Thursday, September 16, 2010

Just Breathe

I have joined the ranks of complainers. I am not talking about the occasional "Oh, why did this situation have to happen to me?" type complaining either. I am talking about "Can I pick up my life after this?" type complaining. The type of self questioning that is rare in Miss Mox's life. The kind that comes with an immense sadness about where some things are headed.

At first I thought, ok maybe it is just the change in weather. Here in what used to be sunny Chicago the seasons are definitely a-changing! Some night temps have dipped into the 40s, leaves are starting to fall, grass isn't really growing anymore (ok- that is a great thing, but you get the idea). But after some reflection I realize that it is not the colder temps. You know, not having a job, but looking- all the time- is hard to take. Getting rid of the few luxuries you have so you can stay afloat is hard. Being happy when life as you know is changing dramatically is really hard. And two days ago, I was tired of the 'hard'. There are only so many times I can tell myself that things are going to be ok and still continue to believe it. Sometimes I feel like there are only so many smiles I have left to give to someone who tells me that this is 'only temporary.' I don't want 'only temporary' I want an income... a stipend... hell, an allowance. Urgh! And before I start receiving crazy emails/comments- please, please, please do NOT complain to me about hating your job. You have a job and that is more than what me a few million other people can say. I mean, I understand that you might have to do some shit you don't want to do or that your boss is a jackass, or that you hate that you have to be there- I get it, we have all felt that way. But just know- staying at home ain't no walk in the park. Being exposed to a life without a salary is NOT fun... and trust me- unemployment benefits, while I am grateful for them, don't come CLOSE to the the salary I used to make. For those reasons, please know that someone will ring up those groceries in your place; someone will answer those phone calls; somebody will deal with your boss- with a smile on her face. You know why? Because someone is losing their house because they can't pay the mortgage. Someone is trying to figure out how they can keep all their utilities on; someone is trying to think of some creative ways to feed their family. It is not about retaining luxuries at this point, ladies and gentlemen. It is about being able to survive... food in your stomach, clothes on your back, roof over your head. Watch the news, look at those numbers- those are your neighbors suffering. Your extended family members, your friends. Those percentages aren't empty numbers... they represent people that you know- people you know well.

Also, I don't want to hear that there are jobs everywhere, because that horse shit is not true. I have a college degree, work experience and an MBA- and so do a million other unemployed people. How many times have I applied at grocery stores, gyms, dog walking services, etc. and been told that I am overqualified? Countless. So, before I get ANYMORE emails telling me that there are jobs available that privileged Americans just don't want to take- go screw yourself! I don't care what I have to do- cook (no one really wants that), clean, cashier, stock girl. College degree or not, I want to be self sufficient. I don't want to live off the system, I want to make my own way. I want to pay my own bills (good thing too, because they are mounting); I want to live a life where I don't have to contemplate moving back to Ohio, I don't have to think about living with a roommate, I don't have to make payment arrangements- on everything. I want to be able to pay the bills when they come in and enjoy the satisfaction of working a full day, coming home exhausted and getting up the next day to do the same damn thing, as a productive member of society.

SO, a couple days ago I was passenger number 1 on the "this is why my life sucks" train. I was listening to music (as usual) to get me out of my funk and this song came on. And the clouds parted, the sun came out and it all made sense... ok, nothing that dramatic, but I did feel better and was inspired to write this ode to my fellow unemployeds. Like the song says "if I get it all down on paper, it's no longer inside of me- threatening the life it belongs to."

What I am learning throughout this whole journey of unemployment is patience- and I HATE it. You know I am a confident, driven person. I am used to seeing what I want, working hard and getting it. This delayed response in driving me up the freaking wall. But like this song says I need to just breathe. No amount of tears is going to make me find that ever elusive job (yeah- it used to be the ever elusive dream job, now getting a permanent, full time job is a dream). No amount of angry face is going to make this any better- and it doesn't make me feel better- in the long run. I am tired of being bitter betty. She sucks. So, like I have to remind myself every 2 months or so, onward and upward.

Key Lyrics:
*You can't jump the track; we're like cars on a cable and life's like an hourglass glued to the table
*No one can find the Rewind button
*There's a light at each end of the tunnel, cuz you're just as far in as you'll ever be out
*If I get it all down on paper, it's no longer inside of me, threatening the life it belongs to.


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