Social Anxiety and the Beginning of the Job Race

That’s a picture of the Rosemary I planted near the beginning of the summer. I feel it best kinda represents what I’m trying to tackle and the attitude I hope I can hold onto while I try to achieve what I’m trying to achieve.

Losing my job kinda leads me to start thinking about the long run. Are there jobs in my chosen field? Will I be able to handle supporting myself and potentially my significant other for a period of unknown time? There are plenty of jobs in my field, which is highly encouraging. But I need things like a license, and a stable crap job to get me through until I can reach my career.

The revisions my resume has undergone has begun to make me feel a lot better about looking for a job. I’ve posted a brief outline of myself on CraigsList’s resumes section and gotten a few responses, put out a few copies of my resume. It feels really good to have not two or three, but six references who are willing to attest to (what I hope is) my awesomeness. My resume is sitting on the desks of the manager of a local small market and a video game store right now. I’ve applied to the game store twice before, and I hope that third time will indeed be a charm. It’s not too much to look for a part time gig doing just about anything, right?

The second question I’ve been asking myself relates a lot more to how I want to handle my psychological stability. I have a semi-dependent personality and both I & the man know this. We’re very similar in that respect. I’ve only been unemployed a few days, but he’s been unemployed going on a few years now. Being stuck in bum-fuck nowhere does that. The times he’s been down here before have been filled with good times, but also job hunting. Do I think he’ll have a better opportunity down here, to find a job and hold out until he can establish residency? Yes, it’s with 110% certainty I say that. Am I financially stable to support both he and I as well as my beloved fur babies while I go to school? That.. I’m more worried about. 

The idealist in me wants to say, YES, yes, it will be just fine. But the realist in me is screaming NO, no, it won’t be fine. And I’m just sitting here, on a slowly dwindling away monthly transit pass, scrolling through CraigsList and spending my afternoons turning in my resumes to whoever will give it a glance. All while putting in 150% effort in at school, to understand algebra (which I have absolutely no confidence in but apparently I have an A in the class so far?) and remember how the bloody fuck to write a paper.

Each time I approach an employee somewhere I get this screaming wave of terror that they’ll laugh at me, that I’ll be ignored or that I will be seen as “sub-par”. I’m scared they’ll judge me by the pants that just barely fit and the dress shirt that’s too big, and not by the fact that I’m well kept, responsible and ensure tasteful placement of my piercings as well as consideration to keep the only religious symbol I own on my person under the tshirt that also hides the text of the tattoo I have along my collarbone.

So, what does a picture of a flourishing Rosemary plant have to do with my job hunt? I’ve barely paid attention to it over the summer. I’ve let nature take it’s course in letting it root down in the barrel it’s planted in, watering it only slightly while it got extremely dry over the summer. The damn plant seems to have just slowed down, and taken root as much as it can before slowly getting bigger and bigger. It kept on going.

So here’s to hoping. That my fat ass can keep on going.

The light at the end of the tunnel

It’s been way more than a month since I’ve updated this, and with the big black monster I addressed several posts ago looming over my shoulder, this is how I’m trying to handle it.

I’m disappointed to say that I was fired from my job just yesterday. It was unexpected, and unjust; filing unemployment and a complaint with the labor bureau (shout out to Boz) and adjusting my financial aid with my new jobless status. Oof. I had to literally knock myself out last night. It took two advil PM’s and a few cups of Trader Joe’s Well Rested tea. The self loathing is intolerable. But I guess there’s more than a few things that are positive right now that I’m gonna try to focus on.

First off, school is going well so far. I’m keeping up with my Math 60 class (beginning algebra) so far, been keeping up with all the reading for both Ancient History and Intro to Natural Resources. The very first yoga class I have ever had was way more enjoyable than I anticipated. My yoga instructor (that class is 3 hours long, just btw) is also the instructor for the Wilderness Survival class I will be taking sometime this year, and she is extremely chill.

Losing my job means for the first time in well over a year, I have another 60 hours a week back. That’s a job & homework right there. I’ve already applied to places in town and I’m getting some things put together, such as a photography gig Saturday evening at Edgefield and possibly some freelance drawing for the game shop’s Magic tournaments. I’m sleeping more and I’m not as bad off as I feel I am.

I will be okay, I think. I just need to keep on trekking.

Addendum: considering writing a book… I have one sitting in limbo. Decisions, decisions…

Adrenaline

I’ve been working very hard lately. My boyfriend is in town currently, I’m filling out school paperwork and items for my FAFSA and loan information, and throughout all of it…. I’m still vegetarian.

