Tuesday, July 30

Unemployment 101 :: A Long Introduction

If you've found yourself unemployed (or underemployed) life can be especially boring. If, like me, you find yourself drowning in a mixture of not only dull unemployment, but also achingly more difficult depression, then you probably feel (to at least a degree) that slowly but surely life is becoming less worth living and you've failed at life.

"Get an education they said, make money they said"
I think this is particularly true of, though not limited to, those of us in our early to mid-twenties (oh my god I'm in my mid twenties...) finding ourselves in a quarter life crisis, and anyone else who was raised to believe that going to college was the way to get a good job and not flip burgers or wait tables for the rest of your life, who, now that we're graduated and not getting jobs, often for years, we find ourselves doing just that because we actually can't get a job at all; good or otherwise.
And if you're now refusing "menial" labor and feeling the crushing sense of failure and hopelessness that is therapy-needed depression, it's likely you do something similar to what I've found myself guilty of for months now.

Sleep late and feel like a brainless zombie when you do wake up, wake up with a feeling of complete lack of motivation ("why should i get up, I have nothing to do") and spend the vast majority of the day on the verge of tears-- especially when searching through job openings, none of which you're qualified for, yet you apply anyway and never hear back-- avoid people because you know you'll talk about how broke and miserable you are, exhaust the visual resources that are Netflix instant, Hulu, & Amazon Prime (and, of course, use other people's accounts to each because they cost money), want to break down sobbing every time you see food you want or an ad for Ikea because you can't afford it, and then stay up till four a.m., zoned out in front of the tv, games, or scrolling through Pinterest, probably in tears again. 
Sleep eventually, probably medically induced and unpleasant, zombie wake, repeat.


Fun times, my friend.
Not only do I spend my day essentially miserable, but I perpetuate that misery by not going out (no money-- and no friends, really), not doing productive things like housework ("ugh, why bother"), creative work ("i have no skills..."), or, science forbid, work on the novel I spent months writing and am supposed to be in its final draft ("it suuuuucks now"). I'm not only spending time being miserable while I apply for jobs and wait for calls (ha!) and spend my time in public trying not to cry, I'm actually wasting that time while I'm at it, by feeling so bogged down by the black hole that is clinical depression that I don't even spend any time being productive while I have that time.
My therapist even gave me a schedule to get my act back together slowly, and within a few days I lost all motivation to even attempt it.

But this morning, after another night reading fantasy novels and drowning myself in Pinterest images till four yet again, I had yet another dream I have had over and over for the past year. 
It's not the same dream-- never. Instead it's always a variation on the same damned theme. 
School.
Again and again, at least once or twice a week, I have some version of a dream where I'm in school. Often this is high school, but can sometimes be college or some vague other version of schooling. My subconscious seems to remember my high school very very well, and it's almost always at my own high school, and it isn't abnormal to have a smattering of people I knew at the time make appearances as well, even if they're only vague versions of themselves. High school dreams almost always stick to the same regime. I don't know my schedule, where my classes are, nor where my locker is or its combination. Typically I spend most of the dream trying to get to the office or people I know, trying to get a list of my classes, my locker combination, or a guide to get me to class. Only once or twice have I been a teacher there (I was a substitute for the past two years), and a few times I was even aware that I'd already graduated college, but was going back to high school for some dream-legitimate reason.

Why can't I have High School of the Dead dreams?
Zombies and T&A? That sounds more interesting.
Today's dream was short. At first I was at some job/volunteer act, something to do with people with cancer (life issues in my dream?), thinking it was Saturday, then walked directly through the side doors of my high school (into a sitting area that didn't exist). A girl I was close to when I was young alerts me that it's Monday, and there's some kind of fundraising paperwork I'm supposed to have. For some reason I'm dressed in an outfit I actually own now, and am trying to button up my blouse in front of the group. Not in an embarrassed way, but in a way where it's obvious people are staring. Maybe I have a deep-seated need to feel sexy/sexual? Suddenly I realize I don't know my class schedule (or my locker info, of course) so I rush to the office to ask for it. And some chapstick, for some reason. Everyone's nice. There's no confusion, except that I can't hear the guy talking to me. There's some other minor information, and then I believe I woke up. (ha, "I believe". maybe I'm still sleeping.)
A very short version of what is usually a long, involved dream, sometimes even involving the events or persons that made high school years hell for me (not bullies, unfortunately).

But this morning I woke with a sudden impression of need. I understand why I have dreams about high school. Completely, actually. It's not a nostalgia for people or my hometown (ha) or my "glory days" (ha!), but is instead a nostalgia for a time when I had a place to go every morning. I had people to see, good or bad, chances for social activity and learning experiences -- few as they were-- and activities a place where there was (almost) guaranteed food and someone to actually eat lunch with, and just... a place to go. Every day.
I graduated three years ago and even before then my life was a lonely one. I don't make friends easily, and I have a hard time putting myself into social situations. I walked to class alone, ate lunch alone, even when out, and only had my dogs, my boyfriend, and one or two friends to spend time with at home. Now that loneliness has amplified, with a tighter budget (meaning nothing), and not even classes to go to to fill my time.

And upon waking today, I realized that that was exactly what I needed: Classes!
For months I've wished I could take classes in Tai Chi, Yoga, Meditation, Zumba, dance, WHATEVER, but even those that are free (Tai Chi, maybe Meditation) are social situations in which I know no one, and I have a hard time making myself go to those functions.
Suddenly I decided I needed to make my own. This mostly stems from a need, I suppose, to not only use up my time and be productive, but also attempt to improve myself while I'm both physically and... theoretically (as in, in my life) standing still.
So I got out of bed (before 9 o'clock!) and rushed to create a list of "class" based activities I could do to take up my time. 
Actually doing it is a different matter, and we'll see how that goes, but I thought it necessary for me to write it up, and put it online as a testament to how much I want to do it, and maybe give someone else inspiration for their post-grad problems as well.

Sorry for such a long introduction. I'll update this with my course ideas as I write them.
Tell me what yo think.


Also read: Quarter-Life-Crisis Homeschooling {1}

2 comments:

  1. Some degrees are worthless if you have only obtained a bachelor's degree. Apply for graduate school until you get in, get your masters and elbow your way to a better job. Even if it is as a college professor, it is way better than minimum wage/part time/temp jobs. You will have to fight your way up. It will be worth it in the end.

    Be ruthless.

    Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For me, The main problem is that I'm so un/underemployed that I can't afford to apply to graduate school more than once every six months or so. I'm trying to get any part time job I can while still avoiding things that set off my anxiety, but I've gotten zero call backs, even on jobs I thought I could definitely get.
      It's a tough process.

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