Wednesday, October 22, 2014

My Jobless Life

Contrary to what you might think, my last day at work about 3 years ago was one filled with excitement. Oh! Wait, one of my mind agents just reminded me that it was 3 months ago. I was excited to leave my job which had become somewhat boring. I could see myself going for holidays to the Bahamas with my crush Trey Songz (Read the story about my former crush here), sleeping all day long, watching all my favorite movies and reading books by all my favorite writers. Life was going to be so easy. My (former) boss was wrong to think that sacking me would make my life miserable. But someone should have warned me that even though the grass looks greener on the other side, it doesn’t just magically turn green; there are several factors involved.

Being jobless is the worst thing yet the best thing that could ever happen to someone. It is tough, heartbreaking and lonely but on a positive note it teaches you valuable life lessons. It makes you endure forces that you never imagined. It brings out some inner strength in you that you never thought you had. And instead of regretting being jobless, you will be grateful it happened. 

My most heartbreaking part about being jobless was calling my dad to inform him that his one and only beloved daughter was no longer with a job. That she was now stranded in Nairobi with no job to wake to, no one to take care of her and no money to pay up her bills. It was easy to tell my brothers. The good thing about having brothers is that they make you feel like a situation you previously thought as hell is just a by the way; a feather in the wind. But with parents it’s different. 

Once in my tiny house I rehearsed what I would say to my dad for about 10 minutes. The idea was to make him feel and think that this was just a by the way like my brothers put it. And that his daughter was in the least shaken by this wave. I wanted it to be like a man to man talk. No mushy feelings. Mushy was preserved for my mum. So I called him up in my best ‘man voice’. 

Me; Hey dad, if you need a driver I’m ready to start today.

Dad: (Long silence. The type where you can hear disappointment and regret) so the job is over? (More of a statement than a question)

Me: (almost tearing up) Yep!

Dad: Don’t worry. All is well with God.

Me: Okay.

Daddy hangs up.

My dad is a man of few words (except when he is telling us funny childhood stories) but these were way too few. In his silence and voice I could depict disappointment; not disappointed in me but disappointed in himself as a dad. The disappointment of realizing that his daughter’s life was crumbling and there was nothing he could do about it except tell her not to worry. Before I could cry my phone was ringing. Mum. This is not how I had planned it. I wanted to be the one to call her; to be the one to break the heartbreaking news to her.

Me; (sounding excited) Hello mum!

Mum: How are you?

Me: I’m fine. Very fine.

Mum: Have you taken lunch?

(I just got fired and you think I’m now too poor to even afford lunch. Really mum)

Me: No.

Mum: Why?

Me: I’m at work and it’s busy.

If you want my mum to get to the point, use reverse psychology.

Mum: Si dad has told me that you got sacked?

Me: Yes mum.

And that’s where words of mushy encouragement started flowing in; from ‘God will see you through’ to ‘woooie, ndukamake kairitu ka nie’. I could feel her voice drifting from this super woman to a loving mum. It’s all I needed to cry. I said goodbye as fast as possible; never let your mum hear you cry. She can cycle all the way to Mombasa from Lodwar if that’s where you live and there are no vehicles left. I cried myself to a painful ‘after cry hangover’. I felt useless; a failure; a disappointment. I felt like I had failed my parents. I wanted to fly my parents to coast for my dad’s 50th birthday the following month; you know, to celebrate it like a hero but that was now a shattered dream. There are things I wanted to do for my folks; great things but my boss cut them short. And other people too. God knows I wanted to buy my pastor from ‘Shags’ a laptop the following month. All those; dreams down the drain. It was horrible. 

That night, I decided to entertain myself with a series. And the only series that could make me forget all my pain was ‘Game of Thrones’. I bought season 4 and watched it from my laptop. As I clicked on the first episode, my laptop’s screen blacked out. I thought the charge had drained without a warning, rushed to the socket and connected the charger. Blackness. Nothing. I later learned from a laptop genius that the motherboard was dead and I needed a new one for 12 damned thousands! No game of thrones. No nothing. 

The next day I called a friend whom I wrote articles for to give him the bad news of my laptop’s death. He was my only remaining hope of making money. I regretted calling him as soon as I did. He said that he was about to call me too to tell me that his client did not need my articles any more. What!  In a span of less than 24hrs I had lost my main job, my side job and my laptop! It’s like when you cheat on your boyfriend; you lose him, lose the side kick (who apparently didn’t know you had a boyfriend) and then lose your best friend who cannot withstand the idea of you being a cheater. Except in this case, I didn’t know whom I cheated on.
Jobless life is fun; fun if you have money but you have to have a job to have money, right? Maybe we can say jobless life is fun until your money drains.

Days have passed, nights have passed; I have slept, I have watched all the movies in the world and read all the books available. I have met Trey Songz and gone to the Bahamas with him. Okay, that’s a lie. But the reading, sleeping and watching part I’ve done. 

Life has been hard. Extremely hard to a point where I felt I was done with life. But there has been a positive side; the side that made me wake up today with new hope. This hope gave me the strength to write this post. And most importantly there has been lessons; lessons that I will share with you in my part 2 next week since I only wanted to use 1190 words today.

This far I thank the good Lord.