So, just under three weeks before my wedding, my boss drops the bomb that I’ve been unceremoniously canned from a job I’ve had for two years. Mind you, I was laid off in 2009 and it took twenty months to find a job after that. I’m a writer/editor and as you probably know, the recession has not been kind to journalists. I had been miserable at this job for a while, and I have a chronic pain condition that made a full-time job challenging. Yes, it’s a blessing in disguise, I know, and now that I’m marrying into an excellent health insurance plan, I won’t be forced to take a job that I’m not psyched about just because it has benefits.
I met my fiancé during my stretch of unemployment, so we’re used to tight finances. But we moved to a bigger apartment, which I adore, after we got engaged, and I’m terrified of losing it.
I just found out about my termination, so everything is raw and painful, and I know I’ll be fine in the long run, but this has REALLY put a damper on my wedding excitement. (Though I am relieved that it’s given me more time to attend to last minute details. I didn’t have any vacation days or sick time left to use up for the wedding, so time, as they say, is on my side.)
But please help me preserve the joy and happiness befitting of the occasion. I know I will write a kick-ass wedding graduate post about being laid off right before my wedding, but right now I’m having trouble seeing the forest for the trees (is that how that saying goes?). I plan to reread all your posts written by unemployed brides, but I need some serious wedding/existential crisis triage. Also, the circumstances will surely exacerbate the wedding ceremony tears. Help!
I won’t offend your intelligence by pretending this doesn’t suck. It truly does.
But, man, isn’t it terrific that you have someone beside you to face this crap with you? That’s a big part of this whole marriage thing. Whether there was a wedding in three weeks or not, you’d still be facing down unemployment. Only now, you’re lucky enough to have somebody to help you through it. To encourage you, join you in binging on comfort ice cream, and apparently, to let you take advantage of some health coverage. So, maybe you have a bigger apartment than you would if you’d know about the firing. Maybe you’d have picked carnations instead of peonies. But, no one can make choices based on what might happen. You just take what you’re dealt, and work with that. Right now, you’ve got someone beside you to help.
Like so many other folks reading right now, I’ve been just where you are. Well, to be accurate, I’ve been just where your partner is. My now-husband lost his job just about a month before our wedding. Cue anxiety, midday crying fits and reluctance to even think about the wedding, let alone knock out those place cards I needed to emboss. Does it help to know you’re not alone? Because oh man, lady, you are NOT ALONE.
But you know what that stint of unemployment taught us (and then the stint after that, and then the one after that, and after that)? That we can make do with very little. That we can find the happy bits of some sucky situations. And most of all, what I mentioned above, that we can lean on one another.
You’re already doing a fabulous job of finding the bright parts of this unemployment (which is hard when you’re in the midst of it all, so go you!). This makes great practice for seeking out the silver lining in all the storms ahead. Cause, yeah. There are surely more to come.
I can cheat and give away one of those bright parts right now: Opportunity. Scary-new-unknown is scary, new, and unknown. Which is exactly what makes it hard to leave shitty-safe-comfortable. Sometimes we cling to the comfort of shitty things because it’s easier than stepping out into scary things that are better for us, if a little painful at first. Show of hands, you guys, who here has stayed with something terrible (job, partner, whatever) because you were afraid of the risk of moving on? You may not be able to see them, Anon, but I’m looking at an internet full of raised hands. What’s that saying about doors closing and others opening? If you hadn’t been kicked out of this craptacular job, who knows how long you would’ve stayed, growing old and miserable and gray for the sake of a reliable paycheck. Now, you have the (sort of forced) opportunity to see what else is out there for you—even if that means a few weeks of daytime TV and Doritos, for now.
So, here it is. The end of a crappy soul-sucking job, the close of possibly a cruddy year. But, also, the beginning of a bright shiny adventure, a brand new marriage, and a fabulous, hopeful new year. I’m excited for all of the things that might be waiting just around the corner. This stuff right here is why you’re getting married. And dammit, it’s this stuff that’s going to make your story YOURS.
Team Practical, how has job loss and financial issue impacted your wedding and marriage? How did you cope? How have this year’s trials helped you to find hope in the coming year?
If you would like to ask Team Practical a question please don’t be shy! You can email Liz at: askteampractical [at] apracticalwedding [dot] com. If you would prefer to not be named, anonymous questions are also accepted. Though it really makes our day when you come up with a clever sign-off!