I’m Sorry We Can’t Keep You

I write this post not to ask for pity or hugs or sympathy, but rather to be authentic. For some weird reason, I like to make the the good, bad, and the ugly days of my life public. Social media is a fickle beast. More often than not we scroll through Facebook only to see our “friends” on vacation in Maui or how amazing their kids are. Everything in their world is hunky dory, right? Last week I hit a bump in the road of life. I’ll be okay. My family will be okay. In fact, I think this might be the push I’ve be waiting for. But what I’ve learned in the past few days is everyone processes life changes in their own way. Be conscious of feelings. Be kind. It’s not always about you. Also, I was slightly riled up when I wrote this. It’s uncensored.   

“I’m sorry, we can’t keep you”, those were the words my boss told me last Monday. Oooooph. I mean, I can’t say I was surprised…the writing was on the wall. Over the course of the last 6 years we lost a lot of clients and never fully replaced that revenue. On top of that, our biggest client of 20 plus years pulled back tremendously becoming a big fat nut in the books this year. I’m a creative. I design new strategic pieces. But when you’re suddenly only doing type changes and pick up jobs, well, you become an unneeded business expense.

How I feel after 7 days of unemployment.

MORE AFTER THE JUMP…

 

Last Monday afternoon, my boss walked into my office. I had just got off the phone with the insurance adjuster who gave me the oh so not wonderful news that my car had indeed been totaled in the flooded parking lot at my train station the week prior. Palm to forehead.

My boss: “Kyla, as you know, things aren’t financially sound here. We’ve lost a lot of business.”
Me: “You’re laying me of aren’t you.”
My boss:”Yes. I’m so sorry Kyla, I can’t afford to keep you right now.”
Me: “I know Mark. It’s a business decision. Don’t feel bad. It’s going to be okay.”
My boss: “We have a couple irons in the fire. If they come through, hopefully we can reinstate you come September.”

Well shit, right? I mean, I was prepared for this…it’s not like came as a surprise. However, as I replayed that conversation over and over in my head, I felt surprisingly calm and somewhat excited. That probably sounds strange, but I was free. Like really free to do whatever I wanted to do in my life. My boss former boss had just given me an incredible opportunity to be as creative as I wanted to be. Granted, at age 42, a mom of two, brand new house and newly purchased car…the timing was not ideal, but I am bound and determined to make lemonade outta these rotten lemons. Rather then see this as a set back, Imma be upbeat and positive. Power of the laws of attraction.

The Boy has dealt with this change quite differently. He is scared about not knowing what the future holds, and I completely get it. He’s angry. He’s irritable. He’s grouchy. He’s down right mean. This was unplanned, and suddenly he is the sole provider. He didn’t ask for this, and that’s a lot of stress to throw on someone. I’ve been trying to be patient.

However, today I finally snapped. We had a huge blow out fight in the garage with all the neighbors hearing me drop f-bombs right and left. After some 30 minutes of separation, we finally sat down and talked about the sich. Shared uncensored feelings. I was angry because he was micro managing me within 24 hours of unemployment. Trying to control the situation by riding my ass on the blog (I honestly don’t think he has confidence in it. He sees it as more la, la, la than a business), expenses, time management, my resume, vintage purchases, my happy ass attitude.

Last week while he was in Atlanta, he said in the most condescending way,  “You really need to pay attention to things around the house now, like when Roomba needs to be cleaned out. She’s had a dirty bin for the last day and you didn’t fix her. I’ve been watching her status on my app. You need to pay better attention.” Ummm, really? I’m sorry asshole. I DID clean her out. I even took the handheld vacuum to her underside, but she’s effing pissed and not wanting to work right now. I figured rather then bothering you on a business trip about a robotic vacuum, I’d wait for you to return.”

He’s scared about what might happen in 2 months when my severance runs out…and let’s just talk about that for one second. 10 years of service. 10 friggin’ years of my life. I needed to bold that for emphasis. When I should have been planning my wedding 9 years ago, I was working round the clock on Mercedes Benz and Virgin Atlantics’ ad campaigns. Catching a 12:30AM train out of the city, going to bed at 2AM, and waking up at 5:30AM to return to work. The Boy planned our wedding. The venue. The food. Everything. My staff came into my office at midnight with a candle to sing happy birthday to me. Looking back on it now, how crazy was I? I was so dedicated to my job I didn’t even plan my own wedding! Not once missed a deadline. Always gave 110%. And in return, when things went to shit, I got 2 months severance. Monday afternoon I packed up my office belongings in a white bankers box and sat feeling ever so humble on the 3:45PM train home.

