I don’t want to write today. Thinking of clever, smart, or poignant things to share with you fills me with anxiety every Tuesday, but today I am also feeling especially petulant about this task.
Currently I am employed part-time, and have a little bit more time in which I can earn unemployment benefits. For those unfamiliar with how these benefits work, you have to apply for work every week, whether you feel like it or not, in order to remain eligible for the benefits. It’s some sort of proof to the admin in these supporting offices that benefits work by forcing benefits recipients, a.k.a. “clients”, to apply, apply, apply. Applying this often so far has meant receiving mainly rejection emails. I have been fairly good about maintaining a state of ego detachment from the rejections, nonetheless there is some shadow of the rejection that remains. A grease stain you hadn’t noticed on your shirt until after you left the house. The startling recognition.
I appreciate having the benefits. I really do appreciate this privilege. Truly. But also: Fear. Time is ticking. I need to find something suitable soon!
The ego does not like to be rejected, and it attaches to fearful thoughts pretty easily. It wants to puff me up, and wrap me in a security blanket. The ego is resistant to accepting hard truths that point to weakness, insecurity, or unsuitability. Suitable seems to be a word that a lot of the rejection emails use, “We have decided to move forward with a candidate more suitable to the position,” or “We wish you luck in your search for suitable employment.” Ooh, yeaahhh, that just reinforces for the wounded ego that I am unsuitable, so ego detaches. It pouts, “Why do we even care about this job hunt anyhow? It’s dumb. This whole system is dumb. Jobs are dumb. This is bullshit!”
Yeah, I really can relate to the lamentations of my ego self. It is a really silly, difficult, and painful process. Finding a new job, preferably a full time job with benefits. Because, security. All the people that don’t have this, but want it, are fighting one another in the dark and in the light - tooth and nail - for these coveted and sought after positions. Add to the competition, that most of us are looking to secure full time work that promises to be: 1) marginally, if not at least somewhat, fulfilling, 2) Oh, and we’d like to have a chill/friendly/cool/affirming/nourishing workplace culture, 3) And we don’t want to take the work home with us, 4) At least not past the drive home, right? So I guess it is helpful to remember that we want the job to be suitable for us, just as much as we want to be suitable to a potential employer.
So, yes, I do care. I do want to be connected to full time work again. But I’m tired. I’m catching my breath.
I grew accustomed to many aspects of full time work, but the longer I remain detached from this situation, and the more rejections I receive, the more I fight feelings of desperation, delusion, and doubt. Do I even KNOW what I’m good at anymore? AM I even good at anything? Ugh, YES, I AM. I am great at lots of things. But I feel out of practice. Disconnected. Detached from fulfilling my weekly quota of that American workplace usefulness. The self-doubt asks, “But how can we be worthy to a new position if we are not fully contributing to somewhere else fully right now?”. Yeah, the scarcity stories that get habitually perpetuated really are embedded pretty deeply, and they get my mood, my motivation, stuck in the mud at some point every week.
At least I’m contributing my feelings about all this to the five people that read my blog each week. I can see the weekly analytics in my Square Space account. So, to those reading, thank you for reading. I’m gonna continue to hold myself accountable to write for me, and to share with you each week. Especially during those weeks, like this one, when I don’t want to share. It is hard for me to be vulnerable. It is uncomfortable.
I wonder right now if I’m over-sharing. I wonder if any potential employers will see the link to my website, make it to the blog section, and read this post. That sounds REALLY vulnerable. REALLY UN-COMFORTABLE. The proprietous part of me is clutching my pearls at the thought. Will they want to HIRE me after they hear about all my self-doubt? Well, I’m human. Self-doubt accompanies all humans around every day of our existence. I’m choosing to acknowledge this fact, instead of deluding myself that it doesn’t exist, in hopes that acknowledging it will help give it space to be heard. I think our pain just wants to be acknowledged, recognized, embodied, accepted by all our other parts or selves. It is a PART of being human to doubt. And if a potential workplace is uncomfortable with acknowledgements of self-doubt, then they probably aren’t suitable for me. I like that I am curious, doubting, and often questioning. Most of the time.
In the end, every week, I return to a reconciliation with these feelings, and then a reengagement with the hopeful, hope-filled, deep knowing parts of me which affirm that, “Everything will be okay.” That I should carry on, keep applying. It knows that things will fall into place. Somehow. New connections will take place. Doubt asks, “Yeah, but will it happen in time?”. Deep knowing says, “__________”.