The months after a layoff, waiting to be hired by a new employer, knowing you must relocate in order to continue the pursuit of a certain career, feels a lot like the end of a pregnancy.
As time passes, you wait, you know that something has to happen soon, you try to imagine which day will be The Big Day, when your water breaks/the phone rings, and it all begins. You try to imagine the face and personality of your new baby/town, and what the new dynamic will be like.
Of course, it is my husband and not me that is on the job hunt at the present moment, but I must also live in daily wonderment of what the future holds.
Watching the news these days is not helpful; hearing of how badly the economy is sinking into an abyss might be analogous to a hypothetical situation like hearing of how maternity wards accept fewer and fewer women in labor. Although, of course, with pregnancy, it must end one way or another, naturally or by inducing or even c-section. A stint of unemployment might hypothetically continue on forever… and so the light at the end of the tunnel can be imagined to be very dim indeed.
When we are adults we are supposed to be a responsible and contributing member of a community. To feel unneeded, unwanted, unessential to the project at hand is a horrible feeling. The desire to sink roots, to sink my teeth into a situation and give it everything I have, is overwhelming. But we will leave soon, so I must dam up my inspiration, my life energy, stay grounded as best I can when there is no ground beneath my feet. Stay ready.
And this, too, is like the end of a pregnancy, when you’ve done all you can to prepare for the birth: organized your household, focused your mind, braced yourself emotionally. You hold your breath, waiting. You tense up, waiting. You don’t know how you can possibly be more ready. You spend every day shoring up the readiness which is daily eroded by being alive.
To all of us on the edge of a major life change… peace, good health, and a serious dose of positive vibration.