The times we realise how much we really miss our grandparents are the times we know that we really need emotional support. The department I am working in is closing, which is a curious sentence to write for me, because at 30 I still don’t really feel like I have ever had a job, I’ve never had a colleague that wasn’t also friend.
The closing of our department triggers two trains of panic:
1) What will I do to financially survive?
2) What about the people I talk to every day and the bonds we’ve built?
Initially, train of thought #1 jumps to the front of you mind and you are unaware that #2 is even there. This train of thought is easier to deal with, people can give you advice on how to look for new jobs, or perhaps even retrain yourself. Even through the doubts of ‘am I good enough to code/write/research/etc to get another job’ I kind of know things will work out somehow. The fact that it is easier is probably why it is pushed to the front, even more so than the fact we need cash to survive. The second strand is much harder to deal with, and I never even knew it existed until I noticed how much I missed my Nan. How does somebody who has never had a job deal with losing it? The temptation is not to look for something new, as when your looking for a job, you find a job, there is the fear of finding colleagues instead of friends -perhaps that is what Heaven knows about Morrissey being miserable now.
A long time ago the doctor once order me to read a book entitled ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’, I skipped most of it, but I did read a chapter that I think was on pain and this quote really stuck with me: ‘Acknowledgment of pain is very important, denial is deadly’ . Maybe it is a handy soundbite for the author to put on their Powerpoints, but what really struck me about this is that we live in a world of pragmatic advice and nobody will ever tell you to emotionally ‘feel the pain’ because nobody can tell you how to deal with it. I wondered about the advice my close friends at ‘work’ would give me about the pain of losing a job when you don’t feel like you have a job, which would be ‘try to write about the pain’. It is good advice to take, but its not what my Nan would say.