Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Being Unemployed Sucks

Being unemployed sucks. I have been without full-time employment for nearly a year and a half. That sounds bad, and it is bad, but it could be worse. I got a severance package from my last position, so I was still getting paid for a few months, and then I collected unemployment for a few more. In May, my wife got a job and we moved, and in June I began taking temporary positions. Still, after nearly a year and a half and nearly 1000 positions applied for, I remain unemployed.

One thing I like to do is read about the unemployment statistics and stories. Well, I don't really like doing it, but I do it, and this is definitely a case of misery loves company. At first, the one thing that surprised me was the number of people that had just given up on finding a job, but as time has gone on, I understand it more and more. I have been able to stay motivated at most times, but there are days where I just don't want to look at open jobs, because I have already convinced myself that there is nothing out there for me. Those are the sad moments, which happen slightly more than the angry moments where I get mad at nothing in particular, just my inability to move forward.

I only have myself to blame. I have made irresponsible decisions when it comes to my career, and this is the side effect of those decisions. In 2010, I left a job that I enjoyed in minor league baseball to move to Albuquerque to get my ass kicked every day training in mixed martial arts. It was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life, but it doesn't exactly pop on a resume. Combine that with the long stretch of unemployment I had after leaving my last job in Iowa, and there are definitely some red flags for potential employers. I suck on paper, and it prevents me from proving how great I am in person, but whining about it won't help. It's nobody's fault but mine, so all I can do is suck it up and keep plowing forward.

90% of the time, I keep a positive attitude. Logically, I understand that feeling sorry for myself isn't going to help, so I might as well keep a good attitude about things. As I said, this works 90% of the time, but there are other times where it gets super fucking depressing. Like, holy shit, what is wrong with me? I'm not gonna lie; I've had a couple days where I just wanted to curl up and go to sleep, because the only thoughts on my mind are about my inability to get a damn job. It is that sense of failure that just weighs me down. I know that sulking isn't going to help, but sometimes, it has gotten the better of me, and I give in to start new the next day.

I'll admit that seeing that in writing is pretty sad, but I'm still fine. Everybody gets depressed here and there; Most people have it way worse than I do, so I am definitely not looking for a pity party. I just have one area that causes me a ton of grief. I'm incredibly happy to be married, as my wife helps me feel like the luckiest unemployed guy in the whole world. If I was not married, I would really be struggling, but she has been beyond great the entire time (I could probably write an entire post that just focused on how great she has been). Also, shout out to Casey the Dog as she helps me get outside to play with her. Just getting out and breathing in that fresh air is really helpful, and it is something that I would be lazy about and avoid if I didn't have the dog forcing me to play.

I am actively failing to find a job every day, but eventually I will succeed. Will that make it a more enriching experience when I do find a good job? I'm not gonna bullshit you; it won't. It will simply be a feeling of relief, because in the day-to-day struggle, it can be pretty miserable. Still, in the grand scheme of things, I'd say I'm still coming out ahead. I have a great wife and dog, I live in Florida instead of the Midwest; so my December has 80 degree weather instead of 8 degree weather. Being unemployed sucks, but it's not the end of the world. Now if you'll excuse me, my dog is pestering me to play ball. I could use the fresh air, and this is one job I plan on keeping.

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