Redundancy: 1 year on.
Happy Anniversary! Wow, one year since I was made redundant. Time flies. One year since I suddenly had the rug pulled out from under me. The thing about redundancy is that you rarely see it coming, and when it does happen it feels like an important decision about your life has been made without you. Mega suckiness.
I'd been working at this place for 2.5 years - longer than I'd been employed anywhere else. And I'd loved it for the first 2 years, but those last 6 months were excruciating. It was a toxic environment, and I was looking for work elsewhere. Then suddenly, my decision was made for me. I was emailed on a Saturday night, Notice of Changes to Employment. I could hardly believe what I was reading. A cold email from employers who had previously referred to me as family. I was getting no payout of any sorts. And they were not paying me money that they owed me. Wonderful! I cried for two days. Not because I didn't have the job anymore, it was a relief not to have to work there another day. I cried because my employer couldn't even bring himself to do this to my face. Couldn't extend that courtesy to me. And didn't feel like I was owed 2 weeks notice. Ultimately, the sting of betrayal, shock and disappointment left me hardened.
Part of my naive outlook on the world died that day. People that were previously kind to me, generous, and trustworthy had thrown it all back in my face. I could hardly believe it. Since then, I've come to accept that they did the best they could. As we all do. And just because they acted in a way that deeply hurt me, doesn't mean they intended to be quite as horrid as they actually were. Nobody sets out to be the villain, after all. So I've made my peace in that sense.
In the last year, I've flourished. Sudden unemployment was a new challenge for me, and it was strange at first. Despite applying for 100 jobs, I was unsuccessful in my search and ended up on Centrelink payments to get me through. Despite still having multiple smaller streams of income, I was still searching for something solid and reliable that could pay the bills. Eventually I fluked upon a job as an art instructor, and have never looked back since. It's about a billion times more fun than my previous employment, and I absolutely love it. Not to mention that during my downtime over the last year, I've been able to create the largest body of work I ever have. And I probably never would've signed up for a solo exhibition if I hadn't had the time and space to consider where to take my art next.
So, as it turns out, the redundancy was a blessing in disguise. Everything since then has just gotten better, and I'm glad that the universe threw me a curve ball when it did! For those of you that may be experiencing a similar situation with redundancy, or have so in the past, I hope that you're able to move forward with life. It's an awful experience, but one of those things that can force you to look at how things are and work towards improving them.