I Wrote A Money Diary After I Was Laid Off — This Is Where I Am Now

In April, we published this Money Diary featuring a woman who had recently been laid off from her job in Los Angeles, CA, and was spending the pandemic quarantining with her family in Massachusetts. Readers loved her for her quick wit, her lack of spending, and her authentic voice. We caught up with her to see how she's faring during the pandemic and what's next for her.
In your Money Diary, you had been recently unemployed. Can you tell me about your job before you were laid off?
I was what is known in showbiz as an office production assistant. And I was working on a cooking show that, I'm not sure will ever come back. It wasn't working while we were shooting it, so they might just decide to cut their losses. In general, I didn't like the work, so the pandemic gave me an opportunity to really take stock and be like, "Well, being unemployed is bad but also I hated what I was doing." So I was kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place trying to decide if I would ever go back to that show or do something else. Anyway, I am literally taking another similar job in two days, so I'm like, "All right, well, I was planning to make a career change, but it's all fucked now."
So does that mean you've left Massachusetts?
I am in Massachusetts right now, but I'm going back to Los Angeles tomorrow.
Congratulations! You made it!
Well, don't jinx it! I haven't gotten there yet! Knock on wood!
Right, right, knock, knock. Can you tell me about the new job?
I can't say much, but I'll be working for three months on a TV show that I really like. When I get there, I have to quarantine in a hotel for two weeks and then we'll all be in a bubble together. I have to leave my dog with my parents. It's going to be like a cruise on land.
Do you have career aspirations after this three-month gig?
I want many things. My dream, my very most precious dream, is I want to make reality shows, but I want to make hidden camera reality shows, which are kind of an ethical gray area. My mom thinks that it's very amoral, and she will be the first to tell me that. But there's a show called Taxicab Confessions that ran for a long time on HBO, that I love. I think it's perfect and brilliant, and I think you could bring it back. Anyway, that's my ultimate dream.
Does this next gig feel like a stepping stone to that dream job?
It's tricky to say because the people who end up creating shows and helming shows are not necessarily the people who started as PAs. Starting as a PA doesn't mean that one day you're going to be in any kind of creative control. It feels a little bit futile to be doing what I'm doing. So I don't know, I could definitely see myself not lasting the full three months. Production assistant roles can be very dehumanizing, and it can be hard to take. The reason I took it is because this is truly my favorite show. I can't tell you what it is, but it is my favorite show, so even if they were just going to kick me in the teeth for three months, I would say yes.
So you've spent the last few months unemployed at your parents' house, what has your quarantine been like?
Mostly I've been doing things just to fill the time void. My biggest update is I got a therapist. I got my diagnosis. I hadn't had a diagnosis before, and, I don’t know, I went from thinking I'm going crazy, to I have something specific — OCD. I have OCD. It feels good to know and it feels good to say it out loud. Having a diagnosis didn't cure me, but it's nice to have a name for it.
That's so great, do you like your therapist?
Well, I didn't say that! I've had many over the course of my life, and I've never liked any of them, unfortunately, but I think I still really value the experience.
Okay, I have to ask. Any updates with all the exes that texted you during your diary?
Oh my God. You won't even believe how paranoid I got after it was published. Not that any of them are the Money Diary type, but one texted me, "Hey, can we talk soon?" And I was like, "Great, he read it. I'm done, my life is over." But I was wrong, he just wanted to talk. But any updates? Absolutely not. Maybe some further disillusionment on my part, but no, no updates.
Any other updates?
The only other thing I've realized since my Money Diary is that, because of the CARES Act, I'm actually making more money now on unemployment than I was at my previous job. It's really strange, but I actually feel less worried about money right now than I did before the pandemic. 
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
If you are experiencing anxiety or depression and need support, please call the National Depressive/Manic-Depressive Association Hotline at 1-800-826-3632 or the Crisis Call Center’s 24-hour hotline at 1-775-784-8090.

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