When I was a tween, I was recruited for my first job. The lady who lived two doors down asked me if I’d like to come with her to the senior citizen building around the corner and help her clean apartments and do laundry. She paid me an amount so small that, more than thirty years later, I can’t recall it, but at the time it was my surefire ticket out of my house and into an apartment of my own. I had big dreams back then.

From there I babysat until I got a job for five seasons at the local Dairy Queen. When they would close for the winter, I worked in a drug store and the mall (selling engravable gifts, lingerie and books, not all at the same time). Finally, in 1995, I landed my first office job filing and opening mail. It was supposed to last a few months, but I kept doing more stuff and they kept paying me and I didn’t leave there until 2007.

When I did finally leave, I had a 95% sure thing waiting for me. I popped into that job two weeks later and stayed for more than five years. My last gig started about 19 months ago and allowed me to work from home and gave flexibility in my schedule to deal with a child in elementary school.

I have always kept going, kept pushing, kept working. Whether I liked the job or not was irrelevant. I was supposed to work and earn money and so I did. Always.

That last job was working out well for me until, about two weeks ago, they let me know they eliminated my position. They told me not to take it personally, but that’s easier said than done. I’ve never not had a place to go or something coming up over the horizon. My ego is healing from the bruise of being unwanted but I’m done with wallowing. I’ve always taken the safest routes and it has gotten me nowhere. Now is the time for change.

As much as I would tell you that I wished I had free time to do whatever I wanted to do, there was a certain comfort in not having to make that decision for myself. The reason my book wasn’t done? The job. The reason I didn’t write more for pay or otherwise? The job. The reason I couldn’t exercise, plan better meals for my family, volunteer more at the school? The job. Always the job. It was a ready made excuse and I used it to the fullest.

Now I have all the time in the world. I’m faced with an uncertain future and forty-five unstructured hours per week to fill with trying to accomplish my goals. The universe stepped in and told me that if I really want to do big things, here’s my chance. It’s exciting and it’s scary. If I fail, I have no one to blame now but me.

So I will make myself wanted again. I will push through the self-doubt. I always knew I was meant for something more.

It’s now or never.


17 Responses to “Unwanted.”

  1. Chris says:

    Oh, you’re wanted. You’ll just have to see who wants you the most.

  2. outlawmama says:

    Thisi s going to be exciting!

  3. I went through similar emotions when my job was eliminated (and then quickly re-created with a different title and new person). It’s hard, definitely harder than you’d think. You expect to feel like it’s a vacation (at least I did), but it never does.

    You definitely are meant for more. I hope you can get a lot of writing done and find a new sense of satisfaction.

  4. I love that feeling of unlimited possibility; it’s scary, sure, but exhilarating. Have fun exploring what you want to do!

    • michellelongo says:

      I guess I’ve never really had unlimited possibility before. It all still feels really unsettling. I hope that it can just feel exhilarating soon.

  5. Stacie says:

    All the good will come out of this, I’m sure!

  6. Rachel Bozek says:

    Fantastic post. This is a good thing. The post—and the situation. It may not fully feel like it right now, but IT IS. :)

  7. Robbie says:

    I have been there and it is so freaking hard and unsettling. it was a VERY long adjustment for me. I had no idea WTH to do with myself all day. It was weird…but eventually good. I am confident you will do great things with your time.

  8. I relate to this post SO MUCH! I defined myself by my jobs for years. Not having a job foisted one hell of an identity crisis on me. Not to mention that I loved being able to blame my inability to complete personal projects on work!

    I’m still sorting all that out, so I can’t say that I have great, wise advice. Only this – be gentle with yourself. This is new. It’s going to take awhile to get your sea legs, so to speak.

  9. I refuse to say it’s a good thing, despite all the good you will probably make of it. It’s a crappy thing, and I’m angry for you.

    …and then, Onward!

  10. Sam Merel says:

    I agree with Kristen, it’s a crappy, crappy thing and I’m angry for you too. BUT I’m also so, so excited for you to see what comes next. You are going to do amazing things my friend.

  11. Tua says:

    I guess it is a great thing to happen to you right now and what is better is, that you see it that way too. You are a great writer already! I wonder what you could achieve with the added time. :)

  12. Asha says:

    I love that you’re seeing this as a wonderful opportunity. How exciting! So many interesting paths to follow, so many new things to try out. May paid work flow quickly towards you, and may your passions be realised.

  13. I’ve been in this position, twice, and it is certainly a weird feeling, especially the free time that wasn’t planned, or expected, and therefore hard to figure out exactly how to fill. Here’s to great things ahead for you, whatever they may be.

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