The View From Your Recession

A reader writes:

I work for a university in the online learning department and there is a wall coming down in my office today.  We moved once 2 years ago to accommodate our size, and today there is a wall coming down so that we can continue to grow (the store next door went out of business).  We are hiring staff and making money.  In every meeting I attend, there is talk of change and growth and how we can be better.  There is no mention of cutting costs or downsizing or layoffs.  It certainly looks like adult learners are choosing online to finish their degrees.

My husband works at a public school in special education, and his school is receiving stimulus money next year that will give him the help he has needed to help more students.  We are in our late 20s; we bought a house last summer, adopted a dog, and are enjoying our little life in our little town.  Everywhere I look, my life is unaffected by the recession.  Truthfully, if I did not watch the news or read your blog every day, I would not believe that there is a serious economic crisis going on.

The way that it has affected me is entirely emotional.  I have always been an extreme optimist, but this has shaken me.  Even though my job is secure, I worry every day of losing it.  Even though my husband and I can afford our home and have money in savings, I’m scared of losing it all.  I keep waiting for that “big event” that will make us one of the many who have lost their jobs or their homes or their savings.  I don't like spending money on anything non-essential and feel guilty when I do.  I just don’t trust this ease that is around me.  There is fear in the air and it’s contagious.  Even in my office, where things keep feeling better instead of worse, there is still a dose of worry.  I hear, “Well, I think my job is secure” a lot, and I think that is the biggest impact of this recession.  We don’t know anything anymore.  We don't feel safe anymore.

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

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