A couple of days after I was laid off, I met with a couple of friends for lunch. They showed up in their business casual attire, and me in my camouflage pants, a black knit top, and fleece. I felt like a college kid having lunch with grown-ups. We slurped our Vietnamese noodles, chatting about this and that, as they periodically checked their blackberries. After our one hour lunch, they rushed back to their offices. I walked back with one of them a few blocks, and then when she left me, I found myself wandering through the streets, feeling incredibly sorry for myself. I saw the homeless people on the streets, and even though I was nowhere close to being homeless, I identified with them. I saw myself in them -- aimless and purposeless. I wondered what the hell had happened to be. Just a week before, I had been working a very well paid job and expecting my first baby. And all of a sudden, I found myself roaming the streets with nowhere to go.
And I thought of how easily things can slip from your grasp. I could be working in a law firm one day and easily at a McDonald's the next. I could have a hefty sum of savings, only to have it melt away in a sudden monetary crisis. My reputation could be ruined over night from one careless act or decision. It could all easily slip away, as easily as one could slip off of a crowded subway platform on a rainy day.
And that is why I always made a point to stand behind one of the pillars.
Now over ten months later, I wonder why I wasted so much time and energy clinging onto that damn pillar.