Blogging the simulation

by Jon Sullivan - 2023-01-23 - Status

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I've been laid off from the job I've had for 10 years. I'm not handling it well at all.

I got laid off. Just like over 100k other developers in the last year. It could have been predicted, and maybe I should have, but I didn't, and now I'm unemployed. Here we are. The question was asked, "how are you doing?". The answer - I'm not doing well. The last few months have famously been all about me having joy on tap, living in virtue and harmony, and transitioning into an overtly social person. Laughter and joy and hugs. I spent lots of time being pompous, talking about how Stoicism was designed to make you ready for anything, and put your happiness under your control. And I wallowed in all these new expensive road trips and expensive toys. I became smug and cavalier. I became very happy. Then the universe kicked my ass.

It will be fine. I'll find a new career. My savings will see me through. I'm not at risk of falling through the cracks. Right now I'm working on training and certifications. Then I'll polish my resume. Then I'll dive into the joy that is dealing with recruiters and being interviewed by people who think old farts are fundamentally stupid. It will be fine.

But....... It's not fine. I'm feeling like a moron for spending so much on the move and the car. I was set up for this just fine a year ago. Then somehow BabyMetal made me completely forget about why I was hoarding cash for this exact eventuality. So now instead of having a ready emergency fund to pay bills I need to draw from investments. I'll be fine, for now, but this will put off retirement even more than Trump and Covid did. It's depressing. Retirement was 2-3 years away, now it's 4-5. I spent way too much money on the move and getting set up for a "new Jon". I was careless. And I feel stupid about it. Stoicism should have made me resilient, but instead it made me complacent.

In the days after my team learned we'd be unemployed I fell hard into panic. I don't think I've ever had panic attacks in the past, but I have now. It's frightening how powerful irrational thoughts can be. But I couldn't turn them off. I'm too old for this. I'm too unprepared for this. I'm too stupid for this. I'm too old for this. I'm too old for this. I'm too old for this. It was like a mantra of imposter syndrome. I'm not over it. Still can't sleep. I'm having to resist unhealthy solutions. Getting ready for interviews will be very hard, but I'm still trying to not crawl in a corner and cry. Friends have helped, a lot, saved me honestly. But at the end of the day it's shit I need to do myself. Start the journey all over again. Learn all the things, get all the certs, practice all the questions. I'm not ready.

When I see the homeless living in tents in the rain, I always remember I could be among them with just a few poor choices. And I've made poor choices. It was nice to pretend I was in a place where I could be endlessly complacent. But entropy always wins. I always knew I was lucky, and that luck can run out, as it has. I'll be fine. But I live in a country that would gladly see me die in the gutter rather than spend money to solve social disasters. So...... It's up to me. I know exactly what I need to do. It will be fine.

I'll be fine. Maybe if I say it enough it will start feeling real.

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