Tiffany B. Brown

January 2013: So that happened. Of course it did.

If my life was a movie, this would be the part where my divorce settlement gets finalized and I move to India or the south of France, open a B&B or bistro, and find myself along with a sessy hot new lover and some revenge peace.

Instead it’s the part where I keep my husband (dude, he’s awesome) and sit around laughing at it all because … REALLY?

I guess it started just before New Year’s Eve with a call from my mother. My father — who had been battling a few forms of cancer since 2012 — was in the hospital. According to Mom and what she said the doctors told her, this was a temporary, but not life-threatening set back. Some intravenous fluids, time, rehab, and continued chemo and he’d be as fine as any other person battling cancer. I didn’t entirely buy this. So I booked a plane ticket. I wanted to see for myself, and if he was coming back home soon, I wanted to help him get better. My plan was to take a red eye January 7th and arrive January 8th.

My father died January 5th.

I flew to North Carolina anyway to help make funeral arrangements. My mother wanted to have the funeral on a weekend to allow the broadest range of people to make it and my dad was a veteran, making him eligible for a free burial at a federal cemetery. That meant the funeral would be Saturday, January 12th. The burial would be Tuesday, January 15th.

On the morning of January 16th, I received word that I would be out of a job as of January 31.

Yes. In the span of 11 days, I lost a parent and a job. Of course. Because when life hands you shit, it likes to pile it on.

My manager was apologetic about the timing. I sort of tuned out and only heard bits and pieces of his explanation. I actually had to stifle a chuckle by the end of the conversation. It was all darkly comedic.

I can’t even say either event was unexpected. I just didn’t think they’d come so soon into 2013, let alone back to back.

What’s next? Eh, I’m not sure yet. I’ve toyed with the idea of joining the L.A. slash-er lifestyle: freelance web developer (slash) jewelry designer (slash) visual artist (slash) technical writer (slash) bon vivant. For years, I’ve dreamed about having a flexible life: one where I not only earn enough to live well, but one where I have enough time to live well. I have severance. I have savings. And I have an employed husband, so this seems possible in a way it never was before.

That said, hustling for business is tough. Plus there are areas of technology in which I’d like to deepen my experience. There are problems I’d like the chance to solve. So I am also not opposed to the right full-time opportunity.

In the immediate short-term, however, I plan to enjoy some (f)unemployment. I’ll explore LA some more. I’ll deep-dive into some APIs and frameworks I’ve ignored, and re-engage with my hobbies. January 2013 has been a particularly bad January. I kind of relish having this time to recharge and reset.

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