I purchased my ticket.
The past two weeks have been emotional whirpools. It will be difficult to explain as I promised myself I wouldn’t give too much information about my job and personal life, so I’m going to do my best to tell the tale of what’s happened and what is going through my mind.
Bear with me.
At work, there has been a lot of drama, fear, confusion, and slim to nothing job security. I had wanted to purchase my ticket out of town mid-February, but something in me just felt as if it weren’t right just yet. While I wanted out from my job, if I were suddenly fired for whatever reason, my logic said to purchase my ticket with an earlier leaving date. Why waste money sitting around? There was no way I’d want to get a job for a couple of months, then check out.
So, I waited.
My mother teasingly called me a chickenshit, my friends nodded and sipped their tea as if I were making an adult decision, and I changed my mind about what I was officially going to do every five minutes.
The job situation got worse. People were being let go left and right. My boss became increasingly stressed as well, which led to restrictions on my own way of working. Something I’ve found over the past few years is that if ever my boss is stressed due to something out of his control, he will control what he can. I am what he can control, and thus my schedule was changed to be within a tighter range to him, which meant more money for parking and gas depending on which location he was working from (yes, I have a job where I get to travel either 5 miles to work or 25 miles to work).
I began to get more nervous. Not necessarily about purchasing my ticket (I’d finally made a firm decision that I would purchase my ticket the week of my birthday, no matter what happens), but for friends at work. And about my own capabilities of dealing with what was happening. I’d been through a firing before, but this was getting outside of my range. And now, nobody was safe.
Every day, I trudged from the furthest parking ramp I could get to for the cheapest price, then walk a mile to work carrying my office that I now had to have at two locations, listening to music that I used to distract me from the impending 8 hour shift that made me wonder how people could ever consider this life an actual life.
This past year, I’ve discovered depression like I’ve never seen it before. While not crippling, I’ve luckily only had a few brushes with it in my lifetime.
SHIT MANAGEABLE DEPRESSION LITE ALERT
The first time was as I was getting into high school. The bullying was getting old and I was getting bored in my small town. My parents agreee that I could go to an arts high school, and it took me out of my slump.
The second time, I was in my fourth year of college. It lasted a lot longer as I struggled with my own bills, family bills, trying to be the best RA I could for the third year in a row, and ultimately finding out that a credible scholarship program didn’t want to pay my last year’s tuition after going through several tests and interviews that all said that I was on a career path meant for me because “writing/film isn’t considered a viable career choice.” As someone who was graduating and already in an unsure life position but holding onto the hope that she can find something after college and it will all be fine, and a credible scholarship tell you that you aren’t good enough (despite having top scores more eligible than the ones who got it)…
My father noticed I wasn’t being myself, that I was asking what the point was when I could waste my life at what I love and enjoy most in the world, but never be able to do it because what I value most isn’t considered a viable option in life. We had a frank discussion, I cried over my considered value, and I promised I wouldn’t give up. I applied to every writing job at my favorite video game developers.
The third time, I was getting restless in my job after college. It wasn’t my career path, but I was working in entertainment and events, working to make sure the famous were comfortable to make our guests happy. While I learned a lot, I worked at a casino, where the guest was ultimately our money. I loved interacting with our guests, but I slowly came to see how not only was my company in the money business, but most of our guests were money hungry, too. Gamblers.
One morning, two years in, I was getting a key from our security and I noticed someone collapsed on the floor with EMTs just crouching to check for vital signs. They started chest compression while waiting for an AED. Shocked at the scene playing out, I left to hand in my key, trying to process how young the person looked, not yet into their 50s. On the way back, I noticed they were putting the person on a bag and onto a stretcher to take out one of our emergency exits, covering the face. The people playing on their machines hadn’t moved an inch except to press their ‘Bet’ buttons, weren’t even paying attention. None of the employees had asked them to move either. I spent that morning crying.
Within the next two months, I found another job.
This last time has been a doozy.
2014 is what I call a Fuck-All Year. While filled with some great memories, so many things came (finally) into the limelight, and I got a good look at how the world reacts to such matters as race and feminism. It became a year of anger. Of sorrow. Of beginning to wonder if anything could become of it all except a blip in which people tried. I was becoming the opposite of a Pollyanna. The lead into 2015 wasn’t any better as personal issues came up with friends, all things out of our control.
How could I give hope to a situation as my faith in such a notion was dwindling away? A lot of forcing myself to do things while balancing that out with bouts of FUCK LIFE. This was the most unlike me I’ve been yet, but it has been turning around into the most genuine me as I reflect on how long this episode lasted.
END SHIT MANAGEABLE DEPRESSION LITE ALERT
And that was how I would go to work, to a job even my friend Tam said she had never felt more like a slave than with what we were doing. I would be sad with the state of our world and trying to surround myself with people who could give encouragement along with the terrible information happening, then get to deal with an environment that stifles creativity and wants you to conform to a corporate lifestyle that had always made me feel uncomfortable in the first place.
The past two months have already been havoc. With my job comes a network that allows me to get insights into events earlier than most, so I knew we’d be losing more people, that I could possibly be on that list.
It is an odd feeling to have when you think there is a possibility of getting fired. It is odder still when you were thinking of quitting anyway, but not just yet, so you hope you aren’t fired so you can leave on your own terms. And it is the oddest of all to have bought your ticket to get out of your situation on the day when everybody else loses the job they wanted to stay at.
I was trying to explain it to a friend, and this was the best I could come up with: It’s this mixture of not caring, yet wanting money, yet feeling guilty for complaining at all because you have a job and are getting money…
I like to think I’m not the most terrible person on the planet because I at least still have the guilt about it all.
The day before my date to purchase my ticket, I found out that the next day would be a firing day for people. Later that afternoon, I had an unexpected large payment on something that I honestly expected because there has never been a time in my life that I could ever save up money without an unexpected large payment to try to fuck things up.
My mind was reeling. What was I doing? What would happen to my friends tomorrow? What would happen to me? What about other expected unexpected payments? What about family? What about friends? What the actual fuck was happening?!
I cried on the way home from work, and then again before I went to bed. It turns out, taking control of your life is a lot like not having any control at all.
At 2:45pm on the day I purchased my ticket, after a morning of coping with work changes, I wandered into an empty room and shut the door. I called my bank to confirm that I was making a large purchase item. I used Rome2Rio to help find some possible flights. My friend and co-worker, Tam, came in while I was debating between flight times. I purchased through Iceland Air around 3:30pm. I cried and hugged her while Bjork played in the background.
Ten minutes later, I got a call from my bank saying there was suspicious activity. Had I recently purchased something from Iceland Air, and a smaller purchase from Steam Powered earlier that morning? I had to laugh.
I told my closest friends. I told my parents. And I kept trying to tell myself by looking at the confirmed email I’d received every few minutes.
It was important because it was the first time in a long time that I felt my heart feel light. I couldn’t keep a smile off of my face. There was a rush of ambition and motivation I hadn’t felt in months. I was going to do something I felt passionate about. I had a way out. I wasn’t stuck.
I was free. I am free. I have a finalize plan I’ve been trying to actively put into motion for two years.
Now I just have to work on not panicking every 20 minutes to the point of not sleeping about how my job will turn out in the meanwhile. Because the day after I bought my ticket, I was told the people in my position will be cut in half using a process not yet decided in an unknown timeline.