Usually by now I’ll have broken and jumped to the nearest meaty comfort food (my personal favorite is biscuits & sausage gravy, which I may post the recipe for soon because I want to make it Saturday morning), but for some reason I’ve been able to beat the craving. I’m going to blame the bounties of summer & her fresh vegetables and the promise of my own measly zucchini plant finally pushing out a single squash (did you know that? zucchini is a squash? yeah? oh..). The recipe I tried this week and totally spaced on taking pictures about was Eggplant Parmesan. I literally had no idea what I was doing but it turned out pretty decently. Well. Amazing enough that I had to put my foot down in order for there to be leftovers.

But that’s enough of that. There’s a bigger issue in all of this. Working full time (at minimum wage, no less) with a commute that adds another 20 hours to my work week that is unpaid for has finally taken it’s toll. I am exhausted.

I need something better. I need a new start and I need to focus on school. I can’t be distracted…

This short post is here for one purpose and that’s to alert the masses that for the first time since 17, I won’t be trying to work as many hours as I can. I won’t balance it with school. I either will be working weekends or evenings, but I feel there’s a big chance I will be attempting to ease myself out of working my current job to find something else to pay my core bills while I go to school.

I’m terrified. Let me say that again. Terrified. All of my friends have moved on to either university or are almost finished. I turn 22 at the end of the year and while that’s not that big of a deal, I’ll be older than the other freshman. I haven’t taken a math course in six years and I have never been through this scary process of applying for aid & loans. Not only that, I have my animals to worry about. I have that beautiful kitty Peaches and my wonderful little crazy ball of poo, Annie. I know there’s going to be bigger vet bills for the cat in the future and Annie will be reaching two this December.

This is me having a panic attack. It’s an irrational fear of the future and the small things that has me nearly hyperventilating as I sit at the kitchen table, waiting for my breakfast muffin.. things.. to finish baking in the oven before I run out of here in a whirlwind to replace my phone charger and then leave for another 1.8 hour commute and 7 hour shift and another 1.8 hour commute back. Run on sentences. Self loathing for run on sentences. Coffee gulp. Stare at the screen for a few minutes with a twisting feeling in my stomach. Yep.

This is what a panic attack does to me.

What does it take?

(Image source: [here])

The source of this picture has nothing to do with this post. Right now, I want you to look at that. Imagine there’s a coffee shop on one side of this parking lot, a quiet murmur as people go about their Sunday and do whatever it is they do near a coffee shop & a liquor store at 11:00 AM on a Sunday morning.

When I was ordering my coffee today (with my father, out doing grocery shopping), I noticed a woman having trouble outside walking with her rolly basket. You know that feeling you get when you know someone is mentally challenged, has an apparent learning disability… whatever it is that you prefer the name of for political correctness, that. This older woman was the embodiment of that. I couldn’t tell if she was going somewhere or trying to get home. It just bothered me. And at first, I turned away like everyone else in this world does and took my $3.50 latte with a shot of Kahlua flavor & savored that first sip.

My dad and I exited the coffee shop and I stopped. I heard crying. I had almost forgotten about her — and there she was, having problems with her cart… and sobbing profusely. I looked at my dad and he just had this pained face, and he continued to stand there. I know he was trying to figure out something to do, but I couldn’t just stand there. I walked over, asked if she was alright. She wasn’t, her cart was stuck on the curb. When I got closer to her I could tell the clothes she had wasn’t as clean as she would probably want. And her eyes. Her eyes had so much pain in them.

I helped, and she started thanking me, over and over as she stood by her cart in the street, tears now streaming down her face. And I turned back towards my dad who still had his eyes on her. I heard her yell, “excuse me? kind lady?” and asked me if I had a dollar – and I didn’t. I did however have a small handful of change and I offered it to her, and she smiled. Gave her a hug. Told her, “God bless,” and she said the same back… and I went back to my life & back to my day.

For eleven hours this has been sitting on my head and bothering me. This incident brings up a couple really painful points to me, and I could spend the next three hours of my night detailing what they are but everyone would just bring up the point that maybe I could’ve done something more. You could’ve given her a ride, you should have done more…

Travelling through Portland nearly every day for the last year for work has given me the Portland mentality of “look the other way” and I hate that. And when I think about how I could approach not thinking like that… I become stingy. I remember how I need to save for groceries, for my boyfriend’s ticket down here/back home just in case, of how I’m saving for school and oh, don’t forget the $100 a month for a bus pass.

I just have to remember her appreciation for what I could give her. I just have to remember, that even actions will speak louder than a dollar bill ever can. I remember watching her make her way across the parking lot, still having some problems with the cart, but her posture seemed easier. And I would have been back out from the safety of the car to ask her further where she was going & if she needed a lift, if someone else hadn’t walked out of their car with an umbrella and start talking to her. I hope she got to where she was trying to go. I hope her day got brighter from the people she met along the way. I hope she is somewhere safe, and that she has someone to call in case something happens…

I can’t give money to every single person I see struggling, but I can help move their cart off being stuck on the curb…

Fuck, I hate this economy. I miss living in the adolescent ignorance of the world.