Today, I want to talk to you about Attitude. About the choices we make each day about how we will face the world. I think that decision is probably the most telling piece of our personality. Don't you? This is going to be a long post, because I'm a blabber mouth...so grab a cup of coffee or tea, or whatever...then tell me what you think.
Here's where I'm coming from with all of this. You all know I was laid off on Friday, and it certainly came as a shock that's still reverberating in a new way each day. I've got some challenges ahead of me for sure, and I don't doubt things will get harder before they get easier. I'm hiding behind a curtain of denial, but it is a sheer curtain, I'm aware of what's on the other side, I just don't want to look at with a clear view.
I've decided to face this misfortune with a bit of humor, a lot of positive energy, and the occasional martini. And yes, some of it is false, but it is in that faux-happiness that I manage to get out of bed in the morning and function enough to plan my next step. It is a very thin line between reality and depression and panic, and I am walking that line daily. So, if I choose to focus only on the positive, and make light of the situation, that's what it takes to keep me on the right side of the line.
My friends, and that statement most definitely includes those of you reading this, because you have shown me an incredible amount of support and friendship through this, have for the most part stayed on that side of the line with me. I've received positive reinforcement at every turn. "You will find an even better job", "Someone like you will be hired before you know it", "This is a blessing in disguise", etc. etc. I've also received offers for assistance, virtual and real hugs, and proposals for the different types of martinis I should be sampling at this time.
And have no doubt that each and every one of those messages has gone straight to my heart, and filled it, and helped to keep me on that tight rope I'm walking.
I've chosen to tackle this head on, but with a bit of perhaps unrealistic optimism. Yes, the job market sucks, but until the moment I absolutely have to panic, I refuse to.
It's all about choices, and I choose to think of the best case scenario. And most people seem to get this, and not only support me in it, but even be a bit impressed by my response. I'm handling it well, I'm told. I don't know, but I'm handling it the only way I know how.
And yet, I've been taken aback by the response of one individual in my life. A person who I consider an extremely close friend, and who during this time has repeatedly taken a fatalistic attitude about my situation. From the moment I told her, I was faced with negativity. She has said everything from "The job market sucks, you'll have a really hard time finding a job" to "You can't live off unemployment and can't afford health insurance and won't be able to do it". Yesterday she informed me that when she recently was looking for a job, she sent out over 40 resumes and only received one call back. (Mind you she found a job in the matter of a week or two, so I'm not really sure how that adds up).
I'm sure she doesn't mean to...well...I'm not really sure what she "means" to do, but that attitude is certainly not going to help me any. I realize that it is a friend's job to offer up reality in small doses. I'm okay with that, I don't need friends who only paint me pretty pictures and tell me everything will always be alright. But there's a huge difference between small doses of reality, and smacking me in the face with an end of the world scenario. Not helpful. Not welcome. Not necessary. I'm highly capable of building my own destruction up in my mind. Trust me, all those negative thoughts? They've been at the back of my mind since the moment I learned my fate. But I've done a good job at keeping them at bay, and would like to continue to do so as long as possible.
You telling me I'm going to be destitute and lose my house (in so many words) is NOT going to help me any.
A long time ago I had a "woe is me" friend. You know that friend. The one who gets a headache and immediately thinks she'll die. The one who can turn a flat tire into the worst disaster to ever happen to any one person in this millenium. She drained me daily. Negativity, much like positivity, is highly contagious, and after a while, she sucked the energy right out of my life. I made a decision that I couldn't be friends with her any longer, and have since focused on surrounding myself with people who at least attempt a positive attitude on life. Life is much too short to spend your days surrounded by complaints and misery. I won't do it, and I'd hate for this to mark the end of another valued friendship.
I've decided to keep my "employment" (or lack thereof) discussions to a minimum with this individual. It is bothering me that at a time when she could step up and offer her friendship, she is incapable of doing so, but hopefully we can get past this. But still, its left a bad taste in my mouth. Am I wrong in expecting a different type of support from her?
What do you think?