Guest Author - Candice F. Williamson
Realizing that you have now joined the ranks of the UNEMPLOYED can leave you feeling well…rather depressed. What good has ever been associated with that word? If anything it brings upon great fear, and often we have seen unemployment lead many to altogether lose hope. Yet, there are those few who upon receiving that pink slip have discovered that there is more hope in becoming unemployed than what we care to believe.
When I decided to move to Atlanta with my fiancé in 2008, there was not a doubt in my mind that the transition would be seamless. We both believed that our lives were stable and that our jobs were secure. Unfortunately, it took all of six months for both security and stability to jump head first out of the window. We found ourselves laid off due to cut backs and lack of work. For the first month we were like fish out of water- out of our element and dying to get back to environment. And like many who find themselves suddenly out of work we were flooded by feelings of fear and anger. Fear that our means of living had just come to an end, and anger towards that which we had put all our trust in.
We never quite learned to adjust to being unemployed, but we did find ourselves becoming dependant on our new income which was now lowered, and fixed unemployment benefits. We had fallen into the trap of depression, and that depression came with a whole no mind set- government dependency. Yes, we needed all the help we could get, however our will to achieve was diminishing with ever UI check and benefit we now qualified for. Joblessness was now our destiny. That is until the hand of fate twistedly brought upon us this great miracle… letters stating that our unemployment would be ending, and due to some law that was tied up in congress it would be a while before we would receive any second- tier benefits. And if that was not blessing enough, rent was due.
We had feared being jobless, we feared being homeless, but most of all we were coming to fear failure. Most of us know that fear is a very complex emotion that will completely unhinge you if it is not properly dealt with. It can drag us down to the most sorrowful depths, or push us into your greatest glory. With either the choice is ours to make. When eviction finally hit us we were forced into a relative’s home, and realized that it was time to reassess our plight. After a long honest look my fiancé and I realized that we were not victims, nor were we hopeless, and above all our situation was not beyond repair. Furthermore, we saw that we had no desire to go back to work for someone else. We decided that for us security would be in working for ourselves. I found that it was in my best interest to return to school while my fiancé rekindled his love for construction.
As of today we are better than when we were “secure”. We have since married, and started a business together. Being unemployed allowed us to find and pursue what was meaningful to us, and for that we have been most grateful.