A Push, a Shove, a Fall

We’re halfway (ish, as my daughter would say) through the month, and we’ve explored so many facets of falling in two weeks. I love the themes we choose for this blog, because much like when I’m doing a crossword puzzle, my brain is forced to think in new and different ways about the same concept. It’s wonderfully challenging! This group has spent these weeks discussing falling on our faces and falling (on purpose!) out of airplanes/boats/etc. We’ve had things fall into place in a number of ways, and we’ve had our confidence fall right down to the bottom. But, we keep picking ourselves and each other back up, learn from the adventure, and move forward. It’s kind of exciting, if you think about it (although, not always in the moment).

In my post earlier this month, I talked a bit about how hard it is for me to knock my character down and make her suffer a bit, which of course helps encourage the reader to care about her. Last week, I got knocked down myself. Not physically, but nonetheless, I’m feeling a bit bruised. You see, I was laid off last week. While it was not wholly unexpected, it was quite disappointing. This isn’t my first ride through this particular rodeo, and I doubt it’s ever enjoyable. But, this time, a strange thing has happened.

I feel good. Really good. Of course, there’s stress because this impacts my family financially, but the reality is, I was overdue for a change. Like many who don’t love the process of job hunting, I procrastinated a bit, and then a bit more, and a year after first thinking about it, I was still in the same position. Until I got a push, a shove, and a fall onto my figurative butt. Here are some of the reasons that I feel so good right now:

  • It was time for a change, and now I can’t procrastinate any longer.
  • I feel lighter, like I’ve lost 20 pounds overnight, which tells me my psyche was kind of done with that place, that it wasn’t good for me any more.
  • I’ve been the incredibly surprised recipient of so many lovely, thoughtful, kind notes of encouragement from former colleagues, friends, and other loved ones.

That last one just might be the most important. It’s easy to forget how many people we can impact each day, and it was so nice to learn that I really was making a positive difference to people. I felt all warm and fuzzy inside as I read each note, and acknowledged these for the reminders they are: I’m good, really good at what I do. I worked with some great, smart, fun people. This isn’t the end of the world. Those notes made me excited to seek out my next opportunity, and hopefully they will serve as important reminders when I experience the set-backs that come with a job search.

There’s also a valuable lesson here in just how carefully I should think about my characters, how well I need to know them. What characters in the story do the main ones impact, and how? Do they realize it (do I?!?)? What would change if they did/didn’t? This experience is fodder for adding depth and dimension to my story, and to my characters, which is exciting, too. I’ve been developing the book review side of my writing, recently, and I’m being asked to do more reviews. In addition, I’ve been working on improvements to my personal writing blog, and those activities bring me joy. Now, I’ve got a renewed perspective on my fiction writing. Really, things are looking pretty bright–even if I’m a little bruised today.

Tell me readers, experienced any good falls lately?

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Author: Pamela A. Oberg

Pamela is a portfolio manager at an educational assessment company by day, writer by night. Founder of Writers on Words (a discussion and critique group), Pamela enjoys spinning tales of murder and mayhem, with an occasional foray into the world of the paranormal.

7 thoughts on “A Push, a Shove, a Fall”

  1. Pamela, I’m sorry to hear about the lay-off, but you’ve got a good attitude. I felt much the same way when I was let go from a company I’d been with for 12 years. I should have left a few years earlier, I just procrastinated (hey, regular paychecks are good at letting you do that). But once they let me go, man, you’re right. You feel so much lighter. That’s when my writing took off, so I guess they did me a favor, huh?

    And yes, the notes are lovely and you’re right. Our characters, main and secondary, affect each other in so many ways, many of which we don’t even know. Talk about depth of story waiting to be mined!

  2. Pamela, I can relate! I left my job over a year ago. The day after my last day, when I stood on the scale, it was 40 lbs lighter than usual. (clearly a malfunction, but a perfect sign from the universe!). The job had great things about it, but I’d stayed a bit too long and my heart was no longer in it.

    Nobody wants to be laid off, but you’re not the first person to experience happiness along with the knowledge that it was time to move on. Best of luck to you!

  3. Falling can lead you to new and better places. Good luck, Pamela! And yes, I fall all the time! We couldn’t pick ourselves up again without tumbling first.

  4. Thanks, all! This experience is all too common in this day and age, but I’m learning to find the opportunities in everything. And, I really do feel lighter! Plus, I’ll have more time to write for a few weeks, as one can’t job hunt every hour of the day–that’s a HUGE opportunity. Especially right before Crimebake (my regional SinC writers’ conference).

  5. Pamela, I’m so sorry I missed this post first time around. I was traveling and without much Internet access. First, you know I wish you the best, second, with your attitude, you can’t help but land on your feet. Sounds like you have it all under control.

  6. I’m sorry I’m late this week, especially given your topic! So sorry to hear about the layoff. You have the best attitude, though, and this really spoke to me: “which tells me my psyche was kind of done with that place, that it wasn’t good for me any more”! Something better, that feeds your soul and makes you happy every single day, is around the corner! Hugs.

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