I’m sitting at my office desk trying desperately to hold back my tears. My body is numb and I feel excruciatingly heavy in my chair. There is something in the air today that I can’t quite grasp, but I know today is unlike any previous workday. My boss comes over and asks me to come with him to Human Resources. As I follow him, my mind sprints to possibilities — I have been with this company for four years, and never once have I been called to a meeting with HR and my boss. I’m not due for a raise or a promotion. The only other rational reason for this would be that I'm getting fired.
I become acutely aware of my surroundings. The air is so thick, a knife couldn’t cut it. I hear a pen drop across the office, the sound seems to boom out of proportion, and I realize it is a reflection of my heart falling into my stomach. I feel as if I might pass out, so I remind myself to breathe and keep moving forward. I am asked to sit down. As I slowly breathe out, my boss begins to tell me that he is pleased with my positive attitude and that I am always a pleasure to work with but that the roles of the agency have changed and the demands of my position are no longer being met.
As he talks, I find myself spacing out, watching his lips move, but in my mind hearing only static. I think to myself, “If you're going to give me the ax, just do it. Cut to the chase. The anticipation is killing me.” Then I remind myself that this might be the most pivotal moment of my entire life. It’s time to quiet the inner chaos and pay attention. I force myself to listen.
At that point, my boss turns it over to the woman who signed my hiring paperwork, and all I need to hear is her first sentence: “This is always so hard to do, but we need to let you go.” The tears I have been holding back all day flow to the surface. As my colleagues look at me with sympathetic sadness, the water pours out.
They don’t realize these tears aren't coming from fear or pain. They are tears of relief. This is the moment when all of my positive thinking is coming to fruition. It's the moment I started to believe in miracles.