Saturday, March 10, 2012

Learning


Stress can do a lot of things to our bodies. I may sound like an annoying broken record here when I mention getting laid off again, but this summer I felt a stress that I've never felt before. Some of it was good, actually. I had beautiful days to myself, so why not go out and enjoy them if I had nothing else to do. But after my days of fun, I couldn't help but feel this overwhelming sense of guilt. Guilt for not using all that free time to find a new job, or network to at least find new freelance jobs. Then, I felt myself counteracting that guilt and thinking, I've been working since I graduated college and never had time to myself. Why not just enjoy it? The constant back and forth mentally exhausted me. There were days where it was hard for me to even leave the house. I've felt depression before, but this wasn't the same. I wasn't sad, or crying. I was just in this constant argument with myself over what was the right thing to do.

The stress took over my body, physically. My scoliosis started bothering me again. (Luckily I found a free yoga class to join. Yoga makes me feel so much better.)

If it weren't for my solid foundation of supporting friends and family, I'm not sure what I'd be doing today. I'm so appreciative for everyone's support and help. My best friend even encouraged me to make a long term goal- to run my first ever 5K in September.

Now, nearly eight months into my "unemployment" I'm adjusting. I don't quite feel so "unemployed" anymore. I fill my days with a significant amount of freelance work. And on my days off, I've learned to just try and enjoy them.

I've also learned I don't need a lot of money to be happy. I was always sort of aware of this. We never had money growing up. My professional field doesn't exactly pay the big bucks. But I thought for sure, in the beginning, that not having any work and living off government unemployment allowances, I wouldn't have a life here in Chicago. I thought, "well the job is gone, the money is too. My life in Chicago is done." I didn't think I could take little odd jobs and projects to make ends meet. Boy, did I prove myself wrong.

I truly am happy here. Happy that I made a life for myself and by myself in Chicago. And while I may have hit a huge bump in the road, I still managed to make it ALL work.