So I have been out of work since November. It has been EXTREMELY stressful to not have had money coming in. While I have been job searching, I will admit my job searching is cyclical. It comes in spurts that last a while of serious effort and than followed by longer and longer periods of utter despair. I have managed to convince myself that I have no marketable skills and will forever be a thorn in my boyfriend’s side as he struggles to support us.
Well, he and I had some frank discussions recently and I have come to realize a few things.
The first is that no matter what my current employment situation is, I DO have marketable skills. In fact, I think the problem is that my marketable skills are a little too unfocused and varied if anything. My undergraduate work was a double major in political science and history. I focused on international politics and American history. I trying to get everything lined up to return to school to finish my M.B.A. in financial management specializing in portfolio management and investment analysis. I have only a few classes left so I am hoping I can get financial aid worked out. I have actual work experience as a babysitter, an office assistant in a medical office, a legal assistant, a Emergency Medical Technician and most recently as a social media/marketing/ general business consultant. That last position is one which is currently volunteer work. A good friend has started his own company and has asked for my help with those things. So needless to say- I know how to do an awful lot!!
The second thing I have come to realize is that there is no shame in not making what I was before or taking a job the old me would have rejected as not worth my time. I am honestly excited for just about any opportunity. I never planned on working in EMS and it provided me with many wonderful things. The first is a way to spend time with the ex-boyfriend (was the current boyfriend at the time) who was an EMT. The second thing is that I met my current boyfriend (and love of my life- this time I am sure!!) at my old job. I also made some amazing friends there as well. But one of the best things to come out of it was my connections to some of my patients. Many of my patients were either elderly or very sick (sometimes both) and since it was a private ambulance company, we did a lot of routine trips so I got to know some patients very well. I am constantly reminded about one patient who was in severe pain and had bone cancer that had progressed to the point where if you were not exceedingly gentle in moving her to our stretcher, she would break ribs. What was remarkable about her, was her attitude to life. She saw no reason to complain or whine about life. She truly enjoyed being alive even if she was limited in what she could do. I need to think about her more often since I have no reason to complain compared to what she faced and yet I complain often.
The third thing I realized is that I can not allow the feelings of depression to linger like this. It causes me undue stress in my relationship with my boyfriend and with other close friends and family. I need to remember that there is light at the end of the tunnel. That no matter the number of no-responses to resumes or failed interviews, that someone out there has the perfect job for me. Something that goes with this is that I need to give up on the idea of the “perfect” job. I need to remember that I have had a few jobs which were not what I ever envisioned doing but I still learned much and loved them. I can do EMS and help patients everyday. I can do retail and share my smile and knowledge about a product with others. I can pursue finance and indulge in my number happy geeky side. Or I can do something entirely different and share a part of myself with those people.
The fourth thing I have realized is that I have not yet accomplished many of the things that I had set out to do when I first was confronted with all this free time. While there were many different stressors in those first few months (initial job search, moving out of my NYC apartment into my parent’s house, moving into a new apartment with my boyfriend less than a month later, and adjusting to living together, etc. ), I have mostly worked all those things out and now is the time to end all the excuses.
The fifth thing I have realized is that it is okay to not be perfect or to be perfectly happy with how things are currently. The trick here is to make sure that you are working to change things a small bit everyday. I have not been doing enough of this. That ends NOW. No one said I have to have a job , finished the C25K program and New Rules of Lifting program, become a perfect stay-at-home girlfriend and lost twenty pounds all by the end of the week. While I do not have to do these things by the end of the week, I do have to work towards them everyday. I have to be able to fall asleep at night knowing I did make progress towards all of those goals.
So there it is. I am not perfect. I have fallen into traps of no motivation and feeling sorry for myself. I have eaten my feelings. I have given up on certain things that are standing in the way of me being happy. And the only one I can blame for that is myself. And that means that I am the only one who can fix those things too. So here you go blog world. A new me. Please stay tuned because I will be posting about the changes. I hope to post once a day. I need to be able to sort out my thoughts and have a place that keeps me accountable. And one day, a place where I can look to when I want to see just how far I have come!!