Unemployment & Little Old Me

Oh, internet. I’ve been oddly away from you for nearly a month, but you know this lion couldn’t stay away forever. So, what could I talk about in this long overdue post to entertain you and simultaneously express my feelings at the same time?

I could talk about working 11 AM – 4 AM at The PureVolume House the entire week of SXSW in Austin, Texas and how it meant not having a life and having 12 emotional breakdowns a day and running around the city and never sleeping and losing 5 pounds from stress and getting a million free t-shirts and liking the experience in the end but being so exhausted and slightly absorbed in the Austin hipster culture more than I need to be, but that would just be obnoxious (see what I did there?).

I could use this post to apologize for not being more consistent in my online presence, but I think that’s just the story of my life at this point.

I could tell you how obsessed I am with any and all Dawes albums, but I’ll just leave this link here to let you discover the love for yourselves.

I could put pictures in this post, but I’ve been lazy with the camera, too- minus using PhotoBooth to test out the 4 pairs of feather earrings I now own (because when I finally embrace a trend, I go head-over-heels).

(brb, flying away now!)

So what’s the thing to talk about?

I think the American Dream is a thorn in my side at this moment.

It’s just, me being unemployed is not quite the stuff of Norman Rockwell paintings.

I know it’s only been 3 or so months of not having a job on my end, but there’s days where it’s hard to keep my head up. Not that I’m ready to settle down, but every five minutes I log into Facebook and see that another friend of mine just had a child. Or got a job. Or got a promotion. Or is engaged. And I’m happy for this progress in their lives, don’t get me wrong, but when I’m applying to part-time shifts and my most substantial relationship is the one between my right foot and the gas pedal on my Rav4, it becomes harder and harder to relate. Unemployment hasn’t ruined my life yet, if nothing else, I’m just restless. I bounce between living at my parents’ house (yes, living at home, you have no idea how much pride I just dropped to type that on the internet) and couches of my best friends, but nothing feels permanent. Everything I own is in boxes or suitcases and there’s a little backache from sleeping on weird surfaces that won’t seem to go away. I feel like a gypsy at times, and while this is what my little traveler heart has potentially wished for, there’s still a feeling of being trapped. I can’t just drop everything and hop on the open road, because, for one thing, I’d run out of gas money by about El Paso and secondly, I’m afraid to go too far without the means to support it, friends and family to guide me, and really, a purpose. I’d love to leave Texas in my rearview mirror for a season or two, but it’s so hard to rationalize it when I’m not doing anything to make a paycheck.

I feel like an early-era Bruce Springsteen song or a bad twentysomething-life tv drama, but the white-picket-fence-settle-down-and-have-a-family-and-be-happy dream is so perplexing and challenging to my brain at this moment in time.

Am I supposed to be striving for this at age 21? Would my wild heart be more suited for domestic bliss? Is finding a normal job and normal hours and a normal relationship more secure than trying to somehow get my moccassin-clad foot into the music and media industry’s door?

Well, probably. But then again, being unemployed 3 months after graduating isn’t totally unheard of. My own situation has some sense of normalcy, and everyone I seem to meet says they don’t have this American Dream thing figured out any more than I do, even if they do have a fence and a golden retriever and wear clothing that wasn’t bought at a thrift store and go to meetings with clients and remember important events in their iPhone calendars.

I think my plan is to leave the American Dream on hold and settle for just finding something substantial with a paycheck that I can live in for more than a week, but for now, I do live week-to-week. Rest stop to rest stop. Couch to couch (and sometimes a real bed!). Cup-of-coffee to cup-of-coffee. I say yes to any and all free food offered to me and I celebrate sunny days with my sunroof down. I see old friends when I can, make new friends in the most random places, daydream big and sometimes I even put on a big-girl-outfit for a job interview.  I scan wanted ads and job openings for hours online, apply to a few and hope for the best. I get rejection emails daily saying I’m over qualified, under qualified or that companies just don’t have room for me.

Sometimes I feel a little discouraged, but then I remember that I’ve got a good set of speakers and a car that runs and music that I can press the repeat button on. I’ve got friends that make me laugh and family that loves me and lets me stay with them even when I’m without a job, and most of all, I’m still breathing and walking on my own two feet.

