I’m officially unemployed.
Well, I feel like that. My belly is churning, but it’s not fear; it’s excitement, anticipation, and apprehension in equal measure. I might not have a job to go to, but tomorrow when the alarm goes off I get to wake up, eat a bagel, park my ass in my chair, and write. Which has always been a dream. Admittedly my dream involved an income, but hey, I’ll take what I can get.
I’ve struggled in the past when I don’t have the structure of a workplace. I end up skipping meds, not showering, and sleeping twenty hours a day, in a death spiral of hopelessness. A few years back I found a useful approach called Morita Therapy. It taught me to acknowledge my feelings – just let them exist within me – and then take action anyway. There’s a good book on the introductory principles: The Art of Taking Action.
There’s no point in wishing for anything in my life to be different. I’m allowed to feel uncertainty and self doubt and see my medical insurance payment due in September and quail a little. I don’t have to pretend those feelings don’t exist or try to change them. I’m going to feel the pull to stay in bed and yank the covers over my head, and that’s okay. I just won’t stay in bed. I choose to get up. I won’t wait until I feel like getting up, because that feeling will never come. I won’t wait for some employer to decide I have value: I will work for myself with the skills I know I have.
It might be the end of one period of my life, but it’s a new beginning, too.