I suppose April 17th was bound to be one of those kind of days.
It was a Wednesday.
Wednesday meant I had a 9:00 class and 9:00 classes make for rushed mornings—with showers, breakfast, lunches, and school for the kiddo—and little time to do anything before class in an effort to get there with a few minutes to spare. So I was off to a difficult start.
When I opened my laptop to take attendance during my morning class it was was completely unresponsive. Just a black screen and a refusal to greet me with its warm comforting glow despite my efforts to revive it.
Shit. Shit. Shit.
Turns out I had a blown graphics processor and while I was able to retrieve my hard drive and get all of my holycrapIdidn’tbackthoseupyet files, my laptop was inoperable. Spectacular.
And because I now had no laptop, I missed an email regarding a meeting I needed to be at that afternoon.
A meeting that would make my broken laptop look like a broken fingernail.
I ended up in that meeting 2 hours after it was scheduled and it was there that I found out I was losing the job I had been at for nearly 13 years.
Needless to say my emotionally unstable self cried hard in that meeting. And after that meeting. And in front of my students at the class I had that evening.
It was ugly.
I was stunned. I had a feeling the meeting wasn’t going to be necessarily sunshine and unicorns but I was not expecting to lose my job and all that came with it like insurance for the kids, Josh, and myself.
I needed to process what just happened.
There was no way I could teach my class that night.
I’m so thankful that class was an upper-level course comprised of a small group of women that had me as an instructor multiple times in the past. When they saw me cry as I told them I would get them started in the lab but had to go due to a personal issue, they that didn’t look at me like I was some sort of freak. Instead they stood up one after another and hugged me.
That may have made it even harder.
For the last couple of weeks I’ve been finishing out the quarter knowing I would soon be unemployed from a job that was so much more than just a job. It was my career and the people within that institution had become family. I kept that my notice of unemployment to myself with the exception of a few family and friends. Sure, people knew—I was not the only one to find out that day they were getting laid off—and word travels fast but I chose not to publicly share my fate. I didn’t tell my students since finals week was just days away and I wanted them to keep their minds focused on the their present task at hand not my future.
May 3rd was my official last day.
I have no idea what is next.
I’m both exhilarated and terrified.