Reflections on Being Fired

I was walking near Lincoln Center
about a week after I got fired. The weather was glorious and I felt
like every breath I took brought me higher and higher. I wanted to hug
everyone harder and harder. I had a glow. I was in love with every
morsel of life and I finally had time to taste every bite.

My six-year-old son and I were skipping down the Upper West Side when I noticed a familiar face walking beside me. It was Mr. G,
a seasoned weatherman (couldn’t resist the pun). I don’t watch the
weather, but I recognized him because we worked in the same building –
the Superman Building.
He noticed me on this day as he had noticed me on other days in our
lobby over the years. He gave me his standard smirk and partial
elevator eyes.

“I
know you,” I blurted out. I don’t know what came over me. It drugged
me, this newly found euphoria. “You used to work in my building.” I
added. “But I don’t work there anymore. They fired me last week. Just
like that. Can you believe it? Fifteen minutes of bullshit and I get
back to my desk to find my computer and phone disconnected. My ID card
disarmed.”

I’m not sure why I felt compelled to tell this weatherman my story. It seemed I needed to tell anyone who would listen.

“I
like your energy,” he said. “I think you’ll be fine. Besides,” he said,
pointing to my son, “he looks like he could take care of you.”

“I’m
great!” I smiled and my son and I continued on our way. My street
therapy led me to a happy realization. In exchange for a paycheck, I
was given the magnificent gift of time – my time. I was entitled and I
was bestowed.

Finally,
I wasn’t in a hurry. (And in New York City – that alone is a feat.)
Finally, I didn’t feel like a sand granule falling down an hourglass –
struggling with, for, and against time. I found time to be kinder and I
let people go in front of me on the bus. I didn’t care if someone was
late; I didn’t mind waiting for the subway. I smiled brighter.

I
grew more patient – with my son, my friends, strangers. Nothing seemed
to bother me, but while I basked in every second of this bliss, I knew
it was fleeting. This sensation had its own hourglass. Nothing lasted
forever. I knew eventually I’d get anxious. I knew the Reality Sprite
would show his ugly face and steal my exaggerated grin. Everything
would balance out.

I didn’t realize that I had to cut a piece away to make me feel more whole.

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