You feel stripped. Eviscerated. Gutted like a fat bluefish.
There are moments, or weeks, or maybe even months of panic.
You're adrift, rudderless.
Last night I thought about the Old Man who went 84 days without catching a fish.
It can feel like that.
One day when I was feeling like that, I had lunch with an old, wise friend--a headhunter, in fact.
We talked about the business and my search for work. Every time she mentioned an agency or person who might be looking, I cut her off. "I know so and so there," I'd say. "I already reached out to him."
She didn't get exasperated with me as so many do.
She summed up my career.
"You've done your homework," she said. "You've kept up-to-date. You have a good reputation. You've worked at the right places. You'll be fine."
Then she paid for lunch.
Now I'm about 17% busier than I'd like to be. Juggling not my usual three Indian clubs but four or five of them, with maybe a chainsaw mixed in.
That's when you're alive.
I like it that way.