How to gracefully go from 6 figure salary to WIC in 90 days

"There are bless­ings in a storm."

"There's always a sil­ver lining."

"Things can't get worse."

"At least you've got your health."

These are all things that peo­ple tell you when you're going through a cri­sis and they are try­ing to fill an uncom­fort­able silence. I'm not the type of per­son to really com­plain or com­mis­er­ate. I gen­er­ally keep smil­ing and keep mov­ing when chal­lenged with adver­sity. But I'm learn­ing a hum­bling les­son lately that has my good nature in a head lock. The les­son for today stu­dents is How to Grace­fully Go From a Six Fig­ure Salary to WIC in 90 Days.

Let me start by say­ing that this story is not to tell you how sorry I feel for my self but rather a way to say that I empathize with any­one who has, is, or will go through it them­selves. After all, no one can under­stand your tri­als bet­ter than some­one who's been there right?

So here's where my story starts.

Three months ago I left (unwill­ingly) my job at Pay­Pal. I knew this was a pre­car­i­ous sit­u­a­tion con­sid­er­ing how many other peo­ple I would be join­ing in the unem­ploy­ment line. At the time it seemed that there was an announce­ment on a daily basis regard­ing the hun­dreds to thou­sands of peo­ple that were laid off on a weekly basis.

Les­son num­ber 1: How to hold your tongue and smile gra­ciously
Friends and fam­ily alike will ask you the same ques­tions when you're going through this stress­ful process. "Are you look­ing for another job?" "Do you have enough sav­ings to coast for a while?" "Why are you moving?"

My advice to you when you are bat­tered with the obvi­ous, don't bother to explain, it will only con­fuse them. Though you will be tempted, DON'T say "No, I'm not look­ing for another job, I hate to pay bills, eat in restau­rants, and hav­inh a car to drive." You will prob­a­bly look at those who know you like they are crazy and want to say "Yes, I had enough to coast for a while, but I blew it all and thought I could live off of you for a while", You will want to shout at your neigh­bors "I'm mov­ing cause you make to much darn noise!"

But STOP. Hang on, don't take it out on those who are just try­ing to help. They know not what they say. I was buf­feted sim­i­lar ques­tions and kissed and hugged every­one as I gra­ciously accepted their advice and con­do­lences. A loss of a job shouldn't cause you to loose your friends and loved ones in the process. So, I packed up my things and moved south to live with my mom.

It's awe­some to know that home is the place that they have to take you in. Sev­eral weeks after the move my son is pretty much over the nov­elty of "vaca­tion" and wants to know when he can go home. Back to ABC Montes­sori. Back to Budd Ave. I tell him, "We live with Grandma now." His new school is great but his best friend and favorite teacher aren't there. I heard that Isaiah's BFF's mom is going through the same issues as I am so sadly his friend wouldn't be there if we went back anyway.

Look­ing for a job is a job in itself, espe­cially since you have to report your valiant efforts to EDD to receive your check on time (bat­tling the EDD mon­ster is a com­pletely dif­fer­ent les­son). I went online today to apply for jobs on hotjobs. Each job I applied for gave me the response "you've already applied for this one." DOH!

Les­son num­ber 2: Keep try­ing or at least make it look good
Those who are count­ing on you need to SEE you mak­ing an effort on a daily basis. Com­pla­cency and lazi­ness can set­tle in quick, fol­lowed by depres­sion and anger if you don't keep try­ing. Yes, some­times it seems point­less to run yet another search on monster.com just to return the same list of work from home scams you saw yes­ter­day, but you never know, there may be some­thing new today.

A while back I called the Women, Infant, and Child pro­gram that pro­vides checks to pur­chase food to low income moth­ers. They gave me an appoint­ment for six weeks out stat­ing that the sys­tem was so taxed by women in need that this was the soon­est the could get me in. Finally my appoint­ment arrived and a wave of emo­tion over­came me as I con­sider my salary only a short few months ago. How quickly things change. But as I waited I made an inter­est­ing obser­va­tion. The women around me were just like me. They were women who had recently become unem­ployed or their spouses were with­out employ­ment. They were your aver­age fam­ily try­ing to feed their babies in a time where the land of milk and honey is start­ing to curdle.

Les­son num­ber 3: Where there's a will there's a way
I've started focus­ing on my Mary Kay busi­ness with the per­sis­tence and vigor of a hun­gry lioness. Eyes lines, lips glossed, and cheeks blushed, I drove 45 min­utes to yet another net­work­ing event. Though tired and frus­trated that every woman at the event already had a Mary Kay con­sul­tant, I came home tri­umphantly after acquir­ing the phone num­ber of the server who "LOVES Mary Kay" and needs a new lipstick.

The net­work­ing seems to be work­ing for me and though I'm com­mit­ted to search the clas­si­fieds on a daily basis for an "office job", I will con­tinue to build my Mary Kay busi­ness in the hopes that it will give me the sta­bil­ity and flex­i­bil­ity to sup­port myself and never have to worry about get­ting laid off again.

Well, as they say... "There's a bless­ing in the storm." "There's always a sil­ver lin­ing." "Things can't get worse." and "At least I've got my health."

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