I don’t think unemployment looks good on anyone, but it doesn’t hurt to smile every once in a while, so, I am. Also, if you’re reading this and you need a copy of my resume, I can send it to you faster than you can ask.

(No, seriously. And I’m passionate. And I can start immediately. And I make a mean cup of coffee.)


14 responses to “Unemployment & Little Old Me

  1. Cool post, and one I feel I can start relating to soon even from the other side of the pond.. I finish Uni in a year but have no intention of fitting into that 9-5 job mould and living (relatively) comfortably money wise but with a pretty dead ‘real life’.

    Suppose I’ll tackle that problem when it gets here! Good luck!

    • Ha thank you! I would tell you right now to enjoy your last year of school AS MUCH AS YOU CAN and don’t worry too much about 9-5 stuff. You’ll figure it out. And who knows, maybe by then I’ll be employed for real and can give you even more advice. Thanks for reading! <3

  2. Pingback: Spring is Summer and Tarantulas for Teaching « Mommysaurus Wrecks

  3. Hi, so I love the post and while I am technically at the end of the next stage (i.e. about to finish graduate school), to which one would think came with so many more answers (it doesn’t). I thought I would suggest a book I am reading that I am loving and it’s really great for vocation type things. It’s not a self help type book, in case you were wondering. Anyhow, it’s called “Let your life speak: Listening for the voice of vocation” and just wanted to share! Enjoy your ‘wild and free’ days!

  4. Good and honest post. I had similar questions after graduating (and a similar post – http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=466067484867)

    What was your job at the PureVolume house?? I remember helping out with sound stuff for a couple years at SXSW and the whole week can be pretty overwhelming.

    I like how you wrote “I feel like a gypsy at times, and while this is what my little traveler heart has potentially wished for, there’s still a feeling of being trapped.”
    Reminds me of how I had romanticized different experiences in my life until I actually experienced them and they were good, just not what I expected.

    Find a job doing something you see yourself wanting to get really good at, where you’re able to be self-directed in some regard, and where you feel what you’re doing has some sort of significant purpose.

    Good post and happy life discovering :)

    • This is such a late response ha but I worked as a production intern with the PureVolume house with a company from LA, and it was MAGICAL AND WONDERFUL, along with stressful ha. And THANK YOU! It seems like everyone I talk to about life direction says it takes time and learning that everything’s NOT so romantic, so I feel like I’m on the right path, kinda. PS, If I never told you, congrats on getting married! And hope you are well <3

  5. Enter stage right: the friend of the Lion who is still paying Texas State University for an internship that will undoubtedly end in sorrow and heartache (because no job will result from said internship). Who would have thunk it? To be honest, the worst part about being unemployed is having to tell people you are unemployed. I feel we need to have a reunion to discuss our issues thoroughly, and to have a stinkin good time. What say you?

  6. Hi, I just started reading you blog about two months ago. I see that you have had a lot of internships and I was wondering if you have any tips of how to get one. I’m nearing my senior year in college and about to become worried about the exact stuff you posted about above.

  7. I wish I could hire you to text and talk to me all day long and make me laugh for hours on end with you witty banter. But I’m broke.

  8. I stumbled upon your post in my internet search. I wanted to leave a comment to say that I have read and understand the emotions you are feeling. I too, feel like a gypsy at times. I’ve kinda of come from a place where the path was clear to a place where it’s uncertain.

    Two years ago I almost was married, had my own place, and was ready to settle down with the married life. You know, it’s funny because it’s not always how you plan it. Since then, she’s moved on to another person had a kid. I hear she’s happy now. So I guess that’s ok.

    As for me, I’ve been looking for work. It’s been really hard. I keep telling myself that there’s a place I’m meant to be. Perhaps just like you, I want to experience that life that everyone else is talking about. So in the meantime, I decided to be positive. I can only control the steps that are needed to get to where I want to go. So I’ll start with that.

    I hope that in the time since this post that life has found you well. Life does not end here.

    It’s merely beginning.

  9. You are incredibly naive.

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