Thursday, December 8, 2016

What I Want to be When I Grow up

It's the ultimate question, isn't it? What do I want to be when I grow up? As I've been searching for jobs, I find myself asking it a lot. It's funny, some days I am discouraged about not being able to pinpoint that exact answer, yet other days I feel as if the entirety of the job market is mine to pursue. Now, we all know that this is not close to being true. There's that whole pesky need for experience thing, but today I reveled in the fact that there are many doors open to me.
For instance, I have come to realize that I shouldn't take for granted the opportunity that has been given to me at the library. Although I have only been given a set couple of Fridays a month to work, I have been there far more often for training and filling in when people call out. I have been reminded that people are not handed jobs lightly and that the director must have seen potential or taken a certain interest in my talents to consider giving me the hours she had available. It is a definite step forward despite the lack of 40 hours a week.
Additionally, I have gotten interviews in all different types of fields. I had two interviews for an admissions counselor position; a position that I was devastated to not be given due to lack of experience. I was in a group interview last night for a paralegal position, making the initial cut and hoping to make the next one. I have two interviews next week in the medical profession- billing and reception. Again, not the glamorous writer/publisher/editor/creative lifestyle I had imagined, but these are all positive things. My neighbor continues to encourage me to sign up to substitute teach for our school district as the school system is always in need of good paraprofessionals. And I have a friend who has sent me an application to a store where he works and has been networking on my behalf.
I am lucky. I really am. I have a lot of people who care about me and a lot of people who continue to show me that I am worth it. On the rainy days when I have trouble getting out of my robe or even taking a shower, I sink into this depressive state of self-loathing. I see my lack of credentials and look at the LinkedIn pages of my friends who seem to be going places in life. It's a hard place to come back from when you haven't been offered that dream job or you haven't had an interview in two weeks. But it all comes full circle. I've been picking up shifts at the library the last couple of weeks and now have three interviews scheduled within the time span of a week after having nothing for the last few. And maybe none of these interviews will work out; however, I am hopeful that it only means the right opportunity is still out there waiting to be found.
I am glad that I woke up with the motivation to write this morning, the motivation to be positive, the motivation to keep trying. Truth is, I've been telling myself that I need to blog for the last week and continue to move that onto the next day's to-do list. In talking with others I have learned a few things about life and the workforce in general. I will share them here:
          1) People aren't always as happy as they may seem in their current position, despite what   
          Facebook or LinkedIn may lead you to believe.
          2) What is right for another isn't necessarily the right fit for you.
          3) We are all ultimately just trying to figure it all out.
I've had the "what do you want to be when you grow up" conversation with several people, many of whom are older than myself. And do you know what I have found? Not that many people know. Even those who have been set on a career path for over a decade still say that they're not sure that's where they want to end up. And that's what life is- it's tricky, it can be messy, it is most certainly complicated, but it's ever-changing and ever-evolving. Maybe we're not meant to figure it out in this life. Maybe we're meant to keep searching so as not to become stagnant. Maybe we make changes when we have to and maybe, just maybe, it all works out in the end.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Give me a Sign

