Maybe it’s a product of being a creative entity, or maybe it’s from growing up so naive and sheltered, or maybe it’s just who I am. Whatever the case, reality and I meet and part like two orbiting objects that occasionally cross paths. I can’t think of the perfect analogy for it. All I know is that there’s surprise every time we cross paths, that the existence of this other reality is undeniable when this happens, and that we part ways shortly after and go on about our lives until our orbits meet again. The overlap is so brief that it’s easy to forget the other exists, yet those moments forever alter my course each time, changing the shape of the orbit, the direction, the speed, etc.
My original optimism about finding a job by the end of January appears to be anything but realistic. Two weeks of effort and so far two rejection emails. There’s a third I’ll wait on for one more week before it’s safe to assume they didn’t have time to respond to me individually. Everywhere I go they warn me of the high volume of applications coming in, so I’m fortunate when I’m not left hanging.
This time last year, one rejection letter would’ve had me bawling my eyes out and left me thoroughly convinced I’d never find a job. Yep, I was that pathetic, I humbly admit. I was so hung up on how my life was unfolding so far from where I wanted it to that something as trivial as a rejection letter became a catastrophic I’m-a-failure pity party. Since those darker days I’ve vowed to myself to never get like that again.
Even with my positive attitude, job hunting is still a psychological challenge, but of a different sort. New mantra, huh? Let’s see how much I mean that…
I just shrugged and said, “Oh, well” when I got the emails. There’s really nothing I can do but keep looking elsewhere while I give my writing an honest to goodness, everything-I’ve-got shot. The only thing that I bang my head against my desk over is the catch-22 aspect of the job hunt. I’m applying for entry-level positions. Entry. Level. However, on every stinkin’ qualification requirement list–and on the first line, mind you–is something about the potential employer looking for 1-5 years experience. Now, the previous job experience isn’t required. There aren’t internships for every last job out there, so they have to be somewhat lenient.
Take Connecticut for example: there are a shortage of nurses, plenty of recent college grads to fill those roles, yet they won’t hire anyone without having been a nurse for at least umpteen years of experience. So here you have all these perfectly hirable people ready to fill in jobs that sorely need to be filled, yet no one willing to hire them. Hopefully HR in these situations will one day concede their ridiculousness–at least that’s what this scenario looks like from my, I’m going to assume, biased perspective–and start hiring. I’m sure there are so many factors going into this stalemate but, instead of ignoring recent grads, why don’t employers communicate with colleges and universities so they’ll be eager to hire them, instead of having a whole bunch of people earn degrees, put themselves into tens of thousands of dollars into loan debt, and end up with no job to repay them because they don’t have previous experience? Am I making any sense?
I apologize for the frustration leaking its way into this post. I would just love for someone to explain how this catch-22 became the norm. I made the decision to go to college, along with take out all the loans I did. I don’t want the government to hand out money and make my loan debt disappear. It’s not their place to handle those two decisions I made. It’s my responsibility. I don’t lose any sleep over my college loan debt, though. I’m doing everything I can. The government is just going to have to wait for me to give them back their money. That is unless I can pull a platinum coin out of the ground, tell them it’s worth exactly the sum of my debt, then put in their hand and tell them to be on their merry way with a pat on their back, and then they can go to their magic box, a.k.a. the treasury, deposit it, and we can call things square.
Yeah, didn’t think so. How do you like your trillion-dollar coin idea now?
Okay, enough of that. Back to focusing on what I can control and just letting go of what I can’t. I will continue my job hunting until I finally strike success, and same goes for my writing. I will continue to practice positive thinking and make it a lifestyle. I’ve come a long way in just the past several months.
With all that’s been going on, I’ve still been doing plenty of thinking, thinking about the link between success and faith in a greater power (can’t stand the phrase “higher power” because it resonates too much with Roman Catholic thinking that humans are lowly unworthy beings when we’re not; the “greater” word choice serves as a reminder that we’re but a small part of something grand). I must confess that I’d become a believer if my writing succeeds. You still won’t catch me in a church or thumping people with bibles, but I can guarantee you I’d try even harder to do what’s right and share my path to success. Just these few personal changes I’ve made and so much about my life has changed for the better already. My pure skeptic side insists that it’s all convenient coincidences, no magic or mysticism behind it, that all my hard work and perseverance is what’s pulling me through hard times, and nothing more. My more curious and open side can’t help but notice the pattern behind all these “coincidences.” The next and final test is to put all my faith in my writing and see what happens after my first book is launched internationally.
So what happens if the book is a flop? Does that mean there’s nothing out there and all that happened were simply coincidences? With such a small chunk of data, the results would be inconclusive.
Anyway, I think I’m finally ready to accept success into my life. I feel no resistance; just fear of the unknown. But that’s okay, expected. My bitterness and cynicism have almost vanished. I’m a happier person. My days aren’t dominated by depression anymore. I’m almost entire back to the happy-go-lucky person I used to be years ago. And that’s refreshing to know.
Here’s a picture of sunrise out of Gloucester, MA. Sunrises and sunsets are one of the most beautiful sights in the world, and you don’t even have to travel to see them.