onward & upward


On Monday afternoon I was let go from my job after over five years there.  Needless to say, it was a shock, and now at a month shy of 26 I find myself navigating the uncertain waters of unemployment — or, as my friends who have been in the same boat for considerably longer have optimistically, if not a little ironically, taken to calling it, Funemployment. Today is the second day of the rest of my life, and it’s a pretty surreal adjustment.

So, here I am, splayed out on my boyfriend’s couch at 10:30 on a Wednesday, sipping coffee with all my tattoos out, where for the last half-decade at this time I’ve been wearing heels and a headset, frantically answering phones and attempting to keep an office running.  It feels sad and strange, but I can’t say it’s not also kind of liberating.

My psychiatrist recently told me that I have a real skill at constructing barriers for myself. Now, faced with an unforeseen stretch of free time, I realize that my job might have been my biggest barrier. I liked working there, and I took pleasure in my efficiency, but I never wanted to be a secretary, you know?  But let’s face it, I thought — I’m a community college dropout, so this was the best I could do, and so I pushed my deeper aspirations to the side, claiming I was too busy and too tired. What had been intended to be a backup plan had become simply the plan, and though I was definitely beginning to experience a sense of ennui at my office job, I think I had resigned myself to it, telling myself that one day I’d find the drive to move forward and pursue my creative endeavors. But honestly, if I hadn’t been fired, I don’t think I ever would have. My job was a wall I’d built in front of myself.

Although I’m completely fucking terrified, I’m trying to look at this whole situation as the kick in the ass I need to really try to do what I want with my life.  In a way, the timing couldn’t be better: with the advent of my personal attempt at achieving “radical self-love,” this is the perfect opportunity for me to really see if I have it in me to change my own life, to pursue my real dreams, and to hopefully never be a secretary again.

I’m grateful, then, that I have Cartoon Heart to turn to with all my ruminations. Over the next few weeks I have a feeling you’ll see my blog get more personal as I attempt to figure out what I’m doing with myself. I really appreciate your patience as I rebuild my toolbox (my graphics and editing programs were on my work computer) as well as my life.  As a blogger I’ve always hoped to be relateable, open and honest with my readers, and now I’m openly asking for any advice you guys can offer me as I work everything out. Thanks for sticking by me.

I’m ready to make a huge positive change in my life, and I think this is my opportunity to do it.


29 responses to “onward & upward

  1. “this is the perfect opportunity for me to really see if I have it in me to change my own life, to pursue my real dreams”

    YOU CAN TOTALLY DO IT! I have all the faith in the world in you ♥

  2. Awww..good luck with everything. That’s some seriously great fate! Really! Even if it doesn’t feel like it at the moment.

  3. i’m glad you’re looking at this with a positive attitude. stay strong, and i’m sure you’re going to find out whatever path is going to lead you to the career you were destined to be in. i can’t wait to read about your future success!

  4. Oh wow. To be honest, I’m jealous. I too, am currently a cubicle rat & I absolutely hate it. I secretly wish every day they would just fire me so I can be on “funemployment” and whole-heartedly pursue my freelance career as a web/graphic designer full-time. For now, I’ll just live vicariously through you.

    • I hope I can do you proud then! This is a terrifying experience but I’m optimistic about where it’ll take me…just as long as I can keep myself from freaking out. Best of luck to you. ♥

  5. I was really touched by your post and can definitely say- you’re in good company. I myself, have taken up freelancing until I find permanent work, but this hasn’t made the process any less frustrating.

    Just remember, whatever you do for your blog, you can do for a company (photo editing, graphics, etc.). You could even learn html (beyond wordpress). Your blog recently got great press in Lucky and, if I were you, I would mention that somewhere on a resume.

    I think you said it best in the title of your post “onward & upward”. Keep your head up and know you are definitely not alone.