I am paralyzed with anxiety and plagued with doubts this morning. I have been tossing and turning all night in the feverish haze that comes with guilt and too much thinking. Why did I think I could do this? There have been no signs affirming the choices that I have made. Here it is, December 1st before 6 am, and I'm staring at the screen with no prospects and no money. I grew up with people telling me I could do whatever it was that I wanted to do. No one tells you about the experience you need or specific educational background. No one is willing to give you a chance based on merit or character.
Okay, so again, I'm overgeneralizing, and while I'm sitting here typing the caffeine is still brewing so all these thoughts may only be semi-coherent as well as depressing. I hate being unemployed. I hate feeling like I have no purpose. So I guess technically I am employed part-time, but I know I won't feel like a productive member of society until I find a full-time job. I'm just failing to see the light at the end of the tunnel. And I suppose I couldn't just assume that something would fall into my lap right away. I guess getting the job that I thought I was going to get last month, only being a month unemployed, would have been too easy. But why? Why can't life be easy?
I am sick of having to work so hard to prove my worth. I am sick of being in debt. I am sick of not being able to afford to have a family or go back to school. These problems will probably always plague me unless I win the lottery, and to win I would have to play. But this is my rant this morning.
I have the gnawing feeling in my chest that I won't be able to move forward, that I shot myself in the foot, that giving up my decent paying job was a full-on, ginormous mistake, that I should not have acted so rashly on emotions. I know that everything happens for a reason. I know that in the past when I have been driven to leave a job, it was well-deserved and everything ended up falling into place. But it's really hard to have faith when I feel as if I am in this black hole void of any signs as to which direction to go. I feel like I'm Alice but I'm lost in Wonderland and the White Rabbit hasn't been around to lead me on the right path. The Cheshire Cat is just gleaming at me with his toothy smile confirming my fears of having no clue. I need a sign. I need a feeling. I just need something.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


I am feeling extremely lost lately. I feel as if I have no direction, no sense of purpose. I question the sanity of my choices. Ever since I received a denial from the job I really wanted, I feel as if there are not quite as many positions available. I feel like my window is closing and the prospects are receding at a rapidly disconcerting rate. Why did I believe that is was a good decision to quit my job? My subconscious is chiming in with "Because you were miserable." Fair point, but at least I was paying off my debt while in misery. I realize I have done a complete 180 in my search for the good and positivity within the world and the work environment, but this is where I am right now. I'm still in my lowest spot, in my darkest days. On days I don't have to get up, I lie in bed and stare at the ceiling trying to decipher the dreams of the night before- dreams that are random and include people with whom I no longer associate.
Speaking of, I saw my ex the other day in church. It had been a few years and I spent the entire mass trying to control my rapid heartbeat. He was with his wife and two children, and all I could think of was the time we spent together in college. All the nights where I was the one on whom he focused his attention. Now, I don't want to be with him, I never saw it working out in the long run. My husband is an amazing man, extremely considerate even in dealings and run-ins with ex-boyfriends. But there's always that little part of you that crumbles again when an ex is around, isn't there? There's always the memories that may seem a lifetime past, but are buried deep down all the same. All it takes is the glimpse of his/her face and it's all over. Suddenly, that grave in your heart seems very shallow.
We chatted briefly after mass and of course he will be in the play that we are seeing this week at church. So I'll be gearing up for another encounter. I'm not sure why this all struck me to the core, not sure why it had me wondering if he would text me, why it had me crying over my breakfast. My husband thinks it is because he has everything that I want, namely a family. I guess we always think the people who have wronged us are going to get bitten by the deadly snake we call karma, but life doesn't always work that way. Which made me wonder, why am I seeing him now? Is this some ultimate lesson in forgiveness, humility, faith? I prayed on it and received no answers. I haven't been receiving any answers lately. I've been alone, depressed, sitting in a dark home alone waiting to turn on the lights.
So I suppose there is no underlying message of positivity in this post. Although many quotes come to mind about there being light in the dark and only coming to where we need to be as a result of hard times. I will leave you with one from one of my favorite writers. “Maybe you have to know the darkness before you can appreciate the light.” ~Madeleine L'Engle

