I’m amazed how much my life can change, but not of my own volition or will. Just this year: my godson Greyson was born, my grandfather died, I’ve somehow had three roommates….

It happened in the most cliché manner possible.

“Emily, can I see you in my office?”, she said with her head poking over my cubicle in a very ominous tone.

Shit, I thought. This cannot be good. I walked the few feet to her office and thought it strange when she only cracked open the door a space large enough for our bodies to fit through. In less than two seconds I understood why. The head of HR was sitting in her office as well. Double shit, this REALLY cannot be good. I was naive enough to think that they were going to talk to me about something dumb like my facebook usage. She got right to the point.

“As you know, I’ve made  a lot of changes since I started, and I’ve decided to eliminate your position. HR is here to take you through the paperwork.”

And that was it. Done. Four years of my life ended.

The retelling of that tale sounds pretty abysmal but I need to add that when I walked out of that building, I felt lighter. I felt that a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders and that even though this suuuuucks (clearly), that all would be okay.

So here I am, one week out and I still don’t know quite what to make of this new life.

I honestly never thought I’d have to put myself in the bucket of people who had been laid off. I’ve always played by the rules, done everything I was supposed to. I went to college, got a job, went to grad school, got a job…..I’ve always worked. With the exception of being in grad school, I’ve held a job since I was 16 years old. So to find myself 31 and *not* holding a job is a strange re-definition of who I thought I was.

I do believe that this will be a learning experience for me, it already has been. The number of people that have shown me how much they care is truly humbling. And on the other end of the spectrum, there are people who are showing me that they aren’t truly my friends. I’ve also learned that I feel adrift with no job to define me. And I don’t like this. It’s really made me realize that all I did with my life was work. Sure, I have an active social life, but that’s pretty much it. I’m discovering I need more.

I’m glad I’m learning this lesson now, rather than 10 years from now when I think it would have been much harder lesson to swallow.

I’m ready to take some time and embrace this free time, use it to figure “it” out a little bit. What I’m trying to figure out, I’m not quite sure but I know that I don’t want to jump back into the 9-5. The thought of doing that this juncture makes me want to pluck each of my eyelashes out one at a time.

So what now? Well, for now I’m going to travel a bit. There are some amazing people on this east coast that I never got to see enough to begin with. First DC, then Raleigh, and then beyond that, we’ll see.

Next chapter, here I come.