Today I lost my job. It’s a funny phrase – ‘lost my job’, as if I’ll find it behind some Diet Coke cans on my kitchen side.
Whatever way you want to sugarcoat it (‘let go’, ‘given my notice’, ‘made redundant’), I now no longer have a job.
I am a free spirit, a wanderer, a ‘freelance writer’ – aka unemployed.
It all happened rather suddenly. I was going about my usual Friday, researching and writing articles for the website I work for, and I received an email from my boss.
She apologised and said that, given the company’s upcoming restructuring, there ‘may not be a place’ for me anymore.
It makes sense – I’m only a features assistant and they are getting rid of my role to save money. It’s like when the family downsized their staff in Downton Abbey.
I should have seen the warning signs, though. For weeks, everyone has been talking about the new office space they’re moving to, where their desks will be and who will be on their floor. Nobody ever told me where I’d fit into the picture.
It feels a bit like that time I went to my boyfriend’s brother’s wedding and he didn’t want me in the family group pictures. Two weeks later, he broke up with me.
This job loss does feel like a break-up, although I’m not as much of a shrivelled wreck. I’m not crying, I haven’t bought a handful of Terry’s Chocolate Oranges and I’m not locked in my room and watching The Way We Were.
I’m still gutted, of course. I loved my job, my colleagues and having financial security for luxuries like food.
But since I only worked at the magazine for a few months, it doesn’t feel the same as breaking up with a long-term partner.
In fact, it feels more like an unsatisfactory one night stand. It’s like I was having slow, tender sex with a gorgeous new partner and, just as I was getting into it, he ejaculated and evacuated.
My job is suddenly over – my last day will be next Friday. Already, I can feel the gnawing ache in my stomach at the thought of all the things I want to do but will no longer be able to afford. Arts classes, concerts and carefree nights out will have to be put on hold until I get another job.
Despite this uncertainty, I can’t help but feel excited for what the future will hold. After all, you don’t let a bad one night stand put you off sex for life.
Maybe I’m still in the Denial phase in the five stages of grief. But I’m embracing that. I’ve bought myself a £4 bottle of Cava and just watched Wreck It Ralph.
Adult life is going well.