I sat in stunned disbelief. In my entire working life, I had never been fired. Yet here I was, sitting in the administrative office of my newly acquired Group Home job, being informed that my services were no longer required. Even though the administration used politically correct phrases to assure me that I was not being “fired”, to me, being told that my services were no longer required equated to being fired.
As I was adjusting to this bit of news, I was hit by another realization. The lease on my car was expiring the next month. It had been my intention to purchase the car for the Buyout amount of $4000. I had been debating whether to pay all $4000 in cash, to finance all of it, or to finance part of it. Suddenly I thought, “Oh my God, with no job, I may not be able to finance any of it”. Paying all cash would leave me with $4000 less in my bank account at a time when I would have no source of income.
I made my way home where I sat thinking: I can’t believe that I am sitting here, a few months short of my 50th birthday, with no job and facing the possibility of having no car.
As I sat contemplating the loss of my job and the possible loss of my car, I had a phone call from a friend, who was deeply into what my other friends and I called “mystical / spiritual / new age stuff.” When I told this friend that I didn’t know what I was going to do, now that my services were no longer required at the Group Home job, my friend asked what I would like to do. I heard myself saying that what I would really like to do is to sit by the ocean and listen to the waves and the seagulls. Rather than saying “get real” or “what are you really going to do”, this friend asked how I was going to make that happen. I laughed and said “Yea, like in this lifetime I’m meant to live on the ocean!”
It seemed that I had just hung up from this call when another friend phoned. This friend had recently moved to a house on the beach on a nearby Island. As I was telling her about my previous phone call, my friend said that the cabin down the beach from her house was for rent.
What was going on here? In the span of a few hours, I had lost my job, tapped into a desire to spend time with the waves and the seagulls and now I was being told of a cabin on the beach for rent.
I decided to check out the cabin. It was perfect. Yes it was rustic, the windows were single glaze and the refrigerator was of rounded corners vintage. But it was fronted by 20 feet of floor to ceiling windows and the deck was so close to the water that the waves lapped right up to the deck’s edge, even under it during storms.
As I stood on that deck, breathed in the salt air and listened to the waves and the seagulls, I knew that I needed to spend time at that cabin. But what a life-changing decision that would be! In order to commit to this rental, I would need to sell my home. This idea frightened me. For years owning my own home had provided the bulk of my security. Could I give up that security and return to renting?
There was also the issue of whether I should trust this synchronicity of events. After my second marriage dissolved, I had spent time living somewhat precariously both financially and emotionally all the while believing that when I needed a conventional job, a certain friend would be instrumental in helping me.
When the day came that I needed that job, my friend advised that he knew of an agency that was looking for childcare workers. I applied and was offered a job. When I later learned that I had been offered the job after someone else had declined, I took that as a sign that I was where I was supposed to be.
Yet a few months later, I was sitting in the administrative office being told that my services were no longer required. I had trusted that that job was where I was supposed to be. And I had been proven wrong.
But back came the memory of standing on that deck and the knowing that I needed to be there. Also came thoughts of how I had tried to do things in ways that seemed to work for other people. I had gone to school, gone to work, paid my bills, raised my children, yet here I sat with no job, no relationship, not much savings in the bank. Maybe there was something I was missing or that I didn’t understand. I found myself writing a poem:
I’ve tried to do what I’ve been told I should
Tried to be diligent, responsible and good.
I’ve raised my children and paid my bills,
Now I’m wondering about life’s other thrills.
I know that I can do the old way no more
My children are grown, seems that is a door
To freedom and fear mixed in equal amounts
A time to focus on other accounts.
On account of I’m confused, don’t know who I am
Don’t know what I want or how to be all that I can.
On account of I know I can’t find out the old way.
So I’m off to find me is all I can say.