Hey y'all. Wanted to chat a little about the times we're in and the uncertainty they bring.
First, I know on Instagram I keep talking about how lucky Kate and I have gotten - and we really are lucky. We have had the opportunity to spend an entire month together. We never ever thought that would be something we'd get to do before moving in together at some point. We've had the opportunity to see what life would be like together (although, this is a strange time - no going out, no gym, not much to do). We've grown together (we've had arguments and frustrations and we've worked through them, we've had fun times, scary times, sad times, etc.). Our relationship is in a really great place right now and that's thanks to this opportunity.
However, there is a lot of uncertainty during this time and it's scary. What will our relationship be like when Kate has to return to Seattle and I stay in St. Louis? How long until the next time we see each other at that point? Will we be able to handle the distance again? On top of that, we have so many other questions unrelated to our relationship. Will we be furloughed? Will we have jobs at the end of this (or even during this)? What will we do if we don't have jobs? So many questions are going through our heads, as I'm sure you all are struggling with as well.
I'll start with our relationship questions and build from there. Every time I think about these questions I've asked, I push them off. I don't want to think about the what ifs when I have such a great thing right in front of me. However, I know it's inevitable. Every night we get to snuggle up together and sleep next to each other. Every day we work from the same room and take breaks just to sit and talk and be next to each other. We watch shows together, we have meals together, Kate even got me to work out with her. We are literally doing everything together and it's scary to think that could all go away so soon. Once Kate goes back to Seattle and I go back to work in St. Louis, when will we see each other again? I have programs beginning in September and it looks like my fall may be pretty busy. Not only is it busy work-wise, but I have three weddings to attend and before you know it, the holidays will be around. Will either of us be able to take off work for vacation time after all of this is over? Will I get to take time off and visit Kate in Seattle as I so often do? Will Kate have time off to visit me in St. Louis or go to these weddings with me? The unknown is scary. I want so badly just to not think about it and appreciate where I'm at now. But, in turn, I don't want to push it off and be so lost and confused when life goes back to "normal."
Then, there's work. Kate's company has been telling her for weeks that furloughs are coming. However, there doesn't ever seem to be an answer. Each week the dread of finding out sets in again. Kate has been great at continuing to work and remaining busy, but it's hard. It's hard to stay motivated when there's this looming fear of getting furloughed and having no idea of when that might actually happen (if it will). Her boss mentioned today that he thinks working from home will be extended another month - putting her back in the office around June. She's relying on her company's client to decide that they are essential workers so they can continue with the project or just remain employed and getting paid rather than getting furloughed. She thinks this information might be coming today.
For me, it's been a roller coaster. A few weeks ago, it was mentioned that layoffs could be happening in the coming weeks. Soon after, they let a solid number of employees go (those who could not work from home). Then, two weeks ago, we received a meeting invite from the head of our division. With that, it was mentioned that some information may have been leaked to a news source and he wanted to get in front of it. Basically, layoffs had happened, and pay cuts were coming. This was their plan so as not to have furloughs or layoffs and to keep the company afloat. We were told that anyone who made over a certain amount of money would see a 0-30% pay cut and that information would be communicated over the coming weeks. I make under that amount so I'm not sure when and if that has already happened. Today, we received another email with updates, strictly from the head of my company (not the overarching company). It stated that "a number of employees around the world will soon be impacted by one of the following actions: temporary reduced work for reduced pay; furloughs (temporary leave from the workforce); or permanent layoffs". This was certainly a shock when I work up. I guess I'm naive to think this wasn't coming, especially since my company relies on events to bring in revenue. However, I thought they were taking actions to prevent furloughs and layoffs - told to us only two weeks ago. Everything is changing so rapidly and it brings a sense of fear with all the uncertainty. Now, we wait.
I should be feeling lucky that I've still been getting paid this long and have been able to spend so much time with Kate. And, I really do feel lucky. But, it doesn't mean this isn't scary. I'm not good with uncertainty. I typically have nightmares, lose motivation, and just want to sleep all the time (Kate would probably tell you that I always want to sleep all the time). Uncertainty gets me overwhelmed and anxious. I know most people around the world are feeling this uncertainty and anxiety right now. I know I am not the only one.
In this time of uncertainty I think we should lean on our loved ones and friends - whether that's through spending time with them (if you can) or video chatting them or picking up the phone and calling them.
How are you all coping with this uncertainty? Any pointers or suggestions you can offer? Leave them in the comments!
Stay safe. Stay healthy. And know that we are here with you in this time of uncertainty.