Saturday, September 22, 2012

Circles or Spirals

The last time I was unemployed I had moved back to Melbourne from Canberra after breaking up with my fiancée of five years, I had just finished an arts degree, was living with my parents and had only retail work experience to my name.  It took a year and half of applying for jobs and smiling at interviews before I finally landed a full-time position.

Being unemployed when you don't want to be is awful. Quite a number of the blog posts in the archives are dedicated to the subject of just how awful it is. Very awful. Extremely awful. Awful to the point of staying in that full-time job despite it also being awful because I never wanted to go through that again.

There's been oceans of water under the bridge since then. I've exercised pure financial independence, collected some mean skills to toss on my resumé and climbed the organisational ladder (mostly to find a less crap job). It's one thing to know you're a fantastic worker; quite another to have the track record to prove it.

We've been in Glasgow a month and a half with not so much as a sniff of possibility. I had assumed, not unreasonably I think, that this time around the job hunt would not be as demoralising or as hard. Look! This piece of paper shows how awesome I am! I have references and everything!

Not a bite. Nowhere. On nothing. I've widened my net and started applying for jobs well below my ability and still nothing. No response when applying for a data entry position? I don't even warrant that?

Demoralising. Internal erosion. Cracking security. Despair.

It is different this time though. We've paid several months of rent up front on this place, and have savings to keeps us going those months as well as take us to Iceland. I do have a platform of proven amazingness from which to launch myself from. There are two of us. He's picked up shifts at a pub and I'm doing freelance editing. My worry and despair keeps his optimism grounded, and his optimism keeps my despair in check.

I sleep around 12 hours out of 24, and I feel good. Whole and rested. Even when I have full control over how many hours I spend working on the computer my body gets cranky much swifter than I plan for. It aches and I fight on in frustration, pushing myself into a stupid cycle of forced down time.

These things make me look at my future and wonder how I am ever to fund the dreams I wish to pursue. If I do require that much sleep to be sane, how am I to work a full time job and do any sort of writing or have a social life at the same time? If computers are the devil to my arms, what work can I do? Not housekeeping, that was just as damaging, if not worse. Customer service positions would result in mental stress, and to be honest I'd prefer the physical pain and psychological strain of a desk job than the mental stress of a face-to-face job.

I'm awesome. Really. I'm the most disgustingly great employee ever. And I am a completely spent monkey.

It's different now.
I do not know what dreams I have, let alone which I wish to pursue.
Perhaps here and now is enough.

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