I keep trying to find a eloquent way to start out his post. A way to describe my day that contains an element of poetry. However, those words escape me most entirely at the moment. So here’s the truth.

I got laid off from my job today.

I really thought that Tuesday’s trip and fall was going to be the shock of the week. It had helped me find new space inside of myself so thoroughly that I thought that was the shift I’ve been needing.

What’s particularly nutty is that when I got to work on Wednesday, I felt better about the place than I’d felt in years. I’ve spent so much of my employment there resisting it, fighting against is, not wanting to be there, that to have finally found some measure of peace about the place was a true joy.

And then, today. When my supervisor first starting explaining to me the fact that I was being let go, it didn’t register. It was the first time I was released from a primary job (I’ve lost freelance gigs, but that’s a whole other barrel of fish) and so I didn’t comprehend it.

There were more than a few tears (the wracking kind that made the men in the room want to run and hide) and it took me several minutes to bring my splintered propriety back under control.

I went back to my desk. I forwarded pending emails to other people. I erased the few personal files from my computer. I made sure that other members of my team had access to the site I managed. I packed three reusable grocery bags full of shoes, coffee cups and pens. I hugged people and I left.

Now here’s the good part. Once home and faced with an empty day, I started to feel happy. I might even go so far as to say that a hint of jubilant giddiness crept in. I told Twitter that I’d been let go and the love from friends and acquaintances rolled in. In the matter of three hours, I had four possibilities for freelance work on the table.

Before today, I assumed that when I left my job for good, it would be on my own terms. Instead, my hand was forced. Amazingly, it feels like nothing more than a giant gift. I’ve been saying that I was ready for the change. Well here it is.

(If you’re wondering why the photo of the day is a bag of potato chips, the truth is that I’m not an entirely perfect or virtuous human. When faced with this loss, I turned to the bag of potato chips that I had been saving for our upcoming vacation for a taste of edible comfort. Thank you Kettle Chips, for being there for me in my time of need.)

43 thoughts on “83

  1. Mary

    So sorry, been there. It’s a new beginning. And for that you will be grateful in the end. Jobs come and go. Life happens. Best of life to you.

  2. jess

    I’m sure that it smarts not to leave on your own terms, but I can’t wait to see the bigger and better things you will move onto. You bring a lot to the table, and your next adventure is beginning. Good luck, although I’m sure you don’t need much of it.

  3. Rosemeri

    Time to go back to your life list and start checking off some of the items on it. You now have the opportunity to move on and do other things. It’s not the end, it’s a new beginning. Use the skills you have acquired along the way for a new purpose. You may be pleasantly surprised at how things can turn out. Good luck and keep writing your blog. I enjoy it immensely.

  4. Meadowlark

    Gee, let’s see. I got laid off… spent over a year on unemployment, worked on a movie on discovered I should start doing consulting work. I make less than I did, but ya know what? I’m sooooo much happier.

    I’ll be wishing that for you. 🙂

  5. Fun Mama - Deanna

    I’m so sorry. I have been there, and it’s disorienting and upsetting, to say the least. But especially if this job was not the right place for you, you’ll find it’s a blessing in disguise. (Sounds like you have already.) I was completely thrown when I was laid off from my job that I hated/loved. I dreaded going to work each day, but I never would have left on my own. I hope you find lots of new and exciting things that were waiting for the space in your life.

  6. Tammy

    This is not bad! You have a book coming out, that I am betting is going to be *major*. Focus on that. If you need help in the NW, I can point you at my fine colleagues in the PNBA.org and help talk it up. Is this the right time to ask on bended knee if you’d consider coming out to Hoquiam & doing a reading thing? I know a lot of foodies out here.
    Virtual hugs to you, m’dear. Just breathe.