Monday, November 21, 2016

Rock Bottom

ROCK BOTTOM. Last week I hit it- rock bottom. It was the combination of preparation for my sister's wedding, the subsequent stomach bug I caught that laid me out for a week after the wedding, and the infamous call from a hoped for employer-to-be telling me that unfortunately I did not get the job. This whirlwind of events sent me spiraling into a week filled only with Gilmore Girls and sorrow. And no, I do not assimilate the two together usually.
It is hard continuing on the path when you keep having obstacles thrown in your face. I really thought I would get this job for which I had been interviewing. I had had two interviews (always a good sign) and I seemed to really click with the people I had met. The office was very positive and the salary was the same as my old job. Everything seemed perfect. So perfect that my husband and I put all our eggs in one basket and went around blindly hopeful for a week until I got the dreaded call while I was in the throws of sickness on my couch.
So pick myself up I shall and send myself back onto more cover letter writing and resume polishing. I keep praying for signs, for guidance, for some kind of intuition that I am on the right path. I quit my job for a reason. I was miserable, the atmosphere was less than stellar, I was yelled at on a daily basis by our customers. All good reasons. I felt that at 28 years old, I was sitting in an office waiting for my life to start and the only person who could change that was me. So when I was confronted with these facts, I tendered my resignation. Life is too short to be miserable. I keep reminding myself that I've only been out of work technically for a little over a month, which in the grand scheme of things is not long. I need to keep trying and keep pushing myself.
The problem is I let myself get into these moods and allow the negativity to sink its teeth into me. I let the what ifs start to cloud my judgement, and I start telling myself I'm not good enough. I know that I need to spin my experiences to the positive side. I've had multiple interviews, sent out dozens of applications, and have secured a part time position at the local library. People are willing to talk with me, meet with me, even give me second interviews. This all tells me that I can do it, I am worth it, I just need to find someone willing to take a chance on me. I need to find someone willing to see my potential and help me find my new start.
I want so much from this life. I want to be better with my writing. My lofty ambition is to write a novel. I want to find a career not just a job. I want to help people. I want to raise a family. All these things sound simple but they're not. They take dedication, they take hard work and they take sacrifice. And none of these can be done while lying on the couch. So I have no choice but to pick myself back up, dust myself off, and try, try, try again.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

AM Musings

What are we doing here? What does it all mean? I find myself at the kitchen table this morning asking myself these questions. I've been staring at my bedroom ceiling since 5 AM trying to find meaning in the last month. The ramifications of my decision to quit my job have come down on me quite hard lately. In a moment of weakness/as a favor to my husband, I even asked my boss if I could have my old job back part time, but she has decided not to hire anyone now. As I sobbed into my pillow, I wondered why I thought it was such a good idea to give up my financial stability. Then I remembered one word: happiness.
Did I think I could be happy? Did I really think I could find this elusive concept in a new job? Yes, I did and deep down I know that I still do. The real world seems to be coming at me fast, crushing me up into this ball of unemployed misery. I know this is when I have to fight.
So, real talk: I have secured a part time job, as in only a few days a months, at my local library. Going down this track has led me to the conclusion that I most likely have to go back to school for my master's degree if I want to make a career in library science and/or education. I have been on several interviews in the past month, many in the industry from whence I came; however, an interview is an interview, right? I have an interview at a university on Monday for a part time position in which I would be making decent money were I to get the job.
These are all positives, right? The universe is still pummeling me with signs. For instance, yesterday I went outside for a walk, which my body has been yelling at me to do all week, and I ran into my neighbor at the exact same time. She knew I was usually at work at that time, so she asked how I was. I explained that I had quit my job. We got on the topic of employment and she is a substitute teacher at the school in town. It was something I had thought about looking into myself. Universe, screaming!
I know I need to continue to trust the process and have faith in myself, but in a world where money talks and student loans are an eternal ball and chain, it can be easy to lose focus.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

"When I was Younger, You Told me I Should Get my Shit Together..."

"When I was younger / You told me I should get my shit together / You said life is a painting / But all your colors always bleed together..."

The new One Republic song "Dream" has me thinking about all my life choices and my current state of unemployment. Now, while I am still getting paid from my old job through tomorrow, I have hit my semi-depressive state where I think about the move I made and the ramifications of such a decision. While listening to this song, I can't help but think that this is me "getting my shit together." But the song is also about people being able to dream and follow those things which make them the happiest. As I sat through interviews at different insurance offices last week for practice, I found myself only looking forward to the interview I had with a local library. As I answered the standard "where do you see yourself in five years" type questions at the insurance agencies, I was mapping out the things I would say regarding my passion for education and literacy in my head. My vigor and enthusiasm for that one interview told me all I need to know. My dream lies in the world of literature and/or education, it always has. Finally taking this step toward a completely new goal is simultaneously terrifying and invigorating. I recognize that this is the first step toward actual change. I can't give up on myself now or ever despite not having the perfect ending in sight.

