Resembling Square One

March 4, 2015 § Leave a comment

You know my track record so it probably comes as no surprise that I was rejected from both programs at UNC Chapel Hill. The MPA program didn’t even want to interview me, that’s how much of a non-candidate I was. I don’t really have any regrets because I literally did everything in my power to get in, including campus visit, attending info sessions, talking to the director, and so on.

With two rejection letters to show for it. I wish we got refunded for our application fees when we’re rejected. Might take the sting out ever so slightly.

Hopes and dreams of a new town and a new career dashed, now what do I do? Admittedly, there’s no way I could have justified taking out $60,000 more student loans (honestly, between the two programs and living expenses, it would have been more than that), but I still would have liked to get an acceptance letter saying “You’re on the right track, kid. You’ve got potential.”

Instead, I’m left wondering what the hell I’m going to do with my life. I’ve been pretty depressed lately, not only because 2015 has been pretty rough so far but because I don’t have any idea about my future. My experience is all so arts-centric, I can’t seem to convince people to hire me outside of it. I even applied to a couple jobs that I interviewed for last year that are open again but so far no response. I’ve pared down my resume, stripping it of internships and my graduate degree in the hopes that I’m shaving off anything intimidating that might say “overqualified.”

I feel desperate, floundering, frantic, damn near hysterical.

What do I do?
What do I do?
What do I do?

What *can* I do? Have I doomed myself to a restaurant career? Have I doomed myself to being a receptionist for the rest of my life? I can’t convince anyone to give me a job. I can’t even get temp agencies to call me back. How am I supposed to survive like this? It’s like throwing darts in the dark. I feel crushed and overwhelmed, trapped by my own history and decisions.

I would feel better if I were making more money. I don’t care what the job is, just give me steady hours and a decent paycheck. If I can get my finances under control, I can focus more on building relationships and developing new skills through volunteering, which will hopefully lead to a new career. Somewhere. Doing something. Who knows.

I have a lot of free time now only working 30 hours/week, but I’m in such a constant state of anxiety that I find myself unable to use my time productively. Instead, I spend my time sifting through job openings online and saving positions I’ll likely never get around to applying to because I’m so sure it’s a waste of my time, I’ll never get the job.

I emailed Special Equestrians about volunteering. It’s a nonprofit south of Birmingham that offers riding therapy for disabled people, adults and children both. I love horses, always have, and might be good at taking care of them within that context and aiding the riders in their therapy. It’s something I would enjoy for myself and feel good about doing, so it’s worth pursuing, especially if Jason and I are staying in Birmingham. That’s unclear though, since he’s still tossing around different schools to apply to, so I’m not sure if we’re actually staying here or if we will be moving out of state by the end of summer. That’s a whole other level of anxiety.

I know these things:
I like cooking.
I like cleaning.
I like organizing.
I like turning trash into treasures.
I like animals.
I would like to be more involved in the Bham art scene.
I would like to be more involved with community revitalization.

But how to channel those interests into a career, into a livelihood? They’re disconnected and constantly being shuffled around in my rather selfish priorities. I’m very inward-focused right now, worrying about my weight and my finances above all else.

I’m almost done with my AmeriCorps application for a position here in Birmingham, but I’m not sure I really want it because the pay is so minuscule and they prohibit outside work. Not totally sure what that means exactly, like if that would prohibit me selling art or flipped furniture, or if that just means you can’t have a part-time job in addition to your full-time job with them. The experience would be huge and would definitely put me on the right path towards a career, but can I make it another year being so anxious about money, being stuck on survival mode? That makes me feel panicky just thinking about it. Why is there not an alternative option? Why can’t I get a job like that with decent pay? Why can’t someone just give me a chance?

What can I do to make someone give me a chance. How desperate am I? How much should I let that desperation show? I need a new path, a new job, a fresh start. How do I get that. And why do I feel like I don’t deserve it?


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