I want nothing more than to tell you all that I found a job, made some friends, and that I’m not dreading this week because Mr. A will be gone all week on a work trip. But I can’t lie.

Yeah, the economy blows. I get that. I also know that we just moved to a college town that has however many 20-somethings, just like myself, looking for work. Employers have hundreds of applicants, probably hundreds more than they usually do. I logically know that this will take some work and some dedication. I also know I need to grow a pair and be a little more confident and pushy. Not obnoxious pushy, but get myself out there. And I’m terrible at that. I never ordered my own food at restaurants until I was about 13 because I didn’t like to talk to strangers. I’m still a little off talking to new people. However, working at the bank, I had a blast being a teller and talking to new people everyday. Weird, huh?

Even knowing this, I avoided my 5 year high school reunion because I didn’t want to answer questions like, “What are you doing?” I know some of them are having the same problems, but I also know a lot of them are insanely successful, especially since most of us just graduated in the last year. One of my closest friends from high school? Got a job paying over $60,000 a year and her salary will climb. People in law school, medical school, grad school, dream jobs. I reasoned my way out of the reunion saying that I didn’t talk to most of them or there is no point in a 5 year reunion. Things like that. But if I’m honest, I couldn’t stand the idea of admitting to people that I went to college for 4 years and I’m unemployed without promising prospects.

So I’ve been playing self-therapist. Which probably isn’t a great idea, but being unemployed prevents me from a real one.

I’ve had another situation like this in my life where I hid and couldn’t face anyone. My sophomore year of college.

My freshman year, I did what most freshman do. I partied too much and thought I could slip by with as little effort as I did in high school. I mean, I was an honor’s student and I still had plenty of social time and rarely studied hard. I figured college was the same.

Well, anyone who went to college knows that isn’t true. So, my grades weren’t great. I didn’t fail anything, but I also didn’t get an A in anything either. I wasn’t put on suspension or probation, but the parents weren’t pleased. And how did they know? My parents were very strict, and they said if they were paying for school, they better have the password for my school accounts that posted grades.

Mom and Dad yanked my ass home. I would be going to community college for a year. if I could pull my act together, I could go back for junior year. If not, then I wouldn’t be going anywhere.

This was by far the most embarrassing situation I’ve ever had to deal with. Here I was, with a new boyfriend of two months (the current husband), lots of friends at school, and now I had to come up with what to tell people about not showing back up for classes come August.

My route? Only tell the absolute closest friends, tell them my parents were being ridiculous, and not tell anyone else. One of the guys I was friends with, come April when I knew I would be returning and I said something about it, he didn’t know I was gone. He saw me a lot of weekends because I came to visit Mr. A, and he thought I was just busy during the week.

The devastation? My self esteem and confidence. I lost most of my friends because most friendships are relationships of proximity and 220 miles is quite a separator. I thank God everyday that the husband stuck with me. I didn’t go hang out with people when I was home. I sat in my room, ate, watched tv. I put on 35lbs that year. Lots went wrong.

Until now, I thought nothing could bring me lower.

Next week, the husband starts law school. I’m assuming there will be some social events for law students and their significant others.

Can you imagine a more terrifying and humiliating experience? Walking into a room of law students and telling them I sit at home all day? I can’t. The reunion would have been a walk on the beach. At least I knew those people and some of them would have at least been sympathetic to the situation.

Or maybe I’m putting law students on some pedestal. Maybe I’m letting the stereotypes get to me. But still. Getting into law school is prestigious and takes a lot of brains and work.

I’m only telling about this because I need an outlet. I hate being mopey. There are people that have it a lot worse than i do. I should be grateful for student loans to help us until things get settled and such. I am lucky that Mr. A’s mom is going to help out because she says that if we weren’t married, she’d be helping out anyways.

Most of all, I have a husband who loves me unconditionally and has never once judged me. Yes, he wants me to find a job, but more so we don’t have to keep taking out exorbitant loans. He would never think less of me.

I’m lucky, and I know it. I just need to believe it. And find some IRL friends. Do they have speed dating for friends??



Filed under Freak Out Much?

8 responses to “Judgement

  1. I just wanted to give you a little encouragement – even though it will seem intimidating, law students (especially first years) probably envy you more for NOT being in law school. And if they’re sizing anybody up, it’ll be your husband. I’ve loved getting to know the spouses of my classmates over the past two years, partly because they’re awesome 🙂 and partly because they aren’t law students. You can only spend so much time with fellow students before they drive you totally batty. I wouldn’t put much weight in the stereotypes about law students. They’re not half as impressive as they think they are (myself included). Sure, there will undoubtedly be a few who make every horrible thing seem true, but they’re the exception. I hope it goes much better than you’re imagining, and good luck to your husband as he starts his first year.

  2. Sarah

    Trust me–I know the feeling of being unemployed! I understand the feeling of looking at people you went to high school with who have awesome jobs and feeling a little…inadequate. Just remember that you have a great degree (there will always be a need for teachers, even if there aren’t a lot right now) and an amazing husband.

