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July 11, 2010, at 10:52 pm — Blogs / / / / / /

The Possible

We are in a time of possibilities. A time of turns and new directions. A time of stops and turn abouts.

Four months ago I was unemployed. Four months ago I was close to giving up.

Now I have a job.

At first I was scared I had forgotten how to be around people – being home for a year does funny things to your head. My last job experience had been so bleak, so depressing – such a deep disappointment.

I don’t know if people understand that the worker has as much invested in a company as the owner. Seeing the company I worked for fail, and drop to it’s knees, hurt. It didn’t have to happen.

As my first day arrived on the new job I was surprised – I was actually excited, filled with energy. Thirsting to be back in the world again. Thirsting to feel useful. Thirsting to provide for my family.

It breaks my heart to hear people disparage the unemployed. It troubles me that some of my closest relatives and friends align themselves with a party that seems so callous to the victims of the crisis – the unemployed, the forgotten. It’s hard to look them in the eye anymore. Those of us who have been through it understand the pain and the shame that comes with saying “I am unemployed”. After a while it feels as if it is an accusation – that I am unemployable, rather than just one of millions who were tossed aside for the sake of greed and slow thinking.

I sat in the lobby and leafed through the company news bulletin. To be working for a studio again, even as a contractor, filled me with hope – I could hardly contain my smile. During the last few years of I had been working for small companies and I have to be honest – it was an unpleasant experience. Working without a safety net. Being told things are better than they are. Putting your trust in people over their heads. To know that you have a foundation beneath you, the support of not only a company with a proud legacy, but with the coffers to hold itself up – it was deeply reassuring.

The job was supposed to last only a month – I’m entering my fourth. I’ve worked hard. It’s felt good. I feel my limbs stretch again to everything that is possible. I feel proud of being able to provide for my wife and our growing family of animals. My heart beats louder, my resolve firmer, my direction clear.

This past Sunday morning I laid in bed with my wife, our two cats and our dog – a perfect pile of family. The air was calm. The wind could be heard passing through the trees out of our window. We talked and held each other. The cats fought for attention and the dog, Pan, snuggled up beside us. A perfect morning. A perfect pile.
The last year hurt. Yes. There were moments of terror and hopelessness. But through that fire, through that test, we have come out stronger and closer. And suddenly things are happening for us – my wife is having success – I am making great strides forward. And our cats and dog are coexisting peacefully.

All is right in the world and all is grand.

And all I see are the possibilities before us.

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1 comment to The Possible

  • Just like any stereotype, there have got to be seeds of truth behind these negative ideas, originated by a minority of the larger group, exaggerated by politicians and the media, and perpetuated by judgemental people unwilling to consider the complexity of the situation.

    Anyone who hears that you’re unemployed and decides that you’re lazy, or perhaps worse, unemployable, is not using their higher faculties. It’s a dumb assumption and does only harm.

    That’s not to say that the possibility of abuse within the welfare system shouldn’t be considered, and I’m sure you wouldn’t argue that, but one hopes that people will be able to look at those as issues stemming from a small group of people and not representative of the whole. And MY hope is that Republicans in general are coming from an angle that doesn’t include these ugly sentiments. My hope is that they simply believe the government is there for physical security and basic services, and that employment is a personal responsibility and a privilege, not a right. And while I believe that last part to be true myself, I think the concept of the “safety net” you’ve talked about before is an important protection our government provides for people facing difficult times. I certainly want it there for me and my family and friends like yourself. I guess that’s the part that makes me not a Republican.

    Any conservatives care to speak up on this?

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