Being Fired. It makes for a weird day. 

I walked into the office with that heavy feeling in my gut. An 8:30AM meeting was on my calendar with my manager in one of those 1st floor conference rooms tucked in the depths of a labyrinth of hallways away from prying eyes. You know, those conference rooms that often include a surprise guest from HR and the message that your job is no longer a thing. So, in I walk to the solemn faces of a VP of HR and my very uncomfortable boss. And the message is clear. There has been an organizational restructure and my role has been cut. It’s not personal. It’s not performance related. I’m handed stacks of paperwork and out I go to pack up my desk. Nothing in a box, please, because I’d like to maintain my dignity. I walk the path I’ve walked for 5 years out to my car, but this time with a foggy-headed twist. No tears, just a tingling sense that this is uncharted territory and an acute awareness that fear is lurking in my emotion journey and I will be coming face-to-face with it in the near future. I find myself driving to Foxtail coffee and ordering a hot tea and bottle of water… Wait, scratch the bottle of water. Just a cup of water please. Because now I’m on a budget, and maybe that $2.50 in savings will be the difference in what? My mortgage payment? But there I am with my hot tea and cup of water and my new reality. I don’t have a job. 

Here is the ray of light. In that moment, where I felt totally vulnerable and fear of the unknown future started creeping in… I picked up my phone and reached out to others. I bounded past that lump in my throat and overcame a freshly bruised ego to connect with my support system. That’s when my family and friends showcase that extreme superpower of unconditional love and support. 

I shifted from feeling like I was on an emotional island, to feeling the support, warmth, and understanding from people I love. Because their love had nothing to do with my state of employment. And being down elicits beautiful words from beautiful hearts. Like my sister’s reassurance that I’m one of the most determined people she knows. Or an ex-team member thanking me for being the kind of leader that truly made her feel valued as a person. Or my dad saying how proud he is of me and offering every bit of support to help with my job search. Or my mother sending every ounce of love and caring. 

Being fired makes for a weird day… but it also makes for a day where you get to practice surrendering to what is, get real with being vulnerable, and see yourself through the eyes of others. There is beauty in the weirdness.