All of this and I don't know what to do. I feel really stuck and trapped. Every day (well, almost every day, at least 3 or 4 times a week) I sit down at my computer and search for jobs. I bookmark the good looking ones and make a pile to return to after my great search is over. Then I go through them one at a time, apply, write cover letters, send in resumes and CVs, and sometimes if the people are really annoying, I have to write whole new samples of my work based on their guidelines ("Write two 1000-word articles from different angles about the decline of youth involvement in society". Eh?) That's a lot for applying. Do you just want to see an academic paper I wrote about literature and psychology instead?
If only life were that kind.
This can get very disheartening after a while. Especially since, after more than 5 weeks of doing this, I've gotten one rather rude rejection (littered with typos... I hate to be that grammar Nazi, but really? Pay me to edit your rejection letters...), one email of "we're interested" but then no follow up, and a whole lot of empty inbox. That's right, of the 20+ jobs I've applied for (even some craigslist! eeh!) I've received 1.5 replies. I understand they are swamped with resumes though. But even that understanding isn't enough to sooth my grieving spirit. (And Constantine died so that doesn't help). I need a job, like so many others.
So in the mean time, what do I do to try to ease my father's anxiety and my mothers not understanding why I'm still here in her house? A lot of things.
1. Keep up with my hobbies.
So not as much as I should be, but I did get to teach a belly dance workshop in Defiance the other month and that was good. It made me practice up, eat right, and make sure I still had my dance technique. I have another coming up in September and maybe a class at a local Zumba joint. They are all spread out so the money isn't something I can rely on, but my physicality can. I workout with these things in mind and still watch what I eat.
2. Keep writing!
It is what I want my life to be about. I get so excited about writing sometimes that I have crazy, drunk butterflies in my stomach. That's how much I love writing! I get so much energy thinking about magic systems, worlds, religions, cultures, lizard-people, and giant monsters that I shake when writing! I get so pumped about sharing a lesson and life perspective that my mind races faster than I can type. I get jittery thinking about word-play and symbolism. It's all very nerdy and exhilarating!
Also, this gives me practice to say things different ways and realize how I speak and how my words come across to others. I also have the time to try out characters, flaws, twists, plots, and other things that I would normally have to carefully craft before finalizing. The play is super fun.
With so much material being produced, I now have something of a stash of stories, ideas, and novels. Yeah, I have 3 novels I can toy with and edit and a small series of novelettes too. This slumps has given me time to create a horde of things I can come back to. But don't misunderstand, I polish too and finish. Yeah, I finish now! How amazing is that? Usually, I can hardly finish a story let alone a novel. So when you're stuck, keep up with your craft. Even if you think it's a waste of time and you should be out hunting for a job 24-7, take a moment to practice what you want to do!
3. Do other things.
I have one or two very specific hobbies so this doesn't mean that. My hobbies are reading (for my craft!) and dancing. I change it up with going to a Zumba class (so fun!), swimming, nature parks, or going to a movie. Later to day, my siblings and I are going to see "How to Train Your Dragon 2" just to give me some space and something else to do with my head. Movies are fine, just don't watch ones that make you feel stupid. And I love TV shows like "Supernatural" and "Heroes" but I try to not watch more than 2 episodes in one sitting.
Play a game! I love boardgames like "Catan" and "Hero Quest". Harry Potter themed "Clue" is also really fun for some reason. However...I absolutely love "League of Legends" right now too. Yes, I play video games. And I will admit right now, sometimes I spend too much time on League. Especially if I'm feeling really down about jobs.
The trick with these Other Things is to know when to stop and go back to being profitable. Train yourself and discipline yourself to know what enough is enough.
This is my golden One Ring of power right here. I write down everything. Mostly because I cannot remember a thing and have very bad memory and pretty bad depression sometimes and if I don't see a written task, I may not do it. Get a spiral-bound calendar that fits in your man-purse or book bag and keep it with you. I am very sad that mine has just a couple months left in it. I've had it for a year!
I write down daily what I want to do. Everything. Even Other Things and fun stuff. Not just the work and the exercise.
To day I have things like "write/edit", "find short story ideas", "apply for bookmarked jobs", "dance exercise", "Go see dragon movie". Everything is on there that I want to do today. You will notice that League is not on there. *Sigh*
When you do a thing, check it off! That makes me feel so accomplished. This is seriously the biggest thing on here. Plan what you do. Make time, take the time, and get things done.
5. Do things that make you feel worth while.
I try to not watch or read anything that is *ahem* below my intelligence level. I like my leisure time to be challenging as well. Or I chose "easy" things that are not unintelligent. I do like the occasional Young Adult series of books (Looking at you, Heather Brewer) and the animated Disney flick. But those things are well-thoughtout and worth it. Do not dumb yourself down and do not get lazy.
Do not be upset when you cannot get everything on your list or you do not hear back from those people you spent 24 hours preparing your resume, cover letter, and writing samples for. I do though, so don't worry. But telling someone else not to helps me not to. I am very down about jobs right now but I cannot let it nail me to the floor or I'll never get back up again.
When the job-thing starts to tear you up and tell you your not worth it, stop and go look at something great you did. Don't go that Thing and be like "Nah, you suck! You didn't get me the job!" It's not the Thing's fault! And it's not yours either. The Thing is not badly done. Maybe it just wasn't right for that job. Take an idea from it and try something else. Keep producing ideas and Things. You are unique enough to make a lot of cool Things and someone will want it and you.
Don't give up, and don't drown in depression.
Sorry, that last one was for me, but you can take it too.