What is my value?

Today I struggled to find my worth.

That might seem crazy as my home, my husband, my beautiful children and a wealth of friends surround me. But today I struggled.

For the past 16 years, I have gone to work every day — every weekday and sometimes on the weekends. I’ve gone to work, done my job and done it pretty well I think.

However, 61 days ago I was furloughed from that job.

It didn’t come as a total surprise to me that Monday as several of my co-workers had received that same message — to my complete shock — the past Friday. Yet I can still tell you hearing those words hurt a lot.

My boss had basically shown me by her words and actions that her job was her life and that she believed it should be for everyone. She dedicated every minute to her job, sacrificing personal life and family for it. Yet when I cried as she told me I was being furloughed, she looked at me with a shock on her face.

I cried as my job was ripped away from me, my second home was shut to me and my family was ripped away. Even as I write this, it seems a bit extreme but at the time that’s certainly how it felt.

And here I sit two months later still feeling that pain and worthlessness.

You see I love my job. And it wasn’t just a job. It’s a part of who I am. Each day I would help to produce a newspaper that would tell the stories and share the news of and for my community. It definitely brought me joy and gave me worth.

Most days I strongly believe I will return to that job, my life will go back to some sort of “normal” and I will feel “it” again.

Right now though I don’t.

While I truly love all the time I am spending at home with my family and all the projects I have gotten done, some days I still struggle to find my worth.

Today it came as I watched my husband taking charge in his job.

I got the chance to stand in a doorway and watch him for a minute as he worked. He was so confident and he has every right to be.

He has a position of leadership in his company — something I yearn for in my own life and career. In addition to traveling the country and leading a team of employees, my husband has a very close working relationship with the owners of his multi-million dollar company.

I am so proud of my husband and all the work he’s put into his career in the past 15 years and he deserves every accolade he’s received.

It was when I turned to looking at myself and my current position that I began to question my worth.

Sure I am still bringing home a check courtesy of unemployment benefits and I still am able to provide insurance for my children and myself. I am able to spend everyday with my children and I am finding new ways to provide for my family and my world.

But I HATE, HATE, HATE the fact that I can’t go to a workplace I love everyday and do a job I love so dearly.

Now I know that the pandemic came as a surprise to all of us; the job layoffs, business closures and economic downturn weren’t on anyone’s five-year plan.

It doesn’t mean that I or anyone else for that matter can’t take a little time during this pandemic to feel upset about my current position or the opportunities and events I have missed.

Moments of self-doubt and questioning are okay. They are what helps us to remember what is important and precious to us.

So for today, I will question my worth. But tomorrow I look at it from a new perspective and find my value in other new and exciting ways.

Published by Shay Burk

I'm a lifelong learner who has had a passion for writing almost from time I learned letters. I love to write stories of people who inspire me, people who do good and people who beat the odds. Now I am turning the tables and writing about a topic I know well and avoid most — me.

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