Updated: Dec 8, 2020
Life, is not for me. No, I would never had said that one year ago. Never. I’m a sales professional at a media company in Manhattan, New York. My work weeks used to be amazing at a speed, no day was like another. Do I need to say I love change and the mix this work gave me, couldn’t ask for more. I had good times at work, nice colleagues and also great manager (I know, what a privilege). I’ve been at the same company for four years and I had no plans to switch. My work was like customized to fit my personality and lifestyle. I’m living in a small apartment in Brooklyn, which I’m totally love.
You have probably seen the old stones houses and yes my apartment is in one of these. It’s small, one room and kitchen but I love it. Everyday on my way to work I stop by at the coffee shop in the corner just one block from where I live. Do I need to say they make the most incredible coffee on the earth, it’s a place where everyone can one in and within a second you feel welcome and seen. It has a few tables most people are actually not in the shop but right in front of it, waiting for their order or chatting with some friend. My days used to start here, then jumping on the metro to Midtown Manhattan and everything that comes with it. The journey takes about 30 minutes and the traffic use to be insane. Since I’ve been doing that for years now I started to like it. Like the pulse, the people with a goal in their steps, striving to become better and get promoted. All that got me going, like I wanted to achieve something, be great at what I am doing.
The workdays often went fast, mornings catch up with clients and their needs, lunch at some fancy place nearby, meetings in the afternoon. Several times in the week I enjoyed free cocktails at some event where I was supposed to network and make new connections. To me that’s just like heaven on earth.
What happens then? Pandemic! You see Me I can’t even stand tall anymore or I don’t want to. What’s the need for that. The walls in my apartment has become my best friends. They are there 24/7 since we are not allowed to go out. At all. The quarantine rules are not a joke. If this was everything, that I needed to stay at home, I probably would have survived, but it’s not I’ve lost my job! My dream is gone. I’m social isolated and distanced to everything I ever known as good. Yes, we are all in the same boat. I’m still alone. It’s been three months and I could never imagine I could ever be so silent. In the beginning we talked at work, tried to keep our clients but one after another dropped off and what I scared the most happened.
Last week my manager called me. He said its important. And I know by then what he was supposed to say. You know when you hear in the voice what’s coming and your body has already started to respond to it. He said Devon, I have bad news. We need to downsize the company; we don’t even know if we survive at all. We have to let go of 30 people, I could hear his stressed voice but I couldn’t understand. I said, again please. We need you to quit. My thoughts were rushing and the blood wasn’t enough to fill my veins. I thought I would faint. Devon? I heard my managers concerned voice in the phone. Mmm was all I could come up with. He took the lead and said; of course this is a lot for you to take in and I recommend you take some hot tea and then we'll talk more later. Bye, I heard I’m said and I’m sure he was continuing on the list of other people that will get the “bad news”.
It’s been three months since that call and I’m now officially unemployed. Isolation, distance everywhere. How can I get a job there is around 1,4 million other people in the same situation, searching for a work, any work to just get around.
Is this world wrong or is it just me?
I have been wired in my own head for too long. No partner, no kids, no roommates, no family no nothing, only me, the walls and my thoughts.
First I searched and applied with a lot of motivation. I mean I am a sales professional you don’t just put me in the corner. After weeks of endless searching, reaching out, trying to fit in to every job ad I come across I was losing myself more and more. I extended my I-can-work-with-this-list to almost anything. Just give me a f’ work and I’ll do anything.
Financially I’m still fine. No stress since I’ve my savings. But that won’t last forever. I need to pay my rent, what if I can’t? I will be living on the street. I have nowhere to go, my dysfunctional childhood is nothing I can count on.
I’m alone. Friends? Yes, network, that sounds so freaking awesome but when things comes around and they are suffering too? What can I ask for? And should I run around bagging? No, I might be on the edge but I do have some integrity left.
No one can see me.
No one ask how I’m doing.
I’m all alone.
Does anybody care?
I barely go out for the trash or to get some food in the nearby supermarket (which is only open once a week), it’s like my personality has switched.
Me, I used to be the most social, outgoing and fun guy in the neighbourhood. Now, isolated, alone, don’t speak to anyone in a week.
Who am I?
Is this me? Or is what I used to be me?
I had never asked myself what my identity is.
What brings value to me?
Work, titles, money, friends, occasions, opportunities is it?
Who am I without all this.
Mm a little perhaps but the question makes me wonder.
Is there anything more?
What come first, my identity or my work-title?
My identity or my friends?
My identity or my money?
My identity or my opportunities?
How am I at the core?
Suddenly, from a distance, I hear music playing, classical piano music.
Wow it’s beautiful.
It’s penetrating my heart and soul.
All my thoughts are gone.
In my deep I can sense it.
Now I know.
Beyond what I can see.
I am an image of the invisible.
Yours Sincerely Devon