Three strikes, you’re out – A story of three layoffs

Getting Laid Off From My Job

//Photo Courtesy: Levo League//

This month I was laid off from my job. For the third time. Consecutively. In two years. Oh, and I just turned 25.

It happened and suddenly “How are you?”- you know, the disgustingly basic question people ask because they don’t know what else to say – carried a whole lot more weight than it used to. How am I? Well, brace yourself kids because I’m here to tell you: I’m fine.

Is that crazy? To be fine? Let me articulate. I’m not emotionless. I have feelings, a lot of feelings actually. But the crying, the screaming “why me?!”, the emotional eating of Ben and Jerry’s Half Baked – been there, done that. Twice actually. And what I’m left with is this odd comfort of complete and utter fineness.

I told my mother, I’m either developing a mental illness or greater resilience. For the sake of the public reading this and potential future employers, I’ll stick with the latter.

Nevertheless, I’ve had some time to think about my reaction to this unfortunate series of events and here’s what I’ve come up with: Something’s not working. Something needs to change.

It’s this idea of “three” – I can’t shake the number. Quick history lesson of the number three. Rumpelstiltskin gives the princess three chances to guess his name. The Genie (RIP Robin) gave Aladdin three wishes. A child gets three chances to change their behavior before they’re sent to time out.  Women arbitrarily give men three days to call after the first date. And my personal favorite: a batter gets three strikes before they’re ushered off the baseball field.

Why three? Perhaps I’m reading too much into this, but I think it’s because we subconsciously give ourselves three chances, opportunities, really whatever…to make something happen, to change our circumstance, to learn something. And if we can’t by three, our internal gut checker says it’s time to take a step back and reevaluate.

When I look at my three lay-offs, I feel like I struck out. But not in the sense that I failed or even did anything wrong. I swung my bat hard, with a lot of force, and a lot of passion, and I missed. The first time I missed I was pissed. I wasn’t supposed to miss. The second time, I felt defeated. Come on Meredith you should have seen that coming. The third time, well now the third time is different. It feels different. You drag your bat back to the dugout thinking less about how poorly you just played, and more about how it’s time to change your game.

The reality is you could go on hitting forever, swinging that bat until your arm is numb. But there’s a reason you get three strikes. Because it takes that third time missing for you to start thinking about what’s not working, what needs to change.

So if this “fineness” is rooted in my subconscious that knows its time to change the game, then I welcome the feeling.

More on game-changers to come.

P.S. Analogies are my writing currency. Expect to read them a lot here, and expect to fall in love.


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