The first time I was ever fired from a job was when I lost my bank job three years ago. I lost a lot of things with the loss of that job. My nice, cushy income was gone. The credit cards, my self esteem, my reputation and sense of self worth, stability and security were a thing of the past. And, for a while, I lost hope too.
When the fallout from my mistakes first happened, I didn't want to believe things were as bad as they looked. I hoped for things to work out so I could keep my job. I was wrong. They didn't. Then when things went from bad to worse I hoped for things to turn around - that I could bounce back quickly and get something else that would provide the same level of income so we could keep up with our loans, credit cards, bills and the steep rent we were paying on our new apartment. But none of that happened either.
Hit after hit, life seemed content in grinding me into the ground, and with each blow, that hope that something would eventually go my way slowly faded away. Until I couldn't find any more hope in me.
It even got to the point where I began wishing. I wished for silly, impossible things. I wished I could wake up to find the entire thing was just a dream, or I could somehow go back and change what had happened. I guess we all do that when we're in a shitty situation. But I knew the reality of my situation couldn't simply be wished away.
Then came the anger. I decided that hope was just a waste of time and if I was going to get out of my mess, I was going to have to take matters into my own hands. Hope is for fools. It's something for people to cling to so they can sit idle and see if their problems work themselves out. If you want your situation to change, you have to get up and change it. At least, that's what I used to tell myself.
But even that was stupid.
I used to believe that things happened for a reason and I even thought if I learned from my situation and vowed not to make the same mistakes again, then things would turn around. Just like in those Saturday cartoons I saw growing up. I thought, "Okay, life, you got me. I've learned my lesson. I'll never do anything so stupid ever again. You can make everything alright now..."
But, in real life, there's no old mystic, or whatever, waiting to see if you learned and grew from your tragedy to then magically send you back to where you began. The cartoons lied! No one's waiting to hit the reset button for you. That's real life.
Some pretty dark days followed. I never knew what depression, real depression, was up until then. I was still trying to put on a brave face for Mrs. C, and I did my best not let my despair show, but on most days, after she left for work, I would spend the entire day curled up in bed, hating myself, my life, everything.
But, eventually, things got better. I wish I could say there was grand epiphany that helped me to realize this. In the end I guess I just accepted it.
But, out of all that, the strangest thing happened. Corny as it sounds, I found myself. Before then, I never really knew what I could truly say who I was or what defined me. I had long given up on any idea of having "talent" or "creativity" in anything and accepted a life of cubicles and staff meetings. But through this experience I discovered I was more than that. I have to admit, stumbling onto the world of blogging helped a lot.
Things haven't completely turned around for us. We're still buried under a mountain of debt and it doesn't help that I still seem to have trouble holding down a job. But we've both grown from this whole experience. Now I can safely say that I have hope that there will be a better day.
The truth is we need a little hope. We can't control every situation and there are just some things we have to hope turn out for the best. We have to hope that things get better and there's some better tomorrow out there somewhere. Even if it isn't tomorrow.
This was part of the hope relay.
It was passed on to me by one of my adopted blog-sister, Marie of My Cyber House Rules (the adoption's still unofficial until all the paperwork is sorted out).