The Universe Has A Plan

I was fired from my job today; I’ve never been fired before and if you knew the circumstances surrounding why I lost my job, you would probably be shocked. The universe provides what you need the most when you need it;

[ID-A silhouette of a person’s profile is filled with a digitally created galaxy print. Next to it are the words “The universe has a plan.” in big black handlettering. Marie’s artist logo and social media handles are in the top right corner.]

I refuse to let this get me even sicker, because of my Myalgic Encephalomyelitis *any* exertion (physical or mental) makes me sick and the emotional stress that has been caused my this situation has me bedridden right now. I can’t stop crying, but I have to because the more upset I get, the more sick I will be. I can’t end up in the hospital, I don’t have health insurance now that I lost my job.

In 2016, my health progressively got worse and I practically killed myself trying to keep up. It was beyond hard, it was impossible, but I did it for FOUR years. For four years I have been directing in dimmed light and doing every possible thing I could do to keep my body from rapidly deteriorating. The stress from trying to prevent the inevitable has left me bedridden every moment I am not out at the doctors or at the station. Well, I won’t be at the station ever again. It’s hard to imagine I directed my last show without knowing it was my last one. I don’t even remember who my producer was...alayna? Taylor? Shannon? I have no idea. I don’t remember the show, so at least I know that means it wasn’t a train wreck, at least my last show was something I could be proud of. Before I was a wife, my entire identity was surrounding my title as a broadcast director; I relished in being a supervisor for the weekend shift by the age of 22. When it was taken from me a few months ago, I made it seem like it was a promotion going weekday, but actually I lost my supervisor role because it was too much on my brain and I couldn’t keep up with the expectations. I didn’t fight it because I understood that they were right. But THIS hurts, THIS is too much; I’m grateful I had my pain doctor today, and I have two weeks until I see my neurologist so it gives me time to figure out the health insurance.

I worked so hard to overcome all of the adversity thrown at me from my body to the toxic ableist work environment, I refused to quit the career I dedicated my entire life to from 8th grade on. But the career I dedicated my life to was killing me; I was hoping to be able to take an extended leave to try to recover from my stroke back in March, it was my last chance at saving my career before I decided on retiring.

Now that decision was made for me. Like pulling off a band-aid, done.

So, let’s try to find a silver lining; hello early retirement, I didn’t expect to see you so soon. I was truly hoping to get a good 10 years of directing, but the Universe knows what is best for me and risking my life every show is no longer what is best for me. I am grateful I have my husband who never lets me down and who keeps me focused on the life we want to create; when I first started directing, I never imagined I would be married and have my own family, I am so grateful that the universe had that in store for me so now I am not lost like I would have been if I was not a proud wife. I know this is a new life now; I am officially unemployed for the first time since I turned 18. I lasted almost a full 8 years in the industry and that is so impressive considering my health.

I am no longer forced to act like someone I am not. I am not forced to put my health to the side for the sake of the community anymore. Never again will I be rushing to cover severe weather that would make me bed ridden on an off day. I knew this day was coming ever since I had my stroke in March and became a partial wheelchair user—I knew my career was over. I am grateful that I have become more fulfilled through art and activism lately, as I believe the universe’s plan for me is taking me down that journey instead.

I am grateful to the ones I met throughout the years that have been through so much with me. My weekend family, I mean my OG weekend family-Betsy McLeod, Duke Carter II, Andy Oliver, Erika Briguglio-the memories I have from weekends in the old station with you all are the happiest parts of my career. It was never the same when you all left.

This pain I feel is only temporary but it’s so raw, and deep. It’s going to take some time to heal from this, but I am going to make sure I make it worth something.

Just gotta keep reminding myself I am more than capable of doing amazing things despite the ableism in the world—my disability isn’t the problem, society’s view on disability is.

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