28 July 2011

Lather. Rinse. Repeat

It's like having deja vu all over again. An unused degree that took longer than most to get, check. Underemployed at an office job that is irrelevant to my chosen field, check. Feeling destined to a disappointing and unfulfilled life, check. Honestly, this is precisely how I felt nine years ago when I graduated with my bachelor's degree. I had hoped that this time around things would be different. I had hoped to find a job as a middle school teacher. Obviously that can still happen, but I have a deeply-rooted paranoia that I will be stuck going from office job to office job, unable to get teaching experience because I need a steady income, and constantly rejected for that lack of teaching experience. I spent most of the six years between my bachelor's degree and graduate school miserable and working at dead-end jobs I didn't care about. I don't want that again. At all. The office is not for me. I love the feeling of being in a classroom, of working with students, of collaborating with other teachers, of channeling the excitement of learning and the power of knowing. That is what I want and I am extremely frustrated that I can't find it. Now I feel like a hamster on a wheel, having expended a lot of resources thinking I was getting somewhere and then realizing I'm in the same exact place I started. It is not a happy feeling.

The life-on-repeat feeling isn't only applicable in my working life. I'm tired of watching successive generations of friends build careers and families and leave me behind, either physically or metaphorically. I'm tired of being the dependable friend who is there when people need me, but rarely included in the fun stuff. I'm tired of friends who disappear when dating someone and then reappear seeking consolation when it doesn't work out. I would really like not to feel stuck on the side of the road while everyone flies by, headed for the future at 60 mph. 

I don't want to sound ungrateful, as there are a lot of good things in my life and I am a happy person. I haven't always been this happy; it has been a battle to get happy and I don't want that fight to be in vain. It is just hard for a worry-wart overachiever like me to wait, to stop, to be patient. 

11 July 2011

Stuff Happened

'Tis a while since I posted anything to my blog, which means this will probably be a quick run down of stuff until I disappear again into my random busyness. Quite a bit has been going on, I just haven't felt much like talking about it until tonight, mostly through laziness, if truth be told. Also, there isn't a unifying thread or connection between anything other that it is my life, so welcome to my disjointed life.

In March I was sick of the dwindling amount of clothing in my closet that I could actually fit into, so I joined Weight Watchers. It is a surprisingly easy and flexible system and since a) I am paying for it and b) the computer does all my thinking, I follow it. In the last seventeen weeks I've managed to lose 25lbs. Which is on the awesome side, as I can wear much more of my wardrobe now and have even had to buy new jeans. Which is actually a huge chore I do not feel like repeating anytime soon, but is better than accidentally pantsing oneself in public.

This spring I learned that I did not grow out of my childhood response to hospitals of faintness and nausea when I nearly passed out in my niece's hospital room after she had surgery. For future reference, I do not do well in hospitals and will be happy to help out in any other way and at any other location. Which means I will be serving some other function when my niece has another surgery in August.

In June I managed to get my Master's paper finished and turned in and I officially graduated. Although it is again with a degree in a field that is shrinking job-wise. So, good times. I did have an interview with the school I student taught at, but they went with someone with several years of experience. It was pretty disheartening and sent me into a spiral of thinking I will be relegated (again) to hated office jobs. Also, I now have no idea where I will be in August. I might just end up an old spinster living in my brother's basement because I am working minimum wage jobs and trying to pay off student loans I racked up for a degree I am (again) not able to use. This is not a happy place to be, mentally, but it is where I am. Also, writing cover letters is of the devil. This requirement for a job fills me with angst and loathing directly proportional to how much I actually want the job. Pressure equals writing block and I end up stymied and racing down a depressing spiral of psychological torment imagining all the ways I am not qualified for the position and how hysterical the HR people will find my cover letter and resume. I realize this is toxic headspace, but I'm not sure how to get out of it.

This headspace is not helped by the fact I found a summer job at a property management company. While the people who work in the office are lovely and nice, there is at least one person each day who feels it necessary to be horrid. Which is ridiculous, because being horrid removes any incentive on my part to help them. Sadly, these people have learned that if one is awful enough, people will give in just to stop having to deal with one. Blech. But hey, I have a pay check for the first time in three years and an opportunity to save some money for the impending payment of student loans.

Finally, the loss of weight mentioned above has highlighted another piece of my life with which I am not entirely happy. While lots of women have commented on my appearance and been complimentary, it has done nothing with regard to male interest in me. Ever since I hit puberty and started realizing I looked nothing like what everyone said was beautiful, I thought if I would only lose weight, I would get dates. I thought that what was holding me back was being fat. Apparently it isn't the only thing. I'm not finished losing weight, but the magnitude of the physical changes only underscore the lack of change in my social life. Sometimes I wish I had a male friend close enough to just sit down and ask what is so off-putting or repellant about me and then take that information and decide what was worth working on and what wasn't. There are things I'm not going to change. I'm not going to be less opinionated, I'm not going to act less intelligent, or in any way pretend to be less than. But there are some things I could work on. I think. I hope.