One year ago today I was laid off from my job. It was a truly horrible day. I called my parents and started crying into the phone and didn’t stop all night. In between sobs I downed a few glasses of wine but didn’t care seeing how I had the whole next day to sleep it off. Man, what a crappy thing it is to lose your job.

I like to think I’m of the philosophy that things happen for a reason. God has a plan for me and I believe it. Sometimes trials and tribulations make us stronger and test our character. I’m not sure what it did for me. I hated it and it stunk. But I do know that I’m now working for a great company that’s growing. The people I work with are talented, friendly, and fun. I’m working harder (it seems) than I have in awhile and I am still dealing with stress issues but I will always be grateful for my job.

You probably know someone who is out of work right now. Or maybe they’ve been furloughed or given up or have taken a job that’s not quite up to what they could be doing. You don’t have to do anything special for them because unless you’ve been through it you won’t understand. But what you can do is listen and be their friend. Don’t treat them differently (except I will say don’t throw your recent purchases in their face or suggest shopping sprees). Invite them over, have a few laughs, and keep trying to help them network so they can find potential opportunities. And pray.

I’m still a little gun shy and sometimes nervous about the future but I’m moving on. I’ve refinanced (thanks to being employed), I’m taking a break to Nova Scotia this summer with my parents (something that was on the books for last summer), and I’m saving my pennies for a promising, hopeful future.

But in conclusion, I just want to say to all of you still out of work—we haven’t forgotten you. We still care and we’ll be here for you. Good luck!