  6. Shit. I was wondering why I hadn’t heard from you in a few days. *hugs*

    Dude, you have SO much potential in you that it’s silly. Cartoon Heart & Cunt Sparrer will FLY above whatever you were doing at your job and we’ll be behind you all the way. xoxo

  7. You are destined for great things in life! As I’ve said before, I’ve been a reader (okay, okay, a total lurker) since off_wut days and in the past year there’s been a definite change in your writing/attitude/outlook for the better.

    Whatever comes your way in the future will be scary at first, but you’re a strong woman. You can handle the unknown!

    Best of luck to you, I really mean it.

    • Wow, thank you so much, that makes me feel really good! I’m trying to stay positive about this whole thing and so far I’m doing OK. I really appreciate your comment so much. ♥

  8. Ugh, I can’t imagine how tough this must be for you. You are being super brave and I’m glad that you’re choosing to remain positive! I hope things get better for you, and even though this probably doesn’t mean much, I believe you can make it all work for the better.

  9. I think you’re an amazing writer, stunningly creative, and no doubt very meticulous and efficient at every thing you do. Congrats on being free! The possibilities are endless and I’m sure you’ll do exactly the right thing.

    A lot of people your age and in the same situation would probably go back to school and jump start their new career with the added credibility of some diplomas. This could very well be the best thing to do in your scenario (I really don’t know). But, I really think it’s possible to do amazing things without the academic credentials and in many cases preferable to enter the world without the staggering debt (I say this as some with a master’s degree and staggering debt, of course). Just some food for thought. In the end, you’ll do whatever it is you were always meant to do.

    Congratulations again and good luck!

    • Wow, thank you so much. I’m going to take some of this time off to really evaluate what I’m going to do with myself. Right now I have no idea but it’s kind of exciting to feel like I’m moving forward. I think I can do it!

      Thanks again! ♥

  10. Good luck girl. Althugh I wasn’t let go, I was denied a promotion I shuld have gotten and the only advice I can give you is that you will rise above. Hang in there, You are an awesome girl and you deserve the world.

  11. I lost my job of 4 years back in May, and while I was heartbroken and devastated at the time, I very quickly saw what an amazing opportunity it was to do what I want. It’s still scary, and I haven’t figured it out quite yet, but I think I’m closer to it. This is a great thing for you.

    I’m a new reader, btw. I was directed to your post about Gala Darling’s Radical Self Love course and stuck around to look at your other posts. Love the blog.

    • So glad to know there are other people making the best of this shitty situation, and also so glad to know you’re enjoying my blog! Thanks so much for your sweet comment and for sticking around. ♥

  12. I was let go from my job earlier this year and while I wasn’t there for quite as long as you were at yours, I can really relate to the feeling of knowing without getting a push like this you would have stayed in your job etc. I definitely spent the past couple of months feeling really out of place but I just enrolled in/started school which is something I definitely wouldn’t have done unless I lost my job and everything. I’m sure you’ll figure out something amazing Sara, let me know if you want to talk since I’ve gone through some similar stuff xx

  13. Hey girl, things will be what they will be. I think a key is to not get emotional about jobs. There is a reason they gotta pay us to be there, after all. I am finally having some career action myself – after a year and a half of counting cards, I am finally starting to cut the deck right. I hope you get deal some good hands, too. You are very intuitive and can really attack big, complex concepts that a lot of other people never even notice. AND NOW YOU HAVE TO COME TO AZ THE NEXT TIME I AM THERE.

  14. Sara

    I was in your very fashionable shoes at the same point in my lifetime.
    Now 15 years later the best kick in the ass I ever had! I found a better job, traveled the world, and love.

  15. I was in your shoes a few days ago…just up and quit my job that I hated. I know you don’t know me but I’ve read your blog (Waitin’ Round to be a Millionaire) for a long time… LOVE your style 🙂 You inspired me to be more crazy with my style…Anyway, I know exactly what you mean about unemployment. And actually, I almost went crazy (like, having a panic attack at 12:30 at night) about not having a job. Best of luck. your graphics are AMAZING. Perhaps you should pursue something in the graphic design field? 🙂

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