I got fired from my job last week. And my wife is 39 weeks pregnant.
Good timing, right?
Kelly – my wife – cried all day; she was worried. A stressed out pregnant wife is never a good thing. It broke my heart.
Here I am sitting at home looking for a job while she was sitting at work, 39 weeks pregnant, trying to earn us some money; swollen, hot, tired, anxious, incredibly strong, and completely freaking beautiful.
It doesn’t seem right.
My wife is the shit. She’s the most supportive person ever and my best friend. She knew we’d be okay and I love her for that. It takes true strength to remain calm, poised, and positive in the face of adversity.
Luckily, we were smart and worked hard to build up a savings account, so we have a buffer. We’re fortunate to have that. And we’re fortunate to have such amazing friends and family.
Some people aren’t as fortunate. She keeps reminding me that people are in this position every day. And they make it through. I know we will too.
Anyway, here’s what I did when I got the call (you know the call: “Chris, call me when you get this, we need to talk). I immediately called my wife and told my parents.
After that I went to a meeting… for the company that just fired me. Talk about a surreal experience. They told me that if I went to the meeting, and closed the account, I’d get the commission. With a baby on the way, I didn’t have much of a choice. And if I did have a choice, I’d still go to the meeting. Somehow, I meant something to me to walk in there and be a professional.
So there I was. Sitting in a dark conference room trying to close a deal, knowing in the back of my mind that I just lost my source of income; that I would have to begin a job search; that I would need to tell my friends and family that I didn’t do a good job; that maybe I wasn’t doing as well as I had let on; that I’d taken advantage of a great opportunity.
Weird, man. Weird.
Later, I sent a group text to all of my closest friends. I love them, trust them, and refused to let my ego get in the way of asking for help.
I know what I have to offer and what I’m worth. And maybe my heart wasn’t in it. Maybe my style and the company’s style really weren’t a fit.
I woke up that night at 4am in a cold sweat. I panicked. My chest felt tight. I ended up grabbing a book and getting lost for an hour so I could fall back asleep. Reality was too frightening to face.
The next morning I woke up, shaved, showered and started my new full-time job search. With the help of my friends and family, I had two interviews lined up by the end of day one, directly because of my friends.
I’m not writing this to look for sympathy, or praise, or to bad-mouth my employer. No. It’s business. The truth is that maybe it wasn’t a great fit. Aside from the timing, it was not an ugly breakup. And maybe something better will come from it.
The truth is, the fact that I wasn’t that upset over it says something.
With the help of my loved ones and most importantly, my wife, I remained confident and strong and went to work. Sometimes having your back up against the wall is a good thing. And perhaps one day we’ll look back on this and smile. Maybe we’ll laugh at the absurdity of it all.
Here’s what I know: I’ll look back on this experience and be thankful to have such amazing fucking people in my life. People like my wife. I’ll look back and thank LeBron James and the Cavaliers for giving me such a beautiful, fun distraction and for giving me something to smile about. And finally, I’ll thank my soon-to-be born child, for teaching me exactly what’s important in life.