Funemployment.

Funemployment we meet again.

I’m 26 years old and since the age of 16 I’ve never been without a job for longer than 2 weeks. To be honest, I’m grateful for 10 continuous years of working (and sometimes working full time + simultaneous going to school full time). To be even more honest, I might be just as lost as I was at 16..

We all have reasons why we followed the paths that we ended up on. Sometimes the reasons are external sometimes the reasons are self-made – but we all have a story.

Right now from where I’m standing, I see a person who’s been pushed into a ditch, got out, pushed in again, got out, pushed in again, GOT OUT … and never fully realized how far she’s actually made it from the ditch.

A week ago today I got laid off from my job, and honestly I couldn’t be more happy. It feels like a huge weight has been lifted off my chest and I can finally breathe, I can finally think. I’ve had blinders on for the past few years, and I’ve been pulling endless excuses and justifications out of my pocket like a goddamn magician. Even with all the job changes, promotions and lateral moves I’ve made it’s always felt like “two steps forward and one step back” and I’m finally noticing why. These steps “forward” haven’t fully been for me, in many cases they’ve been what I’d find easiest to explain to my friends and family. Making decisions based around making others less uncomfortable is a great way to push yourself to a point where you’re literally crawling out of your skin.

And so here’s to finally ending that cycle.

2017 has been a hell of a year, I’m finally learning to tell the voices in my head to shut the fuck up (took long enough!).

When I feel empty. I give.

This past year, I’ve have had to send off several friends to various parts of the country/world, as they pursue careers/education hoping to find answers to the age old questions “why” and “what”. Leaving me more time and space to navigate my own questions. Some days are easy – thankful to look out the window as happy people and their families, pets, loved ones walk by, gracious and happy to have a window to look out of at all. Some days are less romantic, bumbling about in a city filled with people, opportunity, and life, feeling like I have somehow silently fallen out of place in this vibrant setting.

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And on those bad days, it takes some moments of silence to realize what’s happened. It’s not sadness, pain, or anger.. it’s literally nothing at all, which can be even more infuriating than any number of emotions.

Rewinding a couple of months back, to set the scene.. it’s late August in Brooklyn, NY. Summer won’t quit but the inevitable change of seasons is eminent. I have to find a fitting goodbye present for one of my friends moving on to follow her educational dreams. I’m feeling equal emotions of happiness for my best friend as well as sadness as I reflect on my current mindset. In a bookstore, I find a book called Ishi: Simple tips from a solid friend. (fyi: Ishi means rock in Japanese, rock .. solid, ha-ha). Amongst many excellent tips, one sticks out to me.

“When I feel empty … I give.”

And so, there’s no resounding conclusion to this rambling. Just that on a bad day.. I came across some good advice from a children’s book – and I try to hold onto that on bad days. On bad days I try my best not to hide away, and instead pick up the phone and answer someone who needs something. Though at that particular moment I don’t feel 100% full and vibrant, I do know that I can make another person smile, laugh, or at the very least feel like someone is listening, that they are not alone – and I can find peace in that.

So as I continue this path of finding well-rounded happiness and fulfillment, there are the grinding details of day to day life. But there’s simple satisfaction in finding new ways to keep your head up and eyes open.

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