Thursday, May 7, 2015

77 Days

77 days. The number of days I was unemployed before receiving a job offer. 77 days.

I get it that at about 26 years old I haven't had a lot of time to experience true struggle and I know my life has been fairly easy this far. But even with few truly challenging experiences, I can assure you that unemployment is awful. I'm not sharing this for pity or to compete with others who struggle. I'm sharing for personal catharsis and with the hope that you may understand unemployment a bit better. 

The worst 77 days. 
I felt hopeless, sad, exhausted, lost, useless, lonely. I lost confidence in myself. Some days I couldn't find an ounce of motivation. 

The hardest 77 days. 
For me the toughest part of unemployment was not knowing when it was going to end. I quickly lost the ability to concretely plan anything in the future - scheduling a haircut a few months away was stressful. 

The longest 77 days.
Every day was the same. Weekends were no different from weekdays. Without having somewhere you must be everyday, days run together. Job searching and applying can occur any day of the week. 

As my dad said when I called him with the news of my job offer, "It only takes one". It took one offer for all the terribleness and stress of those 77 days to dissipate. My tears of worry and frustration turned into tears of relief and excitement. 

I think it will take a bit of time, but I hope that I become thankful for my unemployment experience. So far it's helped me with one thing. Perspective. I learned that challenges that once brought me frustration are actually not that terrible. I hope that I'll be able to keep that perspective as I venture back into the "employed" category. 

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