That’s a lot to process. I mean, talk about being angry! I told The Boy, “I’m angry! I’m really effing angry! But, what good is it going to do to stomp around the house and be mean to everyone I love? How is that going to improve upon a super shitty situation? No one died. No one has cancer. No one is losing their home. No one is starving so their kids can eat. We have a lot to be thankful for. Screw you for being mad at me and my happy attitude.”

So what’s the plan? For starters, Imma put on my big girl panties and make some shit happen. Can I get a hell ya? I mean, why not see the positive in this? Sure, I could sit here moping about wallowing in my own sorrow, but that’s not going to do anyone any good. I think I’ve rewritten my resume 738 times. I now have a social media resume, an art director resume, a freelance resume, and a creative director resume. And yes, for reference, you should have more than one. I’ve updated my LinkedIn, and announced my unemployment on Facebook, Instagram, and now my blog. Side note, there are so many people that hide the fact they lost their job. Some even hide it from their spouse. It happens. People get laid off every damn day. Don’t be embarrassed. Network. You never know who might be hiring out there. Who’s watching from afar thinking, man, that person is super talented! I wish I could hire her.

Since my announcement, I now have a side job styling vignettes a local antique shop. I’ve had phone calls from friends who are local business owners asking for social media help. Website help. Design help. I’ve had strangers who follow me send the most uplifting emails and notes. Sweet, helpful messages saying, keep your chin up. You’ve got this. You’re so incredibly talented, something will come along.

My introverted self even cold emailed an ad agency in the city. I sent them my resume with a quick note of hey, hire me because I’m awesome. Guess what? Even though they have nothing presently available, they want to sit down and chat with me next week. I’m not writing this to brag. I’m writing this as a confident builder to all my fellow readers who are in the same unemployment boat. Yes, it sucks, but believe in yourself. Not everything is sunshine and roses. It’s tough, but be brave. Be bold. Be confident. Know you can do anything you put your mind to if you play your cards right. Believe in the laws of attraction. But most importantly, be patient with the ones you love. Be uncensored. Be honest. Be kind.

 

 

40 Comments

  1. This was the most real post I will read this summer. I loved it! I only hate that you are sixish (seven) years younger than me)! I just got back from haven conference and very expensive weekend as I live in Denver and I dragged my sister along who lives in Knoxville. We went all Thelma & Louise from K-town to Atlanta. I left feeling so overwhelmed like “What is my frickin purpose?” Now I need to start a Podcase (btw they make so little money unless you are the Terry Gross).
    My tag line is “more trailer than trophy.” I love your small business reach because as small business owners ( i have a day job) and my husband is in a seven-year startup, it’s the place where shi$ gets done! xo xo laura

    Reply
    • kyla July 24, 2017

      Cheers to getting shit done! I remember leaving Alt Summit for the first time feeling the same way. All these bloggers and their hustle. Did I have it in me to do the hustle? You’ve got this girl…and your tagline is AWESOME!

      Reply
  2. You are so talented and such a go-getter! Something amazing will just fall into your lap and then the boy will realize that this was the best thing ever.

    Also, way to keep it 100% real and authentic!!

    Reply
    • kyla July 24, 2017

      He feels much better after our talk yesterday. We just had to sit and actually talk about it, make a plan, and be honest. I really think this is my chance to find something I really, really want to do. Something I’m excited about…and that is what makes me happy =) Thanks for stopping by my dear!

