When The Bottom Drops Out: Reinventing In Your 40s

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I am scared to death.

I am quite possibly literally one paycheck away from being homeless. Sadly, that’s not an April Fool’s joke.

I’m high above the city
I’m standing on the ledge
The view from here is pretty
And I step off the edge

I was fired from my television job of six years on my niece’s birthday–two days before her younger son’s first birthday and five days before Easter. So I chose not to burden my family with that news on such a festive week. But everything is imploding at the same time–I have to file my taxes (for which we will probably owe AGAIN), rent and bills are due, and not only am I leveraged up to my eyeballs, but I’m now without income and health insurance. My husband is working out of the country and doing his best to contribute, but it’s so hard doing this without him. Though as we’re dealing with more than just physical distance at the moment…..

I’ve been out of work before. Two long, scary years. But at least then I had my husband to lean on, and I didn’t have the spectre of mandatory health insurance hanging over my head. I don’t know how to do this alone, and the fact that I have no other choice is not helping to spur me into action.

The pressure it increases
The closer that I get
I could almost go to pieces
But I’m not quite there yet

I have told some of my friends, and I do have some ideas for stopgap work. The job application process is so vastly different now–EVERYTHING is electronic, and other than what’s on my LinkedIn profile, I can’t access my resume to update it. Not to mention that the career path I studied so hard for and spent half of my working life doing has been slowly killing my spirit, and I want to move into something else. I don’t want to feel this lost and untethered.

See, I’ve been bravin’ crazy weather
Drownin’ out my cries
I pull myself together
I’m focused on the prize

I’m trying hard to focus and get a secure plan in place…it’s so, so difficult when you’ve been fighting your own demons the whole way through. I don’t have the luxury of a breakdown right now, but I’m in the grips of it and can’t break free.

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Will I remain the same
Or will I change a little bit?
Will I feel broken or totally complete?…

The people all are pointing
I bet they’d never guess
That the saint that they’re anointing
Is frightened of the mess

It’s hard to regroup, and I know I’m not really alone, even though I feel that way. I have no choice but to try. So I’m crying, stalling, and imagining the worst…but I’m about to take those first baby steps into a new adult reality.

But even though I fear it
I’m playin’ all my cards…
Baby, you are gonna hear it
When I give them my regards

Lord help me.

Quotes from “Broadway Here I Come,” from the Smash soundtrack, written by Jimmy Collins and Kyle Bishop (by way of Joe Iconis)

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. mochazina
    Apr 02, 2016 @ 13:10:12

    Reply

  2. Kat Loyacano
    Apr 02, 2016 @ 07:54:18

    I am so sorry, Nicole. You will get through this bump in the road. You are smart, strong, and fully capable of turning this setback into a blessing. Hugs! ❤️

    Reply

  3. elisamaza76
    Apr 01, 2016 @ 21:42:34

    You are SO not alone! I’m right there with you, for one. Job hunting sucks. Who are the people you can recruit to help you (cheerleading, revisions of cover letters and résumés, venting…). It sucks, but you can do it! Let me know if you want/need to talk.

    Reply

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