On Writer’s Block, Laughter, and Chocolate Milk.

I’m without a job as of tomorrow.

I’ve known for 2 weeks now but this is the first time I’m writing about it here because I’m suffering incredible writer’s block as this shit clogs up my creative brain and I just know I have to put it on paper to reignite the rest of my writing synapses.

(In desperation I almost wrote a post about chocolate milk yesterday. Chocolate. Milk. WHAT DOES CHOCOLATE MILK HAVE TO DO WITH ANYTHING?)

I haven’t talked about this publicly yet because I was already really suffering with some anxiety issues and – while I am leaving things on good terms and have good references from this job – it is not what I wanted, so I am taking a huge hit to my already fragile ego. I’m not planning on talking about it on Facebook unless I get desperate for help finding more work, mainly because I just have decided Facebook is no longer a “safe place” for me, so to speak. I can’t trust that the people reading those words love me.

Which is HILARIOUS because Facebook is closed off to anyone not my “friend” and this blog is 100% out in the open and YET I TRUST THE VAST EXPANSE OF THE OPEN INTERNET MORE THAN MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY ON FACEBOOK.

What does that say about my feelings regarding Facebook right now? IT SAYS A LOT.

You know what says even more? I’ve been making sure newsletters from my favorite organizations are not getting spammed in my inbox, or making sure I haven’t accidentally unsubscribed, because I need ways to keep up with events and such without logging into the platform that DOES NOTHING BUT MAKE ME HATE THE WORLD.

That’s what I have come to…subscribing to annoying newsletters so I can avoid Facebook LIKE THE DAMN PLAGUE.

ANYWAY…I AM OUT OF WORK!

Part of my negative self-image issues lately have had to do with not feeling like my family truly needs me in any way. I mean, practically speaking I see that I am the one that does laundry and helps with homework, but a small part of me is not 100% certain that my family would be affected negatively if I weren’t here. Many days that broken part of my soul feels like I do more harm than good, and now that I’m not even contributing financially those thoughts have jumped into overdrive.

Now, there is a large part of me who does NOT believe this. But in the wake of the news about the job, I find that part has grown silent and I would like it to step up and remind me periodically that I am/was worth more to my family than just my paycheck.

“I’m not the money-maker in my marriage,” is something I’ve said a few times recently when this new situation has come up in conversation. And this is very true so I don’t have to fret about losing our house or anything over my lack of an immediate income, but this is now a burden on the family. Especially on my husband who I feel like drew the shortest of straws in the wife department already with someone who has copious amounts of emotional issues, has gained almost 50lbs in the last 2 years, and now is not even contributing financially to the household. He works too hard to have a wife like me.

Uggg. It got dark here real fast, didn’t it?

I’m not all terrible. I’ve got a wicked sense of humor when I’m not wanting to hide under the bed to avoid facing the world.

There is always a silver lining and I’m hoping to focus on my writing a little bit and get some stuff ready to send off as examples. I’m currently fine-tuning an essay about chocolate milk.

(SEE! I’M FUNNY!)

Unfortunately, that does not make any money in the interim, so I’m hoping to find some part time work or even more freelance web development work that I can do from home. I feel like our lives were at their best…when I was able to work from home. I was able to make money but still able to keep up with housework and childcare so I felt more useful than ever before.

I had a dream last night that the department I worked at in college had some sort of alumni event and I only knew about it because they invited Donnie but they did not invite me and when I asked why they said, “We don’t really consider you a graduate we are proud of.”

SO THAT IS WHERE MY SUBCONSCIOUS IS RIGHT NOW.

My husband made me laugh last night. I was watching “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” and I had paused the TV to do something. I was facing him in the kitchen and he laughed said, “He looks like he’s enjoying a long peaceful fart.” I looked at Samson (who I assumed was the “he” in the statement) and was very confused. Then I looked at the TV I saw I had paused it on Jerry Seinfeld with the most hilarious – Peaceful Fart – expression on his face.

And I giggled and then started cracking up. Partly at the situation and me looking at the dog first, and partly because Donnie nailed the description of that pause screen so perfectly, and partly just imagining if that really WAS what Seinfeld was doing in that moment. It all just tickled me so much.

