It just isn’t. It’s been four and a half months of unemployment. Four and a half months of ambiguity, uncertainty, and frustration. Four and a half months of finding ways to “explore” my creative self, taking on volunteer projects, planning and preparing for future endeavors, reconnecting with friends, starting to network around the city again, and all the other ways I can milk this time off.
Believe me, I am grateful.
Even though the ending was hard, I am grateful to be out of my last job. I am grateful to receive unemployment, grateful that I have no dependents, and that I have a gracious, affordable living space. I am grateful that I had the means to seek help when I needed it, that I have a loving and supportive group of friends and extended family, that my life is calm and quiet, that I am financially able to care for myself and meet my material needs. I am grateful I have built enough confidence to know that I will find meaningful work, and that I have a rich professional network to draw from when I do.
I am grateful for all of these things and still, today is not a Good Day.
The waiting is making me anxious, and I feel sedentary and stuck. Positive self talk and forced cheerfulness are not welcome here today. I’m finding things to nag myself about, and eagerly discovering fault in even the things I’m managing to well and consistently. My toilet needs to be cleaned, I need a shower, have stopped cooking for myself more than one or two days a week, and can’t seem to make myself write every day.
I have no excuse for these things. I have no dependents to care for, plenty of time, and few obligations, and yet my toilet goes unscrubbed and toenails go unpainted. I’m not overly depressed or panicked, I’m doing the things I need to do, even if I don’t always feel like doing them. But limitless, unbounded time isn’t the nirvana it’s made out to be, especially when there is are obvious ends. If there were an end in sight, I believe there would be some sense of relief, of comfort in knowing that life will return to normal in 3…2….1….
I’m not looking for cheering up or placation or comforting remarks. They wouldn’t work anyway because today simply isn’t a Good Day.