When I grow up

Now that the unemployment line is staring me in the face, everyone either responds with:

A) OMG what are you going to do?!!?!?!?! #panic

B) Great. You were too smart for that place / it was killing you anyway. Now you can do what you really want to do. Dream big!

I’m not sure which reaction bugs me more. Probably the first one, as it forces ME into a role of trying to comfort THEM and assure them no, I’m not going to drive Stewie into the Intracoastal and meet a watery end. Don’t make me reassure you when I’m the one who’s spinning out. Give ME some hope that the job market really isn’t abysmal, eh?

A friend who used to work with me a lonnnngggg time ago reached out on one of the social media thingies and said she always wondered why I stayed. Too smart for all that, she said. I laughed. I said I stayed because we had amazing people like you hidden in the ranks. It was easy to be a leader when you had people who actually cared about your, and the company’s, success.

I can’t find a job like mine anywhere on the planet. The company that’s supposed to be hiring all of us, well, isn’t. And that was my best bet.

I don’t want to be unemployed. But I don’t want to lose my title or pay, either. That’s why I stayed. Seniority, yo. You get really good at your craft in a niche industry. What happens when you have such specialized skills that they just don’t translate directly anywhere else?

Basically I achieved my dream. So when folks tell me to dream big, well. I set that bar and I met it already.

Look, I’ve been worried about losing this job for six years. I figured it would be my longest-running boss to toss me. He never seemed to “take” to me. And I wasn’t planning to stay anyway. Just wanted to leave for the right thing.

God knows I’ve had offers. Just didn’t hear the right one over the years. Now I’m left to wonder do I go crawling back … or do I dream something up that is completely different — and could completely suck in its own special way?

How do you dream when that’s your mindset? (A little help here, please …)

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