I realize that I haven’t shared the story of my life right now.
For a while now, I’ve wanted to start a new blog. I’m still working on it and I write pieces for it regularly, but the space isn’t ready yet and I don’t want to launch it undone. So, for now, I figured I would share the story of my life for the past two months, as it has been one of the weirder periods of my life.
Starting at the beginning, I first got my job as a teller at a local credit union in November of 2009. I was working part-time at Blockbuster before that (still one of my favorite jobs ever, I will miss you BB!), but back then, you got kicked off your parents’ health insurance the month you graduated and, of course, you were expected to immediately have a job. Graduating in the middle of the recession was tough, for all my friends. But especially someone like me, who majored in mass communications, a tough field as it is, with no actual direction. In an effort to make more money and not live in my robe on my days off (which was 5 out of 7 days a week), I put in a resume to the credit union and got the job pretty quickly, thanks to a college friend who worked there.
I was scared the first day. So much to learn and to know and be wary of. Many jobs have risk factors, but dealing with money is always a frightening thing. You don’t want to make errors. Despite my initial doubts, though, I did pretty well pretty quickly and I felt comfortable in the job. I liked having a set schedule with paid holidays, PTO, incentive and Christmas bonuses, and health insurance. It was a great way to get started in the workforce.
I didn’t love the job all of the time, there were many days I cried, but I didn’t really start to hate my job until the summer of 2011. Things got rough for me, with anxiety and depression crippling the already stressful nature of my job, and I really wanted an out. Though I looked for jobs frequently, I didn’t have much luck. I could’ve searched harder, but I would be so wiped, so tired just from the anxiety, that I’d end up throwing on sweats and being lazy. I’d feel productive around 10 a.m., but 5 p.m. would roll around and it was gone.
This year was the last straw. Not only was I having a hard time with the job personally, it got bad professionally.
Morale was at an all-time low and I dreaded getting out of bed in the morning. I came back from vacation not refreshed, but completely on edge. I was jealous of people who actually felt like they had been productive at work.
I would have shitty days or okay days. I never came home feeling like I learned something or succeeded.
I was stagnant and making the least amount of money of anyone I knew. (Money, by the way, isn’t the most important thing to me. But at the crappy job, it didn’t help that I wasn’t making any. Still living at home. No car of my own. Paycheck to paycheck and no joy to make it worthwhile.)
Towards the end of August, I had an epiphany: I don’t have to stay here.
Silly, I know, as we in America are lucky enough to have this free will. But I didn’t think it possible. No real nest egg, no future prospects, the fear of letting people down both at work and at home by just leaving.
But after the billionth morning of crying, Brad had convinced me that I really should do it.
I still wasn’t sure…but I went to work the following week and cried within the first hour of being there. Not a couple of tears, but rather a hysterical burst. That was it. I’d been able to keep my composure at work, but not any more.
The next day, I handed in my notice. My final day was September 27th, Brad’s birthday.
To be honest, transitioning out of that work schedule was super easy. I really didn’t like it, so it never felt like I was missing something. I was finally trying get things back. I also have had the pleasure of sharing unemployment/semi-employment (as I like to call it, with my friend Jenna), with one of my best friends. We were both sick my first week and shared in each other’s fears and excitements for the future. Neither of us had left our jobs the same way, but they were both unhealthy environments. We are better off without them, absolutely.
I’ve had a majority of crises since that last day.
What am I going to do with my life? Am I capable?
Will I actually find a job? Can I find something that will give my life purpose and meaning?
I ask myself these questions every second of every day.
I’ve had a few interviews, one of which I was really excited about. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out.
In the meantime, I’ve started working at Old Navy part-time for the season. I’m happy to be making some money and getting out of the house. It’s rough sometimes. The schedule changes every week and most days I start work at 6 am.
It’s not the end-all, of course. But at least I actually feel productive there! I don’t just stand at a register. I help do things behind the scenes and it’s fun! I’m still looking for the next chapter every day, but I will say that I’m happy to be doing this (and not dreading every single work day) and struggling a little than I did having a full-time job that I hated.
I wouldn’t recommend the way I did things to everyone. If I could’ve, I would’ve saved more and really dedicated my life to finding a job to transition into. But I was at a point that I felt like, if I didn’t just leave, I’d never leave. Seriously.
That scared me more than anything. I could say that I wouldn’t be there next month or next year, but I knew it wouldn’t happen. I needed to take the leap. So I did. Life is a rollercoaster, every day, and I want to make my life meaningful.
I have a hard time staying motivated, dedicating myself to the hunt…but I have faith.
So that’s my life right now.
Have any of you ever done anything like this? How did you get through it?