29 March 2010
Unemployment Part Two: Purposeless
The hunt continues and the longer it goes on, the more lost I feel. While I was in California it was okay, because I wasn’t actively looking for work. Three months of hanging out was fine when hanging out was the objective.
Now finding a job is the objective. Without a specific place to put my focus or a foundation on which to build a day, week, life, etc., all sense of routine and order slips away. There is nothing less “normal” than the state of being unemployed and actively seeking work.
I have a post-it note stuck to my laptop reminding me to brush my teeth because otherwise I forget. With no reason to walk out the door in the morning, there is also no reason to get right up and shower, eat, brush my teeth, and engage with the outside world. Why do that when I can sit in my “house pants” and cruise job posting sites? I’m even bored of watching reruns of old shows. WHAT IS THAT?
There is this profound feeling that you have no purpose when you’re unemployed but want to be employed. After all, it’s what “all the kids are doing” and you’re not in the club. It doesn’t feel “freeing” or “relaxing” after the second week. It just feels annoying and defeating, but more on rejection in the next installment.
Having to deal with what feels like a monolithic system of people and companies that effectively determine your fate really inspires this backlash sensation of “screw the system, I’m going to do my own thing.” It makes me genuinely believe the “line” George Clooney delivers to the people he fires in Up In The Air. “Anybody who ever built an empire, or changed the world, sat where you are now. And it's *because* they sat there that they were able to do it.”
The funny thing is, this time I WANT to be part of the giant machine that churns and churns. My objective for the year was to experience the big, fixed private sector for all that I seem to think it is.
Until then, I’ll just keep checking that post-it note so my breath doesn’t stink.