This thing called unemployment

I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. I knew I wouldn’t find something immediately. But, it is also very difficult to stay positive.

Last week, I failed to go on one of my weekly adventures. It was kind of an off-week. Why, you ask? Well, it’s this not-having-a-job thing.

Prepare yourself for some serious talk. Don’t worry, this post has a happy ending!

I graduated from school in May but have been on the hunt for nearly a year. Searching for a job is one of the most nerve-wracking tasks not only because you’re unsure whether someone will actually see your resume and cover letter but also because everyone around you seems to be moving on with their lives. Whether they’re travelling the world, moving somewhere for a new job, or studying in graduate school, you constantly find that you’re comparing yourself to those around you. Thank you, social media, for facilitating that.

I always hated that growing up. I dreaded being compared to others and always knew when it was coming. I know I’m not the only who heard questions like “X’s daughter is doing this. Why aren’t you?” or “Y’s son just won blah blah scholarship. Did you apply to any?” Why can’t we just applaud each other’s accomplishments and move on? Don’t get me wrong. Our loved ones only pressure us so that we can strive to do our best. In some ways, I’m glad I heard those questions because they motivated me to work even harder.

Well, nowadays there seems to be more engagement and marriage talk…Yeah, there’s still time for that.

However, in other ways, those questions also impacted my confidence. Whether I was conscious about it or not, I began comparing myself to others. There were days when I felt like a complete loser because I thought my life had come to a halt compared to others. I’ll admit it. Sometimes I  feel like I’m competing with someone whether they know it or not. It’s not a fun feeling. No, I don’t feel like this all of the time. But again, not having a job makes you think some really ridiculous things.

After graduating, I decided that I would wait to go back to school, although that is quite distinct from what my parents wished for me. I knew I wasn’t ready to return. I wanted to step away from the typical university classroom and find another stage where I would have a different learning experience.

However, every time I receive a rejection email or not receive an email at all from a potential employer, my self-confidence and motivation falter. There were times that I felt I wasn’t good enough. Other times, I avoided leaving the house because I felt guilty for having fun when I didn’t have a paid job.

I worked hard throughout college. I had the opportunity to work for wonderful organizations and companies as an intern where I learned something different through each experience. I will forever be grateful for the people I encountered and the skills I obtained.

It certainly hasn’t been easy finding a job. With the year coming to an end, it makes it a little more stressful. I was/am confused. Am I doing something wrong? Am I not qualified enough? Did I make the right decision?

Well, I did make the right decision. And in a way, this entire period of my life has been a classroom. I have learned things about myself and my surroundings that I probably wouldn’t have actively understood until later in life.

This entire experience has taught me that yes, it isn’t easy staying positive regularly. Sometimes you do need a day or two to be sad or frustrated. It’s better to get those frustrations out rather than have them boiled inside only to one day blow up in a regretful manner. If you need to vent or cry, let it happen. But, don’t stop yourself from enjoying every minute of your life even if you think things are moving a little slowly.

I’m not one to open up about many things (my closest friends and family hate this about me!) but I’ve realized that it’s only better to release those frustrations in order to prevent them from poisoning your mind later. Whether that’s through talking to someone or dancing to some upbeat music, get the stress out!

I consider myself to be very lucky because I’m surrounded by the most amazing family and friends I could ask for. They’re my pillars and they keep me going every day. But if there are times when I don’t feel like talking, I’ll find another way to release the stress. I’ll learn new hip-hop or Bollywood choreo or take my camera out and go on a photo adventure, even if it is just around the neighborhood. I guess this is kind of where my blog comes in.

Another something I’ve learned is actually a new challenge that I will be taking on. I’m exhausted of having those days when I’m comparing myself to someone else. I don’t want to be like anyone else. I am my own person and I stand out in my own way. I’ve always believed that we are all different in our own way and that uniqueness should be celebrated. However, being unemployed has again clouded some of my beliefs. Away with that and on to something new!

The way I see it, me not finding a job right now just means that something great is in store for me. Things move at different paces for everyone. I just have to be a little patient and keep trying as hard as I have been.

This Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for my wonderful family and friends who support me every day. But, I am also thankful for the time I’ve been given to understand a little more about myself and my strength.

I guess in a way, I did go on an adventure. I learned something new and have challenged myself to think differently.

Now, enough of that. All of this serious talk is somehow making me hungry. If you’ll excuse me, I’m off to eat a red velvet cupcake and watch a Christmas movie.


4 thoughts on “This thing called unemployment

  1. Great post, Nidhi. I know it’s a real struggle (been there, still there), but what you learn from all that rejection is resilience. If you can survive that, you can get through many things in life.

    I normally tell people to keep singing, but for you: keep on dancing.


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