I know I’m not alone when I say this year, 2020, has given me the ride of my life. It has been long for everyone for a variety of reasons. A global pandemic, industries crashing, unemployment skyrocketing and now extreme wildfires in the West of the States (where I happen to be located). Thankfully the world wasn’t completely on fire when I had the best worst week of my life.
Sunday, August 2nd
What a beautiful day. It was my partner’s birthday, but I unfortunately had to work in the morning. After I came home we were to go to his parents’ house for a birthday dinner. All of us outside in our masks, he was inside talking to his mom and preparing the meal.
He had really wanted to cook for everyone. We love Korean style barbecue and had decided to treat his family to it, his parents and sister with her boyfriend. Surprisingly we were also joined by his youngest sister who had come to visit from the other side of the country with her lovely dog, that my partner just adores.
After we ate dinner his sister asked, “What did you learn this year and what are you looking forward to this next one?”
He spoke of how he had learned things at his job and learned more about himself and what he was capable of. For next year though, what he was looking most forward to,
“Is getting married.” He pulled his late grandmother’s ring from his pocket and proposed right there in the grass.
I cried in excitement and had the ring on as soon as I could.
“Is that a yes?”
All of the girls screamed in excitement as one sister yelled, “Get a phone! Get a phone!” To capture the moment.
Monday, August 3rd
Work during the pandemic was different in a wide variety of ways. I was not working the same schedule, I was not doing the job I had been promoted to, and I was working alone. As the front facing associate I was growing concerned for my own attitude towards those that would come in.
I worked my shift but knew I couldn’t continue running the way I had been. I decided to take a stand and have a conversation directly with human resources. In short, I explained that there had to be a change for me, otherwise I couldn’t continue. I needed back up, I needed help, the whole department needed a break.
I left feeling confident and scared, but at least I knew I had made a statement.
Tuesday, August 4th
Back to work in the morning, I was running a bit late and rushed out the door. I live fairly close to my work so I only needed five minutes, but only had about 15. My first turn onto the major road, I was blindsided by the sun. I tried to squint past it to no avail.
I approached the light going the 40 mph speed limit when I pushed on the break because I could not see. Unfortunately I made this choice quite a bit too late and slammed right into the back of a truck.
My car was totaled and could not move, I shook on the sidewalk as we both called the police and stumbled through the paperwork as it came. I called my work frantic, at first thinking I would still go in.
I didn’t, thankfully there was someone to cover my shift and I was allowed to go home (after much waiting and conversation with police). I was whip-lashed and car-less.
A quick visit to urgent care during the day, no fractures, yay! A few calls to the insurance company, and a call from my general manager. The pain wasn’t too severe but it was a scary day.
I felt even more fortunate when all three of my managers reached out to me to check in and let me know to take another day to rest. My now fiance had to go to work but he set me up for success before he left. I was sprawled on the couch and taking the day to sort out a rental and other details from the insurance.
Wednesday, August 5th
Since I had the day off to rest I had my fiance take me to get my temporary rental car. What a beauty! A bright orange Dodge Challenger – newer than anything I could hope to afford. I drove it a little, but the fear that comes from an accident can be even more crippling than an injury.
I took hot baths and prepared to work the next day. Normally I had Thursdays off, but I had been working with my team to try and give them some time off as well. Imagine how terrible I felt when I thought my accident had made them work extra, however other members of our team stepped up so my coworkers could rest as well.
Thursday, August 6th
The news of my engagement was quickly overshadowed by my car wreck. It was another standard day of work, making sure all the little details were complete, but also not working too hard since I would be back on Sunday to make sure everything was in place.
Ten minutes before my shift was over I was called into my general manager’s office, and told not to clock out first.
After some confusing rhetoric I finally realized I was being laid off. The shock was painful at first, but ultimately we agreed it was for the best. I wouldn’t have to make the decision to quit, I would be eligible for benefits, and would be okay.
The heartache was real between the three of us, my manager, my HR, and me. I had been there for three years and the separation was sudden. That was my last day.
Friday, August 7th
I would have been off work regardless, but it was still sinking in that I wouldn’t be waking up early on Sunday.
I got the call from my insurance that the car was a total loss, not at all surprising. What was surprising was that the car had been valued over what I owed and the loan would be entirely paid off.
Not only would the car be paid off, but I would receive a small pay out of what was left over! Of course the rental car would have to go back, but they were kind enough to let me keep it for an extra five days (though I wouldn’t need it considering I was unemployed).
Saturday, August 8th
I had survived. I made it. But more importantly, I had a positive outlook. Every obstacle became a positive for me, given the week had started so perfectly I couldn’t let these events bring me down.
- Car payment is gone, since I’m unemployed I wouldn’t have been able to afford those payments.
- The $200 insurance bill is now only $50 because I’m not insuring a car
- I don’t have to go back to a job I was miserable doing
- I can apply for benefits
Though I felt low about none of this being on my own terms, I had to accept that they had happened and that they were good things. Even the most unfortunate events can turn out to be positive.
Most importantly, this week brought my fiance and I even closer as we prepare for our journey to continue in marriage.
Guest Author Bio
Elena is a professional blogger dedicated to the spread of optimism with her writing. Her life experiences have taught her how to always see the positive in desperate times. She shares her experiences and knowledge regularly on her blog site Lady’s Writing while helping others build their websites for success. When she’s not writing lifestyle or industry blogs, she is reviewing a movie for another blog!