Thursday, September 2, 2010

On Being Unemployed

Today I feel pretty unmotivated to find a job. I did spend some time searching, and I responded to a couple of job postings. But I didn't feel excited about any of the jobs. I don't feel excited about working full time. I didn't particularly care for it last time I was working.

I like when I work hard and earn my wages. It feels really good to pay my bills on time with money I earned by working hard. It gives me a sense of purpose, and it gets me out of my apartment and makes me more productive.

I still don't want to work full time. My last job was very stressful. I love kids. I love babies. But working with up to 12 babies a day for eight hours? Not so fun. And my coworkers were nice people, but I had no connection with them. I was very clearly an outsider, even after working there for six months. I hated how alone I felt working in a room with other adults and full of babies. When I got laid off, in addition to the hurt I felt over losing my job abruptly with no time to say goodbye to the families or my coworkers, I was hurt by how little my coworkers cared. I know that they were probably glad they still had jobs, but that's one of the most clear times I can remember when I felt like I did not matter to these people one iota.

So I'm wary about finding another job, because I'm afraid that it will be life-sucking and stressful. I want time to enjoy my passions, like acting. It was hard to work full time and then drive across the cities for a long night of rehearsal. Totally worth it, but hard. And my spiritual life is so much better now than it was when I was working. I look forward to Tuesday services, Sunday services, my small groups. I have more free time, which means feeling less rushed about fitting in time to read my Bible. Plus, I can't describe the peace I feel about my finances. I was constantly worried about having enough money for my bills when I was working 40 hours a week. I was always looking at my calender, figuring out when I would get paid and when certain bills were due, and it was so stressful not knowing if I would have enough money for gas in my car, let alone groceries. I get around half of what I made at my job from unemployment. I've had an odd babysitting job here and there, but nothing steady. And yet my bills are all paid on time. I trust that God will provide somehow. I trust that more now without a job than I did when I had a job.

Whenever I'm talking about my job hunt, I usually get asked what my dream job is. I hate that question, because either of my two life passions are not paths I can take to pay my bills. I want to be a wife and mom who focuses on raising her kids, and I want to be an actor. I am involved with theatre as much as I can be right now, but it certainly doesn't pay, and I don't have the right combination of talent, skill, and marketability to make it in the industry professionally. Which is OK, because I really feel like getting to perform is its own reward. There's nothing like the rush of being backstage, waiting to go on, or the feeling of walking offstage at the end, letting out a big breath, and knowing that you did your best and it was good.

I don't know what will happen next. I don't know how long it will be before I find work, or what kind of job I'll end up getting. Right now, I'm working on figuring out who I am and trying to be the best me I can be. I've been doing a lot of reading, and it feels good to expand my knowledge. I'm learning the lighting at church, and it feels good to learn a new skill in an area of interest. I'm working on crochet and knitting projects that I started in high school. This was not a planned break, but I'm definitely making the most of it so that when I have a job again I'll know who I am and how to stay true to myself.

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