Friday, May 6, 2016

On Identity

Yesterday I lost my job. I wasn't really fired, I didn't exactly get laid off... I just wasn't a good fit.

This didn't come out of no where. For months I've been getting the feedback that I wasn't really performing my job at the job level I was hired at. I wasn't bad exactly, but they expected more out of me and I wasn't delivering. They could tell I was trying, and the stuff I was doing was being done well, but that wasn't enough. So I got let go.  I don't think I was treated badly, so please don't send me comments about how awful my former employer must be. I still want my coworkers and the projects to succeed. This piece of my story didn't end as I would have liked, but I'm trying to make it a peaceful end anyway. 

It's been about 24 hours since I cleaned out my office and handed in my badge. I've cried a lot. I've drank some. I have tried to think about it, and not think about it. Mostly I've just given myself the space to feel. I don't need answers right now, I don't need to plan. I just need to be ok with reacting to this however this reaction comes.

I'm a woman in technology who suffers from imposter syndrome. I constantly feel like I'm not good enough. I've spent basically all of the last 10 years of my career pretty sure I was going to get fired. Now it has actually happened, and for all the reasons I expected.

I am dealing with loss of identity. I am dealing with feelings of inadequacy. My self worth took a hit. I am now standing at the edge of what I use to call my life and realizing there is a big hole in the middle. I think I need to redefine what the meaning is in my life. I am never going to say this was a good thing, but being forced to reevaluate and potentially change the path my life is likely to be something I can look back on in the future as a good curve in the road.

I am fortunate in that I did have savings in case of something like this, and that I have a husband who is still employee and here to support me as I navigate unemployment and what's next. I do realize my privilege here.

This morning I was talking with my 5 year old about what he wanted to give to his friend this weekend for his birthday. We agreed a science kit would be fun. My 5 year old said "Science is my thing! And it's your thing too mommy!" I burst into tears as I realized that may not be true anymore. I couldn't explain to him why I was sad, but I was able to say that it's ok that I am sad and that I'm dealing with some big feelings that will likely be slow to change. I won't be ok tomorrow. I will be ok in the future.

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