    And you will see that the law schoolers will not be judgmental about you not having a job–some of the stereotypes are true, most are not. Plus, remember that 99% of the law schoolers and their spouses/significant others are new to the area and don’t know each other. So, just as this is new to you, it’s new to them. Y’all will get to know each other as the year (and law school) progresses and before you know it, you’ll have lots of IRL friends in your new city.

  3. dougandbethinoregon

    Oh girl! Sorry I havent been around. We are on vacation, but I had some time to read this post. FIRST for me- take the law students off the peddle stool. They are just like everyone else. YES they did have to study their brains out and have some massive brain power to deal with all the brain teasers (I am blanking on the formal terms now….VACATION…ahhh). I hope this story helps. The first social event Doug’s law school had was a BBQ. It was a meet and greet. Honestly, everyone just assumed I was in law school. Hahahaha. I then had to correct them and say, “I am an unemployed teacher.” I did get a few “Ohs” and then they turned the other way. My thought- those people are arrogant a-holes. The ones show stuck around though to say, “Wow, so you moved here for your husband and gave up your job to be unemployed. How tough.” Now, think realistically, you haven’t been given the opportunity to have a job. YOU JUST FINISHED UNDERGRAD! Stop being so hard on yourself.

    If money is not an issue, then just keep on with the search. If money becomes an issue, I want to encourage you to look at the route I took before I got my teaching job (2 months after my husband started law school). I took a job as an instructional assistant with special ed kids. It made me want to become a special ed teacher (at 40- that is my goal). Yes, it was not a full on classroom, but I was still interjected into the field I love. Meanwhile, I kept my eyes open on the market and kept applying. 🙂 I’m telling you…. if nothing opens up, check at the end of Sept, beginning of October. Schools get extra funding then. WEIRD.

    Sorry so long. 🙂

  4. I know this is a really empty thing I am about to say, but you have to be kind to yourself and the struggle you’re going through. I didn’t. I beat myself up, told myself that I was doing something wrong, that I was pathetic for taking 6 months to find a job that still seemed below me, and I am still suffering from being unable to accept that what I was doing was painfully hard.

    This isn’t your fault.

  5. You cannot, ABSOLUTELY CANNOT, let not having a job yet in your new(!!!) town prevent you from meeting people! First of all, and this is a MAJORLY IMPORTANT point: You JUST moved there. It’s not like you have been unemployed for 10 years! LOTS of other couples will be in this same situation, having just moved there so one spouse can go to school and the other looking for permanent work. So really, that’s just silly! Second of all, it’s going to be really important for your husband as a non-traditional student (being married) to not seem like an old fart who can’t hang out and have a good time. He’ll probably go to fewer social events later on than a single guy anyway, just given that he’d probably spend his limited free-time hanging out with you rather than getting wasted face at bar review, so it’s important that early on he gets to know his classmates and they get to know that he’s a cool guy. And it was really helpful for me to go to events at first to be able to put faces with names. I don’t have much interest to going to law school social events now, but I’m glad I put in the effort at first.

    And, very frankly, you will meet A TON of law students who are in law school for the SOLE reason that they didn’t think they can get a job in this economy with their undergrad degree and have no idea (because they have their head in the sand) that it’s not much easier to get a legal job (probably even harder, given how much student debt they will have taken on to get that JD), which they will find out soon enough. Pretty please do not put them up on some pedestal! I have no idea what school your husband goes to, but I bet if it had been your dream, you could have gotten in, too 🙂 Not to mention that as soon as your husband starts class, he’s going to realize that half (yes, half) of his class are idiots. So really, don’t let the whole “these people are in law school and I’m not so they must be smarter than me” thing get to you! It’s highly unlikely that it’s true! You are doing GREAT, it’s A LOT to adjust to, and until the dust settles (and I PROMISE it will!) you must keep faith in yourself. Even if you have to fake it til you make it, you must 🙂

    • I’m planning on going to the events in the hopes of meeting his soon to be new friends and their spouses. And I know he will need to go and hang out to meet some people and such.

      And everything you and everyone else has said I know to be true. I know I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. This is just a new area for me and it’s been very hard to know, in my heart, that I’m doing everything I can and that it will all work out.

  6. Keep your chin up! Its so hard when you are jobless and you feel like everybody is judging you but really they aren’t. Most people don’t care and most people have been unemployed at some point or another.

    Also- don’t let law student’s intimidate. Swear to God practically everybody in law school is social awkward and about 50% of them are probably in law school because they themselves could not find a job. I don’t know you, but I can tell you are an outgoing and very personable individual. There are a lot of wives and husbands who band together during law school and you’ll certainly make those connections and start to feel more at home.

  7. Notes from the Fatty File

    I 100 percent agree with Brittany. A lot of spouses will be in the exact same position as you and will be looking for work. You just got to a brand new town and you are actively job searching — you totally get a pass! It’s not like you’re home eating bon bons all day (mmm, bon bons). Good luck and chin up!

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