5.26.20: Our COVID Updates
Last time I posted was about a month ago. It's crazy to think about how much has changed in such a short time (but also how much hasn't changed). In my last post, Kate and I were dealing with the uncertainty of our jobs amid the coronavirus pandemic. We hadn't received a whole lot of information on what was to be expected and it left both of us anxious. We now have some answers.
Kate's work was deemed essential and construction was able to resume. The perk for us is that she is an office worker so she has been able to remain working from home. She and her colleagues work in job trailers on the construction site and due to their close proximity within the trailers, she has been asked to stay home until July. We're so incredibly grateful that she was able to keep her job and continue working during all this uncertainty - it was definitely a roller coaster waiting for this information.
I, on the other hand, just learned that I'm being furloughed. My company has been doing everything in their power to keep people employed but, being in the events industry, it's a very difficult time. They went through a series of lay offs and pay cuts, but ultimately had to resort to furloughs as well. Beginning June 1, I am officially furloughed. I've had mixed emotions and there was a LOT of crying the day I found out. While I feel lucky to still technically have a job to return to and a company paying for my health insurance, there is still a lot of unknowns. They are hoping the furlough period will only last 3 months but are prepared to make it 6. In addition, they stated it could always be extended past 6 months if they need to. If you know me, you know that I truly love my company. While yes, some days I'm not overly excited about what I'm working, overall I think my company is amazing. I've never been in such a fun, welcoming environment. We truly have a work hard, play hard mentality and it makes everything worth it.
My biggest fear is not having a job to return to when this is all over. Because of this fear, I feel that I can't sit and wait around for the furlough period to end. I can't wait to hear if I still have a job - it's still not a guarantee. I am now having to look for jobs elsewhere - something I really don't want to do. Not only do I have to look for a new job, but I pretty much have to change career paths. Everything I've done has focused on planning and producing events. Events may not return for a long time, and even when they do, they may not be what we are used to. So, I've had to do a lot of self reflection. I've had to figure out what I want next (short-term and long-term) so I don't fall flat on my face. It's been a lot to think about and it's caused a great deal of anxiety the past week. I know I need to be thankful that I still have the benefits I have, that I may have the opportunity to go back to my company when this is all over. I am trying to remain positive and I know I will grow from this experience.
There is still good news in all of this (here's me staying positive). Kate gets to stay with me until July. We will continue our midwest adventures through the month of June and enjoy time with her family at the lake for Fourth of July weekend. After that, I will make my way to Seattle with Kate. When this all began we were excited to just have a solid two weeks with each other, when this is all over who knows how long we will have had with each other! We've made it to the 2.5 month mark and obviously quickly approaching a full 3 months. We're excited to have the summer together - enjoying the midwest before it gets too gross (it gets super humid here) and then making our way to Seattle to enjoy the most beautiful months it has to offer. In addition, I've started looking for virtual jobs and even applied for some positions in Seattle. I was supposed to move in with my parents for the next year to save some money before hopefully moving to Seattle. I may ultimately wind up in Seattle a lot sooner than I thought!
In the end, the coronavirus has provided us opportunity. Opportunity to build our relationship, get to know each other on a deeper level. Opportunity to be together, grow together, and lean on each other in hard times. It has also given us opportunity to reflect and understand ourselves better. I'm learning that life isn't always going to continue the way you thought or go according to plan. Sometimes you have to pivot (PIVOT! - any Friends fans out there?!) and figure out what's best for you in the here and now. Everything will turn out as it's supposed to and I think in the end, everything will be okay.