weathering the unemployment storm

Being unemployed the last two months has been rough. Losing your full-time job is a major blow to your confidence--at least it has been for me. Most of the time I've felt a lot like the girl in this picture. Defeated. Lost. Confused. Angry. Hopeless. I haven't known where to turn or what to do next.

I was really unhappy and stressed out in my previous job so being relieved from that position was actually a blessing in many ways. But losing my main source of income when I have bills to pay has been super stressful. Add a rough bought with depression to the mix and it's been even harder to get up in the morning.

This is the first time in my adult life that I've been unable to provide for myself, which is both humiliating and humbling. I've asked myself why this had to happen to me and spent a little too much time wishing I could have kept working as the communication specialist for the library back in Spokane. I loved that job and felt like I was finally doing what I was good at and had gone to school for, but Albuquerque was calling.

Even though job-wise Albuquerque hasn't been a smooth ride, I'm very grateful I've been able to be here with Dale as we prepare to get married this November (less than 2 months away!!!). I'm blessed to have a partner who sticks with me even during the rough times. He loves me and believes in me even when I don't like or believe in myself. That means more to me than I'll ever be able to express. Plus, he also always comforts me when I randomly burst into tears or have a total breakdown. I've said it before and I'll say it again, that wonderful man is so patient with me (thank you honey!).

Yesterday I was offered and accepted a part-time job with a local nonprofit organization. I'll start sometime next week and be supporting the organization's CEO and CFO. I won't be making nearly as much money as my previous job but I know this environment and role are what I need right now. It will help me get back on my feet, earn some much needed income, and give me time to work on finding freelance writing work and hopefully building my own communications business.

Lacking expendable income these last few months has caused me to reevaluate money and purchases in general. I have a different outlook than I did before. Not having an income will do that to you I guess. Now I really think hard about if I truly need something or not and how I want to spend the money I earn.

I'm more focused on quality versus quantity and not as tempted by alluring discounts. Just because it's on clearance for a great price doesn't necessarily mean you need to buy it. It's also not a deal if you don't have the money to spend. Being a bargain shopper like me is a good thing, but it can also lead to unneeded excess. This experience has prompted me to work on simplifying and being more intentional with money and purchases. 

Losing my full-time job has been a difficult trial for me personally and for us as a couple. It's been extremely humbling for me to accept financial help and work together as a couple to figure out our finances moving forward. The job/career/financial puzzle is still taking shape but I think with this new part-time job I've found a key piece to help move forward. Thank you to all of my family and friends who have prayed for me and encouraged me during this challenging time.

image via cig harvey

1 comment :

  1. Well said Clarissa! I had a similar experience and it has turned out to be one of the most valuable (and hard) times of my life. I'm not sure if I ever told you, but I had a really great job and what I thought was going to be a career for me, then 2008 happened haha. That's when I went back to college and met you and your roommates. I was so poor while I was going to college that often times the only thing I had to eat were those free little honey packets in the TSC! You and your roommates literally saved me from starving to death because you were kind enough to invite me to your apartment for dinner (a lot!). What a blessing! Thank you for that. Anyway, during that time I learned to differentiate between spending money on wants vs. needs. That lesson has stuck with me, and now that I am back on my feet and have a great job I still find myself pinching every penny, and putting a lot of thought into making wise financial decisions. That difficult time has turned out to be a wonderful blessing. This is Chad by the way haha.