Rivkah Writes…

April 5, 2009


Filed under: On My Mind — rivkahwrites @ 8:50 am

Hello All and welcome to the “Rivkah Writes…” blog, a forum for my musings, mental meanderings, etc.  

I thought I’d start off by giving you a little history. I’ve always told myself I ought to write regularly – it’s a discipline most writers-in-waiting probably subject themselves to at one point or other. I found myself to be most prolific when I was in undergraduate English classes, writing continuous essays, response pieces, etc. But once I left college, what with taking care of family, going to work, and just living from day to day, those resolutions just seemed to settle guiltily at the back of my mind. Until last Wednesday. Last Wednesday, I became a recessionista (in other words, I was laid off).  After stumbling out of my manager’s office, locking myself into a bathroom stall and crying the rest of the address off the severance package envelope (yes – they didn’t leave me destitute, thankfully) I made two grief-sodden resolutions: First, I HAD to stop crying, and two, no more excuses – I HAD to start writing. Because this incident, this dismissal, this redundancy, call it what you will – was really a message – my neglected literary ambitions had finally been given a kick in the butt by an omniscient and omnipotent foot.  So once the initial shock wore off, I dried my eyes, squared my shoulders, and…that’s how this blog came to be.



  1. Comment by Anonymous — April 5, 2009 @ 1:40 pm | Reply

  2. Rivkah, it takes a lot of courage to share something so personal and poignant in one’s life. Thank you for sharing your story. Like you, my position was also impacted recently as a result of corporate downsizing. It is hard not to take something like this personally. However, try to keep in mind that many factors go into the decision making process and while performance is one factor, it is definitely not the only factor. I try to look at events like this from a more positive perspective. As that popular saying goes, “Everything happens for a reason.” This was meant to happen so that you could become a great ___________! And that blank could be one word, five words, or even twenty words. It represents the unlimited opportunities available to you, the limitless ways in which you can touch other people’s lives. I once used the following analogy to help a very dear friend of mine when she was down and out and she sent that email right back to me a few weeks ago:

    Remember your favorite show [Sex and the City]? Well, I always go back to this special episode because it has so much meaning for me and has personally helped me overcome many life challenges. It was the episode where Carrie got to model for a fashion show. All of her friends were in the audience. Remember what happened as she walked out onto the runway? Those 6″ heels did her in, and down she went, IN FRONT OF EVERYONE. She could have cried and crawled her way backstage. But no! She summoned forth the glamazon spirit within her. She GOT UP, straightened herself out, and continued to sashay down that runway like the PRO THAT SHE IS!

    Lesson: Life is a big runway. Occasionally, you will be asked to wear 6″, even 9″ heels if there’s such a thing. What do you do? In true glamazon style, you slip those suckers on, get out there on the runway, and do your thing! What happens when you fall on the big runway of life? You get up, dust yourself off, hold your head high, and sashay. Work that runway like it’s never been worked before! And what did Carrie get? She got a standing ovation. Because she’s a survivor.

    Rivkah, you will come out of this stronger than before. As my favorite professor in grad school always said, “Onward!”

    Comment by RT — April 29, 2009 @ 9:57 am | Reply

    • Rivkah, I admire your opennness. Well done, Now, what next?

      Comment by Nachum — May 4, 2009 @ 6:15 am | Reply

      • Well Nachum, I’m looking for work…if you hear of any openings in the writing/editorial field, please let me know!

        Comment by rivkahwrites — May 4, 2009 @ 7:11 am

  3. Roland – thank you for your support – you know I’m a huge Carrie fan – and the world is my stage. Watch out, here I come 😉

    Comment by rivkahwrites — April 29, 2009 @ 10:10 am | Reply

  4. Driving the Hearse

    It may not seem like much of a sacrifice compared to what people have lost in natural disasters and wars and what people are still losing in this economic downturn. But as I drove my painting to the gallery this morning to be sold so that I can pay my mortgage this month, I couldn’t help but reflect on the irony. As I drove slowly and carefully not to damage the painting, I felt like I was driving a hearse.

    Nine years ago in exchange for a video biography I created for the artist, I was given two florals instead of cash. I could have used the cash at the time, but was delighted to receive the paintings.

    Now, the larger painting — a burst of pink and yellow flowers alive with all the movement of a windy summer day — painted by an artist who suffered from depression, is journeying again in the back of my car, like a body on the way to the graveyard.

    If I’m lucky I’ll be paid $3500 and this will get me through another month — another month of being told that I’m overqualified, that they couldn’t possibly offer me the job that is open because I’l be bored or it’s not paying very much.

    Apparently I’m not too overqualified to sell everything I own, apply for food stamps, and say goodbye to everything I’ve worked for over the last 30 years of my life.

    My father warned me about the depression. He shined shoes at the age of 13 on the streets of New York City. My grandmother, a resourceful woman, rented out her home in Stirling NJ, 30 miles west of New York City and moved the family to a small apartment in order to keep the house.

    Knowing what my grandmother and parents did in order to survive the depression has always given me strength in lean times, but I guess I never thought I would ever really have to face a downturn of this magnitude.

    Throughout my life, when money was lean, I always seemed to scrape up a few bucks to buy a bouquet of flowers – I used to say to myself “Money for flowers…there’s always got to be enough money for flowers.”

    On this day, May 13, 2009, I cart my flowers away — and sell them to the highest bidder

    Comment by MaryLynn Schiavi — June 15, 2009 @ 8:57 pm | Reply

  5. MaryLynn – this is a beautiful article – thank you for sharing it with me and my readers. I can only express the hope that things will improve for you and the economy will turn around, so that you can put your talents to good use again. It’s what I hope for myself, as well, and for all of us out there in the same predicament.

    Comment by rivkahwrites — June 15, 2009 @ 9:10 pm | Reply

  6. While it may be true that no one is indispensable, it’s also true that no job is indispensable either. I say that to myself whenever the dark cloud of unemployment threatens to consume me. You’re an amazing writer. I’m glad you made that decision.

    God bless you…

    Comment by Vincent — July 6, 2009 @ 3:57 pm | Reply

  7. Thank you so much for your support, Vincent!

    Comment by rivkahwrites — July 6, 2009 @ 6:22 pm | Reply

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