The boss appeared at my office door and said we needed to talk. I followed him into a small boardroom, we sat down, and then he proceeded to tell me I no longer had a job. One of the seventeen people laid off that fateful day.
April 2, 1996.
Hard to believe it was eighteen years ago. Hard to believe what happened changed my life direction in a way I did not see coming.
I dislike the joyful proclamations of “a door opens when one is closed bla bla bla”. Nothing, and I mean nothing, is good about losing your job. The shock and hurt and panic are mind-numbing. I was a big time TV and radio producer at one of Canada’s top ad agencies. There wasn’t a huge opportunity to ply my trade at other places. I thought, no, I knew I was fucked.
So I went and got very drunk.
Then in an alcohol haze I decided to become a personal trainer.
The decision to become a writer took a few more years to manifest… though I was most likely drunk when I made that declaration. (Crazy ideas while drunk seem to be a trend with me… thank goodness I don’t drink often.)
April 3, 1996 was the day I started the quest to change my profession. Many twists and turns have filled and sidelined the last eighteen years. They have been challenging and exhilarating with many mutations in between.
Fear and a tenacious attitude helped me those first few months. Luckily I had the support of some steadfast friends. I believe luck and fate were mixed into the scenario. And also good karma. To be honest, I think karma was more of a factor than anything else.
Many people show up at work to find they will lose their jobs that day. I hope they have a drink and fantasize about what life might have in store for them.
Each and every April 2 I think about what happened to me all those years ago. Today I was busy with six incredible personal training clients and two writing projects. Not a great deal of time to ponder the past.
But maybe just enough time to pour myself a drink.