I’m not one to get worked up about things. I am generally a pretty chill person.
I have been home for two months now. 25. Unemployed and literally living in my parents’ basement. It’s not bad. It’s really not. It could be a lot worse.
I just feel like I did everything right and I shouldn’t be punished this way. Yeah. I kind of feel like I’m being punished. I also feel disappointed.
I went to college after highschool. Did my two-year applied communication diploma program. Did a summer internship. Went on to get my bachelor’s degree in communication. Did a 5 month unpaid internship, was hired on and worked for 5 months before being laid off. Oh yeah. That company just took on a communication intern. Unpaid I can only imagine. (I have to keep reminding myself I’m glad I am no longer there but have great references from them. It was a poorly managed company that clearly takes advantage of its employees. Ugh.)
So, here I am stuck in my hometown while all of my buddies from school are working and making good money, buying cars and houses and taking trips to Vegas. Here is where I get shrieky: I don’t even want all that!! I don’t want to go to Vegas. I don’t want to own a house right now. I just want to work somewhere doing something I enjoy so I can pay off my student loans and not feel like a useless non-contributor to society.
But here I am surrounded by P the nurse, B the architect, L the teacher, F the nurse, J the legal assistant, T the city tourism director, S the early childhood educator, T the other legal assistant, A the engaged insurance broker… I feel like I am surrounded by people who ‘made it happen’.
I’ve had 3 interviews so far and 1 happening on Wednesday. 3 career-oriented jobs and 1 random. Of course the random job offered me a position but I turned it down. This may sound stupid but it didn’t seem wise to take an assistant job that pays the same as my previous liquor store job but takes 6-8 months to train in all areas. What if I found a job during that time? I would feel like a turd to up and leave that kind of position and leave them hanging when I knew I didn’t want to do that in the first place.
In some ways I also feel cheated. I feel like I did everything I was supposed to and never took a chance to do something I may have wanted along the way. I was always one to play it safe. I’ve never travelled. I’ve been to Seattle a couple of times but I’ve never seen a white sand beach, I’ve never had jet lag, I’ve never experience a radically, eye-openingly different culture. I’ve never watched a hockey game at BC place or gone on a hot air balloon ride.
Forget finding a boyfriend and crap, I just want a job that I’m excited to go to every day. I want to contribute to something and look forward to coming home for Christmas. Now I’m dreading everyone else coming home for Christmas. What excuse do I have not to hang out with people when I’m unemployed? Admitting I’m broke and can’t afford to go out? Uuuuugh.
I already partly dread the weekends because my friends are free and want to do things. Thankfully, my friends are reasonable and aren’t into partying every weekend. It’s mostly coffee or a few beers hanging at home.
I know I shouldn’t get frustrated. And I realize now the turnaround for applications being processed and HR getting in touch with you about an interview is usually pretty long.
I applied for one communication job in town on October 18. I got a call November 7 for an interview scheduled for November 13. That’s almost a month.
It freaks me out that I could be here for another couple of months, jobless. And I also realize it doesn’t make sense for me to apply for a job, get an interview and wait to hear back before applying to others. No. It should be a revolving door of me shipping out application after application and I feel like I need to remind myself I’m not good enough. That I cannot afford to send out an application and sit back with my feet up expecting them to scoop me up right away. No. I need to assume I suck at life and need to convince these people to take me on and therefore I need to up my chances by sending out thousands of resumes.
It’s not that I had a strict life plan or anything but I’m 25. I did my time in school. I walked away with something I thought was useful and applicable and I’m so ready to work I just… I feel like this should have happened by now.
Another thing on my mind: it’s winter. It’s dark by 4:30 pm and there’s no way I’m running outside in zero degree weather. I love myself more than that. So now what? I wait til spring? That’s a good 5 months from now… I’ve already put on at least 10 lbs. There may be some give and take from my bathroom scale to my parents (I tell myself that, ssh) but still. It’s there. It’s looking at me. So what do I do? I’ve set up Hermie in the laundry room. All I have to do is hop on and pedal.
