My story isn\’t much different than anyone else\’s. My husband\’s job had slowed down to nearly a crawl, and I was laid off the day after Christmas. At first I was shocked, angry, and didn\’t know what we were going to do. I live in a very small rural area of Tenn. and there is nothing here. I applied everywhere, even a fast food place, where I was told I was over qualified! How hard is it to flip a burger, really? I am not stupid, am certified in many fields of the hospitality industry, including front desk management and hospitality law, etc. I don\’t ask for handouts, assistance. We are surviving on money from savings and the very small unemployment check I recieve. And there isn\’t much you can get with that considering it is $58- a week, after 10% is taken for taxes! But still we are surviving. My benefits run out in May.
The effects of unemployment has been devestating, and it has been heart wrenching. My husband went out west to find work. Took several weeks before he was interviewed. he started work there yesterday. He is staying with family right now. I am staying behind to pack up the house and wait for our youngest, 1 out of three, to graduate high school. We miss my husband, his sense of humor and presence. We are doing what we have to do. At least now he is working but it is going to take us some time to catch up on the bills.
I chose not to let unemployment status get to me. It was hard in the beginning. I went through self-doubt, but never asked for a pity party. I was mad that while the company I worked so hard for, who I know made big profits everyday, who busted their butts to get the higher ones in the corporation where they were. Without “Us” little people, where would they be? Yes, I was furious at first. I can\’t tell you how many times I cried myself to sleep with worry.
Then as the days passed, then weeks, I started cutting back on things. I cut my phone bill down to basics, the television, too, and groceries, and didn\’t waste gas on running here and there. I went, and still do go to town once week to pick up supplies, put in applications where I can and to do what I have. I decided I won\’t let this crisis get the best of me. I can still wake up, smile and do what I did before, only this time without a job.
I laugh when I get my small unemployment check, I feel rich then! Ha. I have started to down sizing, packing, giving things I don\’t need or want to charities, to people in need and I have thrown out things I should have a long time ago. My life is a lot less complicated, a lot more simple, and most days I feel good. I look back only as a learning lesson, that I know once I am back to work, I will not put myself in this position again, at least not without being prepared. I have become thrifty, more knowledgable, and stronger in my efforts to keep up to date on the economy. I have also decided that when we get back on our feet, I am going to change to another career, where layoffs aren\’t so much affected. Something in a medical field. I can take out student loans and pay it back when I graduate.
I am not a spring chicken anymore but i am determined to put my life back on track and make it work. I can at least breathe and move forward. I will always have bills, and I will have to make payments that I would have probably paid off by now if I hadn\’t been laid off but I don\’t blame myself or doubt me anymore. With strong determination, my faith, and hope for a better future, I keep going and I am not giving up.
Unemployment may have tried to take my dignity, my self-esteem and seperated my family, temporarily, but it hasn\’t broken what spirit I have, and never will. Just like generations before all of us, we have it within ourselves to forge ahead, no matter the crisis, the distaster or the situation. I am stronger for my situation. I know it will be a matter of time but the choice is mine in how I deal with it, and I think I am doing a great job moving onward, looking back when necessary and forward because I have to, want to, and need to.
Relocating isn\’t the worse thing I have been through. I am even looking forward to starting over, and having a new beginning. My husband will be back in a couple of months, and we will see our son graduate and move onto College and then we are moving west. Sounds like an old western but for now, that is where we are finding the work, and where we want to be.
Our circumstances have changed not for the worse, since we can\’t change what the economy has done, but for the better. It has made us more humble, more compassionate, more supportive, and kind to our fellow nieghbors who are in the same boat as we are. It has made us realize what is important, reminding us where our priorities lay, and we appreciate what we use to take advantage of. It has made us realize that no matter what happens, we have come out of this believing in ourselves, and given us hope.
Someday, we might be where we used to be but I can guarantee, that I will spend less, use more of my resources, and remember the emotions I first felt at being laid off. It will keep me moving forward in my new career and my new life.
This post was submitted by Karol.