DEAR GOD WHY IS FINDING A JOB SO HARD. I’m nice! I’m fairly intelligent! I love working and just want to do my best and also get paid for it! Is that too much to ask? Apparently.
I send out application after application, resume after resume… I write my cover letters and try not to sound too desperate. Is: “I AM SO BROKE AND I JUST NEED SOMETHING TO DO AND MY BEST FRIEND IS MY GRANDMA AND I LOVE BIRDS SO MUCH AND ALSO I’M GOOD AT COMPUTER-ING AND PEOPLE-TALKING PLEASE HIRE ME PLEASE” too much?
I know that something will open up. Somewhere or some way, a window is going to open and I will get that “damn you, six o’clock in the morning” feeling again. Or even better that, “oh, yes baby. gimme that direct deposit” feeling. It will happen. I know that I’ll be hired again and I’ll find a way to love it. I’ve never disliked any job that I’ve ever had, I am good about finding the good and sticking with it. I think that most of my nervousness stems from leaving my last job and feeling really incomplete.
I quit my last job because I was dealing with a lot of anxiety that came from a stalker that found out where I worked and would come into the shop and say terrible things about me or follow me from work and give me the creeps. He knew what he was doing, too. The police couldn’t do anything about it because he hadn’t “openly” threatened me. He would say some rude things when he come in every single day, but he never actually threatened my life. Which was really crappy because “I don’t feel safe”, and “I’m losing sleep at night”, and “I can’t see a white pickup truck without hiding behind a trashcan and we’re in fucking TEXAS right now and white pick up trucks are EVERYWHERE” isn’t enough to get a restraining order.
My manager was the best though. She did everything that she could to help me feel safe. Allowing me to step into the break room when he came into the shop, asking him to leave when he got particularly nasty and having an employee meet me at my car or walk me to my car at the beginning or end of a shift.
I loved that freakin’ job.
I loved it. Before all of the crazy went down, I looked forward to coming into work every day. I met so many people every day and always walked out of work with a hilarious story. It was one of the first times in the many odd-jobs I’ve had that I felt like I was good at what I did and that I was making a difference in the lives of my clients.
I was a Sales Representative for a product that I was (and still am!) passionate about; hitting my goals for the week or month gave me the dopiest smile on my face. I was good at sales and I didn’t feel dumb or conceited to tell myself that when I was going to sleep at night.
I’ve always struggled with anxiety. I have a nervous stomach and can work myself into a puking fit for the silliest things. This was different though. I was missing sleep and meals, throwing up every time he came into the shop, calling out because I just couldn’t deal with it. I chose to walk out of that job – that again, I LOVED – so that I could take care of myself. I eventually lost the house that I was renting along with many friends. Eventually, I had to move out of the cute town that I had called home… and back in with my parents. At the time, I hated it. I hated myself because I left my coworkers in the lurch, my company was missing a sales rep, I was far away from my friends, and I was “too old” to move back in with my parents. I’m just now climbing out of the worst bout of depression I’ve ever had to deal with and realizing that quitting that job was the best decision I could have made for myself.
I’m proud of myself for that. If that had happened to me when I was younger, I would have pushed the anxiety aside and let it build up until I was in the hospital because I hadn’t slept in 3 days and my panic attacks were destroying me.
Quitting that job was really the first time in my life that I said to myself, “You can’t handle this and that is okay. This decision sucks, but you are going to be better for it.”
Before this incident, I viewed anxiety as something that I had to push through and deal with in the privacy of my own home. But on that day, I embraced it. I hate it, but it will always be a part of me and I have to take it into consideration when I’m making big life decisions. It only took 24 years to realize that I can’t hide it away in my sock drawer and only deal with it when it is convenient.
I have to take my anxiety with me when I work, when I shower, when I eat, when I sleep. And that’s okay. I will deal with it as it comes instead of letting the dread pile up and eat away at me.
I am more and more excited to find a job every day. The disappointment of not hearing back or getting a “no” in my email is daunting sometimes and I definitely let it get me down. But with every application that I send out, there is a shred of hope riding with it. Someone will call me back, someone will interview me, someone will hire me and I will have a job that I love again.
Until then, I’ll take my anxiety and let it rest – uncomfortably – in my pocket.