In the half year I was out of work, I had interviews with four different potential employers. I know for a fact that three of those interviews came about specifically because of my volunteer work.
I never want to forget what it is like to be poor and afraid. I don’t want to forget the desperation I felt. I don’t want to forget that there are millions of people in this state who still need that card to stay fed and housed.
Six months ago, almost to the day, I was ushered into a cramped office and told that my career had just come to a screeching halt. Three of us sat in that small and cluttered space, and two sets of eyes fixed on me, waiting for me to say something. Yesterday, I was brought into another office. Its ceiling, 20 feet above me, was decorated with a mural, underscored by a line of intricate wood moldings that encircled the office. And again, two sets of eyes were on me, wondering what I would say.
I posted frequently. Each time I did, it was me standing on the edge of a canyon cliff, throwing out my voice to hear what came back. And so often, too often, most of the time, there was only my own voice to hear. Where did you go?
Journalism and I became roommates, then roommates that didn’t care for each other very much, and finally people who barely shared the same space and time. It was clear one of us was going to have to move out. I just figured I’d be the one finding a new place to live, packing my bags and heading to the door with a wave and a “see ya.” I didn’t count on coming home one day to find my things packed up and sitting on the curb.