2.20.2019

Learning To Walk Through Fire.


[ On Redundancy, Fear & Future ]


On Tuesday 20th November, I heard the words redundancy. That word rolled around my head over and over, smoothing itself over the outline of my heart, seeping into my soul and fitting itself into the cracks and crevices of my brain. Redundancy felt like an ice pick to my chest, at first sharp and stinging and then a dull continuous ache that would not subside. Redundancy tasted like burnt coffee, burning, too hot, a shock to the system. On the first day, I sat mulling over words I saw on the news, Brexit, loss of jobs, redundancy -  and realised that for once, those far away words had finally hit home. On the second day, I awoke with a weight on my chest, asthma attacks triggered by my anxiety and eyes that had been rubbed raw. I sat staring at my computer at work and somehow I’d forgotten how to do anything, my head a mass of cotton wool my thoughts absolutely blank. During lunch I went for a walk, I sat down on a damp bench in the park near my office and I cried. I cried and a choked scream fell out of my mouth. When I got home, I told my parents and they gasped. My usually fairly no-nonsense Nigerian parents both scooped me up in their warm arms and I cried a deep cry, my tears stained their arms, their chests, and their hearts. I could see that they were mourning for me, the toil, the struggle, the past two years of struggle. It felt like I had fallen off the mountainside with the peak in sight. 
On the third day, I didn’t go into work. Instead, I awoke to a splitting headache. Spaced out and exhausted, I lay there curled up in a little ball feeling painfully naked and vulnerable. I turned off my phone and I slept. I didn’t eat much, because my mouth felt like a small pinprick on my face, dry, arid and unwelcoming. On the sixth day I showered, I got dressed and I applied my makeup. I studied myself in the mirror and breathed a sigh of relief. I hadn’t somehow evaporated in the night. I rubbed my face, and I studied my dark circles. Then I picked up my bag and headed to the office.

A month went by and on my last day at the office, my directors presented me with a leaving gift. A book on architectural drawings - my favourites. We ended the day with a drink and some well wishes and I went home with a full heart and a sound mind. If anything I am and was so grateful to have worked with such a brilliant bunch of people.
January is where it really hit me. I had successfully gotten through the Christmas period riding on pure adrenaline and uncompromising positivity, but as the end of January rolled around, it became painfully apparent that I hadn’t found a role and my bank account was rapidly depleting.  I sat downstairs at Joe & The Juice on Kensington high street and tears filled my eyes as I sent our enquiry after enquiry, application after application. And it felt incredibly stupid, “People are dying Kim” my brain yelled at me, whilst my heart whispered it was perfectly normal to cry. But I felt stupid and selfish for crying over being unemployed, I suppose like most of us, I had made my employment status a part of my identity, I had made it an idol. But a job is a basic human need! My heart cried to my brain, lightly scanning over Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
February came quickly and I was out of the house - interviews! Finally! Hope had returned and my faith felt renewed, I dutifully scraped my hair back into a bun, put on flattering makeup, dressed cool enough to make me seem calm - but not too cool that I didn’t look professional and I went on my merry way. One, two, three, four... The interviews all went well, jokes and handshakes and the... “I think we’ll be making you an offer - we’ll get back to you as soon as possible”. Excitement and waiting, one, two, three, four... a week, two weeks. Nothing. You follow up and there has been some miscommunication. You follow up with another and they say they’re just talking to the resourcing department. You follow up with another and they say they actually decided to go with someone who has a bit more experience, and you bite your lip on the end of the phone until it bleeds, holding back tears you cheerily say “That’s okay! Thank you so much for your time, please do keep in touch in regards to any other opportunities!!!”, they apologise again and the call ends. Your face crumples and you fall to the floor like a discarded piece of tissue. Everything feels so utterly, painfully unfair. After everything, I’ve been through... this. More pain. More fear. More emptiness and you begin to wonder if this is a strange punishment for stealing meat out of the pot aged 10, or for pushing your sister down the stairs at age 14. You start to lose it...
A part of me has become incessantly bored of continuously writing about struggle, fear, and faith, but I continue because I realise that sometimes we only show the highlight reels of our lives through social media, so with these nice pictures, comes honest words, infused with all the tears, pain and fears, and in these words, I hope something in there resonates with those of you who wonder how everyone on the internet has their life altogether - most of us don’t hahaha! We just do a great job of making it seem like that!

