As human beings in the 21st century, our prerogative is pretty simple, we’re born, finish education, get a job, get married, have a child (repeat the last part as necessary). However, what does one do when they hear the words, “I want you to look for another job”, at their current place of employment?
The first reaction is usually, denial. Followed by anger, fear, bargaining and finally, acceptance. Sounds familiar? It should, as those are the five stages of grief.
Make no mistake, it is a death of sorts that one goes through when they are informed their services are no longer required. Much like visiting the dentist, no one really has a backup for such a cataclysmic, life altering event. There are no Hallmark cards to be passed out, no special arrangement of botanical delights to deliver a message of, “have a great rest of your life.”
It is difficult, especially with changing circumstances, mounting responsibilities etc. To find oneself planning without a plan. The greatest difficulty however lies in being dismissed through no transgression of your own. That is the greatest injustice of them all.
As I sit here writing this, the here shall soon be revealed, I find myself in wonder at “the great plan”. If things had gone as expected, then right now, I should have been finishing up a business trip in Jordan, preparing for a long weekend of sightseeing. Instead, I had planned a trip to the south-east Asian nation of Indonesia, specifically Bali, as a long delayed gift to myself for a decade of service in the workforce. However, that also did not play out as expected, thanks to Mount Agung and the closure of the airport.
Instead I found myself doing something I never would have imagined would have occurred in my life, a spontaneous decision at the airport, with some quick Google-Fu resulted in a one and a half hour flight to Langkawi.
So as I sit here, atop the sea in my floating villa, which I do not recall booking but forgot to mention that at check-in, a fringe benefit of an unexpected upgrade, overlooking pristine waters, green mountains and white clouds the likes of which can never be done justice with the lens of a camera, watching the rain drops form patterns on the water in tune with the melodic cacophony of the birds and the beasts around, the very air I breathe in so intoxicating it feels almost as if I am drawing breath for the first time.
It is at this point I realize this is the purpose. If all those events had not taken place, this article would not have been written, nor would it be published for your reading pleasure.
Rarely in life does everything go our way. We can plan, and hope our plans play out as we imagined, but that is all we can do, hope. Much like volcanoes that have been dormant for 50 years and suddenly can roar to life in a fiery, airport closing, ash-filling display of dominance, so too is every aspect of our life controlled by similar forces.
There is more to life than punching in at 8 a.m. and out at god-knows-when. More often than not the dream of amassing riches for world travel focuses stringently on the former, not the latter. Bank accounts burgeon with tiny fortunes of bullion, which in the end goes to either educating the fruit of our loins, or caring for ourselves in the later stages of life, the dream of world travel a distant memory, where we accept to live that dream through the eyes of others (and their camera lens).
The internet is full of memes depicting the complex relationship between youth, energy and money. Early on we have ample youth and energy, but not enough money. Later on we have money, but lack youth and energy.
Modern science has instructed the human body to undergo several cleanses, from wrapping one’s body in seaweed to ingesting a drink made of seaweed, in order to remain vigorous and full of vitality. What is often not practiced however, is a cleansing of the spirit.
This is a cleanse of the latter form. One we each need to actively pursue so as to maintain our sanity, and to strive to perform the ultimate balancing act of professional and personal life.
These might be the ramblings of the as-of-now unemployed mind, however, they might also be the starting point of a new path. Here’s hoping for the latter.