A year ago today, I was fired.
Despite what all of the experts on LinkedIn say, this is not something easily managed. It is a stain that refuses to be cleaned. I still can’t write those words without feeling the pain and humiliation of that day rise up like bile in the back of my mouth.
Why was I fired? I am glad you asked. I was on vacation when I got the call and while I know that I was fired for retaliation, when asked directly for the reason for my termination, they refused to give one. This is perfectly legal in a “Right to Work” state like mine.
I will say only this: in deeply disturbing circumstances, I am proud of how I handled myself. I left that organization knowing that in all my interactions and in all of my words and deeds, I conducted myself with honesty and grace. My integrity is intact.
That being said, to say that this last year has been devastating is like saying the ocean is immense. I remain unemployed despite a severance agreement that guarantees positive reference language. I have applied for well over 100 jobs and have had dozens of interviews but no offers. The pain of this level of rejection and the self doubt it has bred has been, at times, crippling. As a result I am financially ruined for the foreseeable future and have suffered from serious bouts of anxiety and depression.
I have come to see this awful experience as something more than a an unmitigated disaster. Strange as it may sound, my faith is more unshakable today than it was 13 months ago. I have been brought low, deep in the valley of the shadow, and I am still here.
My family, especially my parents, have been rock solid. My father is still my guardian and I could not love him more. Few friends know of my plight but I am so grateful for the support of the ones that do and who have supported and encouraged me.
Opportunities have arisen that would not have but for me getting the sack. As a result, I love my community all the more because I know her so much better!
And, once again, I can look myself in the eye and know that I did the right thing. I stood strong in my values, I did not take the easy road. I did not abandon doing what was right for what was expedient. I passed The Test.
Actually, I have passed many tests, none more important than staying rooted in my faith despite the length of time of this ordeal. I have never once been angry at God. Never once have I insisted that he prove His love by ensuring my gainful employment or that he reward me for making me and my family suffer for such a long time.
“This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad of it.”
Yes. Yes. Yes! There is still food to eat and miraculously, the lights are still on. There are people to love and children to raise. The sun shines. And the wild flowers, despite heat and draught and the lack of a manicured garden, are glorious.
I am a Wild Flower. I endure much, do without more, and in spite of everything, all is right with my soul. This is where true beauty is cultivated and this garden is bountiful.
It is a glorious world and I am blessed to be in it. So today, Day 366 of my Great Trial, I rejoice and give thanks and know deeply, intuitively, impossibly, that all will be well.