There isn’t much of a conclusion here, I simply wanted to write and get my feelings out of my head on somewhere that might help someone else feeling the same way. I have seen that thousands of people have been made redundant online, from Buzzfeed to The Pool, much solidarity, strength, and peace to all those who have started the year as such - especially those facing homelessness and more. I am so sorry. I am so very sorry. I pray that we can all give a shout of praise soon. Just hold on. 



x

10 comments

  1. Just hang in there, you will overcome. I've been burned myself, still trying to find the right words for my experience.

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  2. Sade thank you for sharing so truthfully. I know what it's like to go months without work, and seeing a dwindling bank account. I pray that you get a positive response sooner than later. God bless.

    Berry Dakara Blog

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  3. I've commented on this before but... I'm still on the same boat as you, looking for a job. I wasn't going to mention it (again), but after reading your penultimate paragraph, I decided ah what the heck, you're talking about it again as well -- so honest and vulnerable -- and so, I feel like I can do the same here.

    Like you, I feel like I've been going on and on about the job search. I've stopped talking about it explicitly on my own blog, and instead try to focus on talking about what I AM doing instead of talking about where I wish I was in life. But in my head, that's pretty much 95% of what I think about. I COMPLETELY understand the process of sending out applications, the tediousness of it, the busy-ness, yet feeling like you aren't really getting anything done, and then the process of interviews, almost all of which I have felt went well, only to result in the same open silence. Every time I feel like I'm getting so close, and then all of a sudden I feel like I've wasted all of my time, accomplishing nothing, stuck.

    You're not alone in this Sade!! I'm glad to hear that you're surrounded by such supportive people. I myself couldn't be getting through this period of my life without my friends. Don't lose sight of all that you ARE and all that you have to offer, even if you haven't yet found a company that fully realises that. It's tough, but that's what I try to remind myself every day. -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's

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  4. This is so relatable. I'm sorry that it's happening to you. I'm trying to adopt a similar way to Audrey (above) in that I'm trying to focus on what I can be doing rather than what I am missing. I think this time off has made me realise how much I value being around people and the lack of that regular contact leaves me feeling lonely. This then precipitates my downward spiral of pity and hopelessness. I do what I can to try and resolve that and then focus my mind on completing something (right now its drawing). So that hopefully when the times comes and this period of my life is over, I'll have a positive physical achievement that I can look back on.
    Mind The Medic

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  5. I'm so sorry that you've been going through all of this Sade, I really am. Thank you for sharing the highs and lows of your life with us, our situations may be in different contexts but the underlying issue tends to be the same. Sending you all my love and praying that things pick up for you very soon. xx

    Coco Bella Blog

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  6. Your words stabbed into my heart and soul like a sharp knife. I could feel the pain circling your fingertips as you typed up this piece. Life is tougher than most of us would care to admit and I only pray that you would find some solace soon. There will be light at the end of the dark tunnel. Hold on and don't stop fighting! - www.jamilakyari.com

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  7. Please don't ever get bored of pouring out your heart exactly how you feel and what you're passing through. One of the things I've learnt so far is that none of us are without a share of challenges. We all have ours. It could be something else. But it's most important to keep pushing and never give up.
    You'll get your dream job, Sade and when that happens, you'll share your joy with us again.
    That's one of the beauties of life.
    All my love❤️❤️❤️

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  8. Such a beautiful and heartfelt post.. I've been there. I was there back in April, actually, in an impossible situation that left me so frustrated that I decided to quit rather than continue being unappreciated. It's so true how we tie in so much of our self-worth into our work, and into the approval of our boss and colleagues. when really we're more than enough without all of that.

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  9. I just found your blog through this post, as if by fate. I got laid off last month and the process you explain is so painfully accurate. I wish you all the strength to keep persisting, it's a terrible way to feel but I know we will both be the stronger for it.

    xx Carina

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  10. I stumbled across your page on Instagram and came to your blog. I'm so glad I did. Please keep right and sharing your heart just as you feel. We definitely need to move away from the "highlight reel" perspective and show everything in its raw reality. Thank you for this and I look forward to reading more of your blog.

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Thankyou for commenting :) I read every single one!

XOXO Sade

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