  7. Lanna

    I’m so sorry about the shock. But it can eventually end up with some good – took us a year and a half to find the happier ending, but it was worth it (even if I was sobbing for a while there with no help with the newborn and kids). So glad you have some leads already, that’s great. 🙂

  8. ChickenJulie

    Ugh. Hugs. It’s so cliche, but things happen as they are supposed to. It seems like you’re in a good place, though, and you seem to already recognize this. I’m new to your blog, but you are creative and inspiring and you’ll weather this storm.

  9. Karen Lee

    The same thing happened to me after 19 years at a company. IT WAS THE BEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO ME. I am in a much better place in my new career, in my emotional health and in my self esteem. The fact that you felt happy once you got home says it all. Sometimes the universe has to push us out of a place we’ve become stuck in. I know you’ll be able to embrace this gift.

  10. Rose

    So sorry…been there myself & it seems to me that you don’t identify yourself by your job, so recovery from the blow may be easier! You have lots of talent and will be fine! Good luck & see you @ canning class! (((((HUGS)))))

  11. autumn

    Marisa, I am so sorry to hear this! However, I can’t think of a better person to have more time on her hands… at least for a while 🙂 With all the amazing stuff you have done and created on top of working a day job, I can’t wait to see what you’re able to do now.

  12. Sue Blando

    Marisa – When God closes a door, he opens a window. (Personally I don’t like it when the door slams unexpectedly, but it makes us find our mettle.) I lost my job a year ago and decided to go to school. I graduated last month and am looking for a job in a new field (after 30 years in an old field) so I’m nervous. BUT I’ve been using my time well – I’ve made pickles and lots of jam. Chutney on the schedule today… It’s all good. You’re the bomb, hang in there!

  13. Nicole

    If any chips are worthy, it would be Kettle!! Good choice 🙂 And yes, your hand may have been forced, but look at the possibility. I have no doubt that you’ll enjoy every minute of the opportunity

  14. Tracy

    a very similar story to my own, and let me tell you, it ended up being the most freeing moment of my life. free to build the future i wanted for myself: work and life integrated. free to use the skills and talents that i most enjoyed using…to help the people i most enjoy serving. and though the money isn’t what it once was (though i have faith that it can be), i have never felt more rich and rewarded than i do today, nearly 3 years later.

    my (unsolicited) advice: remember your gratitude, dream big, stay connected (yay twitter, blogs, fb), and have faith.

    carry on, sister.

  15. Barbara

    Sorry to hear about your job loss. I hope that you enjoy your new freedom and explore the new possibilities!

  16. Marie Lazaridis

    If this helps…..”When one door closes another, Another one opens” and if it doesn’t …..use some 3 in 1….:+) You have skills…GOOD LUCK!!!

  17. Casey DelliCarpini

    Oh Marisa! I was so sorry to read this! I understand the feeling of wanting to leave on your own terms – the only job I was ever laid off from was Sears when I was 19, and I was so angry about it because I knew I was a good employee. But let’s face it, it was Sears, so how much did I REALLY care?! That said, that was the extent of my sympathy because I just know that you will be FINE. Better than fine. You will FLOURISH without that job. I’m sure it was wonderful blah blah blah, but even though I don’t know you, I know that you are one of the most creative and resourceful and intelligent people out there, and I don’t doubt for a second that this will turn out to be one of the most liberating experiences of your life. Run with this, and enjoy it!! (Insert warm smile here.)

  18. Brandice

    So sorry to hear, but also excited to see where this takes you professionally. Enjoy and savor this time that you have to figure out what comes next. I hope it’s something amazing!

  19. Lisa

    Oh Marissa, soo sorry. I got laid of 1 1/2 years ago. Thought I was gonna expire at first. This will be a blessing in disguise…you watch!
    Hugs, Lisa

  20. Britt

    You’ve amazed me this week. I know it’s not easy to fall down (literally) and to have something like this happen so unexpectedly…but your heart has really shone through all of it. There are beautiful, wondrous things in your future–the kind that only come after crushing, inspirational, earth-shattering moments and revelations. Go at it, girl. 🙂

    Um, also, Kettle Brand sea salt & vinegar chips are my go-to comfort food as well. Just another reason why you’re my hero of the week.

