The weather has been nice enough that the little neighbor girls set up a table yesterday, just outside of our cul-de-sac, and were selling lemonade. They did the same thing last summer on the hottest days. I always feel compelled to buy a glass & to pay them a bit more than what they were asking for. They wanted $0.25/glass & were surprised when I gave them $0.50 & then told them to keep the extra quarter. Everyone loves lemonade - right?! It never matters if I really want to drink the lemonade or not, it's more about supporting their entrepreneurship & to help make them feel successful at the end of the day.
I recently ordered a documentary called "Lemonade". (It's also available to watch for free on Hulu.) I initially watched the trailer & knew I needed to own it because it hit so close to home. It spotlights the stories of people who have experienced layoffs & who worked in a creative agency environment. That's the 1st part of the storyline.
Some days just take so much more strength than others to get through. There's nothing quite like being on unemployment road, one that doesn't seem to end. You really want to get off & recharge with a little nourishment, but there are no exit signs in sight.
Where there is pain, cures will be found.
Where there is poverty, wealth will be supplied.
Where there are questions, answers will be given.
Spend less time worrying and more time trusting.
- Jalil al-Din Rumi
There have been times when I just wanted to be able to let the tears come, but they wouldn't flow - almost like the tears knew it wouldn't change anything & that I wouldn't have felt any better having had that brief moment of release. Every day that goes by is a test of my ability to trust in the unknowns around the job search process... to trust in the powers that are beyond my control. I can do my part: to research the companies, to make the right inside connections, to request the interview, to sell myself & what I have to offer that satisfies the needs of the companies and do the follow-through after the interviews, but am not the decision-maker, at least not until an offer letter arrives. It has to be okay that for each situation, the processes, boundaries and protocol will be different.
These feelings aren't even about going through the grief process post-layoff. I've been there & done that. I've moved on. It's more about needing to know the way forward & developing that magic sauce that allows you to be "normal" or "made whole" & what others would say is a "fully contributing member of society" again. That's the phase of healing in which I find myself in now.
I ordered "Lemonade" with the hopes that I could learn from how others have squeezed their unemployment lemons and made virtual lemonade, which is the 2nd part of the documentary's focus. The subjects turned their focus on discovering exactly what it was that they loved & figuring out how to start doing just that.
The beauty of it is that most of their paths traveled in directions they never would have gone if they hadn't been laid off & because of that, they harbor no guilt about having been laid off and have no regrets about their lemonade: the direction their personal & professional lives have taken as a result.
Cherishing the precious extra moments I have with my family during this period, volunteering, networking, strengthening personal relationships & blogging are truly steps in the right direction. Having that sense of certainty and knowing that I'm already doing what I love is a phase I would be thrilled to find myself in now, however, as of right now, it's still a work in process.