I Got Laid Off During Maternity Leave

The timing was bad, but the opportunity is great

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Photo of author and her daughter by Amanda Marie Studio

Two weeks before my maternity leave ended, five months before my 10-year anniversary, I was laid off from a company that I love.

It happened on Election Day during a pandemic while on my leave. This didn’t feel good; doesn’t feel good. But that is precisely why I know that it is good. Sometimes, when you’re comfortable, what you need is a push to get out of your comfort zone and try something new.

I am taking my layoff as a serendipitous nudge from the universe that it is time I change directions and do what I am meant to do — write. But write for me, channeling my creativity into my own work that has my name attached to it, rather than putting all of my energy into someone else’s business.

In her book Everything is Figureoutable, Marie Forleo talks about the power of starting before you’re ready. I may not have considered myself ready to leave my job and focus on my writing career. If I spent a decade there, who knows how much longer I would have pushed off my own writing aspirations in pursuit of someone else’s? But by being laid off, I’ve been propelled into a reality in which finally going after my dreams is the only answer.

So, starting today, the day I was supposed to return to work, I will be home with my two children and will work on my novel and other writing projects during those magical moments of stillness.

As the Chinese proverb goes, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; the second-best time is today. I’m planting my tree now and seeing where it takes me.

This is going to be a great new adventure.

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author | reader | mother | kolinacicero.com/book

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