I blog a lot. Not as much as your top aggregators, but more than most bloggers. Ever since switching over to this template in October 2010 (where I can see the amount of posts for each month and year), I’ve made it a goal to knock out at least 20 posts per month. Not only have I met that goal every month since November 2010, it’s rarely even close. I hardly think about the number anymore, because I know I’ll have enough to say and the inclination to say it.
Another factor drives this as well: unemployment. I’ve worked only part-time since February, when I quit my full-time job. It was a foolish decision in many ways, but despite everything I still think it was the right choice; I was past the breaking point emotionally and even physically. I could have handled the past few months better, perhaps, but what’s done is done. I’ve gotten by.
This situation is not new to me by any stretch, unfortunately. Since obtaining my master’s degree in 2005, I’ve been unemployed three times. I can’t say it’s been because of bad luck — I quit my last two jobs without having anything else lined up. I regret one of those. But again, what’s done is done.
I try to stay busy, and feel like I do. I write and blog (not always related). I stay in touch with lots of people. I visit family and friends. I find movie gigs when I can. I’m far from a hermit or a bum.
But still, I’ve had this nagging guilt for months, as I always do in these situations. Nothing makes me happier in life than independence, the sense that I’m taking care of myself and carving out a slice of life that’s my very own. When I don’t have that, I feel like less of a person. And with my credentials, people are far less sympathetic (I agree, but that still doesn’t make my bills pay for themselves).
There are times, like now, when it really comes to a head. When every single dollar (and then some) is spoken for and the refrigerator is nearly empty. When there’s no compelling reason to get out of bed, except to grab my laptop so I can scoff at my Facebook and Twitter friends’ “problems.” When traveling anywhere is out of the question because I need to conserve every drop of gas I have. I could go swimming at my complex’s pool, but that just gives me time to think. I could take my bike around the neighborhood, but I’m honestly sick of this place. It’s not near anything exciting, and I’ve mainly traversed it only when I couldn’t go farther away — it’s become a symbol of struggle. Anyway, exercise is a bad idea because it’ll just make me hungrier; energy debt is an even bigger bitch than financial debt.
Job hunting doesn’t help. Seeing what’s out there diminishes the hope I have when I don’t do it. When I’m not scrolling career sites packed with clerical, temp and oil jobs, I can pretend the job picture is rosier than that. I tend to be overqualified for most of what’s available, even when I’d be happy to do it. Also not helping: people who straddle the line between well-intentioned advice and blithe criticism.
In times like this, I’ll lie in bed and feel like Chuck Noland in Cast Away on that raft — sunburnt, hungry, exhausted and out of ideas.
The walls — walls I doubt I’ll have much longer — are closing in. And there’s little I can presently do about it. And it’s pretty much entirely my fault. Yay.
I’ll probably regret posting this, but I’ve always been straight-up about how I feel. And I don’t turn that off just because I’ve had a rough couple of days. It’ll pass, as it always has. I just hope that anyone who has gone through this can identify with the feelings. And that those lucky enough to never experience this can sort of understand.
There, I feel better. Onward!