Tag Archives: roller coaster of emotions

I Stumble, I Get Back Up

22 Jul

There are two things that you must believe when conducting a job search. 1) That you are as brilliant and capable as you profess on your applications and 2) that ultimately, your job hunt will end—your stasis carries with it an expiration date.  These are your steadfast truths, and they keep you from spiraling into insanity. However, at one point they will waver, and if you lose belief in one, your conviction in the other will fail as well.

This week, I declared myself a failure. Granted, perhaps I should take heart in the fact that it took me 25 weeks to get to this point, as opposed to six or 17; maybe I lasted longer than the average post-grad unemployed bear.  For the first time, I had the thought, “But what if I can’t get a job?  What if I don’t?”  My What-If Gremlin has always plagued me with questions like, “What if I don’t get this job?” but never “What if I turn out to be a total loser who doesn’t live up to everyone’s expectations?”

Then the What-Ifs really started to flow.  “What if I don’t get hired because I am under-qualified?  What if, after all this time and all this effort, I still don’t know how to apply to jobs?” Now I was walking down Self-Doubt Drive, and unless I made a turn at Get Your Shit Together Blvd., I was heading toward Self-Hate Street and Pity Party Parkway.

Once you’ve given up, it’s difficult to motivate yourself again.  You’re tired of the whole process: writing cover letters, tweaking resumes, networking, cold calling, online applications, the whole caboodle.  All your efforts result in nothing; you are piece of paper withering one someone’s desk, or an email spamming up a manager’s inbox.  A broken dishwasher gets treated with more urgency than you.  Well let’s be real, who likes the raisin hands that comes from handwashing dishes?  Maybe that’s a bad example.

What has helped me regain a lot of my steam is my ever-increasing desire to pursue the field of education reform. I want to do good.  I want to help so badly! My two literacy students, both of whom are 25, have told me such terrible things about their educational experiences.  Janella had a teacher who told her that her special education diploma was worthless.  Olivia had a teacher tell a vocational class that none of them had any chance of becoming doctors or lawyers, so they’d better pay attention and learn these skills if they wanted any success in life.  If that isn’t enough to get anyone pissed, they’re both high school graduates, but since they were Florida ESE students (Exceptional Student Education), their diplomas were actually worthless (mean bitch was right).  They can’t complete their goals and further their education without a GED, which means that much of their high school experience was a waste.  (That’s disregarding my suspicion that they were placed in ESE simply because they exhibited trouble reading, and not because they’re legitimately disabled.) All together now: WTF?

Thinking about my students, and the education system at large, is what inspires me to keep on keepin’ on.  I can’t just be a bystander when so many children are entering and exiting a system that is in shambles, even if I am having moments of self-doubt.  Whether I believe in myself or not, my resume indicates that I have the capacity to do things besides whine and complain. Yes, I do live in fear that it will take a long time for me to get a job in this field, so long that we could be calling Sarah Palin “Ms. President” instead of “Douchenozzle Supreme.”  (Be cool God, don’t let this happen, and we won’t invent anymore sandwiches that use meat as bread.)  But no matter how long it takes, it’ll take even longer for Janella and Olivia to become a nurse and a teacher, and the wait will ultimately be worth it if it means I can help affect significant change.

The moral is this: find your passion.  Let that be your truth, your principle, and don’t let go of it.  This crazy roller coaster to employment will get vomitously bumpy, and you will cry and question all that you knew about yourself.  Confidence can be shattered like glass, but passion is the hot sexy sports car that will drive you to the best places in life.

Volunteering: Leads to Diseases and Happiness

19 Jun

Lately, I’ve had kind of a warm, floaty feeling in my chest and abdomen.  My first thought was, “EBOLA?!”  www.WrongDiagnosis.com tells me that, unless I’m vomiting blood, suffering from diarrhea, and have got a bad case of hiccups, Ebola was, as promised, the wrong diagnosis.  Undeterred, I turned to the WebMD symptom checker to determine my condition.

How could I neatly plug this feeling into the pre-approved symptom checklist?  It’s that kind of sensation where you radiate zen, but also feel capable of doing backflips on a waverunner. This must be what it feels like to be Angelina Jolie, which, in all honesty, is medically concerning to me.  I did my best to translate these concerns to my Internet doctor.

WebMD Sarah is modest, and apparently owns a princess pony. I don't know why.

The two clear possibilities for my new condition was either Supraventricular tachycardia, or Constipation (adult). (Presumably, this advanced form can purchase cigarettes and naughty magazines.)

Which one is it?  Admittedly, my diet is pretty light on the Metamucil, so adult constipation is a strong contender, and likely the true culprit.  However, Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) shouldn’t be ruled out entirely.  According to WebMD, “SVT means that from time to time, your heart beats very fast for reasons other than exercise, high fever, or stress.”  Ahh.  So Doctor WebMD,  could SVT also mean that I’m riding a high, enjoying the rush and satisfaction that some newfound activity has given me?

It didn’t answer me, so I’m forced to conclude that yes, this was definitely the case.

Is it obnoxious to talk about how awesome and life-changing your volunteer work is?  Probably, and you can also probably tell what I’m about to do.

Recently I’ve been volunteering as an adult literacy tutor, and working with my two students has been invigorating.  They have different needs, and it takes ingenuity and creativity to handle both of them.  I don’t know if I’m a good tutor, but the process of learning how to effectively teach is surprisingly enjoyable.  It’s inspiring to see the dedication my students put into obtaining their goals, and knowing that they depend on my help pushes me to produce the best lessons I can.  This experience has also settled me on a career path: educational reform, something I’ve always believed in but never quite committed to pursuing until I saw the harsh realities of life without a basic education.

I haven’t worked this hard at something since college, which ended five months ago.  I went from spending 12 hours a day thesis-writing to doing nothing.  To have goals of my own again made me, in a word, happy. Having not been happy for a while, I wasn’t used to feeling it, so I was surprised when I noticed.  “Huh, I’m not miserable or even apathetic.  Cool.  What do you call this again?”

What’s really surprising is my attitude shift.  Suddenly I’m not in a total rush to bust the hell out of Florida.  I’m okay with letting my big cookie of life crumble however it pleases, and not just because I now have two good reasons to stay.  Stressing about my future got me nowhere, so why not try the opposite and see what happens?  This doesn’t mean I won’t actively pursue my job hunt, I just won’t keep at it like a dog in heat.

My point is this: Volunteering is the best thing for the unemployed. Not only are you doing something again, but you’re doing something that matters.  Having an impact will in turn positively impact you.  It’s re-energizing, and maybe it’ll help you sort out some of your priorities.  And if it leads to Supraventricular tachycardia, well, then you know you’re really doing something special.

Feelings=2cos(π/2)x

14 Apr

Lately I’ve been noticing that there is a regularity to my feelings (if anyone cracks a menstruation joke, I’ll cut you with a rusty spork).  When you’re unemployed, you’re on a perpetual roller coaster of emotions, and after a while, you can tell that it’s pretty a predictable ride.
This journey can actually be depicted by trigonometry, proving my high school math teacher was right; she swore that this crap would come in useful one day.

Therefore, I present to you, The Unemployment Experience: a Graphical Representation.

clicky click if you want to see.

If you looked at that and all you saw was “blah blah blah math math bitch bitch complain,” here’s an alternate graph for you to look at:

same rule applies here.

Where are you in this vicious cycle of unemployment?