Monday, May 9, 2016

Unemployment Chronicles: Day 5

I'm beginning my first full week of unemployment today (I assume I won't magically have a new job by the end of the week). It's predictably weird.

Things I am struggling with:

Feeling like a failure: Ok, to be fair, I did sorta fail at that last job, but I'm 32. That was 9 months of work. And I didn't really do thing wrong there, it just wasn't a good fit. But I think before this I had the naive notion that I could do anything I put my mind to. I'm an over achiever and I'm reasonably smart and hard working, so it sort of seemed like if I thought I could do something, I would be able to. However... it's ridiculous for me to call myself a failure. I am so much more than this one job. I cannot let this one set-back define who I am. But that's easy to say and hard to internalize.

Letting myself be happy: I have a lot to be happy about in life. I've got big things and small moments that should all be bringing me a lot of joy. This feeling of failure is big. I am disappointed in myself. It's sort of consuming me. And the big problem is that right now, in this mental space, I don't really feel like I deserve to be happy. Which is crap, I know. This morning I was able to go for a walk to get a cup of coffee. I love walking! And the weather was overcast and cool, perfect t-shirt and morning walk weather. I walked through a charming neighborhood and got to get some fresh air. It was really beautiful and a way that I would normally love to spend part of my morning. I had moments of happy while it was happening, but then my brain would interject some conversation that happened at work, somewhere that I failed, and bring my soul back to heartache.

Taking this as an opportunity: I think this is the thing that will be easiest to come to terms with, but today it's still hard. I'm attempting to find the silver linings and bright sides to my situation. One of the benefits to unemployment is that I will finally have the opportunity to do all of the things that I never have time to do now. I can workout! I can cook again. I can organize my mess of a house. I can take donations to goodwill and sell things on craigslist. I can paint my bathroom (been on the list for 5 years)!! I can reconnect with friends! I can write again (on it!). I could take a class in something! I have to focus on finding a job, but I would like to focus on finding the RIGHT job this time, so I shouldn't rush into it, and I'm not emotionally ready to do that immediately anyway. However... the thing that I'm struggling with in this is trying to make sure I do this well. It could be really easy to throw myself into improving my house and become a hermit. I think it would be equally easy to spend so much time focused on my relationships with people that I never really "accomplish" anything and I get to just playing all the time (Ok, maybe not, I would feel like a huge failure I think). Right now I'm standing on the edge of opportunity and I'm worried about the decisions I will make, the balance I will strike. It's Monday at 9:30am and all I've done today is walk to get coffee and write a blog post. Can I even figure out what I want out of life?

Telling my parents: The last time I didn't have a job I was 15. There was one summer in college where I took summer school, but I tried to get a job then and my aunt just paid for my summer instead. So that was more by choice. I realize that I'm a grown adult, with savings that we put aside specifically for the case wherein either I or my husband lost our job, so I'm not asking anything from my parents. But I don't want to tell them. I don't want them to think I'm a failure: see point A.

It will all be ok. I know this. I will eventually figure out what to do with my free time to improve my life, and hopefully in there I will figure out what I want to do for work again. And hopefully it won't take me too long so that my savings will cover this period.

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