I’ve tried so hard not to write this post. I don’t want to write this post. I wish this post wasn’t happening. But this is my life. This is my journey. This is my honesty and my outlet. I’ve tried to write about anything else… but it isn’t working. So I’m going to write about the one constant thing that’s on my mind lately.
I’m sad. I’m very sad.
In a word, I feel worthless.
I’ve been unemployed for double digit weeks. The circumstances of unemployment aren’t important; it was swift and extremely unexpected.
I’ve been applying for jobs daily since I last had a day of employment. I’ve had interviews. I’ve had second interviews. I’ve followed up with everyone I’ve spoken to. I’ve been stuck in holding patterns with some companies, stuck in the “hiring process” with others. I’ve been flat told I’m not qualified by others.
Not qualified. Not appealing enough to even speak to. Reduced to a piece of paper with work experiences/skills and not an actual human being. Not worth it.
It hurts because I’m a damn good employee. I know what I bring to the table. I know I’m a leader and self-motivated and have every soft skill desirable to get a job done.
It hurts because I don’t want to sit at home all day in depression.
There have been days when I haven’t gotten out of bed until 11. There are days when I don’t leave the house, even to walk to the mailbox. There are days when I don’t have much will to live.
Even things that make me feel good, that make me feel alive like CrossFitting with my dear friends, are too much for me to motivate myself to get up and do.
Some days I choose to waller in my own misery and sink into my dark black hole and not come out.
That’s right, I choose to be sad.
Sitting here at my computer I can look out my window and see the beautiful world outside. I see the sun shining and hear the birds chirping. But I feel like that world is not meant for me right now. I feel imprisoned by my situation. I feel I am not worthy of the world.
So what can I do? I don’t want to sit here and be sad. I want to be at work, earning a paycheck with a job that hopefully I enjoy.
It’s true, for the last year or so I didn’t much enjoy my former job. I did enjoy the pay though. I wasn’t happy, but I tried to buy happiness. That didn’t work. So now I want desperately to find a job that I will be happy at. But now, I feel so pressured to just find any job to secure a paycheck, then perhaps find my dream job. I need a job, but we all know what happens to a dream deferred…
However, now I don’t know if I’m qualified for my dream job. In fact, I don’t even know what my dream job would be.
I’m an engineer. That’s what my piece of paper hanging behind me says. It says “Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering”. My resume states I’ve been a mechanical engineer for the past 7 years at a nuclear power plant, so I guess I’m a nuclear engineer too. Lots of engineering. I’ve been the lead mechanical engineer in my group, been my supervisor’s go-to guy for special projects, head of professional development for a global organization within my company… basically I’m a multi-faceted engineer plus all the go-getting skills to take on anything and everything thrown at me. But, alas, no one wants me. At least not yet.
However, does engineering even make me happy anymore? I don’t know. I don’t know.
Since starting this blog and growing my brand through social media… I’ve discovered that I really freaking love it. I could definitely see myself as a social media manager or brand manager for a company. I would love to write for magazines or do freelance work. I would love to grow a brand that I believe in. But… my resume doesn’t say that. My pieces of paper don’t say “marketing” or “journalism” or “business”.
So, for now, engineering it is. And who knows, maybe the right engineering job will make me happy again. Maybe I can be reenergized. I hope so. Because right now, I’m not energized. I’m 31 and unemployed and really fucking sad.
Thankfully, my wife has an awesome job that she loves and pays the bills for now while I am not earning. So to her I have to say a big thank you.
Speaking of energized, I’m going to my favorite place on earth next week. Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. That’s my happy place. I go with my family every year. I use this trip every year to relax and get myself back to neutral. I especially need that this year. More than relaxing, I need reenergizing. I hope the ocean and the sun and the palm trees do this. And maybe a beer or two in the sand will help.
It feels good to write this post. Banging out these 1000 words makes me realize that no one is forcing me to sit inside and be sad. A job does not define me; not having a job shouldn’t define me either. But… it does.
I don’t want to sit around a mooch and not contribute to society. I don’t want to be like those that do, that choose to do nothing. But I find myself slipping into that trap numerous times a week. I find the system of obtaining a job today to be filled with anxiety and grief. Why haven’t they called me back? Why don’t they want to interview me? What could I have said or written better?
Some may want the opportunity to sit around and do nothing. I don’t. It makes me sad. It’s a downward spiral that has sucked me in. I need to break free.
I’m going to my box later today to move some weight around and feel alive. I’m going to have human interaction. I’m going to do something.
Today, now, right this very second, I choose to live life and make my opportunities happen.
But first, I have to run outside and get the mail.