      Reply
  3. Becky Leu July 24, 2017

    Girl… I can’t begin to tell you how much I relate to this. I wasn’t laid off, but I approached my boss with a business idea that I thought we both could benefit from. I knew I wanted to try it out and I was determined to. But the most I could continue to work for him would be part time. I offered him part time or no time, and he took no time. He was supportive and told me I’m extremely talented and I’ll go far. If I needed any advice or mentorship in starting my business, he was there, etc. But I left my office at 2pm having no “real” job, which none of my family expected would or even could happen that day. We went through periods of fear, anger, confusion, uncertainty, and that genuine sense of freedom you mentioned. My “boy” became the only dependable income and you can imagine how that goes. We had just signed a new lease on a place we couldn’t afford on one income alone, and both of us still had student loans to pay. But we made it. I launched my new business a week after packing up my desk, and it took about 4 months before it was making enough that I could start to regrow my savings, rather than just draw from it.

    I know you’re going to be okay, because you’re one of the special ones. You’re genuine, you’re talented, you’re genuinely talented, and you have the drive, the attitude and the endurance to let nothing stand in your way. I love following your blog, and I’m consistently impressed with your adventures. I can’t wait to see where this one leads. If you’re ever looking for someone to collaborate with, I’m all ears!

    Stay true, stay strong, stay you. Much love!

    Reply
  4. Karen sunday July 24, 2017

    I am really sorry life is very much a curveball I think sometimes very sweet and sometimes a bummer! I am 54 years old and I don’t work outside of the home, my husband works a lot! when we first bought this home 31 years ago he got laid off at the Byron nuclear plant, he was a welder. we had 2 babies and we survived on his unemployment so we hustled with lil partime jobs ,I cleaned houses for 5 dollars an hour. It sucked lol. Stay strong sister I can tell you have a lot of hustle in you ,Maybe take a little time for you and enjoy it cus this maybe the only time you get to chill out and before you know it you will be having another birthday cupcake in the office or getting by on 3 hours of sleep. God always takes care of us! sincerely, K Sunday p.s. I love your real talk, as my daughter says

    Reply
  5. Susan July 24, 2017

    We’ve all been there. And it’s never easy. You have a great attitude and your partner is just trying to feel some control. Everyone reacts differently. It’s hard not to be mad when we look back at the hours/evenings and weekends we spent missing out. The good news is that it wakes you up and things are different as you move forward.

    Reply
  6. Jonette Jordan July 24, 2017

    Ecclesiastes3:1-8
    Take Time….
    Take time to think-
    It is the source of all power.
    Take time to read-
    It is the foundation of wisdom.
    Take time to play-
    It is the source of perpetual youth.
    Take time to be quiet-
    It is the opportunity to seek God.
    Take time to be aware-
    It is the opportunity to help others.
    Take time to love and be loved-
    It is God’s greatest gift.
    Take time to laugh-
    It is the music of the soul.
    Take time to be friendly-
    It is the road to happiness.
    Take time to dream-
    It is what the future is made of.
    Take time to pray-
    It is the greatest power on earth.
    Take time to give-
    It is too short a day to be selfish.
    Take time to work-
    It is the price of success
    There is a time for everything…..

    This is from a framed print I have in entrance of our home. In the past, I, too, put energy and time into my job. Even to the point of making myself believe that it would not survive if I took one day off. Well, I took the leap of faith with my husband’s support and left my good paying job that I approached full throttle and let it consume me. I quickly realized how closely connected your job is to your identity. I am too young to say I am “retired” so now I tell people I am “retarded”. I am slowing down, reprioritizing where I invest my time and energy and taking time…..we are blessed and have many inches we can tighten our belt if we need to. I am working full time per diem to stay connected in nursing at half the pay, but, I get to go to kindergarten with my client! Best wishes!

    Reply
    • kyla July 25, 2017

      Good for you Jonette! And you’re right, you should never be afraid to take a day off. Ooooph!

      Reply
  7. Cameron July 24, 2017

    I’m not the breadwinner. I work 10 hours in a good week. My husband was told last week his job will be moving. He’s so damn happy about it and it has given me so much to look forward to. Instead of being scared he’s optimistic. In 2011 he was laid off with no college degree, no savings and 1 month pension. That sucked. A lot. Now he’s educated, has experience, 2 kids and a house. If he thinks he’s got it under control, he’s got it under control. Uncertainty can be scary, but it can end up SO GOOD. You’ve already got your side hustle working for you, just make it work more for you 🙂 you’ve got this!

