The title of this blog post is a phrase that a colleague used the other day to cheer me up when I was ranting and raving about how down I feel at the moment. “Don’t worry, I’m fine,” I added quickly as a footnote to the end of my complaining. “I just feel stagnant—I’ve lost faith in my abilities.”
In response, he hit me with what is now the title of this post. It helped a little bit. Words of encouragement are always appreciated, but recently I don’t even like expressing how I truly feel for worry of them pitying me. I wish I could escape the battlefield inside my own mind.
For context; I cannot find a job. To elaborate, I can’t find a job that 1) sounds appealing to me, and 2) I also have the required experience for. I have been a waitress since I was seventeen. I am now twenty-five. After I graduated at twenty-one, I resumed waiting tables in a beer garden whilst everyone else was enjoying their balmy summer weekends. I already knew the job inside out, so what was the point in searching for a new job when I had plans to go travelling after six months? Waitressing isn’t the most well paid job, but the long shifts and sometimes seven day work weeks got me to Australia, which was all I was working towards.
Now, I can’t even decipher what I am working towards. I want to do something that makes me excited to wake up in the morning. I long for a sense of fulfilment—to be comfortable with the direction my life is going and to feel like I am working towards something even better. I’m still searching for what is going to make me happy and that seems to be the hardest part.
I realise a job is not everything. I realise that lamenting over your office job in the pub after 5pm is a common occurrence for so many people. There is a camaraderie found in a mutual dislike for the boss and the workload and the lack of appreciation for your efforts. Is it wrong for me to want for more than that? Essentially, I am reluctant to ‘settle’ into just any job, as so many people I know have. I berate myself for complaining so much about my lack of happiness regarding any sort of career. Should I just find anything? Any job that is not waiting tables and polishing cutlery at half past eleven on a Monday night? I believe I am better than my current job—certainly overqualified—but it seems I am not good enough to get a job that I am actually passionate about.
I am happy in my life. I found the love of my life ten whole years ago at the quaint age of fifteen (I know, lame—but if there is one thing I know for a fact in this baffling world it is that I will always be happy with him). I have a wonderful family who support me in my job-hunt-struggle amongst everything else, and my friends are just fabulous (who doesn’t say that about their friends, though?). I lived in Australia for a year and I am grateful for it. I have travelled New Zealand, and most recently Thailand. I am reasonably healthy, although more exercise couldn’t hurt. I have enough money to fund adventures with loved ones, buy new jeans and still put money aside to save every month. I am reasonably content and feel I have little to complain about. So why does my lack of career prospects get me so dejected?
I want to be challenged, I want to uncover what I am capable when truly pushed. I want to feel like I have succeeded in something every day. I want to grow in confidence and grow my skillset and yes, maybe earn a bit more money. I want to feel valued and appreciated for my contributions and above all I want to be C R E A T I V E. How is it possible to achieve all of this when I have zero experience? It is when I think about this that I get frustrated with myself, feeling like I have wasted so much of my time so far.
This post, I suppose, is merely me ranting in order to make myself feel better—getting it all off my chest as it were. I struggle explaining how I feel about the matter to friends and colleagues because none are in the same metaphorical boat as me. I am bobbing pleasantly afloat on calm waters with everything I need in my dinghy, but now I am bored. I am desperate to reach the unknown island that I know is somewhere but cannot seem to find it on my map. Perhaps I should just guess in which direction to paddle and hope for the best?
I don’t really know if my life right now can be accurately described as ‘tough times’. I know that there are so many people going through much worse things, and I cuss myself for even comparing my ‘tough times’ to theirs. But I do know that I am tough, and I will try and do my best to keep going, one CV at a time.