On this day in 2009 I lost my last corporate, cubicle-based job. When the economic times got rough, the company blogger had to get going. As far as layoffs go it wasn’t too shabby. Shabby was when I got laid off from Hell, Inc. (a mere eighteen months before) and I had to introduce myself to the Canadian in charge of firing me. Let it be known that having to introduce yourself to your boss before being fired is one of the more dehumanizing elements of Corporate America (or Canada as the case may be).
No, my second layoff was cupcakes and sprinkles. Mark, my boss, was devastated — pale and shaky-voiced, apologetic and genuinely sorry. Malmsy & Jess, the other two in our four-person marketing team were equally shook. It was nice to know I was going to be missed even though I was only at The Nerdery for like six months. I did go on to be a contract blogger for them for many years. It was nice, but this is not about what awesome people they are.
This is about what an awesome person I am. Obviously. Because I am the one who has managed to pay her mortgage by herself for the past five years without having to get up everyday and wear uncomfortable pants and go to an office and slowly wither away under fluorescent lights.
Of course I am also the one who is often more broke than I have been since my twenties and who has to eschew buying things that I want to buy in favor of paying the stupid internet bill. But that is just stuff and things and if being a freelancer has taught me anything it is to be mindful of who I give my money to and what I’m willing to spend it on. That’s not a bad thing. I don’t need more stuff anyway. I have more stuff than any one person needs. I have so much stuff that some of the stuff just sits around gathering dust for years without being touched.
Here’s the thing, I can say with all certainty that I am happier now than I have ever been in my entire life. Even when I’m freaking out about the balance in my checking account or bummed that I have to miss that concert, I’m still happier than I ever was at my nine-to-five. Even when I’m annoyed or cranky or have to do a task that is boring, I’m still happier doing it in my soft pants from the confines of a La-Z-Grrl.
Frankly, I’m pretty fucking proud of myself. I never thought I could do this. I never thought it could last this long. Every year when I celebrate my unemploymentiversary I say “I just want to keep going until fall.” Here’s to making it through to the fall.