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It just feels like my world is falling apart. 
 
I'm sick to my stomach, I'm feeling an emptiness that I wasn't sure existed.  Maybe I had just learned to ignore it, but it's there, and it's eating me up on the inside.  I believe, well I try to believe, that everything happens for a reason.  It gets harder all the time.  Maybe it's just bullshit.  Bullshit we tell ourselves in order to make it easier for us to bear that which we can't explain and/or tolerate.
 
I'm getting tired.  I think I'm a good enough person, I think I make good decisions.  I'm not stupid, not particularily gullible.  However, I seem to always end up in the same situations.  Imagine my surprise when I found out I was getting laid off.  I know our enrollment is down and I know that the schools in general are having budget issues.  I just didn't expect it to happen to me.  Again, I'm a good guy, I'm a great worker, I'm responsible, hardly absent and pretty personable.  But there it was staring me in the face.
 
Each year, the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) must examine and evaluate its effectiveness and expectations in planning for the next fiscal year.  On occasion, shifting priorities in the areas of educational programs, fund allocation, and employment needs within the CPS often result in organizational changes and inevitably, position closings.
 
I regret to inform you that you will be laid off from your current position effective 08/30/2006.  Upon receipt of this notice, you are relieved of your duties and should no longer report to work. 
 
So yeah, that's a great thing to get in the mail.  It goes on a little longer, about how I'm eligible for other positions in other schools, how all my insurance and all that shit is going to run out.  Basically it came as a shock.  How long did my principal know?  Why wasn't I told earlier? 
 
There were a few messages from the school left on my machine.  The principal wanted to meet with me, I was out of town so I couldn't do it until yesterday morning.  As you can imagine, I didn't get much sleep the night before.  I wanted to go in there storming, angry, demanding answers, but I took some advice and just took it easy.  See where this was going.  At the meeting I was told that, yes, my position was closed but there was another one I could take.  It unfortunately involved bumping someone else from their spot, but I didn't see another way.  I was more concerned with keeping my coaching gig than anything else.  At this point, it's pretty much all I have.  A deal was worked out and I'm still here, unfortunately this doesn't feel like home anymore.  It's once again become a place to work, and somewhere I have to keep one eye open.  I'll probably keep an eye out for another job as well.
 
As if this weren't enough, last night some other stuff went down.  Things might be okay for a while, but I don't see them getting better.  I still haven't slept, even if my body is exhausted, my brain refuses to shut down. 
 
I feel so lost, so broken.  Just a few days ago I thought everything was heading in the right direction.  All of this has blindsided me.  It's not like I'm dealing with anything I haven't dealt with before, but I just don't think I'm strong enough right now.  God supposedly never gives you anything you can't handle.  For those of you that believe in that sort of thing, that is.  I'm always on the fence or flip-flopping on my beliefs but I have to admit that I found myself praying last night.  Something I haven't done in a long time.  I was praying for strength, for things to turn out alright, for a lot of things and for sleep. 
 
I didn't really care if I ever woke up.
 
As I lay there, I couldn't help but think about that footprints story.  The one where there are only one set of footprints during the difficult times in your life because Jesus is carrying you.  Maybe I'm exaggerating, and maybe things will get better once I get used to them, hell, maybe things will work out.
 
Fuck, I'm dozing off now.  Waiting around to be reassigned.  Waiting around to see what the hell happens next.
 
By the way, I'm not looking for sympathy, or forgiveness, or pity.  Nothing like that.  I'm really just sharing, maybe you'll understand why I didn't call or why I haven't written you back or why I might not be at the show tonight.  I'm also doing it because as I've learned over my years, the only way for me to deal with things is to write through them.
 
Take care everyone,
 
Gil

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