You know those days when you wake up and you get ready and you go into work with a spring in your step because, hey, it’s Friday and you’re wearing a really nice jumper and ain’t nothing gonna ruin your day? And then your boss emails you asking to meet in 20 minutes. And then you lose your job. Those days are the fucking worst, and I had one of them two weeks ago.
Yes, yes, I’m fine. I’m fine. I’m honestly really totally fine, honestly, seriously. Well, I’m fine now. At the time, I was not fine. I dissolved into tears and leapt on my boss’ offer to go home early and process the fact I’d just been handed my notice not because I suck (though I do suck at a lot of things, my job is not one of those things) but because of budget cuts.
I went home and I picked up a bag of doughnuts on the way and I ran a bath using a whole bottle of bubble bath and I sat in that bath for two and a half hours, eating doughnuts, flicking through Gorkana ads and feeling damn sorry for myself.
At one point I decided some perky music would make me feel better, so I blasted Haim, Little Mix and Katy Perry from my phone whilst Tweeting about my naked sadness. And then Firework came on and, doughnut in one hand, phone in the other, I sang along and burst into tears. And I kept singing because Firework is amazing and you have to sing along even if you are crying. It’s the law.
My cat took this opportunity to come into the bathroom and stand on his hind legs to peer at me lying amongst a million bubbles, clutching a doughnut, singing loudly and out of tune with mascara all down my face. He didn’t stick around for long.
But I learned something that day. Actually, I learned two things. The first is that if you have a bath that also has a shower fitting on the taps, you can maintain a toasty bath temperature by putting the shower attachment in the bath with you and periodically twiddling the hot tap with your big toe.
This is how I was able to literally wallow in my own sadness and unemployment for two and a half hours. It’s OK to be impressed; my best friend Tasha reacted like it was kind of weird and gross but I know she was secretly impressed.
The other thing I learned was that when the really horrible shit happens, you have to let yourself feel totally fucking terrible and you have to cry and wail and sing along to Firework because the bit about the doors all being closed so you can open one that leads you to the perfect road is JUST SO WHERE YOU ARE RIGHT NOW YOU KNOW.
Because then you can get out of your bath and dry yourself off and when people ask how you’re doing because of that whole losing your job thing you can honestly say “really, I’m fine.” I’m fine because I have faith in myself as a freelance writer and because when we first moved to London, my boyfriend and I made sure we’d be able to survive (rent and food and strictly no fun) if one of us suddenly got laid off.
The fact that my being laid off has nothing to do with my performance also softened the blow; I don’t suck, the economy does.
I guess I’m mainly fine because I have perspective. Six months ago I was living in Manchester, signed off on long-term sickness absence because my job sucked to the point that I had become depressed and started losing my hair through stress.
I took a chance and moved to London because I thought “well, why not?” and it paid off. Yes, it sucks that I lost my job, because I really like my job. Yes, it sucks that I will have to stop buying really dumb crap because I will be poor. But I’d rather have been sitting across from my boss, losing my job, or lying in the bath, crying, than sitting at the desk at my old job.
Now, who wants to pay me to write them some funny stuff about Jennifer Lawrence, huh? Huh?