    Reply
    • kyla July 25, 2017

      I’m so glad you two have a positive outlook! I think it really helps. Good luck to him, and way to make that lemonade girl! You’ve got this too!

      Reply
  8. Abby July 24, 2017

    I’m so sorry that you lost your job, but can I say how much this post just made my day?!? No one is real anymore, just like you said. IG is like a perfect feed anymore with no messes, kids dressed perfectly all the time, and I hate when people keep saying how authentic they are because lets be real, houses get messy and so do kids!!! I appreciate your honesty and openness! I love your posts and am glad I follow you! Good luck on the job hunt, but in the mean time enjoy your freedom 😉

    Reply
    • kyla July 25, 2017

      Thanks for putting a smile on my face Abby!

      Reply
  9. Bre July 24, 2017

    Aw I feel you girl, I got laid off a few years ago and it was the best thing to ever happen to me. It allowed me to really focus on my own creativity and opened so many new doors. I know there are amazing opportunities ahead for you, you’re so talented and that talent will not go to waste. Love your optimistic outlook – excited to see where things take you! xo

    Reply
    • kyla July 25, 2017

      Bre! I remember when that happened, and you really killed it. It’s funny to think of where we were only a couple years ago. Thanks for stopping by lovies!

      Reply
  10. casie b July 24, 2017

    Love your perspective, authenticity and willingness to put the realness out there while still keeping your eyes forward / positive. #keeponkeepinon

    Reply
  11. Nanette July 24, 2017

    I truly believe that you are going to come up doing even bigger and better things!! I have the utmost faith in you and I can’t wait to see how you kick ass next.

    Reply
    • kyla July 25, 2017

      Thanks Nanette! Cheers to kicking ass!

      Reply
  12. Cecilia C. Cannon July 24, 2017

    Hell YA!!! You got this. I believe in you and know your creativity and blog is going to take you to great places!!!

    Reply
    • kyla July 25, 2017

      I’ve got my fingers crossed!

      Reply
  13. Dila July 25, 2017

    Thank you for this honest and raw post!
    My thought the: happy attitude and optimistic approach and lot of confidence in yourself.
    Good luck to you!

    Reply
    • kyla July 25, 2017

      I’m going to rock funemployment =)

      Reply
  14. Katharina Thomas July 25, 2017

    Hi lady !
    I was just reading your post !!! I loved it so so much!!! I am truly sorry that you lost your job but I love your attitude about it ! Way to go!!! And let’s be honest – life is so much more than a job!!! Live it ! Wishing you the best of luck !!!
    Katharina

    Reply
    • kyla July 25, 2017

      Life is so much more than a job. Thanks for stopping over =)

      Reply
  15. […] smokes! When I wrote that post about losing my job yesterday, I didn’t realize it would resonate with so many readers. I just wanted to pop in […]

    Reply
  16. I nearly busted out in tears reading this. The part about getting your blog tagged as a lalalala than a business touched a nerve with me. I struggle with this aspect with my husband and it boils my blood when he says things like “well your attention is on the blog more than this or that.” I’m like dude you run you’re own darn business too! Where is your attention placed? I really appreciated reading this and it seems like also a lesson on patience and perseverance. Great things happen when preparedness meets opportunity. You are super talented! Thanks for sharing your honest experience and I know good things will come your way.

    Reply
    • kyla July 26, 2017

      No! No tears! I think the boys just don’t understand blogging. YOU are super talented my dear!

      Reply
  17. Cher July 25, 2017

    I feel you. Man, I feel you. My lay-off came the same week that I closed on my house. Kind of a dick move, letting someone move forward with buying a house when you’re drafting their lay-off, if you ask me. It was terrifying.

    Reply
    • kyla July 26, 2017

      Oh man! Ya, I just replaced our car 4 days prior. A little heads up might have been nice. Palm to forehead. I can’t even imagine the house! Everything worked out though, right? You’re okay now?

