I feel like such a Debbie Downer these days. The job search has really taken a toll on my sense of happiness and I feel like I’m near the end stages of the grief cycle. First I was really driven to get onto my next thing– my last job was such a shitshow that it really was an effort to escape. I don’t think that was denial but it was basically emotionless go-getting (which to be honest, is not that bad and is what I should be doing now). Then it was anger: why not me??? I think I’m probably in something of a depression right now– just generally feeling lethargic and down. The last phase of the grief cycle is acceptance which I don’t know really fits with what I am going through. I feel like I’m going through the motions of interviewing but sometimes it feels like “make-believe.” I’ve done so many interviews and the outcomes are always so disappointing that I feel like I’m going about this job search mechanically and with no passion at all. Which I guess is ok but sometimes I feel like I’m not taking things seriously.
I was talking to my cousin the other day. She recently moved and was able to square away a job pretty quickly through personal connections. I asked her how her job was going and she said that she loved it. Now, I have to say, my cousin and I are polar opposites. Where I am kind of a sourpuss and unethusiastic for the large part, my cousin is bubbly and excited and really (almost unbelievably) positive. So when she said that she loved her job– I was excited for her but at the same time, I wondered: have I ever LOVED a job? Have I ever LOVED anything?
I have read books and articles about how to change one’s view on life and how to be happier and more positive. One psychological phenomenon is the idea that some people are maximizers and some are satisficers. Meaning: maximizers want the best and they are rarely satisfied. Life for them is perpetually a glass half empty. Satisficers on the other hand are the people that count their blessings and see all the good they have in the world and do not covet that of others. They see the cup as deliciously half full.
Now, falling into one or the other category is attributed not just to nurture but also to nature: some people are just biologically more driven to want more more more. And I would definitely say that I fall into this category: perpetual overachiever, looking far ahead and coveting other things rather than savoring what I have. Which is not to say that I can’t change my POV but there is a tendency to be one way or the other based on biology.
Also, my cousin is very religious (I think I may have mentioned this in a previous blog post) so I know that she works hard and is positive in some part due to her belief in someone/something looking over her. I think in the past I have referred to this as a receptacle to deposit all one’s fears and uncertainties. Just do the best that you can and know that things will turn out ok. I wish I could just let go and know that someone/something is there to catch me. I don’t know that I don’t but I don’t have that sense of calm that everything is going to work out ok.
Even as I work to get a job, I wonder if I will ever really be happy. I think when I land my next gig, I will feel relieved and happy and so very grateful. But I feel like soon after, I will start eyeballing the next thing or find another aspect of my life to be sad about. Right now, there are a lot of unhappy things related to love and money, but the unemployment is front and center and requiring my total attention (plus it is the first stop to managing all my other life’s underachievements). I know that really what I need to do is focus on surviving in the present, work to get a job, work hard when I’m in my job and see the other things as the next goals that I need to tackle. Life is not going to be easy and take each one as it comes. Don’t get discouraged and try not to get too wrapped up on the challenges and the frustration. I know. I know. I know that it’s not a dire situation and that my attitude is going to heavily impact what I can surpass in these next stages of my life.
But I wish I could flip a switch somewhere in my head and just be more positive about life as a whole. I’m making it worse for myself and I am so truly miserable.