The crushing disappointment of mid-life failure can be shocking.
Moving along well into your late 30’s, learning, improving, moving up the ladder, all gets replaced with searching for work that, while not beneath you, is definitely the opposite direction of where you hoped your career trajectory would be headed.
Then you get a brief glimmer of hope.
Hope that disappears when you realize you are being asked to apply for a job with a company who has deemed you unnecessary for operations twice already, a job that is what you originally joined said company to do, some 14 years ago, just in a new location.
How do you respond to that?
I got angry. I felt anger at that company, because fuck them, that’s why.
Then I felt despair, because if they think I am so useless and so available to, let’s face it: insult, then what good am I actually? How incorrect am I about other long-held beliefs about my life, my story? A pit forms in your stomach when faced with these thoughts. A lump in your throat.
Then I felt desperate, because I need a job. Can I really turn this down due to, what, pride? A conflated ideal about my own value? My ego?
The sad reality is that swallowing your pride can often be an out. A relief. It’s heading for a safe harbor and unremarkable life, instead of testing your mettle and sailing out to lands unknown. Results, unknown.
Once, I had hope. Now, I have hope.
The difference between those two hopes is enormous.
When should we allow our value to be devalued by others?
What line has to be crossed before we fight back?