A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Work Today
By Natalie DeYoung on February 09, 2014
A funny thing happened on the way to work this morning. And by "on the way to work," of course I mean walking the twelve steps from the coffee maker to my desk still clad in my pajamas. Let me set the scene for you:
Late Wednesday I lost a copywriting contract that was important to me. It was steady, well-paying work that I enjoyed doing – the first time in my entire life I did something at which I excel in exchange for monetary compensation. I didn't do anything wrong, it was just one of those downsizing things that have become an integral part of this post-apocalyptic economy. I'm no stranger to losing work through no fault of my own.
You better believe I blamed myself anyway, because that's my MO. Yes, I'm trying to stop doing that, because I know it's a bullshit habit.
I also know I need to develop thicker skin. It's exactly like the boots I'm trying to break in. I develop blisters every time I lace them up, but it will be worth it in the end because the boots are so damn cute, not to mention well-made. Obtaining a well-made pair of cognac colored combat boots is a fashion coup for me.
Or, in another relevant example, it's also like the process of earning my MA – excruciatingly painful with terrible side-effects like poverty and alcoholism, but worth it in the end because now I have a fancy diploma decorating my wall and I can say that I have read and understood Ulysses not once, not twice, but thrice. Everyone who hasn't read Ulysses can suck it!
Just kidding. Please don't leave. I have little to brag about, so let me have this one thing.
Anyway, don't feel bad, this diploma can't get me a job, and neither can Ulysses. At least I have a bound copy of my thesis on my bookshelf, so technically I can say I've been published.
Ahem. So thicker skin. Yeah.
I'm still building clientele, so this loss devastated me in the way that only losing contracts when you're starting a brand new work-for-yourself business can. I spent the evening partly in shock, partly crying, partly indulging in a pity party. Then I watched Bachelorette because someone told me it was funny and I needed a laugh and an escape from the whirligig of self-loathing that is my mind.
Once I completed this process, I realized I'm going to be okay. My therapist has been teaching me to say that any time something bad happens, and this is the first time I came to it spontaneously of my own accord.
I'm going to be okay.
I don't do loss. I don't do failure. Setbacks have destroyed me in the past.
But I'm not letting them anymore.
So the next day, I sat at my computer all day working to close out my account so I could get on with looking for more freelance work. My kitty sat on my lap freaking all day long, as if she knew I needed extra love. I felt bolstered by this unexpected emotional support. She's not exactly a lap cat, so I knew it meant something.
Then, this morning, the worry was...gone. I'm a professional worrier, so this was unprecedented. There I was, all decked out in my accoutrements of failure, including depression pants, and I didn't feel depressed.
Here's a close up of the pattern on my depression pants, so you can see how amazing they are and why I wear them to feel better:
Accoutrements of failure:
Glamorous, I know. But this isn't the Red Carpet, this is a woman who has just kicked depression's ass for today. Okay, maybe it's not as badass as all that, but it's the first time in a while that I knew I was going to be okay.
There will be other contracts. I'm a writer now, and I can't go back.
More Like This
Recent Posts by Natalie DeYoung
Most Popular on BlogHer
Hearing your baby laugh is the most amazing sound. Discover why baby laughter is so important, your baby’s own Baby Laugh Index™, and much more at www.babylaughindex.com.BlogHer and Bright Starts™ asked 10 bloggers to share what kind of laugh their kids have and to try out one of these fun toys: the Jungle Fun Ball Climber™, the Hide 'n Spin Monkey™, or the 3-in-1 Step 'n Ride Lion™ . Check out their posts and learn how you could win one too! Read more
Most Popular on Mental Health
Recent Comments on Mental Health