Now I Can Open My Meatball Buffet

Let’s cut to the chase: I was laid off on Monday.

Well, hello! And how are you? I’ve been better, I’ve got to say. Being laid off kinda sucks pond scum (shout out to my dad and Auntie Jean who have made that saying legendary). I’ve quit places peaceably, I’ve had contract work expire, I’ve even been fired from a waitressing job once (for daring to date the DJ!). But this is the first time being laid off.

I suppose there’s a first for everything.

Still, it’s not like I didn’t see this coming. I just didn’t think it was coming for me. But when I walked in on Monday morning and my boss did the old “we need to talk,” my stomach dropped into my feet and then flew back up to my throat and somehow landed in my ass and I knew.

There was the envelope, neatly placed in the middle of the desk, all other desk paraphernalia pushed off to the side. Advise to my readers: if your boss ever gives you the “we need to talk” face and starts fiddling with a nondescript 8 1/2 x 11″ paper/envelope on her desk, run. Just run. Run fast and don’t look back.

We're like two cats who got caught pooping in the house plants.
We’re like two cats who got caught pooping in the house plants.

Naturally, because I’m Italian and us Italians feel things, I’m dealing with a whole mess of emotions right now. To start, I’m terrified. We’re less than a week away from closing on the sale of our house, and our plans were to buy a new one. Now all plans are out the window, and we’re going to condense our entire home down to a bedroom in my sister-in-law’s house until we’re back on our feet.

Guys…I hate when all plans are out the window. I like to plan things, and I really like it when things work out according to plan. But, judging from my life over the last couple of years, I think I’m going to need to toss that whole philosophy out the window with my plans so that they land in an angry broken plans pile, like a disgruntled wife hurling her husband’s laundry out when she discovers he’s been cheating on her.

To clarify, I’m actually not angry. On the contrary, I’m a bit heartbroken. For nearly six years, I’ve been extraordinary lucky to do something I love with people I might love even more. I’ve made some best friends at this place. People who will leave a mark on me forever. I don’t care how much your tech Silicon Valley job pays you, that’s priceless. (Though to also clarify: I wouldn’t mind having that salary in addition to the awesome work peeps.)

Lucas' school puts on an art show with all the students' work. Incredible.
Lucas’ school puts on an art show with all the students’ work. Incredible.

I’m heartbroken as well for my son because I have to take him out of his expensive and incredible preschool, where he’s been going since he was a wee nugget. He’s crawled, pooped, learned to walk, potty trained, sung, played, danced, created, made best friends, grown to love reading, just grown up period…all while in their care. I had hoped he could graduate preschool there before moving on to kindergarten, but alas. It’s going to be Mommy Summer School until we can find him some more affordable care and/or I find a new job.

But! Despite all the difficult changes, one of the strongest emotions I’m feeling right now is hopeful. This is a new adventure for our family, one we’ve contemplated taking in itty bitty incremental steps over the years. Now we’re taking one big giant leap, and in a way it’s a relief. We’ve got each other, and when everything else falls away, we gain strength from one another in unconditional love and support.

OMG, I love my family. My family is my life.
OMG, I love my family. My family is my life.

To all the well-intentioned people who have told me that everything happens for a reason: I respectfully disagree. The only reason why this happened is because my company couldn’t pay me anymore. But just because something bad happens doesn’t mean some good won’t come out of it. In the end, I think that’s what they were trying to say.

So it’s onward for this Olive Gal! My last day of work and Lucas’ last day of school is Friday. We pack up and leave our house and Salinas at the end of the month. And then…who knows. If I don’t find a new job soon, I’ll finally be free to open up my meatball buffet!

green of skin, black of heart

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