Making unemployment…FUNEMPLOYMENT (and other lies I tell myself)

I’m back from my self-inflicted writer’s block hiatus! One thing I realized during is that I don’t really talk too much about IRL personal stuff on my blog. Generally, I’m a pretty private person, which oddly enough, surprises a lot of people (somehow I have this weird reputation for talking a lot? Nooooo idea where that came from).

But you know when you reach a point when you’re just like “Screw it, I have zero inhibitions anymore?” Yeah. Hi. I’m there.

Postgrad life has been ROUGH the past four months. To everyone still in college reading this, I’m not going to sugarcoat this: It’s hard for everyone I know, even the ones who have found a job by now. It’s been increasingly humbling, as I went from being a big deal* at a small school (*perceived, at least) to being a small nobody in a big city.  Although this is technically a “gap year,” I’m really not sure about anything beyond the end of the week. I know I want to go to grad school, but I’m trusting God to show me the direction to take (law, economics, strategic communications). I know I’ll eventually go somewhere because I don’t think I’d be satisfied with just a BA. My parents are moving out of state in December, to a place I don’t feel is right for me. So, I’m staying here (I think) and praying & trusting God to provide a full-time job for me here…or wherever else…until I figure out grad school.

This season is THE definition of wilderness for me. But I know God’s got me. “Though I have fallen, I will stand up; though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light.” (Micah 7:8)

So anyways, I was watching  the documentary “Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop” yesterday and actually felt really inspired. (Encouragement always comes from the unlikeliest of places!)  (Backstory: in 2009, Conan replaced Jay Leno on the Tonight Show, was dismally screwed over in contract, and ultimately forced to leave and not appear on TV or the internet for 6 months (which, if your job is as a TV entertainer, that’s a bit difficult). Conan’s a really intelligent, driven perfectionist & instead makes those 6 months into a 45 city comedy tour.) 

Strangely enough, watching Conan keep going through his “wilderness” time was really inspiring. When you love something and possess that talent, no matter what happens along the way, YOU DON’T STOP.  Don’t stop learning, don’t stop writing, don’t stop creating. When there’s opposition, you know you’re in the right place & doing the right thing.

This is all advice I’m giving to myself at the same time, so you don’t have to take it, but if you’re in a wilderness time too, a period of life where everything feels so dark and unknown that all you want to do is marathon episodes of British TV shows, DON’T STOP MOVING FORWARD. Don’t let the feelings of stagnation choke you into mediocrity. You have a gift. You have talent. You have purpose. Don’t let this dark time define you.

-Learn a new language!

-Watch awesome TED talks or interesting documentaries!

-Develop a new skill (like for me: coding or photoshop skills)

Travel on a budget!

-Read more!

-Listen to insightful podcasts!

-Get a fun part-time job!

-Join a volunteer organization (like End Slavery TN/wherever state)

-Get involved with your church/find a church!

-Train for a cool physical activity (I’m training for a half-marathon!)

-Start your own blog!

Most of all, keep going! We’re in this together.

Rejection Theory (or how to make job hunting less horrible)

rejectionmediumMy least favorite state is Rejection. (Or Arkansas. That’s a pretty boring state to drive though.)

For the majority of my life, this hypersensitivity to rejection has practically crippled me–keeping me from fully participating in life, to say the least. I was so afraid of not being good enough or being someone’s last pick, that I even got a tattoo about it!

I worked SO hard during college to not give anyone any reason to toss me to the side. I tried to always have perfect outfits, look cute all the time, be the favorite employee, work the hardest, be the best in class, be the most liked (–well, to be honest, I never tried to be the nicest person. I definitely fell short on that–sorry everyone who I accidentally made cry. ) It was exhausting and lonely, but I didn’t really notice. I was too busy.

Oh how the tables have changed.

During the past four months I’ve been home, God has really been doing a number on me with this whole “crippling fear of rejection” thing. I’ve been rejected from SO many awesome jobs, a friend who was my very best friend earlier this year, and a few other painful experiences. I felt like a total loser in the beginning, as if my worth was just in what I did.

 I’m no longer afraid. I’ve realized that in life, there’s a finite level of rejection a person has to encounter. Each rejection is just one less the grand sum!

Today I interviewed at a company I would absolutely love to work for. Will I get the job? I have no idea. BUT I do know that if this is a “no,” I’m just one step closer to my “yes!” God bless the broken road that leads me straight to… this job!

I’m glad this has been a summer of rejection. I needed it. If I would’ve gotten a job right away, I wouldn’t have begun to conquer this fear, nor would I have experienced a deeper level of trust in God and His faithfulness.

He is for me–God’s on my team! Rejection is just a change of direction when the Lord’s the one guiding your path.  If you’re going through the same thing, remember that this “no” isn’t the end.

Isaiah 41:9, “I have called you back from the ends of the earth, saying, “You are my servant.” For I have chosen you and will not throw you away!”