Last February I had just been promoted to a management position after a year working for a relatively large company here in the North East of England. I just picked up my company car (a Nissan Juke I bumped in my first week, having no experience driving anything bigger than a Polo!), and was in the process of recruiting for my very own team. Craig and I rented a flat in a pretty nice part of Newcastle, and we spent most weekends at the cinema, the pub or walking through Jesmond Dene.
Fast forward to February 2018 and I had just been made redundant. Fortunately, Craig and I were able to move in with my parents as our contract had come to an end and I couldn’t commit to playing rent for 12 more months without a job. For six weeks, I woke up, got dressed, went to yoga, wandered around town, applied for jobs, re-wrote my CV, went to yoga again, watched every film at the Tyneside Cinema and floated through life with (what felt like) no purpose.
Ever since joining the world of work at 17, I have been a workaholic. I have enjoyed the rush and thrill of deadlines and getting stuck into tasks, being promoted to a manager at 25 was a huge badge of success for me and being made redundant at 26, I thought, would be a huge hit. However, it turned out to be a remarkable experience and gave me a unique opportunity to stop the hamster wheel and get off for a second (or six weeks), and learn to truly appreciate the world around me for what it is. So, here we go – 26 things I’ve learnt from being redundant, living with my parents and without a car at 26 years. Go.
- I spent so much time worrying the ‘worst’ would happen, and when it did, it was OK.
- I have an incredible group of family and friends around me
- Everyone is competing to be the most “tired” or “stressed” – it’s not cool
- I can still get up in the morning without obsessing over bed time
- Yoga is amazing
- Going to the cinema by yourself is a great way to see a film (and on a Tuesday afternoon at the Tyneside Cinema, you’re not the only one by yourself!)
- No matter how busy you are, you should always take a minute or two to stand still and watch the world go by
- Living in Whitley Bay isn’t that bad
- In fact, Whitley is class. The sea is wild and the pubs are cheap.
- Maintaining regular meal time is really, really hard when you don’t work.
- Never mind maintaining a sleep schedule.
- Make lists and do the things on the lists
- Music is good for the soul
- As is reading
- Tidying up is demoralising whether you have a job or not
- Practice positive thought habits (meditation, gratitude, affirmations) when you feel your best, so you can call upon them when you feel down
- Social media is a slippery slope that’s easy to fall down
- There’s nothing good on Netflix
- Boredom = Hunger
- A good skincare regime makes a girl
- Making YouTube videos isn’t actually that scary. In fact, it’s kind of fun…
- As is writing blog posts about topics I’m actually interested in.
- Not having a job kind of sucks
- But it kind of liberating at the same time
- And eventually, you find something better and, as a result, you’ll be happier than you were before
- Oh, and I still can’t make a decent vegan cake.
Thanks for reading! Have you ever had a similar experience? If so, I’d love to hear your lessons learned in the comments below.