I am now part of the ranks of the unemployed.
I finished up wiping my laptop yesterday morning. I went to school to print out emails. I used to have a folder on my laptop. “Good Stuff”. It was where I kept all of the good emails I had received over the four years I worked there. Thank you emails for something I had done. The nominations I got for the PROPS award. Congratulations emails for different things I achieved. You know… good stuff that made me feel warm and fuzzy.
I printed out all of those emails so I could keep them. I got to see Donna while I was upstairs printing things out. And Steve. I got to say goodbye to them.
I had hoped to get to the gym after printing my emails out, but I didn’t have time. Instead I had to go over to the HR department and do my exit interview. It was pretty painless. They explained how my benefits would work. They explained my 401k. I filled out a survey and then, at the very end, she gave me a sheet and said if I wanted to, no obligation, I could write about my time at Full Sail.
I thought about it for a minute. I thought about not writing and just leaving things as they are / were. But I ended up taking the piece of paper and I wrote. I wrote and wrote and wrote.
“People are not cogs.” Was the very first line.
I wrote about how I spent two weeks sleeping in a hospital room being grateful that my mom woke up each morning, breathing. I wrote how I was lucky enough to have had two weeks of vacation time to cover my absence. I wrote about how mom died and I had to spend a week waiting for her ashes. A week I had to use sick time to cover for. I wrote about how I had to fly on a plane with mom’s ashes to South Carolina where I spent another week visiting people, consoling them, and setting up the memorial service. A week I was given bereavement time for.
I wrote about how when I finally got back home that I took a week off to begin my grieving and to try to figure out my life. A week I wasn’t paid for. A week my supervisor wrote a personal check to cover for me so I could pay my expenses. A check I paid back using my inheritance money.
I wrote how it didn’t matter that I was a PROPS recipient, or that I worked, unpaid, after hours to help my students. It didn’t matter that while being a full-time employee I was also working on a Digital Graphics degree. The only thing the school had cared about was that I wasn’t being a diligent cog and grinding away in the machine. Because I was being human I didn’t deserve to get paid.
I wrote how I wouldn’t be coming back to the school. That during this event that I deserved to not have to worry about how I was going to pay rent. I deserved to not have to worry about losing my home after just having lost my mom. I shouldn’t have had to choose between my family, my well being, and my pay check.
I signed and dated my paper, placed my pencil down with most likely too much force, and slid the paper to the woman.
Her: “You wrote a lot.”
Me: “Yeah. It’s not the happiest letter.”
Her: “That’s ok. It doesn’t have to be.”
It was cathartic. It was my “fuck you” to the school. I’m not leaving because of my boss. I’m leaving because the school did nothing to support me, help me, care for me. All of the things I had done in the past to prove that I was a worthwhile employee, a worthwhile person, meant nothing.
Fine. I don’t have to stay. I don’t have to chain myself to a place that disregards my input and treats me like a number, like an inanimate object. I’m a human. I deserve to be treated like a human. With love. Compassion. Understanding. Respect. And I refuse to accept anything less than that.
So that was done. After the interview I went to lab, which was the longest lab I have ever sat through. Clavan came in and asked if I wanted to do dinner afterward. I said yes. At least getting dinner would let me get a drink. It would give me something to mark my last day. An act of clousre.
After lab was done I walked out of the building, turned around, and took a picture of the doors that I have walked in and out of for the last six years of my life. I posted the picture on Facebook saying thank you for an amazing six years. Even with all of the BS that happened during my time at the school I still feel like I grew a lot as a person. I have met life long friends that I’m not going to lose touch with. I don’t want to undo or change any of my time. I’m sad for it to be ending, but I’m happy that it happened and there are several moments I will cherish.
I walked over to Clavan’s office. I saw Joe while I was leaving, my boss’s boss. We said our farewells and that was it. Clavan and I ended up going to my sports bar. I had an Angry Orchard. It helped me relax. It was nice to have someone to share a drink with because I didn’t want to have a drink alone, but I really wanted a drink. It was only one. I was fine to drive. I wasn’t smashed or anything.
When we were leaving he gave me another hug. He, too, said I was a beautiful soul and that he knew I would do well. Queue mini cry session in my car. What is it with people telling me I’m a beautiful soul? I guess that’s going to be one of my truths.
I’m Jennifer Conley and I am a beautiful soul.
I need to meditate more on that one. Just like I need to meditate more on “I really will be ok”. In general I need to meditate.
I came back to my room and felt lonely. Sad. I was beginning to process through everything. I had also been messaging Warren #1 for most of the day, explaining my feelings about V. That’s another thing I’m having to process through.
I messaged V the other night and the conversation ended up turning to goodbyes and I said how he was going to be one of the people I miss. He said, “It’ll be ok.” And the weird thing is… I believe him. One way or another it will work out however it’s supposed to work out.
That mentality is reinforced by a dream I had last night. I don’t remember much about it. The details are already fading. But I was me. I was thin, healthy, the me I picture after a few months at the dojang and conditioning like I want. I was walking towards a building. I don’t remember what it was for. I remember I was dressed nice. In heels I think. I remember something happening at the building and walking away from it. The more I think about it the more I think it was school for some reason. Maybe that’s just me filling in details that I shouldn’t be.
Anyway I was walking away from the building. I think there were people around. Like, it was an audition or something. And people were outside waiting. I remember walking by a person. There was a table with shoes on it. It might have only been one shoe. I only remember one being important, but it would have been silly to not have at least a pair…
The person was crying. They were overweight. They were sad and nervous. What if they didn’t make it? What if they weren’t good enough? Self-doubt. Insecurity. All things I feel and face daily. I think this person, too, was me, though I wasn’t playing her role in the dream.
Thin me stood by the table. I remember picking up a shoe. It was a high heel. Red. There was an ankle strap with feathers or some sort of fluff around it. It wasn’t a shoe I would wear, but I held it and sort of played with it while I talked to the other women.
“It’s about trying. It doesn’t matter if you win. It matters that you tried and did your best. Be happy with you and it will be ok.”
I woke up knowing that the dream was about V and myself. I don’t know why or how I know, but I do. I feel a bit more secure, but it’s still something I need to meditate on. I’m really slacking off on the whole meditation, figuring my shit out, thing. I guess that’s why I’m taking a year off. To figure it all out.
Last night ended up being alright. I eventually got up, ordered a pizza, went to the store and got booze, then came home and played Witcher III for about 30 minutes before going to sleep. Chill night. Nothing major happened. I would have rather spent it as a blanket burrito being hugged by someone, but alas, I don’t have that option. Instead I ordered a brownie with my pizza because for once I actually did want some chocolate in my life.
First Adult Decision of Unemployment
Pizza and Strong Bow
with a brownie
followed by gaming
Seems like a legit adult decision.
Today feels like a low day. Like a sad day. We’ll see how it turns out.