A Breakup, a Layoff and Ants in My Apartment



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By A Mender



It was four months till my landlord finally took care of the ants in my studio apartment. The slow crawl to the leaky kitchen sink was indicative of not only her neglect, but also my own. I was three months out of a relationship and hadn’t even stopped to think why I had left the comfort of being in someone else’s arms every night for the last five years.

My family had told me that I was going down a dead end road. I was almost 30 and “He was not financially stable as an actor.” My feelings were that “He was a good person.” I felt that that was enough to get through anything, but I kept judging myself based on the fear I had of what our future would look like. This led to a quarterly argument resulting in resentment and a continuous dismissal of sexual vibrations. And so he stopped feeling confident, and I started feeling depressed. Instead of working on it like an adult, I ran away.

I immediately found an unsafe neighborhood to live in, in a building that didn’t allow my 15 pound emotional support Corgie named Maude. I somehow thought that the change would be temporary, but it was a full-time reality, and loneliness started creeping in every night through tear fests of doom, while my ex-boyfriend started moving on, and rightfully so. 

I thought I had gotten unstuck by getting out. I even found a new company to work at and I went off to Australia for a vacation, thinking I’d give myself a fresh start when I got back. My thought was that in changing everything, I’d have the time to dream, reflect, and think about what I wanted. But with change came a lack of personal space to do just that.

What I learned was that I had moved too quickly without thinking about the ‘why’ of what I was doing. The new job was essentially the old job that I had before, without the stuff that I actually liked doing. It was a replacement, but not a solution. A bandaid. And so, the bandaid came off when I was laid off because I wasn’t a good fit for the role. In a way, I was slightly relieved because I was trying to fit my square self into a round gaping hole. And in taking the new role, I was already resorting to old habits. Staying up late. Working unreasonable hours. Not giving myself mental breaks to go outside and take in some Vitamin D or drink a green juice.

I started a new, stable, non-stressful job a few weeks later, and while the layoff only lasted a week, it made me realize I needed to be in an environment where I could talk to people. Right now, if it’s a job that will actually give me some mental space and no work after work, it’s a job I can do for now. And I should be ok with that. Because a job I do for now is not forever. And a job I do for now can give me the freedom to think about later.

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A Mender

An anonymous Mender sharing their story. If you'd like to share your story anonymously, send it to: hello@letsmend.com.