Before I lost my job, and relocated to a city I had never even visited I was a self proclaimed, complete, and utter control freak. Going to a college on the quarter system was basically like living on Panic Attack Alley. I loved having a schedule, and I never wanted it to change. I knew what time I needed to leave for class, when I ate lunch, when I worked on homework, when I went to work, when I hung out, what nights I could stay up, and what nights I needed to hit the sack early. Then a mere ten weeks into my life routine, BAM! New classes, new schedule, new routine. HOW CAN YOU DO THIS TO ME? Every ten weeks it was like the University of Washington was out to get me. I would feel uneasy, almost sick to my stomach for at least the first week of EACH quarter simply because suddenly I had new classes to attend at different times than the previous quarter.
I could tell if you came over and borrowed a book without asking. I would go into the dishwasher and reorganize the way my roommate had loaded it because things looked wrong. THIS IS ME, RELOADING MY DISHWASHER BECAUSE I DON’T LIKE WHERE YOU PUT THE CUPS. That’s enough to force me to take medication if you ask me. I wanted to pick the music at a social gathering, I always wanted to drive, vacations caused stress instead of relaxation, I had my future planned out to the T, and moving, well moving was enough to make me want to crawl under the covers and not emerge for a whole month.
And then I lost my job. There is no better way in the whole world to shake control issues out of a person than completely turning their life on its ass. I no longer had control of ANYTHING. Couldn’t get my old job back, couldn’t convince people in interviews to hire me, couldn’t stand out among the 600 other applicants applying for an ADMIN job (no seriously, one admin job I applied for had 600 applicants), and I couldn’t even pay my own rent. There is no bigger shit storm for a control freak.
I was in a panic. Sobbing, tearing my hair out, depressed, can’t get out of bed, didn’t want to eat, there are munchkins under my bed planning a revolt so I can’t leave my room kind of panic. And yet, as the time went on, and I kept not finding a job, and I kept finding a way to get out of bed and put clothes on, I began to give in to it all. Gave in to the fact that I didn’t do anything to deserve this, this wasn’t a karmic payback for throwing the neighbors troll in the bushes and laughing when I was 7. This was simply life, and I needed to deal. NOW.
Unemployment has done a lot to the shape of my life. On the exterior you can see it forced me out of book publishing, forced me out of my apartment, forced me to move to Olympia. But at the same time, it also forced me to CHILL THE FUCK OUT. And now that the panic has subsided, now that the flood of tears have stopped, and life continues to go on, I’m actually thankful for loosing my job. If nothing else, I have learned how to tell that little demon in my head to take a chill pill and go bother someone who cares.