I hate doing blog posts that are all bad news, which is why I haven't posted for a while. But sometimes you just need that metaphorical scream, and this is the best I've got. It's September. I've been collecting unemployment since June, and my last week to collect comes in December. Three months down, three to go. No job. If I don't manage to turn things around in a few months, no job, no money. We can coast on Elana's salary, but something like buying a house would be difficult if not impossible. I actually get along quite well with my mother-in-law, but everybody's going to be happier when we've got our own space. Which means I've gotta find a job.
I don't know how. Every time I've tried to find a job that doesn't require a security clearance, literally every time since I was nineteen years old, I've failed. I turn thirty-four in two days.
Fifteen years of failure is a lot. That much losing gets into your head. Fifteen years in which, every time you've gotten your hopes up, they've been dashed. Stuff you wanted so badly, like when we were in Portland and I just needed some job, any job, in order to be able to stay at a place we loved, a place that represented freedom and joy and living life without being yoked to the only place I'd ever been a success. I got turned down by Wal-Mart out there. Wal-Mart. This latest time was at least a higher category of rejection, but when they're telling you that you can't sell an iPod to someone who came into the Apple Store already wanting to buy it, it's an unlovely feeling.
I see myself as talented and capable. At every job I've ever had, I've excelled. When I talk to people from my last job, which I left almost four months ago, they tell me that they still miss me. I could give you a set of sterling references as long as my arm.
So what's next? Flipping burgers? I almost don't dare hope to think I could convince someone to let me make a latte.
Fifteen years worth of failure are a lot. They live inside you. They tell you that you can't.
I'm not one to believe that I can't. The very first job I ever had, I got by cold-calling my way down the "computer" section of the phone book, because, well, obviously I could do that, right? And I was right. I could. Just like I could sell you an iPhone or stack pallets of toilet paper that would let you save money and live better. I am capable. That isn't the issue.
Frankly, I'm not sure what the issue is. I thought my interview yesterday actually went pretty well. After all the times I hadn't even gotten as far as an interview, I'd been telling myself that once I got to that point, I'd be a shoo-in. I speak well. I communicate a can-do attitude and personal standards of excellence. People remark on my confidence.
I'm confident that, if I could just figure out what the fuck is wrong with the world, I could fix it. I'm running out of confidence that I can do that. And I don't know what to do.
Because I have three kids. Because I don't want to live in my mother-in-law's house for another six months. Because I want to move on with my life instead of just coasting along aimlessly until the heat death of the universe.
Just whining about how hard everything all is... that's not helpful. I know that. I hate whining. I hate being a whiner. When I write, I like to tell a story, something that isn't just all middle. Hell, writing is the one thing that I've always been able to count on. It feels dirty to pollute it like this.
If you've read through this, I'm sorry. It's a profoundly selfish act that I've committed, putting these words down. I didn't write this for you. I'm not trying to give you anything. I'm just praying that, maybe, possibly, getting these words out of my soul and into the world will help cleanse out some of the gunk down there and make room for something better, something breathier, something that rhymes with but bears no resemblance to "mope".
Someone once promised me that there's always a way, and I believed him. I mope he was right. I mope. He was right.