Cheers to Unemployment!

Mar 15, 2015 by

Dear Unemployment,

 
          We’ve had exactly six blissful months and three beautiful days together, and it’s been quite the adventure in self-exploration. For the second time, you’ve been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for myself. Last time, you taught me that my job was not my biggest problem. Even without work taking up all my time, I didn’t have friends. Although The Happiness Experiment did not begin until after our first encounter, I consider my 2012 walk away from corporate misery my first move in prioritizing happiness. I learned that income is not worth my mental health, and forgoing it for a little while is not only doable, but sometimes necessary. Surviving without pay helped me let go of any fears I previously had of being jobless, making me far more confident when I returned to the workplace. A job was no longer something I’d do anything for, because I was no longer afraid of being without one. After all, I had already left a job and successfully handled the financial repercussions. And so, you gave me my initial courage to live, making way for The Happiness Experiment to later begin.

          This time, with happiness already my priority and my social life already well established, you taught me new things about myself. Like last time, you helped me reset my priorities, but this time in a way that was unexpected. The biggest change I’ve noticed, by consequence of Paris, is that I no longer feel the need to continuously prove my own independence to myself. I’m independent; I can do anything on my own – I get it already. What I’m finally comfortable admitting is that while I’m fully capable of going it alone, I don’t want to. I want a partner in life, you know? Not just someone who exists alongside me as an addition to my happiness, but someone who together with me forms a team.

          Having said that, I’m not in a rush, and I can attribute my newfound easygoingness toward having a relationship with you. You’ve given me the opportunity to focus on rebuilding my self-esteem first. He hurt. He taught me, but he hurt. Through you, I’ve begun to overcome that hurt. Thank you for the time I needed to confront my pain and deal with it, instead of trying to hide it behind everyday life. I’m much happier than I was half a year ago as a result.

          Speaking of my day-to-day, you’ve reminded me what happiness is. In the summer, I was anxiously trying to get to some next, happier moment, which is why I needed you so badly. My eagerness to move past my emotions made me forget to be present. I turned happiness back into some future goal that I was working toward, when it should have been an ongoing thing that I was living. You reiterated to me that to live happily is a daily endeavour; and when daily life doesn’t make me happy anymore, all I need to do is change it.

          Above all else, you and I had fun. We crossed borders and embarked on afternoon adventures and swung on poles without care. Unquestionably, between you and employment, I prefer you; but as you surely understand, you’re not permanently sustainable yet, so I’m off to work tomorrow. I’ll miss you dearly, but it’s time for a new adventure. Who knows? Maybe I’ll score a boyfriend out of this. Cross your fingers for me?

 
Until next time, love!

Maria

 
Happiness Tip: Live first; work second.

 
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