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Just a Boy & His Subaru

On a Journey to Find Themselves

Tag Archives: unemployed

It becomes increasingly more difficult to sit down and write regularly.

Or such is my excuse.

Realistically, there’s no one reason I’ve not taken my time to sit down and write. Actually, so much has happened in the past month that I’ve wanted to write about, it’s a little embarrassing I haven’t already.

To touch on a previous post, sometimes life just gets away from you like that.

Here’s the really big stuff: a very close friend of mine came out to Colorado to find a place in Denver and ended up taking shelter with me. It’s been reaffirming. Then, as if she was a good luck charm (disregarding my persistence), I was offered a position with an amazing nonprofit organization granting me the opportunity to use my education and acquired skill set to give back to the community.

To touch on a previous post, seize opportunities that allow you to give back to your community, paid or unpaid. Put energy out into the universe that you want to come back to you; it always will. It won’t always be when you expect it or when you want it, but it will come.

Work hard to spend your time making a difference.

Aside:

Many times I find that these posts get a bit bossy in a sense. “Do this,” I say, “do that,” I say. Mainly it’s because I want to remind myself of what I need to do. It’s positive affirmation, if you will. So don’t take it as bossy, unless you want to (clearly I know what’s best).

Since starting this job, and it’s only been one month, I’ve felt more fulfilled than I think I’ve ever felt. I’m so satisfied at the end of my day, that I’ve been able to really dive into and explore things that excite me. I’m running more and am training for an obstacle course in August, I’m reading again and I’m spending time with myself that is (for the most part) stress free.

Here’s possibly the best thing about my recent life developments: my job inspires me, it makes me want to do better things and be a better person, especially for my community.

Stay tuned to upcoming posts for a bit of a shift in this blog. Not a fundamental shift, but a trial shift. I began this blog as a way to express my thoughts and emotions, and to have something to reflect back upon as a measurement of growth. As I continue to grow, so to will this blog.

If you hate something, lets talk.

If you love something, lets talk.

Lets talk.

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In the last month, I’ve started doing some volunteer work for a local nonprofit. It’s mainly community outreach, resource development and organizing fundraisers. It keeps me busy and keeps my skills sharp, plus it’s for a great cause.

If you’ve not donated your time, one of the most valuable things any of us has, I highly suggest it. The return on investment is phenomenal and nearly unmatched by any other activity.

While I love what I’m doing, it is volunteer based. I’m thankful to still be receiving unemployment, which is allowing me to take my time searching for a position more in line with my career goals. However, it has been a struggle not having a job, and I’m getting to that point where I start to worry that I’m not going to find one in time and I’ve even gone as far as to say I’m scared.

My unemployment runs out in six weeks. Unless Congress gets their act together and passes a bill that will extend unemployment benefits, which doesn’t look likely given the current state of political affairs, it’s sink or swim in no time at all.

The frustration comes mainly from the fact that I’ve applied to, on average, five jobs a week for the past four and a half months. That’s 90 jobs if your math is rusty. I’ve reached that point where I’m beginning to feel as though I’ve run out of options. I’m questioning what I’ve done wrong. I mean, I have an extremely flexible, yet focused degree, I have extensive experience in higher education and customer service, and yet I’m either under-qualified or over-qualified.

 

Such was the case with my most recent rejection letter today.

My 25th birthday is on Tuesday. I’m trying so hard to hold it together and not have a small break down, but I’m looking around and wondering what I have to show for 25.

Then again, who says I have to have anything to show for 25 other than me? Who says I’m not successful other than me?

We can sometimes be our own most-intimidating worst enemy.

Deep down I know I’m successful. I know that I’m a survivor. I’ve been through far too many tests and passed with flying colors not to be. Do you know how many people thought I’d never finish my undergraduate simply because I was working so hard outside of class? My own father had my failure mapped out. This entire blog was started to document one of the hardest tests I’d ever taken. Impossible is nothing.

The reality that is so easy to forget is that it’s not always what you do, but who is there for you, that counts. Those people that stand behind you, always have your back, always remind you of the person you are no matter what, those are the people that determine your success.

As I began to write this post, I was sitting here a bit down in the dumps, almost unable to type; I was just so frustrated. Unexpectedly, and almost eerily, one of my closest, dearest friends text me. We don’t have censors with each other, so I naturally used this as a chance to express my frustration, dumping my stress and worry upon her.

In one single text, all my worries disappeared:

You saved me during my worst hour…I’ll always have your back!

It was a reminder of who I am, what I stand for and where my priorities have been and should be. It didn’t give me a job, it didn’t fix any of the “problems” surrounding my unemployment, but it did clear my outlook on life. Knowing that someone had my back, no matter what, was the boost I needed to hold my head back up.

