Unemployment Adventures

Unemployment Adventures: How a Box of Pasta Helped Me Feel Better

When I started this blog, it was because I wanted an outlet to write about my travels and experiences. But, I never thought I would be sitting here writing this post.

If you follow me on other social media outlets, or my pet lifestyle blog, you may know that I got laid off the Friday before Memorial Day weekend.

It was the third, and hopefully final, blow within a month. First my dog was diagnosed with cancer, I had to end a troubled relationship with someone I cared deeply about and then I lost my job. To say I was, and have been, devastated would be an understatement.

But, that’s life, right? You get up and move on.

It hasn’t been that easy, but I am working on it. The same day I got laid off, I was already on LinkedIn looking for jobs, and applied for an editorial role at The New York Times. A week later, I was at a previously scheduled leadership conference, and trying to make appointments with businesses in the area that I thought I would be interested in working for.

Standing in my kitchen tonight, I realized that except when my friend was here over the weekend, I haven’t cooked one real dinner for myself. If you know me, that’s pretty unusual. Instead, I have been grabbing a little bit of this, or nibbling on a little bit of whatever is around. Not good for my food sensitivities, or my overall well-being.

I opened my kitchen cabinets and it got me thinking – why not start writing about all of this? Write about the healthy dinners you are going to make, while still saving money. The obstacles you’ve been running into. The fears and worries that you have.

Ironically, one of those fears is that writing about this experience will turn off future employers,  but I finally decided, that in the past three weeks, there has been nothing I’ve read that has mad me feel the slightest bit better. Writing, and sharing my stories, always makes feel better, so why not give it a try.

With everyone worried about the number of followers they have, sometimes authenticity gets lost. Well, it’s not going to here. Snapchat (follow me! usename ~ mmaskaly) is supposed to be all about being authentic. So, I picked up my phone, opened the app, which I previously only used to watch Brett Eldredge, and started recording, talking and sharing my story.

I have spent the last year retooling my entire diet to learn what works and doesn’t work with my food sensitivities. It’s been a long road, and I don’t want being unemployed to derail it. As a result, I want to not only write about these experiences, but also share with you ways I am saving money while still eating healthy – starting with tonight’s dinner.

Pasta is usually a low-cost dinner, but with gluten-free pasta that is not always the case. This is why picking a easy cooking and good tasting one is so important. One of my favorites is Jovial. It’s organic, from Italy, tastes just like “regular” pasta and is not completely crazy expensive. My Dad even likes it!


While the pasta was cooking I heated some olive oil, added a chopped tomato, a few cloves of chopped garlic, sea salt, basil and crushed red pepper. Cooked it on low heat to get all the flavors mixed together. Once the pasta was done, I drained it, placed it in a bowl and then mixed in the olive oil sauce.

Super easy, pretty healthy, comfort food that also didn’t break any budgets.

More importantly, it was the first time in three weeks, I finally felt a little better. Comfort food is not always about what goes into your mouth, but instead what goes on before it even reaches your plate.


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