The Depression of Application

Found this little nugget today. Apparently I wrote it in a Word doc on January 17th when I went to visit some friends and their new baby when I was overcome with…annoyance towards the outcome of my job search. Enjoy…

It was as if I had reached my limit of depression for that day. Dismal rain and fog of the morning had lifted leaving the teeny, rural Tennessee town shiny, damp, and smelling of earth. On July 1st of last year I put my big-girl job as a marketing coordinator at Bulk Herb Store behind me to take a few months off to relocate to another state and do some travel. Sweden for 3 weeks. Hawaii for 2. It was bliss to not be tied to a desk. To stress. To every day feeling like one never-ending panic attack. But here I am at 6 months and counting and all I have to show for my innumerable applications, hours of resume polishing, and endless cover letter writing is one 30 hour part-time job at a department store. Capped at 30 hours per week. Capped at $10 per hour. Woo.

This is exactly what I thought I was signing up for when I decided to go to college for 4 years.

So now… I look at the calendar and every day I kinda put off looking for another job for one more day. And one more day after that. Why? Because I get this sick, depressed feeling in my deepest of deeps every time I sit down to look for more openings, write more cover letters, or post more resumes.

I found several new job openings at a local law firm in town. Boyfriend has been encouraging me to apply for positions at law firms because in his experience in the IT field they seem to offer good benefits and work perks to their employees. I read the description for the opening “administrative assistant”. All seemed encouraging until I reached the line that read “must be comfortable with meeting tight deadlines and a fast-paced work environment.” Ugh. Just reading those lines made my heart beat a little faster in my ears. All I want is to have enough money to live and to not feel so freaking stressed every day at work.

Call that stress part of life. Call me immature. Call me weak. 

But I will drag myself to the application process kicking and screaming.

I quite possibly have one of the most chill part-time jobs on the planet. Yes, occasionally my boss gets upset with me and I feel like crying. Yes, occasionally a customer yells at me and I also feel like crying. But all-in-all I enjoy the variation of the job responsibilities and that I get to move about freely and away from a desk and screen.

I’m reading one of Claire Dederer’s books called Poser right now. Reading this book has me saying things like “Preeech” and “Yass queen” out loud. It makes me want to raise the white flag. Like I’m saying “I give up. Life is super hard and I never know what to do next so since I’m a writer I’m gonna at least write it all down so I can feel like I’ve accomplished something with my life.” When I read it I only get a few more pages in before I suddenly get the urge to write more of my own random thoughts and stories down. It’s like she’s in my head and I can’t quite put into words why I feel that way because we definitely are not living the same lives. Although… I thought Eat, Pray, Love was my brain on paper, too, so maybe I just find myself attracted to women having crisis in their lives. Memoirs are like fodder to me.

Have you ever read a memoir where the person was like “my life is so wonderful and perfect that I just HAD to write this 500 page book so that you can see how to make your life wonderful and perfect too”? No. Of course you haven’t. Memoirs are full of ups and down. Of struggles and triumphs. Of hopelessness and failure and loneliness and of taking one more step even though you’re scared and hurt and unsure. 

So, as I sit in complete silence, sipping a cold ginger ale, and wondering exactly how to proceed in life I think these thoughts.

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