And it felt weird. I’ve laughed so little lately, that it felt weird. My husband is a funny man, I should be laughing all the time, but I guess I haven’t really lately. And I fear with this latest work development the laughter is going to be even more sparse.

So, there’s no point here, really. Just to clear out the clogs in my writing brain by putting this on paper. And just to let you know I could use some positive thoughts of employment in the direction of North Alabama if you have any extras to spare.

28 Comments

  • AlisonC

    I am sorry about your job.

    I hope that you are able to get some work that you can do from home and hopefully in the long run that is the option that works out best for you.

    I lost a job 9 years ago and it was so stressful but it led me to the opportunity of the role I am now in for 8.5 years. Fingers crossed it works as well for you

  • Bobbie

    Maybe look at the silver lining – look at it as a time for you to take some time for yourself. Go to lunch with a friend, take some nature pictures, volunteer at your kids’ schools, catch up on your favorite TV shows…

  • Trisha

    I’m sorry, Kim. I’m sending good thoughts that another awesome thing comes your way soon. You deserve to laugh.

  • Monica

    I’m sorry about your job and that you are feeling so low. Sending good thoughts for a new job and for happier times and many laughs!

  • Fraulein N

    I’m sorry about your job. I know what that feels like, and it suuuucks. Hopefully very very soon you will be able to look back on this as a brief bump in the road. Sending good thoughts your way.

  • heidi

    Sending good thoughts your way. I must remind you that all the work you do with your kids and helping them navigate this world, all of the work you do on yourself and in the process share with the world here (and with me!) is AMAZING! I can see how much they need you in almost every post you write. Maybe read back in your archives a bit when you’re feeling low and remind yourself how incredible you are.

  • ccr in MA

    Sucks about the job; I will definitely send good wishes your way. I’m also sorry (if not surprised) that Facebook isn’t a good place for you to get support now; lately it seems to be damaging relationships more than strengthening them, doesn’t it? But I’m glad that you feel the support here, because I read this for what you write, what you say, how you say it, who you are. I will happily read what you have to say on chocolate milk! (Oh, and for the coffee plus chocolate milk lovers, I highly recommend Stumptown Coffee Roasters cold brew coffee with milk, which is available in a chocolate version that is amazing. Lately Target has been carrying it and I am so happy.)

  • Shawna Ready

    Oh sweetheart! So many hugs and good thoughts sent your way. AND you do so much for your family, they would VERY MUCH miss more than your paycheck if you weren’t around.

    I’m job hunting at the moment too (my recent ex paid most of the bills) and it sucks and is pretty soul crushing, so make sure to take good care of yourself.

  • Kelli Oliver George

    I am so sorry about that job!! Ugh. Please don’t be so hard on yourself. Losing a job a is hard even under the best of times and you have already been dealing with some heavy emotions. It sounds like you have a plan of action so I predict that you will come out on top.

    And your feeling that your family doesn’t need you? Ha! I guarantee you are the heart of your family. Please don’t nourish such negative self-thinking like that!

    And wow — I sure do feel you about FB. For Lent, I gave up FB and Instagram during work hours. I’m only a week in and already I feel a zillion times better mentally – I will definitely be restricting my usage even after Lent (ie maybe allowing a lunch break peek).

  • Samantha

    Ditto to what everyone has already wrote. I don’t know you, but even so I know that you are the backbone of your family! With all the good you put into this world, I’m quite sure your next opportunity will be even better. Be kind to yourself!

  • Misty

    I know it’s weird and probably doesn’t help – but I know the feeling of seeming (feeling) more like a burden then a boon to your family. I’ve been there and IT SUCKS. Logic defies the feeling. I remember walking home from work and wondering if I should just keep walking and not go home. It felt awfulo and all I could do is look at how wonderful my kids and most of all my husband are and think YOU DO NOT DESERVE THIS. It was heart-wrenching and the darkest place I think I have ever been. I’m not there anymore, tho the shadow of it sneaks up behind me every once in a while. I know it’s hard and I guess what I’m saying is you aren’t alone. (And as cheesy as it sounds, it gets better.)

  • Casey

    I’m sorry to hear about your job. I lost my job last year and it really messed with my self worth. I feel for you. Just know that we are sooo much more than our careers.

