I am lost. Or perhaps at a crossroad? But instead of just the typical crossroad with your only choices being a right turn, a left turn, or stay the path, I feel like I have a plethora of choices. And at the same time, no choices.
I got sick. And that set all of this in motion. I got sick, literally, from and of what I was doing with my life. At least professionally. I couldn’t hack it, and I couldn’t stand it anymore. So I quit. I quit without any real understanding of what that was going to mean for me, if I’m being totally honest. I just knew, at the time, that I needed to fix myself.
I feel like I’ve taken great strides in doing just that. I feel happy again. I don’t dread going to sleep each night for fear of what the morning will bring. I don’t fear the sun rising in the morning and bringing undying anxiety of what my day will hold. I’m not apprehensive about going home and explaining to the man I love that my life feels like it’s falling to pieces around me. None of that terrifies me anymore because it’s not how I feel. And that’s such a blessing.
But that fear and anxiety over my day to day existence has been replaced with a feeling of unworthiness. I am not worthy of a job. I’m not good enough. Or I’m too good. Either way, I am not a worthy candidate, not even worth an interview. And that has given my self-confidence a beating.
I know so many people are going through this, so I really have no room to complain. I also understand that many have been going through this for much longer than I have. But it still irks me. How can a college-educated, experienced 20-something not even be worth an interview? I’ve applied for jobs that I’m over-qualified for, exactly qualified for, and maybe-not-quite-so-qualified for but that I’m willing to jump right in and learn. I’ve easily applied for 75 jobs in the last three months. And the only one I’m “good enough” for is a glorified telemarketing job. How is that possible?
I’m over-qualified for secretarial work. My English degree isn’t good enough for a technical writer because I don’t have a math or science background. I’m good enough to substitute, but Heaven forbid a principal bring me in for an interview to fill a vacancy. It’s like I’m a leper or something.
And then, there’s the looming question. What do I even want to do with my life? This is where the crossroad comes in. That one that has ten spokes, ten different paths I could take.
Do I continue teaching? I like to think I’m pretty good at it; it’s safe and comfortable for the most part. I just got caught up in a bad situation, and there are ways to attempt to avoid that in the future.
Do I want to pursue my original dream of breaking into the publishing world? There are a couple of publishing companies around, but entry level stuff seems to be just out of reach. And trust me, I’ve tried. I cold-emailed a couple of different people. Surprise surprise, I didn’t hear back.
What about something totally different? Maybe I could write for a living. Gasp! But my specialty is literature, not writing. And I certainly didn’t take journalism classes, so it seems most writing is actually out of the question for me. Event planning? I could put my obsessive organization and planning to good use there. But again, everyone wants the experience. There are so many things flying around my brain, and I’m at a total loss as to where to go from here.
And I’m scared. I’m scared of the unknown, of changing my current path and finding I’m still not satisfied. The current known scares me. It scares me that I spend my days at home and not contributing to our living situation. Teaching scares me, too. I was truly traumatized by my last experience, and getting back in there terrifies me on a regular basis. I think what kills me most is that I never thought I’d be that person out of college who changes jobs a million times and never really has a career. Yet I have become that person. And that scares me, too.
So here I am, questioning whether I stay the course or veer off. I change my mind constantly. I thought I knew who I was and what I wanted. I start down one path, then back up into the middle of the intersection again. It’s a dangerous, tiring dance, one I don’t know the steps to. I’ve never been a good dancer, either.