Last Thursday, my company let me go.
In all honesty, I was angry in ways I couldn't explain; hurt, because I never had the impression anything of the sort was coming; and just all around confused because of how it all went down.
I didn't say too much when it happened. I asked a few questions, then I left. I spent the rest of the day (and night) trying to figure out what I could do. I called friends, sat with others, and went to bed that night with more questions than I had answers, except one.
A friend called me that night because another had called him to relay what happened.
"JAAAAMMESSS! Man, I'm so sorry!" He said. "I'd tell you to come over, but I'm in Long Beach right now."
A bit of context:
For the past couple months, I'd been trying to get access to what I thought would be one of the most important experiences in my creative vocation. ComplexCon, an expertly curated convention and festival that boasts itself as this generations "World Fair," was happening November 4-5 in Long Beach, CA. As a photographer, this event was this year's bucket list. If I could get there, I would be taking a major step in the direction of my dream of becoming a full-time creative professional.
I reached out to the agency handling media accreditation (this is September). They tell me they aren't considering personnel until October. October comes, and they ask me to fill out a registration form, which says accreditation will be given to members of the press only, and I must be on assignment to receive credentials. So I reach out to everyone I know running legitimate media companies, and acquire two assignments. Success!
My application was still declined. So back to the story.
It's November 2. My employment was just terminated, and my heart is sunk. I'm on the phone, and the friend just said, "I'd tell you to come over, but I'm in Long Beach."
I think to myself, "Long Beach? ComplexCon is in Long Beach." So I ask him, "What's in Long Beach?"
He says, "Oh, we're working with a company for this event happening out here. Have you heard of 'come-plex con?'"
Yeah, that's EXACTLY how it happened.
I said, "BRUH! That's ComplexCon!! I've been trying to get credentials to that conference for months."
He says, "Get over here then! I'll get you in!"
Friends, let me tell you. In the most sincerest way I can describe, there has not been a more impactful weekend in my life. There haven't been many times I can remember feeling like God was physically close to me. But this weekend, I felt what it feels like when a Father puts his arm around his son, to let him know, "I'm with you."
From the immediate rallying of friends, the unforgettable experience at the event, to even the response of so many of my former co-workers, who sent text messages of support and endearment; it was a moment in my life that reminded me of those stories in the Bible when a character experiences a moment of pain, trouble, or trial followed by the phrase, "...but God was with him."
That's what I felt this weekend.
I met a lot of people and made a lot of connections, many of which I hope lead to meaningful relationships and exciting work opportunities.
The one lesson I think I learned most, however, was this: Let go.
My childhood wasn't the best one, and in many ways I'm still processing through it (with a professional, friends, and soon, my family). It created a hardness in me that led to a style of living that was unhealthy both for me and my family, friends and intimate relationships.
Control, unknowingly, became a central tenet of my person, and that, by any means necessary. It wasn't okay. It caused damage my integrity, ruined my finances, and hurt many of my friends; all things in the process of healing, but not healed yet. That weekend took that control away and I was forced to let go. Hell, the chord was cut. There wa'nt anything to hold on to.
But it was in that moment, when I had nothing to hold on to, that I realized I was being carried the whole time.