    I’ve been reading your blog for about 12 years now and you have inspired me to run, read more, and get more involved in politics. I don’t comment often but I think you should know you mean so much to so many of us.

  • Meg

    I say go to the beach! Now is the time while you’re free and your kids are as young as they’ll ever be- go to the beach! Hotwire a place and go- have a stress free weekend- it’ll be an experiment in non-planning and how joyful it can be when you have no expectations

  • Meg

    PS – I can get REAL self destructive when things turn down, so I’m not lightly saying this. For myself, it shows strength to get out of myself so I can come back and be constructive..

  • Elaine C. B.

    I will definitely be sending good employment vibes your way. I’m sorry to hear about your job, but it’s so great that you are leaving with good terms and references and relationships. I’m sure that will be helpful as you move forward. I’m sure I’m not alone in the blogosphere cheering for you!

  • Samantha

    I’m sorry you’ve been feeling this way. You do have worth and value, and I guarantee your family will be devastated if they lose you.

  • Lauren

    Although I have zero doubts that you are the heart of your family, I want you to know that you are important to ME, an internet stranger. Yours is one of the few blogs I make sure to read every time there is a new post. I’m not sure how you manage to pull apart and explain the incredibly complex political and civil rights issues our country wrestles with, especially when you are struggling with your mental health, but your lucidity and clear thinking have helped me SO MUCH. We are completely on the same page, but somehow you manage to bring clarity to how I’M feeling and thinking about things and it has made a huge difference. It’s helped me formulate my thoughts when in conversations with other people. That’s no small thing. So please know that your positive influence extends all the way to Los Angeles (and I’m sure beyond). I’m sending hugs and good vibes back to you. Please hang in there and keep writing, even if it’s only about chocolate milk (I promise I’ll read that too)!

  • Alex

    Ditto to what’s been said already – I can relate, *I* appreciate that you exist, and I’m rooting for you always, and in all ways.

  • Beth in IL

    I’m so sorry about the loss of your job. I’ve been unemployed for several months and it is definitely hard on my mental health and ego. If you ever need to vent about the painful process of job searching, please reach out. As many have said, your family needs you so much. Your friends and IRL groups do too. And those of us who adore you through the Internet and this blog truly do too. You have an important voice and an incredible way of breaking things down that sheds truthful light. Your recent posts about politics and race have been some of your best writing (in the opinion of this long long time reader). Hang in there, Zoot. Sending lots of good wishes your way…

  • Lucy McConville

    Famine, famine, famine…when you are for sure due for a feast. Sigh. I’m so sorry for this recent development.

    But, you know what? My (very strong) gut says this is the BEST THING!!! Omg! I feel it so strongly, Kim! I think it is going to give you an opportunity to take a breath and find your path.

    You are a wonderful and passionate and raw-in-the-best-way writer. Maybe this will give you more time to write. Maybe it will just give you a minute to get your breath.

    And I have to believe your family does not feel the way you do about your value to them (though I TOTALLY “get” those feelings…)

    Laughter is the best. More Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, PLEASE! (I’ve watched them all…) I watch Stand-Up on Netflix every night when I make dinner. It is THE BEST medicine. Check out “Kathleen Madigan: Madigan Again” on Netflix. Good humor without any mention of her vagina (like so many female comics these days.)

    Hang in there, Kim. It looks dark, and maybe it IS dark, but I think this will end up being a GOOD thing.

    Hugs-if-I-was-there, Lucy

  • Elaine C. B.

    I can home from work today and watched the first episode of QE, and I cried. I loved it! Just started the second one….

  • Liz

    I’m behind on reading blogs, so a day late. Sorry! You have value and worth. Even if you were to sit on the couch all day and fart, you would still have value. FYI: my phone does not want me to use fart at all. My husband lost his job ages ago and it was very hard mentally for him. Overall he was fine, but he would panic at random times. You are experiencing this right now. It is 500% what people do. Be gentle with yourself. Embrace the free time. Limit the guilt to 5 minute increments and then do somethingyou enjoy instead. You and Donnie have a partnership. The money that comes in, no matter in what manner, is yours equally. I’ve been reading your blog for ages. I enjoy it a ton. Thank young or creating it and giving me things to think deeply about. You matter to me. Keep on keeping on, lady!