"I found some new innovations / Might just be my imagination / People can dream."

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Back Before Too Long

I feel as if I've neglected this blog, or rather I should write that I have neglected myself. I started this blog because I wanted to make a change; I wanted to make a difference. I am sad to say that the ways of the world have molded me back into the 9-5 daily grind girl, and I recently recognized that this was slowly eating away at me. I have known for a while that the corporate world is not for me. It does not provide the flexibility nor the creativity that I need to survive. Well, I suppose I shouldn't say survive, the paycheck has me doing just fine; I should say thrive.
Recently, some events happened at my current place of employment that forced me to reflect on my life and what I wanted. I haven't really had time to do this in a while. I have been saying constantly that I don't want to be in the insurance and financial world; however, the bills keep coming and the student loans never seem to go down, so I never invested enough time in myself, in my needs, in my wants. Well, last week I did just that. After meeting with my boss, I went home for the afternoon. After an embarrassing amount of crying and soul searching, I knew that I could not continue on the path I was traveling. So I went into the office the next day and gave my notice, much to the simultaneous chagrin and support of my husband. Now because of the bills and the loans that will continue to come, it wasn't the overwhelming sense of freedom that I had when I moved across three states with no job four years ago. I have been sick about my decision for the past week, but I know in my heart that it was the right decision for me.
Since I am an emotional person, I look to others for advice. I have received both tough love and encouragement. For those who do not know me, my actions may have seemed selfish and ill-conceived, thoughtless and impulsive; however, if I look back on the last few years, I know that they were anything but impulsive. My best friend said she wished she had kept a calendar of the amount of times I had called or texted her in misery over a client verbally abusing me over the phone or about the negative atmosphere clouding our small office. I have another friend who agreed and that he'd be happy to provide a similar calendar. The overarching response that I have received from people is a reaction similar to "Wow, good for you. You've been unhappy for a while."
That thought struck a chord with me- unhappy for a while? Have I been? I know that I haven't been at my best, that I haven't felt creative, that I have felt unsatisfied and unfulfilled, but when I have friends and family commenting on my state of being, it made me sit and think. As I drove into work last week, I thought of the void my mind had become. The mind-numbing journeys back and forth to the office as I mentally steeled myself for what may come on the drive in and tried to forget what happened on the drive home. That is no way to live, I'm here to tell you that. Life is too short to not chase what we believe to be the source of our own happiness. And for some it is the corporate life, it is money, it is the job. I'm not discounting that. But for me, it's not. I don't think it ever has been; unfortunately, it just takes a drastic breakthrough every few years to wake me up to this fact.
So here I am, unemployed once more. Well, technically not unemployed just yet... My boss is paying me through my notice; however, the nature of my job makes it so that it made no sense for me to stay in the office talking to new clients if I am to be gone within two weeks' time. While I grapple with the word "unemployed," I also look at it as an opportunity. I have two interviews today- granted, both are in the field I just came from; however, I choose to see these interviews as stepping stones. I'm getting myself back into the mindset of communicating my talent and worth, something I have discounted for a long time. I have another interview tomorrow in a new field, one in which I am very interested. One which will enrich my creative and literary side. I almost don't want to type those words because I am superstitiously anxious about this opportunity. I continue to pray and hope that the decision I made was the right one. I took this step for a reason. I was meant to be here for a reason. I'm here to tell you that you can't give that up. You can never stop searching for the thing or person or job that will make you heart happy. Or else, what is the point? What are we doing here if not to search for the greater good?