“It’ll get better”
“just be strong”
“have you looked online?”
“have you actually been looking for a job”
So begins my list of shit people say to the unemployed.
In just six weeks, it’ll be a year since I became a graduate.
A year since I walked past the graduation stage at University of West Georgia and entered what I thought was a world of opportunity just waiting for me to show it my awesomeness. A year since I realized its actually a world that’s downright determined to kick my ass.
A year since I stopped writing “student” under OCCUPATION and started penciling in the dreaded “unemployed”.
A year since I’ve begun cringing at family and friends who ask that question “What do you do?.”
A year of giving dodgy answers, as I’ve skated past temporary jobs, projects and straight up bumming on the couch. I was once tempted at a wedding to be honest, turn on my best british snob accent and say “I’ve become a professional series fan. Currently I’m working on a project where I watch an entire season and map the time it takes to complete the assignment. I tell you Edgar old chap, the results have been truly amazing. I’ve been improving immensely. To date my current record is 3 days per season, and that was for an hour long show!”
“You’ll find a job before you know it”
“look under every rock”
“just go out there and get a job!”
And so continues my list of shit people say to the unemployed.
And to top the list heeerrreeessss, drum roll please:
“how have you been surviving?”
Well quite frankly, I don’t know. Fighting off boredom is hard enough. Getting the courage to go to a pointless interview with the confidence of someone who doesn’t need the job is, to be honest, a feat I still barely muster enough energy to attempt. But the worst is facing these terrible questions and pieces of advice from people who i’m sure have been through it and are now smiling and nodding at me, without sensing all I want to do is quite frankly kick em in the nuts!
Today was finally different:
Me: “I’ve been looking for a few months now. It feels quite hopeless”
A lady who Rick Ross would describe as, looking like a bag of money, holding keys to a new BMW, with a lovely Prada Bag on her arm, in heels I hope to wear on my wedding day says to me: “ Just quite hopeless??? You’re not there yet. Life loves irony. It will give you a life line when you’re absolutely drained or as we say in shona “Sango rinopa waneta, wadzungaira.” Find a way to endure the frustration and stress. You gotta put up with the rain to get the rainbow”
With that in mind I’ve decided a new tactic to help get me through this rut. Find an amazing memory. Relish it. Run it over in your memory. Treat it the way a puppy treats its first juicy bone.. When life gets you down, don’t just remember it this memory, re-live it.
Before life got me down, I used to be an outgoing person. I met an amazing friend who invited me to spend Christmas with her in Colombia. Everything about the place is amazing. But the best was spending Christmas Eve in a lodge with her family. Eating meat straight from the barbecue. Playing the old Spanish music I only ever heard in Zorro movies. Looking at the beautiful stars.
In a mish mash of simple Spanish and English words, her father insisted I put down my cup of lovely rum and learn to salsa. My clumsy feet stumbled and honestly the African in me is always disappointed I have no rhythm. But for a second I got it right, and laughter bubbled to the surface. Luckily someone caught my moment on camera:
As I sit in the waiting room for yet another interview, I take one look at the picture, inhale one deep breath, relive the happiness, exhale out all the fear and leave only the awesomeness inside.