There have always been hard times, there will always be struggles. There isn’t anything I can do about the uncertainty of life except to keep a positive attitude, march forward and remember that I have amazing people that love me unconditionally.

There is no better way to staple it together than with trust and love.

And to the angel in my life that sent that text, if you should read this, listen to this and remember:

You deal with the humps. Take the jumps. I feel like you’re an island of reality in an ocean of diarrhea. And I love you.

Hold your own, know your name, go your own way.

Note to self: read after every job rejection and again after you find the perfect position.

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When you’re not careful, life gets away from you.

The things that you enjoy doing, the things that make you happy, take a back seat to stress, worry and other very similar unproductive attitudes. You fall into bad habits and your mind travels to deep corners of obsession.

In this sense, I’m accident prone.

It’s not that I don’t know what makes me happy, I know exactly what gives me a sense of balance and accomplishment. That’s not to say I can efficiently tune out the world at all times to refocus, and, to be honest, with the way the last seven months of my life have gone, the world sometimes gets pretty damn loud.

This last month has been rough. Not the kind of rough where you sigh in relief that it has ended, the kind of rough where you’re scraping your knees to get to the end, wondering how it will ever end.

When I first got to Colorado, I was riding a massive life high. There had been so many changes and developments that I never once had to truly think about what was actually happening in my life. Everything felt so normal and natural that a large part of me naively thought the worst was over. I mean, I had already cried over leaving my partner, I penciled in time to not leave the bed and sulk over the things in life I no longer had control over, so surely the worst was behind me. Hell, I had even successfully moved more than half way across the continent, so as far as I was concerned it was all smooth sailing from here.

Then there was this one Wednesday when I was washing the dishes, windows open and feeling great after a much-needed yoga session and protein shake, that I broke.

If there were any better way to describe that day, it would be through audio. (Maybe I should consider podcasts)

There was no rhyme or reason, no obvious precursor for the events that were about to take place, just a little itch in the back of my throat right before the dam burst open. When I use that metaphor I intend for it represent the (very literally) hours of crying that ensued that Wednesday. Nothing could hold it back. At one point, in a state of desperation, I ran a bath with “stress-fix” salts, only to find myself sobbing after the first deep breath. It was a dam.

Continue reading this article ›

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Over the years many of my peers, and even some of my professors and mentors, have suggested I write a book about my life.

Doesn’t that sound incredibly pretentious? The majority of people who sit down to write a book about their life are entirely too into themselves. (They have too much money.) So the book is really about how they had a decent childhood, lived a full high school and college-existence playing varsity sports and landed their dream career as someone who is allowed to be out of touch with reality. I’m not sure who buys these books, but I can tell you right now I’m not the only person who feels this way; I can’t be.

But then I thought, what if that’s the point? What if what everyone was trying to tell me was that I should write about my life because it’s actually quite fucked up?

You can’t honestly realize how entertaining your life is to someone else unless you’re a story teller. It just so happens that I love a good story, especially if I’m involved. (Make me the main character and I’ll pour your drink myself just to get your ear). A large part of it is my love of talking. The other, larger part, is making people laugh while I revisit my favorite memories. If I don’t revisit them, I’ll forget them, so the more I tell them, the better!

“Stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign, but stories can also be used to empower and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people, but stories can also repair that broken dignity.”

I’m in a very good place in my life right now. It hasn’t been without a few difficult months, some unexpected twists and turns, but that’s life.

As I’ve been settling into Colorado, the main question is, “What brought you here?” There’s a short answer to this that sometimes sticks and sometimes doesn’t: “I was unhappy with my life back east, so I decided to move west and start over.” Every once in awhile, naturally, people want to ask, “What was making you so unhappy out east?”

Now at first, I loathed these people. Obviously if I was unhappy, there are details I wish to skip over by generalizing my life. The problem with going into details, was that one linked to another and it wasn’t a simple singular reason. It required me to go all the way back to July when I was hit by that drunk driver (for the second time in a year and half), then my job loss, then my relationship ending.

Think about those words coming out of your mouth as you’re talking to someone you’ve just met.

“Well, I was hit by a drunk driver doing 50 mph, then I was laid off from my job, and then my partner of three years and I split up, so I just figured now was as good a time as any to pack up the car I bought right before I lost my job and start over somewhere fresh.”

Wait for the look. It always comes. They think, “Is he fucking with me right now? That kind of shit only happens in Lifetime movies.”

It’s the truth. My life is a Lifetime movie without the estrogen. (There’s some, lets be honest, just not enough to actually get picked up.)

The most common response? “Oh.. Wow. Welcome to Colorado!” That’s why I like it here.

