When I was younger I, like many of you, imagined what my life would be like in my mid to late 20's. I figured I would have a good job in the line of work I went to school for (Environmental Science & Geography). I would be living in a town that I love. I would have a nice apartment but would be quickly saving up enough money to buy a home, or already be looking for one. I would have a great group of friends. I would be engaged and planning a future with my fiancé. I thought that even if I didn't have every single one of these things, I'd have a clear path forward. I mean, I did everything I was supposed to do. I went to a private college and graduated Magna Cum Laude with two BS degrees. I had two internships under my belt and started applying for jobs before I even graduated, hoping to always be ahead of everyone else. I was, and still am, frugal with my money, down to the point of insanity. I've done everything right and yet...I feel like I've gone nowhere.
Are any of you out there going through something similar? If there's such a thing as a quarter life crisis, I'm definitely experiencing it.
Let me give you a brief run down of my life after college. For the first three months after graduating, Iain and I lived with his father in Pennsylvania. We hoped I would find a job up there but alas, I didn't. At the end of the summer we traveled back down to Florida so he could finish his last semester at school. During that time I worked part-time as a Sales Associate so we could afford to move to North Carolina after he graduated. North Carolina has always been near and dear to my heart. It's a place we traveled to three out of the four spring breaks during college. It's a wonderful place with perfect weather, lovely people, natural beauty, and so much to do. Iain ended up getting a job in Raleigh and we ended up moving there in April 2014.
It took me the better part of a year after moving to land a job. Throughout that painful job searching process I spent many days being thankful to just be out of Florida and in a place I knew in my heart was home, though I also spent days and nights crying, angry and confused as to why the hell I couldn't get a job. At the same time Iain was having similar job problems.
In June 2015 I finally did it. I landed a job that seemed like "the one." I became a Department Manager at what was effectively a consulting firm. It was great! I felt like I was finally where I wanted to be and at 23 I thought I was right on track! Then...2017 happened. Wow...this has been a year.
I rang in the New Year with food poisoning, spent my Valentine's Day on a business trip in Detroit, got fired from my job in March and consequently was forced to break our apartment lease in April and move in with Iain's dad and brother due to our new financial situation. I'll spare you the details of everything else that has happened this year as I don't want to depress you, or myself. Let's just say, every month has had its downs and...well...its downs. It has been so difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. This year has beat us to a pulp and it seems to just keep going.
I'm back to job searching every day and pet sitting for the time being just to keep our heads above water. We were finally breaking even until last week when my most reliable pet sitting client lost her job. Consequently she doesn't need me to walk her dog anymore. There's not a day that goes by where I don't think about money, my career, my living situation, my lack of friends, etc.
So, why am I telling you all this? That's a good question. A big part of that answer is that I want you to know that if you're experiencing something like this too, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Job searching is a bitch. Uploading your resume then spending the next 30 minutes typing everything on your resume into their company system just so you can be weeded out even faster...it's demeaning as hell! Receiving automated rejection emails weekly...it's degrading and it wears at you. Trust me...I KNOW. I know ALL about it. The job market is not like it used to be, and in addition to that, the workplace isn't like it used to be. Americans are working more hours for lower pay and less satisfying work. It's ridiculous! There has to be a better way. If I could make a full time job out of blogging I would do it in a heart beat. Regardless of whether or not my blog becomes profitable, I'll still keep posting because it's something I enjoy doing.
I wish I could say there's a moral to this story. I wish I could say I have good news and motivation for you. Unfortunately, at this point in my life, I don't. That's totally fine and I accept that. Everyone's life has its high points and its low points. Some chapters will last longer than others. You just have to keep pushing through and trust that your hard work and determination will take you where you want to go. Sometimes that means turning your way of thinking upside down and realizing that what you thought life would be, just isn't realistic.
I know what it's like to think "why me?" every day. I know what it's like to feel like the world is against you. I know what it's like to feel like you have it harder than anyone else. The truth is, everyone has difficult times, they're just not something everyone shares which is why I am sharing some of mine with you - to let you know there are other people out there who can relate.
I'm thankful every day for each and every one of you. Every subscriber, follower, reader, commenter. Know that I value you so much and you brighten my day. If you've read this through until the end, thank you for doing so. It truly means a lot.
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