my week. I then spend some adequate time that I didn’t intend to spend on a new opportunity.
And just like that, I was over it. Just like that, I had let it go. They say fast break-ups are the hardest to deal with. You don’t really have time to prepare to leave the job or relationship – it just smacks you in the face. But it’s for the best. Because the quicker it happens, the quicker you can move forward with full-force and not half force. I had never been “laid off” from a job before or let go. I’ve never officially been broken up with either. In fact, every opportunity I ever had, I made for myself because I worked hard to. I knew crying was going to get me no where. I knew being angry was going to get me no where. Did I even want to try to change my boss’s mind? Well… no. Not at all.
10 minutes later I felt a relief. I remember only 4 days before telling one of my good friends that I was afraid I wasn’t putting enough time in on a new opportunity. I was scared I was going to miss my window to really make an impact and prove my worth to a new client. I knew I was fully capable of really helping a new client become something great – I was excited about the momentum I had experienced in only a month of partially working with their brand. But financially, I just couldn’t cut off any part of my income to put more time into the opportunity and still reach the financial goals I had laid out for myself. I was tending to my safety net first – and my new opportunities second. Though if you look strictly at opportunity to grow, both new opportunities afforded me more than relying on my safety net. Perhaps this was just what I needed for me to give 1000% of myself to where I SHOULD be placing the focus – on bigger opportunities.
Within those 10 minutes – no doubt I questioned whether I would live at home forever. I wondered if this would impact my ability to pursue the dreams I came back from the West Coast with. No doubt I questioned whether this was the point where I should throw in the towel and consider my business to have “failed” and to start looking beyond self-employment.
But after those 10 minutes – I had never felt so motivated. I knew I could look at this two ways…I could think of this as something made to bring me down, or something that was made to set me free. I knew within 10 minutes… that this was something to set me free. This had lit a fire in me – and maybe the lack of that fire was preventing me from reaching my full potential anyway. But it’s here now – and I can’t wait to see where that fire takes me.