In the middle of this road we call our life
I found myself in a dark wood
With no clear path through.
The Divine Comedy, “Inferno”
* * *
I hadn’t mentioned this before but back on December 6th, I lost my job.
I worked for investment bank behemoth Morgan Stanley and for 18 months I watched as the company dissolved around me. I survived several rounds of layoffs but was finally shown the door.
I began my job search on December 7th. It has been a relentless, exhausting grind without pause or success.
My best job lead just blew up. It was my greatest hope for employment and it’s gone. I’ve had dozens of interviews over the past three months that have resulted in little more than a smack in the face with a brick.
We got a call from 7-Year Old Daughter’s first grade teacher. She was concerned because Daughter walked up to her and said, “My Daddy got fired and nobody wants him.” I tried to explain the difference between being laid off and being fired, but children do not deal in subtly. She only understands that Dad doesn’t leave the house in the morning anymore.
I sit at the dinner table and look at my two beautiful little girls and wonder how I’m going to provide for them. It feels like someone ripped my heart out of my chest, put it in an empty paint can, filled it with thick, black tar, soldered the lid shut and stenciled “DESPAIR” on the front.
The economy in New York is a shambles but I bear some responsibility for my predicament. I was complacent and allowed my skills to atrophy. Mrs. Wife has been a rock but I can barely look her in the eye. I read the papers and realize that hundreds of thousands of people have lost their jobs, but this is my story.
The healthcare premium for my family is $956/month. We’re just a simple, middle class family.
What am I going to do?