  21. Lora

    Hi Marisa- I’m new to your canning blog and came across this blog. I’m really sorry they let you go. I think many new doors will open for you and wish you luck and success with your book. 🙂

  22. M

    I totally missed the tweets, and am sorry I couldn’t offer comfort then, but I’m happy that you’re feeling good and that the misfortune is immediately leading you to new pursuits!

  23. Julie Parr

    Hang in there Marisa! These are really challenging times for a LOT of people out there. It’s not you. You are a gem.

  24. Gina

    I was so sorry to hear about your job loss, but I have absolutely no doubt that you’ll be fine. Way better than fine. You inspire people daily with your work, and you have amazing opportunities coming your way. Trust me when I say that it could be one of the best things that could have happened. My husband was laid off a few years back, and it ended up being a huge gift. He hadn’t been happy with his work for awhile, and the layoff gave him an excuse to pursue something new. Now he’s happier than ever with his work, and he’s given me the boost to do the same. Hang in there – you’ll be just fine.

  25. Meryl

    Am just catching up and saw this–I’m so sorry. I hope it frees you up to do bigger and better things. I, for one, am eagerly anticipating this cookbook. I know my blog is little, but if there’s anything I can do to help you promote it, please let me know–I’d love to help!

  26. Pingback: Peanut Butter Pie for Mikey (and Jennie too) | Food in Jars

  27. jo

    I’m so sorry! I’ve been there and it was my last layoff that was impetus to get where I am now (although I didn’t know that was where I was heading). I wish you lived closer because I’d have you teach classes at CAC with us all the time! We all await your book and your subsequent book tour with empty jars!

  28. Emily Rae

    Marisa, I’m sorry for your loss, although I know that with your talents you will forge ahead. This time, though unexpected, can indeed be a big gift.

  29. Sarah

    I also just got laid off from my job (well, “just” being about 3 weeks ago). Ironically, I had been looking, wanting to leave on my own terms. Alas, my hand was forced. In a way, it’s been great. But in a way, it’s also been not so great, especially since that first unemployment check hasn’t come in yet and a couple of bills were due.

    I also have a hard time motivating myself on a daily basis to do the things I should be doing: like cleaning the house and doing laundry. It’s so much easier to watch the Sarah Connor Chronicles marathon on SyFy or dink around on the internet for hours. How do you do keep up the motivation?

  30. DessertForTwo

    Oh honey, how could I have missed this? I’m so sorry! Keep your chin up–you’re a hard working awesome woman and you will be just fine. I just know it. As always, let us all know if there’s anything we can do to help 🙂

  31. Colleen

    I am sorry that your day was bad. Lay-offs suck. There is really no other way to spin it. When I got laid off a few years back (and 6 months pregnant), I had myself a good pity party for a few days. And then I made a list of all the stuff that I wanted to do that I never previously had time for – read books, make recipes that I had dog-eared, go to lunch with friends, catch up on my Netflix queue, and hang out by the pool. This list did not take away the full sting of the layoff. But it did give me something to smile about.

    Hang in there. It will get better.

  32. Sunchowder - Wendy Read

    Oh Marisa–I also missed the tweets. I wanted you to know that I was laid off after 29 years of corporate work. I compeltely reinvented myself with the jam business. I cannot say it was a gift just yet. My life is completely different and financially I have had to make some hard adjustments–but–now it is on my terms. You are going to be amazing, you already are!

  33. Erin

    Sorry you had to go through this… but I had a similar experience this spring and wanted to tell you that you will feel better and better about this as time goes on and you have other opportunities. More time to be creative! More time to freelance! Take a few days to reflect, relax, and do something for yourself (pedicure, wine, more kettle chips?) and then decide what you want and go do it.


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