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).
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.)