      Reply
  18. James July 25, 2017

    At the start of last year I decided to leave my marketing job in Sydney, Australia after working with a company for 5 years. They were surprised when I left, not least because I was the one who made the decision, not them. That just didn’t happen at this firm. Previously, even the thought of missing out on a couple of weeks pay, was inconceivable to me, especially when I’d look to the future, trying to save money. But something clicked last year and I packed it all in and went travelling throughout Europe for 4 months before relocating to a cheaper area of Australia. I’m in my early 30’s, have a partner and a young daughter, so this wasn’t by any means an easy decision, but then again in a way, it was the only decision. 12 months on and I’ve only just gone back to work. However, this time it is with a greater perspective of what matters and what I really want for me and my family. I understand your recent unemployment was not chosen, however, if you let it be, it could be a really important reset for you. I hope you do embrace your time off and thanks for sharing your story 🙂

    Reply
    • kyla July 26, 2017

      I’m totally embracing it James, and thank you for sharing your story with me! I’m finding it fascinating how this post has resonated with others. What you did for yourself was so brave, and from the sound of it, so needed. You’re right about perspective and family. I’m finding over the course of the last week how much happier I am. How much happier my kids are. How much nicer and patient I am. It’s lovely =) This whole thing is going to shake out, and all for the better. Thanks for stopping by and reading friend!

      Reply
  19. […] too big for the space? It seemed right in my head, but I was still a bit nervous. However, now with my new found unemployment, I seem to have a lot more time on my hands. Plus The Boy wanted to control some order around the […]

    Reply
  20. Laurie July 26, 2017

    So glad you have a positive attitude about all of it. Life is so quick and this change lets you be free for a while to regroup and tend to the little things you may not have been able to before. Your littles are probably happy having you home right now, it being summertime too. Your talents will lead you to the right spot. Prayer comforts. Thanks for being real; you’re right, FB,IG,etc can sometimes only be people’s facades, I pay attention mostly to people’s emails and personal blogs, their real selves. Normal reaction for your wonderful “boy”, feeling out of control is scary, it’s so good you both sat down and talked. Communication is the key I’m learning when any troubling situation comes up for a couple. Thanks for all your great posts, so great to see all your transformations, houses and beyond girl! Best wishes

    Reply
  21. Holly July 29, 2017

    I’m so glad I just found this. I was literally told yesterday that I may be laid off next month and should start looking for a job. I’m terrified of not having a plan but am trying to see at as a blessing in disguise. Thanks for sharing and being brutally honest! You have no idea how badly I needed to read this.

    Reply
    • kyla July 31, 2017

      Oh no Holly! I’m so sorry. Thank goodness they were nice enough to tell you ahead of time. Yes, try to see the greener side. It’s hard…believe me, it’s so hard. But right now, I’m busier then I ever thought I’d be and loving (almost) every minute. So far so good. I’ll keep you in my thoughts. FYI, Indeed.com and Glassdoor.com have been great resources for me.

      Reply
  22. Sal July 31, 2017

    I wanted to write you and say THANK YOU for being so honest. I too work in advertising and know how fickle agency life can be. How much we give, and how little is given to us when the agency no longer needs our services. Having been through my husband’s lay off last year, I know how hard it can be on a marriage. Those fights happen, THANK YOU for being honest and real about them, for not being one of those bloggers who make everything seem like everything is coming up roses when it absolutely sucks.

    Keep believing in you, and I’ll send you good vibes too. You’re incredibly talented and on top of it!

    <3

    Reply
    • kyla July 31, 2017

      Agency life is a beast, isn’t it?!?! I cannot believe how this post resonated with so many people. Hopefully your husband has found a better path since his layoff. Even though they are scary at first, everything seems to fall into place. Thanks so much for the good vibes. Catching them and putting them in my pocket! Imma save them for the days I have an interview =)

      Reply
  23. Carla Aston August 6, 2017

    Great post and so sorry about the layoff. You are a creative though and this will give you time to conjour up your own path. Creatives need to write their own story and have to time to devote to their own projects. You’ve got your own business already. Your blog. Now you can explore all that can bring. My husband never liked my blog, now he’s telling me to quit my business and blog full time. It’s so frustrating, but many of us have experienced this same thing. You are in good company. Good luck!!!

    Reply
  24. […] somethin’ somethin’. About 3 hours later, this is what I came up with…because when you’re unemployed, you have time to be creative and play […]

    Reply
  25. […] since I became unemployed, I feel like I’ve never been busier. But busy in a good way. No longer do I feel stressed, […]

    Reply

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