I went to Florida to escape the winter and the city, but the jobless funk came along for the ride.
by Jane D.
I left New York before the big storm, purposefully. I did not—frankly do not—want to be there anymore. I hate to say this, but something in me has died.
The novelty of being laid off hit me full throttle when March arrived. The severance is over—as are the health benefits. I won’t even start about the lapse in medication to treat the adult attention deficit disorder (ADHD).
En route to Florida, I sat next to a retired gentleman who was traveling with his wife. He asked me if I felt like I'd been stabbed in the back by an industry I'd invested so much into. To be honest, yes.
Maybe it is my blah attitude—the flatness and despair in my voice when I tell people what I do—that turns them off. The stranger on the plane promised no answers, but rather posed several questions:
What are you passionate about, and can you monetize it?
There are people in life who feel like they have a calling. What do you feel like is your calling?
It is frightening to say this (so I didn’t!): All I know is that I like to eat and I like to shop and swim: in essence, the perks of a trophy wife—except I am anything but. I don't even have a boyfriend.
Pretend that you ran into someone who looked just like you, a good friend in a similar dilemma: What would you tell them?
I wish I could tell them about the symptoms that plague a person well into the adult years, particularly when the disorder is left untreated. I wish I could say that most days life with ADD is a struggle, whether or not a person has a job or gets by on unemployment checks. I wish that in helping a friend, I help myself banish this funk.
Instead I said, Hmm, good question.
"Sometimes it is better to live with the question than the answer," the seatmate replied.
Here in Gatorland, it is clear that I've lost my cause and purpose. Despite all of the mantras from good friends and loved ones to not lose my spunk and spirit, there is a weariness to the way that I carry myself now. I am fully aware of it.