Crying in the Middle of the Afternoon

It's not something I like to do. Crying. I like to keep that shit under wraps. I'm an avoider when it comes to emotional things. Or at least I try my damnedest not to be a crier. Which probably means that I am exactly that.

Have I cried in public? Yes.

Have I cried in front of friends and/or strangers? You betcha.

Have I cried watching a movie? Sure.

Have I cried at work? Oh dear God, I see where this is going… Yes.

Have I cried in front of my boss? Yes, but not in a really long time so I'd like to think that's progress.

Have I cried in the last 24 hours? Ummm, ya. (I cried a little about an hour ago)

What is making me cry all the time? Unemployment. Being alone. Feeling like I'm never gonna have the things I want in life (family, home, security, career) and never going to achieve all the things I want for myself. And just so you know, I'm not a 20-something post-grad worrying about my life when I have so much of it ahead of me. I mean I do, but I'm fast approaching 40 years old and I haven't checked a lot off my life TO DO list. Oh jeez…I'm starting to tear up writing that. I feel like a fucking disaster. Unemployment is no joke folks. The rabbit hole gets deeper and deeper the longer you're in it, and it feels like you're never going to be able to escape from it no matter how intelligent, qualified and awesome you think you are.

I read something yesterday that made me think. It was about resume writing and how they are evolving and how people should write them like a life story instead of a boring cookie-cutter list of things you have done. It advised writing about your accomplishments rather than your job duties and sprinkling in how the position achieved any of your short or long term goals. It also advised you to write it in your voice to make it more personable and intriguing to read.

I work in the legal profession. Shit is organized, methodical, deliberate and thorough. The idea that I write my resume in the way suggested by the article makes me think I'd be taken less seriously than someone who sticks to the status quo, or does it? Am I missing out on opportunities because I have a boring resume or are there just too many applicants and I'm not doing enough to make myself stand out? I simply do not know.

I have been mulling over an opportunity to work from home doing something unrelated to my career but something that I have enjoyed doing in the past. Teaching ESL online. I taught ESL for a long time and I have an opportunity to do it again. On the one hand, it's good money, good hours, flexible schedule that can be altered on a month-to-month basis, and no bullshit dealing with bad bosses and bad contracts. On the other hand, I feel like it would be taking a step backward career-wise. As a result, I've been procrastinating doing it. I set my sights on the legal profession. I went out and got the education, I achieved a perfect 4.0 GPA, received an academic award, got hired on at a law firm (a lesser role, but one I hoped would transition or grow into what I wanted), then got offered a role more closely suited to my goals so I took it and soon realized it was the worst decision I had ever made. I've rarely made decisions I regret because I usually see them as learning opportunities. But in hindsight, I should NEVER have taken that job! And then being let go from it, being let go for the first time ever which now made me question everything.

Doubt in all of my choices, my achievements, a loss of belief in myself and my abilities has led me down a path of panic, worry, anger, frustration, exhaustion, depression and negativity which I am NOT used to. I'm a type A personality and an Aries. We don't take shit lying down and we make shit happen for ourselves. However, this is honestly the first time in my life where I haven't been able to make anything happen and as much as it's infuriating and painful I mostly feel helpless and increasingly hopeless. I trudge on like a good soldier but I'm finding it increasingly difficult to get out of bed in the morning and even harder to put on a “brave face.”

I've applied for countless jobs and in the 9 months I've been unemployed I've only had 4 job interviews. Shocking! Scary! Unbelievable! I feel like I'm stuck in another dimension, an alternate universe that is upside down because I've never had this much trouble finding a job. Ever! I see myself as an excellent candidate for my position and profession.

I should know. I know who I went to school with and I know I did better than the majority of them and seeing some of them out in the profession working for themselves (however they manage to do that) frustrates the hell out of me. It makes me wonder if I shouldn't just throw caution to the wind and blindly do what they are doing. I just don't know how they are doing it financially because there's a lot of money involved in setting up your own legal practice and I know that none of them are independently wealthy. I'm assuming they have cut corners in some way and I would not be comfortable doing that. Because ethics. Because professionalism. Because rules. Because integrity. Just because.

What do I need to do to get hired? I'm asking because clearly I have no idea.

Next up: ?