I launched this blog on May 29, 2008, with these words: “My name is Cara. One month ago today, I fired myself.”
There I was, hammering out a (pretty good, in my opinion, for a first try) blog post about being all fired up with the energy, optimism and fear of having taken a gigantic, parachute-free leap into the sweeping canyon of changing my life: Worried I didn’t have the courage to quit my long-time career, I instead sort of handed myself a pink slip.
Despite the end result, firing oneself differs from the act of getting fired by someone else in some pretty significant ways – one of which is the impact on the fired person’s ego. When you quit, it’s your choice. You leave on your own terms and move on for your own reasons, often feeling rather triumphant and maybe leaving others scrambling to pick up the pieces. Getting fired isn’t like that.
Even if you don’t like your job, being relieved of your post unexpectedly is generally a little tough to swallow. I figure it’s akin to never getting a call back from the guy you didn’t like anyway (cue Stanford Blatch in “Sex and the City”, Season 4, Episode 2, upon realizing that bitchy Anthony had taken off after they were introduced: “I’ve been rejected by someone I wasn’t interested in. I hate when that happens!”) Of course if you actually liked your job - or the guy - it can be exponentially harder to take.
We all want to be in control of our destiny to some extent, especially when it comes to things like saying no instead of being told no; but we learn from a very young age that life doesn’t always work like that. This is where many tantrums originate. The ego is denied its spotlight, and it doesn’t like it one bit.
Through all of life’s seemingly negative experiences that I can recall (I’m excluding anything that induced a tantrum prior to the age of 4), I’ve come to believe very strongly that everything happens for a reason. I know lots of people who believe this and lots of others who subscribe to the exact opposite philosophy (including my best friend B) - that it’s all just random; nothing is written in the stars.
For me, adopting the belief that things are part of a bigger plan reduces my need or desire to spazz-out when stuff goes awry: Somehow it was just meant to be and will no doubt result in a better experience somewhere down the road. So when I got fired from my very new job a week or so ago, even though I liked said job, my reaction was for the most part kind of neutral. I won’t say I didn’t find myself against the rails for a bit (B can vouch for this, as he talked me through part of the 8-km-long, foot-blistering walk home); but in the end I am taking it for what I believe it to be: the universe pushing me back towards my destiny – this beautiful, mysterious, frustrating thing called writing.
I might have been rejected by someone I like, but thanks to that, I’m back to courting the one I truly love.
“Getting fired is nature's way to telling you that you had the wrong job in the first place.” Hal Lancaster