Ahhh, the workings of corporate America. After many years of happy employment, the dreaded “I regret to inform you your position has been eliminated” meeting finally happened with me on the wrong side of the desk. At least I think it happened, as my senses went numb not long after walking into the room and seeing an HR sort holding a folder with my name on it. Sigh…. Statistics say a good number of you are now thinking “Oh, poor Chillbert. Been there. Sucks,” and to you I say thank you for your kind thoughts. No question unemployment sucks, but I thought to myself “No worries. Kava will see me through!” Well, it did, but not in the way I expected. You see, I have always found Kava helpful in maintaining perspective, and what is a journey through unemployment if not an assault on perspective? So, I wiped my tears and got busy whipping up a delicious bowl of Kava, expecting bliss on the backside of a shell. Unfortunately what I got was a deeper run into sadness, as if the Kava was amplifying the predominant emotion in the unemployment emotional stew. Our old friend did the exact opposite of what I wanted, and for that I felt Kava had let me down. After a couple weeks of similar outcomes, I grew to think Kava just wasn’t helping me at all. Then, quite surprisingly during a sermon at our church, with my last shell of Mahakea downed 30 minutes before, it seemed the pastor was speaking only to me! Her sermon was centered around being yourself in all situations, and that even though you might feel out of place, your gifts are needed and perfect. I felt an overwhelming sense of hope, dare I say, an actual religious experience! I am a good faith Christian, though not a zealot or model one in any way. Just a personal belief I find helpful while navigating the rigors of life. No sermon had ever moved me, and suddenly I felt euphoric for the first time in months. I left that experience certain my unemployment would end. Late last week, a great job offer came through. In retrospect I believe Kava never let me down. By driving me deeper into darkness when I craved light, she made it clear I needed to deal with the pain. By ramping up the emotional volume, Kava forced me to work through the pain more actively, dispatching the darkest period quicker. Even though that’s not what I sought, Kava knew that was what I needed. She was right. Oh, so right. It’s going to be awhile before I can rebuild the coffers to once again entertain buying more Kava, but the service it gave during a very challenging time ensures I will. In the meantime, I will ride the euphoria of regaining employment and the memory of a valued friend who in a difficult moment refused to tell me what I wanted to hear; she told me what I needed to hear. Bula.