Sometimes I get an attempt at consolation, which I do not need and have not needed since my life started to become humorous. My consolation comes from finding the laughter in my life; it comes from thinking as each twisted event as a well-written story developing right in front of me. Why not? Do you know how broken I’d be if I didn’t laugh at the stuff in my life that I’ve had no control over?

There’s no possible way someone would buy a chronological publishing of my life. What if, I said to myself in my best Jessica Fletcher voice, I wrote short little essays about events in my life that I found the most obscurely entertaining?

Yes, I admit that this is bordering on Girls material, but the sexuality of it would be a subset. And plus that bitch isn’t original. All artists steal. (Just like I stole those last two sentences.)

I don’t plan on attempting to have my stories published. I’m no English major, and really the only thing that qualifies me is my inherent ability to lead a life of twisted, dark humor.

I do, however, plan on making a little collection for myself. It will likely be put on here, so if you’re following me you’ll get a good taste of my life as I see it. In the last week, as I’ve been glued to the couch awaiting the arrival of my root canal, popping Percocet, I’ve made a short list of starting stories.

It’s not like I don’t have the time.

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Normally I would refrain from starting out a post with a quote, but it’s just too perfect.

“Bottom line is, even if you see ’em coming, you’re not ready for the big moments. No one asks for their life to change, not really. But it does. So what are we, helpless? Puppets? No. The big moments are gonna come. You can’t help that. It’s what you do afterwards that counts. That’s when you find out who you are.”

This is the week, folks. My journey is set to start. I’m finally flying the coop. This is the big moment.

Damn it if it didn’t just sneak up on me.

Continue reading this article ›

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This week has been one hell of a ride.

Not the ride where you want off right away, either. It was the kind of ride that leaves you thirsty for more, and unable to remove yourself from the coaster seat. Then, just as I’m about to peel myself out of place and exit, I’ve been granted another go around.

Monday was my first day job hunting. Nothing about me was looking forward to how real it all would seem once I began actually plotting my leave. I used my list of favorite things, which, just as I’ve previously mentioned in past posts, was precisely what I needed. Later that day, I talked to my best friend, my sister and future roommate, and I was really amazed at how right making plans was feeling. Just days before, I was feeling useless and broken, like I shouldn’t have made so many big decisions at once and now, how will I deal with them?

But Monday. How often do people talk about loving Mondays? I’ll never forget this past Monday; it serves as the day I understood fully the good I was doing for myself.

Then, to sweeten the deal, I got a call yesterday and had an impromptu interview on the phone. It was great. I hate patting myself on the back too hard, but I was really impressed with my ability to switch to, “I’m so charming and well-spoken, you just have to love me!” mode. And it went well (I think)! We are set to have another phone interview this afternoon. He was even comfortable with the fact that I wasn’t in Denver yet, letting me know that they completely understand. Plus, they’re a small startup doing great things in the world of higher education. I’m all about being a part of something small and impactful.

Plus, my ex, whom I am still residing with until employment falls in line, has been staying out at night, leaving the apartment to me and my thoughts (plus whiskey, Dave and dancing alone). It’s given me time to enjoy the moment without feeling like we need to be speaking. Not that I don’t want to speak to him, but it seems as though it always leads to a conversation about us. And there just isn’t a reason to go there anymore.

I sleep through the night on occasion now when he is not home. At first, him not coming home would just liquify my insides. I was still so attached, and knowing that he was out enjoying himself without me was tough. Now that I’m detaching, and spending enough time away from him to understand that this is just who he is and there isn’t a thing I can do about it, I only feel better about the decision we’ve made.

Some how, I’m learning how to dance. I want to be realistic and understand that I still have to physically pack the car and drive away. I’m in touch enough with my emotions to understand that there are still bumps to come. What I’m finding recently, to my pleasant surprise, is that my overall excitement and desire to be happy are out-weighing the bad.

I’ll take it for now.

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In less that two months, I’ve lost my job and my partner of three years. Our apartment, our cat and our routines are just a few of the things I have to say goodbye to. I’m not good at goodbye, so I thought this might be a good way to face my demons. Did I mention I’d put effort into building the last three years of my life?

In less than a month, I’m packing all of my belongings in my 2007 Subaru Outback and hitting the road. Where? I haven’t quite figured that out yet, but I know that it will come when I get in the car (or at least that’s what my friends are telling me). Though, likely, my end destination will be Denver, CO, my stops will include St. Louis, Chicago, Iowa City, Columbus, New York (in no particular order).

It’s going to be a raw, emotional journey.

Love is stronger than any drug, hell, it is one.

There will be tears, selfies (happy & sad), terrible impressions, random feelings; the equivalent of hormone replacement therapy, I gather.

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