Losing my job was the best thing to ever happen to me
Written by: Helen Barreto
The morning after it happened, a timely notification from my astrology app lit up my lock screen. It read, “never underestimate the power of your deepest desires.” Call it coincidence or plain ol’ good timing, to me this was pure reassurance. It was reassurance that the relief I felt when I heard the news that came from the deepest parts of me.
I knew almost instantly that this wasn’t happening to me, it was happening for me.
I was on a week-long anniversary trip to Spain with my boyfriend when I received a frantic call from my manager. She noticed a last-minute meeting on our CEO’s calendar with HR, and quickly realized she couldn’t access any of her work accounts. That’s when I noticed that I, too, was locked out of my email, Slack and all other company accounts. I couldn’t hold back my laughter. How absolutely insane? How incredibly chaotic? I was literally on vacation. When the wave of panic hit me, I was grounded by one thing – differently, but the same, this had already happened to me once before.
When I was merely a senior in college, my family’s finances were flipped upside down. My lens of what life looked like was held up by my parents, and when that glass shattered and they no longer could hold it, I was left to figure out how to see on my own. That was the first time I learned (the hardest way, may I add) that leaving your security, stability and power in the hands of others leaves you with nothing but the falsest sense of safety. I like to believe that the universe does this thing where it sends you the same lesson in different clothing to test if you’ve truly learned from it. When she showed up to my door the night of November 4th, I said to her “Hey bitch, not this time.”
I immediately began to envision the woman I wanted to be – my higher self. I thought about how she showed up every day, what she dressed like, how she carried herself, the way she communicated, what she poured herself into, her passions, her career. I felt boundless. I felt, for the first time in my life, like nothing was holding me back from reaching her. I realized that this entire time, while I was suppressing my passions for the sake of paycheck, I was suppressing the woman of my dreams, i.e, me.
I spoke to my boyfriend, I texted my best friend and I called my parents. I told them I would not be applying for jobs, I would not be asking for my job back, I would be following myself and starting my own thing. Part of me was hoping that if someone, anyone, would tell me that this was crazy, I’d simply have to agree and I could go back to what felt safe, secure, stable. I had no savings, no trust fund, really nothing but big ideas and big spending habits. There was another p
art of me though, the strongest side, that had this unmeasurable amount of faith in myself to not only see things through, but to create the life I so badly wanted. Going back to corporate America was not an option, going back to that feeling of existential dread was not an option, giving my power to someone else again was not an option.
I opened my boyfriend’s laptop and began to list all of my strengths – I’m a writer, I’m creative, I’m ambitious. I then wrote my weaknesses – I have a problem with authority, I’m bad at math, I don’t like being told what to do. That’s when it all clicked, I’d be starting a writing agency, I’d be tapping into my previous experience in the beauty industry and I’d be the one calling all the shots. I closed his laptop, closed my eyes and prepared to go back home the next day self-employed, with a plan. One week after this trip, I secured my first two clients. One month later, I had doubled my previous salary and had to open a waitlist for new clients and projects. I had never, in my entire career, felt more aligned with my true purpose and calling on this tiny floating rock. I was in full control of my day-to-day, my clients wanted to work with me, for me, and I was working my ass off for myself.
There’s a special kind of self love that grows when you tell yourself that you believe in you.
When you put the entire weight of your success and survival on your own shoulders, and you tell yourself that you can carry it, it builds this unwavering bond between you and higher you. As you become more familiar with your sense of self, you become more confident in your skills, your knowledge, your talents. You become more aware of your likes and dislikes, and your wants become limitless. You begin to vibrate at a higher frequency and you become a magnet for opportunities that align with that higher version of you.
Consciously and subconsciously, I had been yearning for this for years. Do you know what was holding me back? That 4-lettered F word, fear. I was afraid of failing, afraid of making a mistake, afraid of what others would think, afraid, afraid, afraid. When you break out of the chains of fear and self-doubt that hold you back from running towards your most inner desires, take a look back. You’ll see that those chains were never locked to begin with.