A Series of Changes
I am unemployed and going through an Existential Crisis
Once again, I am going through a transformation period in my life. I feel unknown to myself, and the future feels murky. Some of these choices are my own. Some were not, and I had to decide what to do.
The upside to this is that I can receive unemployment again. Unlike the last time I received it, during the Pandemic Shutdown of 2020 and into early 2021 with the extensions, I have to apply for work every week. I really don’t want to look for work right now. I acknowledge that I can’t live this way forever and have to get work because that is the world’s cruel reality. Like most of my fellow millennials, I feel that I will not ever be able to retire. If I somehow do, it sure looks like the rising sea levels from the ice caps melting from climate change will ruin the future. Unemployment is the only vacation I’ll get. Which, as anyone unemployed for an extended period will tell you, is not a vacation. It’s stressful and not relaxing. I haven’t been able to enjoy any of the time to myself because I have been so stressed about the future. Yes, I will have some money for the future, at the cost of applying to 3 jobs a week that I don’t want. I hate working. This last job was the closest of meeting my needs until it didn’t.
I really would like to have work that meets my needs. I know it’s impossible to not work, so I’d rather do something that is meaningful, pays decently, and doesn’t drain me. I’m tired of numbing myself and avoiding reality because life sucks. Because I’m not living in alignment with my values and not living a life that makes me want to escape reality.
I am very different than I was the last time on unemployment.
The difference? Long Covid. It’s going on for 15 months, and I’m still dealing with this. This is the main reason I quit my previous job. While there were other reasons, all of them I could handle while working or finding similar work in the field. But, my body gave out. Chronic fatigue is a bitch. No matter how much I tried to make it work and how much work tried to accommodate, it didn’t work out. More on why in the posts below:
On the positive side, I have changed in the two years since I was unemployed. I’ve done a bunch of healing and inner work from the books I read while working and from going to therapy. I healed through osmosis at my previous job by going through tough situations and being around good people. I have to give credit for the good too. That workplace became a complex relationship.
Another positive is that I haven’t consumed pot in over three months and only had one cocktail during that time. I made a margarita last week. While delicious, the hangover and depression the following days were awful. I may have to face the reality that I can’t drink again. This isn’t the first time I’ve felt awful after drinking. Now, because of my health conditions, I’m even more sensitive to it. I chose to stop both for health reasons and was told by my doctor that I’d recover. Now that I’ve recovered from Serotonin Syndrome (I think), and been sober, I feel much better despite the lows.
During those lows, I was on the edge of existence but held on and turned to help.
So, I am stressed out and frustrated because I likely can’t work in my previous fields of work. I can’t physically handle working full time anymore, and I don’t want to commit to a job because I plan on going back to school for the Fall college quarter in September.
The plan for the future… For now.
I am not 100% sure that I want to become a therapist by going back to school. While I have had a special interest in psychology, how relationships work, masculinity, and self-help topics to understand myself and heal myself, doing it for work to help others is a different thing.
I do like helping others who are struggling. I do like the idea of contributing to a healing industry. I like that I could be a small part of guiding people and healing societal problems. Maybe contributing to current psychological research.
I dunno. This kinda feels like I’m going through the motions because I have to make money at something. Yeah, while going to school I could change majors if it doesn’t work out, but that is an expensive gamble. At the same time, I do not want to do any more blue-collar work or “boot camps” because those are tied to heavy corporate or business-related careers. Work has been a chore I have to do to survive. Occasionally it has been fun because of coworkers, but not because of the work itself. I liked what I could do alongside the work, such as listening to music, audiobooks, or watching videos.
I could simply be biased by recent feelings and my existential-colored glasses.
Maybe I’m tired of betting on career potential.
Well, doing something is still better than staying the same. 😮💨 🤷
On a separate note, it feels like the traffic on the blog is dying. I haven’t made this easier as my post times have become inconsistent. I’ve also questioned lately whether I am still interested in continuing to do this as I don’t want to play the SEO game or do the other little things that are required to make this blog relevant in the eyes of search engines or others. I don’t know why I’m doing this anymore, as it is a lot of work to write this to the quality I prefer, and it is disappointing that this blog isn’t growing. Maybe this is the best I can expect for a personal blog with random topics that don’t consider the audience or me following the rules a blogger needs to do for success. Maybe this is just me externalizing my feelings of feeling lost and pressured to find the next thing that pays the bills. Or my drive to feel like I have accomplished something in life and produced something of note. I don’t like feeling like a failure or a loser in life. But it sure looks like I am one at 37 in my life. The one thing that I have complete control over, I fail.
I guess I could continue with this random post schedule without doing SEO stuff (and it’s not worth it to hire someone for a tiny blog with a limited audience such as this blog) and doing the little advertising I do. A big reason I started blogging is to connect with others. It’s very frustrating to work hard on a post after blogging for three years, and nobody comments or likes it. I know that I can’t force y’all to do it, but I’d really appreciate it. I’m way too isolated as is.
Dear Reilly, I love your blog. I have subscribed to it for a long time and I never miss reading it. Sometimes I don’t comment because I’m on my phone and it’s a lot of work. Because I can read it in my email, I don’t even come to blog post sometimes to like it. Well, plus olivia is not my real name and if I comment from my phone, it sometimes insists on using my real name. 🙄 I can understand how discouraging it is not to get comments – I’ll try to do better, if you’ll hang in here.
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Thanks Olivia! I get it. I’m hanging in here. Been having a harder time lately with life. Thank you for continuing to read and follow, it’s made a huge impact on me these past 3 plus years.
Here’s a hot tip; no kidding: Get a job in the public sector. Stable, secure, and good benefits! There’s the potential to retire relatively young with a pension! As a (somewhat) self-employed contractor/handyman, 63 years of age, I see no retirement coming in the near future, and certainly, no pension. But I have a client or two who worked for the parks department, or the school district, or the electric utility, or metro bus, etc. Don’t get me wrong, it’s probably not ‘easy street’, but the security and benefits for those jobs might make an ‘easier’ path for some folks. Good luck, and try to stay in a positive mindset, practice ‘conscious gratitude’. Also, It gets easier,
hang in there!
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Thanks for the tip Jahmbi! It sounds interesting and there are many paths to take in that! I’ll look into it! I’ll be starting college again later this year, so I’ll ask admissions about it!