Work Woes and Fear of the Unknown

My job let go of five people. Four last Thursday, and one today. The person they let go of today was an older lady who’d been there 17 years, longer than anyone else. And with what I’ve been writing about lately, all of the changes I’m making, I feel like the universe is just peeling back my mental security net, and showing me how vulnerable I am.

One of the people they let go last week is my friend. She and I have been pretty cool since I started there (9 months after she did), but we’ve really gotten closer over the last couple of years. Having to sit in a conference room while she cleaned out her desk and put her things in a box made me burst into tears. Now I’m a G. The last thing a thug like myself does is cry at work. But that shit… I broke down, ya’ll. I mean, I felt like I had no choice. I was so completely shocked and sad. Not just for her, but because her firing let me know how vulnerable I was, how vulnerable I am. This is just one more link in the chain. I mean, I’ve written about how much upheaval my life is in right now. I have to sell my house and move. I can do my job remotely, but I doubt they’d let me, so I’m probably going to have to get a new one. Now, having to get a new job anyway may make being fired seem like just a hastening of an inevitable timeline. But still. I like for things to be in my control. And this isn’t. Nothing is, right now. Nothing is. It’s scaring me to death.

I’ve never been let go from a job. I know people who have. Shit, almost everyone I know has been. But I never have. And I honestly don’t want it. As someone who has absolutely NO skill in emotion-hiding, it would be one big cry fest. And not just tears of sadness and helplessness. But also tears because I’m angry and I can’t hit anything. Tears of pure frustration. God, it sounds like too much. Anyway, I know that sometimes these things happen, that you can’t control them, but I sure wish I could. I wish I could make this fear go away. I wish I knew what was going to happen to me. Everyone will say, “Shameka, you’re going to be fine,” but the simple truth is that I don’t know that for sure, the simple truth is that no one does. and that unknown is rocking me to my core. I’ve been anxious all weekend. My supervisor told me today, “all we can do is keep our heads down and work.” It makes me feel like my job is war zone, where I’m just trying to avoid the land mines. I’ve never felt like that. It’s unnerving. And not at all comforting.

My friend Teri is fond of saying that I shouldn’t worry about anything. That the things out of my control will happen no matter what I do, and all I can do is focus on the things I CAN  control. This is the most logical advice I have ever heard. And my ears definitely heard it. The problem? My heart didn’t feel it. And I don’t know how to make it. I don’t know what this is. Maybe this is just years of coping catching up to me, falling apart, blowing up in my face. Maybe the Universe is stripping my “brave face,” my rose colored glasses. Maybe at 34, it’s time for me to me to be a realist, instead of a romantic optimist. I don’t know. And I know that sounds dramatic. But I’m at a loss. Because people keep telling me I’m going to be fine, and I always respond, “I know. You’re right.” But I don’t feel it. I don’t feel it. I wish I did. God, I want to. I just…

It sounds really crazy to hope I don’t get fired from a job I may have to quit, and am not even all that fond of, but here we are. I like security, safety. I like the nets under me when I walk on the tightrope. I like the nets. And I like deciding when I don’t need them anymore. I don’t like anything being decided for me. And now there’s feelings of dread, like the net is going to be stripped away without me knowing, without me preparing. And the worst part? I don’t feel like I have anyone who can keep me from falling. Which hurts, because I’ve been the net for so many people.

I used to be afraid of dogs. I find nowadays that the fear is fading. I don’t know how or why. I just know that I’m not as afraid as I used to be. Now, I will say that my fear of a dog has a direct correlation with my trust in the owner’s ability to control said dog, but I am definitely less afraid than I was ten, five, two years ago. I wouldn’t say I was over it, but it has lessened considerably. Another fear of mine that’s lessened? My fear of thunderstorms. I can remember crying for my mom and hiding when thunder and lightening hit the sky. Now, I pause a little. I get a little freaked out if I’m alone, or if I’m driving, but the fear doesn’t cripple me like it used to. I learned to cope, and then the fear started fading, little by little. The problem is, I don’t know how long it’s going to take for that to happen in this case. Maybe my real fear is that if something unexpected happens, if my safety net is snatched away, that I won’t get through it like everyone else I know. That when shit gets real, I’m not really strong enough. I’ve been talking in the last few blogs about having someone to lean on, about how I miss my dad more than ever. What would happen if he wasn’t there? Would I make it? By myself? And with all these thoughts, on top of everything, I feel ashamed. Because I used to have so much more faith. I used to have undying belief in the happily ever after. And I don’t know what’s happening to me.

Now normally, this is the part where I gather myself and wipe my face, and get back to the business of handling my life. And I will. I promise. But the more I swallow the tears and avoid the breakdown, the worse I feel. So today… I need to let it happen. I need to let those waves take me and stop fighting. I just… have to hope I come out on the other side.

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