Friday, April 30, 2010

The ramblings of an incoherent book addict

You know how it's so annoying when people tell you to learn from your hard times and troubles? Yeah, I always hate it when my brain starts understanding things because of a bad day, and I shout at it "Stop it! I don't want to see the big picture. I just want to be mad." But it always happens, and when I again become sane, it's always stuff that may not be necessarily crucial, but always useful and interesting. Maybe it wouldn't be so annoying if it wasn't so true. You always learn the craziest stuff on your bad days.

Yesterday was a terrible day on so many levels. One of those ones where something big goes wrong, and so every little thing that is inconvenient also drives you up the wall. Shall we address this chronologically, or in order of painfulness?

I guess let's do first things first: the catalyst.

As you may know, I've been jobless for a long time. It's obviously inconvenient because I have nothing else to do with my life, and no money either. Which sucks. But an unfortunate side effect that many overlook about being jobless is the many questions and lectures.

Ok, here there were paragraphs about the agonies of why being jobless is a pain in the butt. But it tangented way longer than I planned, which is what usually happens in these situations. So I cut it, and pasted it at the end of this post. You can read it if you want, but I really won't be offended if you don't.

So in this whole job search fiasco I've had a lot of time on my hands. I've been using significant portions of this time to work on some things that I've had as hobbies for years. Years and years. And never once did I ever think that I could possibly do something career wise with it until now. All the sudden I realized that I couldn't honestly discount the possibility of a more creative career, when it was a last option anyway. Banking on it first would be dumb, yes. But when I've got nothing to lose, I've got nothing to lose.

So I did it. I sent in my stuff, and waited. For an agonizingly long time. Which I guess is farther than most people ever get. They write, or draw, or paint, or sing, or compose, or act, or whatever it is. And they tell everyone how much they love it, but never do anything about it. So I still feel good about that part of it. Anyway, over the course of this time, I began more and more to realize how very much I would love having a job like that. I sort of stopped looking for other jobs toward the end, because I was so focused on this.

Yeah, yeah, I know. It was probably dumb to bank on just making it. Just like that. Especially when so very many other people are trying to do the same thing. But I got distracted and my imagination waxed grandiose. So I'm sure you can guess what happened next. Yeah, they said No.

No one reading this is really surprised. At all. And once I saw the envelope I wasn't either. I knew what it said before I even opened it. But it still came as a very unwelcome shock. And I cried a little. And texted like 500 people about it. Ok, not that many people even know about it. But I did text a lot.

And the whole while every little thing started to be a conspiracy against me. For example, just the night before I had come back from a short trip to Virginia. It was so lush and green and tree-full, and warm in Virginia. And I fly back to snow in April in an ugly barren desert. The only thing about Utah that I haven't been able to hate over the past 24 hours is cafe rio.
Oh, and yes, I took these Virginia pictures while I was there this past week. See, so lovely and green.

Add on top of that a cold that I am sure was brought on by travelling between frigid Utah and warm Va, and then back. Crying with a cold is horrible. Don't do it. And Sleeping with a cold sucks too, because it all drains into your lungs while you're lying down. So both days I've been back, I've woken up and obscenely early hours because of my lack of air flow to my lungs.

And add onto that the fact that I'm living out of boxes and suitcases that I can't even get into. Because this is a small room, and the bigger room I'm planning to occupy is still partially occupied by stuff that didn't get moved all the way out. So I don't want to unpack, because i'd have to move it all anyway, but I can't even get into my bed without stepping on a huge pile of shoes. Because there literally is no more room in here.

Most of that stuff is NOT that bad, but when you add it onto a huge awful rejection, it becomes like HCL in a gaping wound.

So that was my day yesterday. And whole time I'm sitting there trying to be miserable, these little inklings kept popping into my head. Like one time I sneezed, and my nose was clear, and I realized how amazingly fabulous it is to be able to breathe normally. I decided that's the entire purpose of colds. Cuz they aren't fatal or anything. Just annoying. And I decided that they are simply there to remind you how nice it is to breathe clearly.

I realize this every time, and I always make a resolution to remember it when I'm actually healthy, but I think I actually remembered like once. Maybe.

I had another interesting inkling yesterday too, but I was so annoyed by learning while I was mad that I yelled at my brain and forgot it. It was good though. I remember that much.

Now here's the real thing. I'm really very sure that I am supposed to learn something big from this whole fiasco. But I don't know what it is. And it's gonna bother me till I figure it out. Which is also obnoxious. Because here's the thing. I know for sure that turning it in was the right thing at the right time. And I also know for sure that the answer I got was going to be for the best. Believe me, I asked a LOT of times. And when I did turn it in, I didn't have the horrible stomach nausea that usually accompanies waiting for something big like this. I was surprisingly calm for 95% of the almost 10 weeks I waited. I'm sure I had a little bit of extra help with that.

But why? I mean, was it to learn that I need to suck it up and be a normal grunt worker like everyone else, and be happy with it? Or was it because I've got bigger and better things coming my way that would never happen if this small time place hired me? Or maybe it's just because I'm utterly clueless and don't know what's going on at all. *shrug* Was my stomach friendliness out of assurance or pity? Like He knew I was gonna bomb, so He did me a little favor by easing my anxiety. I'm sure part of it was assurance. But like the kind that's "whatever the answer is will be good" and not the "yes, it will happen."

So if you have any insights on this, do share. And I shall be off escaping the world through the magic of the library.

The tangent part:
It's beyond annoying to be asked
"So, you're in school right now?"
"No, I just graduated."
"Oh, in what?"

First of all, that's a long story in itself. I graduated in education, but without the teaching license. There's a long, complicated, and quite boring reason why, that I'll tell you if you actually care, but most people don't, so I don't go into detail. But because they don't know the details, there comes the inevitable lead in to work. This can start one of two ways. Either "So are you working now?" or "Are you gonna ever get your license/what do you have left to do to get the license?"

These might seem unrelated, but they always lead to the same thing in the end. How I'm not working right now, have no job prospects, and don't know what I'm doing with my life. Which in turn inevitably halts the conversation. Because they either heartily disapprove of my bum status, or feel really awkward because their small talk attempt at starting a conversation has led nowhere, and they don't know what to say next.

And I'm not exactly a conversational genius myself.

When the topic comes up in subsequent conversation, it once again leads unfailingly to one of two ends. Either another awkward and premature end to the discussion, or to a lecture. The lectures are the worst. I can't even tell you how many times I've been told by I don't know how many people that I need to hurry and get a job, because my money will run out faster than I expect, and that even working at McDonald's is better than no job at all.

It's not that I don't appreciate their concern. It's just that once you hear the same thing over and over and over, it's really hard to not interpret it as condescending. Yes, I KNOW my money will run out. I DO get that. And I KNOW that it's not about trying to get the same position you had before. But I've never been a CEO or a vice president or anything. I've never even been a supervisor for anything. I've been a fast food grunt worker my whole college career. So that's not the problem. I fully expect to be hired at entry level to whatever I end up doing.

But they wouldn't even hire me to be a crossing guard near a school. Seriously, that's just plain sad. Or a meter reader. Or a skate hander outer at seven peaks. Or any number of secretarial things. Although that didn't really surprise me. My job experience doesn't exactly scream "organized and types well". Pretty much all it does scream is "I can make a burrito supreme and wrap it in 22 seconds flat."

No comments: