Unemployment: One Year On

Today is the one year anniversary of my redundancy. This time last year I was being called into the back office and told that while this decision was very difficult I was being let go. I was given hugs and sent on my way. But not before one manager suggested I stay at home because my partner has a well paid job so I don’t need to work. Yep. That’s the kind of job environment I left behind.

I celebrated by going for cocktails with a fellow redundee (is this a word? if not it is now!). We sat outside basking in the sun sipping our cold cocktails and told ourselves that we were better off. That we’d be ok. And one year later I can confirm that we are. Better than, in fact.

It’s a cliche to say that this year has had it’s ups and downs but it has. From mental health problems, medication to moving, we’ve been through it all! Me and my fellow redundees (see it’s already taking off!) created our own little family, aptly title Dole Patrol (we have Alice to thank for the clever name). We had our weekly CV Club where we met up to work on job applications but really to support one another. We even had our own Dole Patrol Christmas Party. Three counts as a party, right??

It was the best of times it was the worst of times. We really dug deep into who we were, what we wanted out of life and how to achieve it. I know I speak for all of us when I say that the amount of growth this year has brought was something else. We learned what we wanted in our future jobs (to be treated kindly and appreciated). We got comfortable asserting our needs whether that was flexible working hours or a negotiating a pay rise. We decided not to put up with less than we deserved. We found our voices.

To commemorate this anniversary I suggested to the rest of Dole Patrol that we list 10 good things that have happened to us in this past year. So here’s my list:

  1. Growing closer to Jess & Alice

  2. Self publishing two poetry books

  3. Getting my poem published in an anthology

  4. Applying for & getting into 3 zine fairs!

  5. Focusing on my writing

  6. Releasing a new zine

  7. Starting counselling

  8. Doing yoga every day (mostly) since January

  9. Getting my confidence back

  10. Starting my newsletter

I really could go on. This year has seen me broke. Like proper broke. But when that panic came (and it was there a lot of the time) I did something different. I sat with it. I didn’t rush out and get a job just for the sake of it. I trusted myself and the universe. Oh yeah, I’ve gotten a helluva lot more spiritual this year. I put things in motion and trusted that something would materialise. This isn’t to say I never had doubt. You’d only need to look at the Dole Patrol Whatsapp group to see how often I needed reassurance. But there was this knowing that was new. That it would all work out in someway that I couldn’t even comprehend and that I just had to keep doing what I’ve been doing.

Man, it has been a journey and I’m still not at the end. Technically I’m still unemployed. I started a three month freelance project this week which has been great. I’ve been looking for work. I’ve had interviews and decided the job wasn’t right for me or they decided that for me. But it’s OK. Because I’m learning to do everything with ease. I’m trying to stop pushing and forcing. Let go and let flow. Proper hippy shit, right? Lol.

So I guess this is my love letter to Jess and Alice. You, my darlings, have been everything to me this past year. We got through this! And look at how much better things are for all of us! There were tears, laughter and so much tea. I love you both to the moon and back. Thank you for always being by my side. Let’s see where this next year takes us!

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