I’ve played this (F)unemployment game before. When I came back from backpacking Central America (read some highlights here) I spent about seven months in sweatpants, tears, and job applications before I somehow landed my teaching gig.  darcyLuckily my sister had just gotten a puppy, so I had a reason to live, but it was still a trying time. Anyone who’s done some job hunting in the last few years knows what it’s like to hang your ego and self-worth on an email containing the cover letter and resume you’ve agonized over for the last several days, only to get no reply at all, and then see the same job RE-posted on Indeed.com/Monster/LinkedIn/Craigslist a few days later. Insert knife to heart. Twist.

BullDurham-PosterArt
Watched this for research about my new hometown.

The job market is supposedly pretty hot here in the Triangle. And it’s only been about two weeks since I started looking. The plan has been to take this first month of living in Durham and just get used to it. Job search, apply for everything that sounds good, but also relax. Drive around, find favorite parks and coffee shops, meet people.  Write more, try to network and get things published, lose all the happy-to-be-in-a-relationship weight that’s crept up over the last year or so. Every day can be an adventure and an exercise in patience and peace with being alone (something I really struggle with).

Got photo bombed by a dinosaur on my run. So. That happened.
Got photo bombed by a dinosaur on my run. So. That happened.

It is a kind of fun. Boyfriend gave me his Netflix password (so, yeah, we’re pretty serious) and I’m watching great shows and movies for the first time. (“Walking Dead” is  workout motivation.)  I’ve been to a few parks, and organized my closet by season, color, and category. I’ve read books and my Bible. I’ve taken glorious, glorious afternoon beer naps. I attempted to make some Pumpkin frozen yogurt from a Pinterest recipe (huge fail. HUGE. Which is why you always buy ice cream as backup, even when already spending $27 on Pinterest recipes.)

when you have time to find Waldo, you have a lot of time.
when you have time to find Waldo, you have a lot of time.

But I am the kind of person whose un-productivity increases in direct proportion to how much free time I have to accomplish things. And so all those great ideas? Sometimes I just don’t have the discipline. I let myself stay awake until 3am, because I have nothing to get up for in the morning. I lay in bed until 11am with my boyfriend Twitter, until the urge to pee becomes so overwhelming I’m actually concerned about standing up. I eat ice cream for lunch and I haven’t worn anything without an elastic waistband since….well. Boyfriend is high on grad school and new friends and assignments but when he asks about my day, I’m like, “well….I got a huuuuge bug bite.”

I guess there are days I treat this like a vacation, and some days like a prison sentence. “Don’t leave your room because you might spend money you don’t have.” Some mornings I hate myself when I’m too lazy, and so I make lists of things I need to do. I force myself get up to an alarm and go to bed at a decent hour, like real people with real jobs do. I clean, read everything on every news website to feel involved in the world, scour the internet for new jobs, consider online classes. I work out for hours and remember how to pray and practice guitar. 

It’s a double-edged sword because I know (or hope or pray) that I will be eventually employed, and long for days with nothing to to!

Anyway. On today’s agenda – resist urge to compulsively refresh email every two minutes in hopes of an interview request. Go on walk. Do things that are good for the soul.

And obviously watch scary movies because it’s Friday the 13th and that’s what you do.

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