I sleep in later than I ever used to.
I eat more than I ever did.
One thing my friend L and I were chatting about, she moved home after getting a job teaching first grade, was that we have been eating so much more meat than we used to while living on our own. Seriously. My dentist would be so proud of all the flossing I’m doing.
I rarely bought meat when I lived on my own because it was something I didn’t want to spend money on and I didn’t like preparing it. So, when I did buy meat it was a treat or for a recipe I wanted to try. But now I’m eating meat every day and it’s soo yummy but can make me feel weighed down! I keep telling myself I need to start a veggie diet but then I think to myself, I’m not getting groceries here, I’ll be veggie when I’m in my own place. But when will that be?
I don’t know how many mornings I’ve woken up thinking, ‘Alright, today is my first day being a vegetarian’ and then proceeded to help myself to bacon and sausages.
Thankfully my mom supports my smoothie habit but I feel like that’s the only piece of ‘me’ I’ve brought with me. I feel like I used to be this different person and, in a way, I was. I had a routine, habits, my own space. I had my life down. I had things figured out.
I had my own shower curtain and towels. I had a fridge with my own magnets and I had plants. I had an uncomfortable futon and an extremely comfortable double bed. (I am now in a single bed and I’m scared when I turn over I will fall off the edge). I was contributing regularly to my RRSPs. I had opened a savings account and it was growing. I was running almost 20 km a week. I was biking to and from work daily. I had discovered avocados, thrifting and drinking while cooking. I made an effort in my appearance and I was getting comfortable in my skin. I made shopping lists and caught up with friends and family via Skype. I spent weekends in Vancouver and had friends over. I had favourite restaurants and favourite snacks. Great places to sit and read a book and a place nearby to rent a kayak for an afternoon.
I feel like I was driven then and I don’t feel that drive now…
Now I have to force myself to get on that bike for 20 minutes or to not sleep in because I have things I could be doing. I mean, I don’t even know what I’ll do once I’m finished knitting that blanket. I get to go to the grocery store and hear my name called out and have to wonder who it’ll be. I turn around, take a breath and go heeeeeeey. Then I have to explain no, I’m not visiting, I’ve moved back, looking for work etc etc.
I feel as though I’m in this limbo. I don’t answer my phone because every call is long distance because I haven’t switched my number and I won’t until I know where I’m going to be living and working. Unless it’s a job of course. I’ve taken to putting my cell number on my résumé and not my home number. That way when it does ring (since it never does) I’ll know it’s legit.
This is the most unstructured post I’ve ever written and I feel like all the things I’ve felt are visible and tangible and it kind of sucks to see.
If you have an unemployed friend don’t ask them ‘how’s the job hunt going’ or ‘have you found anything yet?’…. if they have found a job I think it’s safe to say they would have told you… but this is coming from bitter old me.
I feel like I should apologize to my 10-year-old self for letting her down. For not grabbing the stars, seeing the world and not having an amazing, glamorous life. But I also realize that’s not legit or fair to my now self. I’m healthy, I’m cared for and I’m still searching.
Who knows, maybe my 26 year old self is saying girl, calm yourself, things are going to be fine. If only you knew what was ahead. But right now I’m 25-and-a-half year old me and I’m losing pieces of my sanity and self-esteem daily and I feel like I’m fighting an uphill battle. But I also know I can’t win if I don’t fight so I’d better just keep at it.
1675 words later here I am. I know I’m fortunate and there are a lot of people struggling with things out of their control, rebuilding their lives or even hanging onto theirs so I’m not trying to be insensitive. I’m healthy. I’m cared for. I’m not hungry or cold or ill. I just needed to vent.
Here’s a picture of my neighbours cat who came lurking by my window. I was so bored I had to tap on the window to get him to notice me……… true story. I call him Milo.