Truth Time: Unemployment

Something I have always strived to do with this blog is be honest. To give as much of a real view of my life without giving away things that could come back to bite me in the butt. I don’t post my name or city we live in. I won’t air our dirty laundry and even some things that I want to blog about, I think better of and decide that maybe I don’t want to deal with those consequences.

But something I worked hard to be honest about was my time of unemployment.

I’m pretty sure it is obvious how miserable I was. Click any of the tags or categories called jobs, job search, life after college, freak out, WTF. There are tons. I would link them, but I don’t think you want 12 lines of links.

But something I found during that time was that I felt very very alone. I felt like no one understood what was going on, what I was going through, how I felt or the emotions I was battling every day.

But here I am on the other side.

In 3 days, I start my workshop training for my graduate assistantship. 2 weeks from Monday, I officially start grad school. Not only is my grad school being paid for, but I will also be getting a pay check. I am on the upside of this year long ordeal.

But it was an ordeal.

I couldn’t imagine that a year later, I would be sitting here, looking over my new school supplies, picking out which outfits to wear, getting keys to my office in the English department at the university. I never thought I would be here.

Unfortunately, I know there are plenty of others who are where I was a year ago.

This is my way of reaching out to YOU.

YOU are not alone. While every situation is different, I at least have some idea of what you are going through.

Whether you are just out of college, if you had a job and lost it because of downsizing or whatever reason, if you took the bar and are waiting for results, if you are underemployed, because believe me, I may have only been unemployed for 5 months, but I was extremely underemployed for 8 months and it was rough.

There was one blogger who I found that helped to just know someone else had gone through this. Ashley from Accidental Olympian Alaskan was amazing. She might be a little embarrassed and be all, “I just wrote my story blah blah blah”. She was the only other blog (that i found at least) that was honest about what being unemployed felt like for people who worked so hard in college and had degrees in fields that should have jobs and not finding anything. For applying for job after job and getting turned down. She was open with her emotions and depression that resulted. And THANK YOU ASHLEY! I told her in a million different e-mails how much I appreciated her honesty. (Ashley, i swear I’m not a stalker, but I think you deserve some acknowledgement! YOU ROCK GIRL!) And even if you have a job, go check out her blog. She has a job now, just moved to Alaska, and posts cute pictures of her dogs and of areas in Alaska that are breathtaking. And she’s pretty damn hilarious.

I am not nearly as eloquent as Ashley. I know that. I’ve re-read some of my posts from that time and they ramble and I come across very pathetic. I know it. It’s okay. But I always wanted my readers to know what was going on. I didn’t want to hide it and make it sound like I was thoroughly enjoying my time at home and being little miss homemaker and didn’t have a worry in my head.

So. Not. True.

I was a wreck. Maybe the first month was kind of fun since we had just gotten married, moved to a new city, had a new apartment. But that wore off quickly. In that first month, I never imagined I wouldn’t have a job for another 4 months.

And yes, the big D word hit me hard. I was not myself for a long time, even after I got the job in retail. I was so underemployed that I felt worthless. There were days that maybe I got out of bed, but only to stay in my pajamas, move to the couch and watch Netflix all day. I didn’t want to spend any money because we were truly living off of student loans. I cried more than I have ever cried. I was short with my husband. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I would snap on my parents when they would ask me how things were going, even though they were being incredibly supportive and knew that I was working as hard as I could to get a job.

I feel I’m rambling.

Basically, I just want anyone out there going through a hard time that you are not alone. And if you EVER just need to vent or talk to someone who has a slight idea of what you are feeling, do NOT hesitate to e-mail me. I won’t think you’re weird or anything. I don’t want anyone to feel isolated during this time. It is hard. I know that. But both Ashley and I are a couple of the stories that prove that it does get better. (I hope that phrase isn’t copyrighted…) And if I have to send you an e-mail everyday reminding you of that, I will. If that will help, I will do it.

One thing. People who haven’t been through this, they really won’t understand. They may empathize, but they won’t truly get where you’re at. My husband, who saw me every day and knew that I was doing everything in my power to find a job, he still didn’t get it. He would get frustrated at times because his new wife, the girl he knew to be fun and outgoing didn’t want to leave the house. Didn’t want to put on clothes or makeup. He couldn’t grasp how I was feeling.

But here I am. I am offering my support. My love. My words of encouragement. It does get better. I promise. Even if it’s 6 months or 12 months or 18 months, it will get better and we are here to help you along those rough days.

And lastly, this new song makes me cry every time. No one dies in it. It’s not about a lost love. But the man in the story of the song is so absolutely desperate that even though I didn’t have kids and a family to support, I can sympathize with his emotions. Take a minute and listen to his story. And maybe take a second before judging someone who is currently looking for a job. If you have one, it’s hard to understand why those of us can’t find one. But it is hard out there. There are millions of stories about people applying for jobs they are so overqualified for and being turned down even though they desperately need the money. It’s my PSA for the day.

Ronnie Dunn- Cost Of Living   (Won’t let me insert video, but this link will take you to it. Give it a few minutes. It’s something close to my heart.)

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4 Comments

Filed under A little More About Me, Blogging, Confessions, Life After College, What to do?, WTF

4 responses to “Truth Time: Unemployment

  1. I am so glad that you are finally through the ordeal and on the other side. I can’t imagine how tough it’s been for you but to be here, on the eve of grad school, I’m so happy for you!

  2. You are beautiful, thoughtful and encouraging! So glad you posted this today. It’s a beautiful reminder to be grateful for wherever we find ourselves today. Happy Friday!

  3. I’ve never been unemployed, unless it was by choice, so I don’t know what that’s like. But I do know what it’s like to work at a job I’m over-qualified and under-paid and under-appreciated for. It’s HORRIBLE. I started reading here right around the time you were leaving your retail job, so I don’t know all the details, but it sounds like you are as relieved to be done with it as I was to be done with my last job!!

    Although, I quit my last job to work part-time so that I could focus on my writing and editing career and this part-time job is shaping up to be a lot like the job I just quit. So hopefully this will be very temporary and I can get my freelancing brining enough $ in to do that full-time!

    Anyway, I’m so glad you’re on the other side of this and I think it would be AMAZING to go to grad school and get to teach. Congrats!!

  4. Haha thanks for the shoutout and I love that you threw in the “Alaskan” bit to my blog title. Maybe it needs a hyphen? Is it weird I still just think of myself as the Accidental Olympian? 🙂

    Anyway, I’m happy to hear that my struggles helped you while you were in that dark unemployment-post-graduation hell. It’s a really crappy time to be our generation and unless you’ve gone through this mess you can’t even being to understand what a blow it is to your self esteem.

    Congrats on grad school starting, and getting through the crap and coming out on top.

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