Day 49: Stress eating my way through unemployment.

Stress eating is a real issue for me. I’m sad to even say that out loud. When I get stressed I start to eat. And when I start eating, I don’t stop.

Last night I ate an entire bag of fuzzy peach candies at 2 am. Why? I can’t tell you why as I don’t even know myself.

After I was unceremoniously fired on New Year’s Eve, I remember going home and eating an entire pie. The feeling of stress that I felt that day hasn’t really gone away, or even lessened for that matter. I would say that, if anything, it’s increased.

On paper I have an extremely strong resume. In person I am an even stronger candidate. Somehow, though, I can’t seem to figure this job market out. And I’m noticing that I really like to stress eat. Most times not even realizing that I am doing so.

My mom, bless her heart is going through chemotherapy treatments right now, has been continually trying to pump up my mood, every day. Every day. I do have some incredibly loving and wonderful people in my life. I do. And when I am around them, it’s a welcome distraction and what I need to keep myself moving forward.

Those moments when I am alone, though… those are the moments I don’t trust myself. Those are the moments when the stress eating happens.

I wish that I could retrain my psyche to tell me I need to spend 5 hours in the gym every time I get stressed. I wish I could retrain my mind to stop reaching for food. Oh, we’re all a little flawed somehow. Me, I have no will power. When things go wrong, I reach for food.

It’s not good. I know. I’ve been lectured on it enough in my life. But hey, at least it’s not cocaine or something stupid like that. That’s all I’m telling myself for now. At least until life calms down a little…. until my mom’s cancer is in remission, until I’m a member of the working class once again… until I can wake up in the morning and be excited for the day ahead.

For now, in the words of Dory, I ‘just keep swimming’.

Day 48: A sign, an earring and a reminder to just breathe.

Gabe, the three legged chihuahua is giving me some hardcore side-eye right now. How dare I sit on this bed without allowing him to sit on my lap.

It’s been a little more than one month since I created a wordpress account and subsequently, this blog. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined the sincere and genuine kindness that I would have come across just by making a blog ‘on-the-line’. (Shout out to anyone who has seen ‘The Intern’) I’ve come to find that the interwebs are filled with incredibly kind and genuine people with nothing but love to share and provide total strangers. It’s a nice feeling to know that there are so many of you out there. It gives me hope. Thank you to each and every one of you who has shown me kindness. Especially to those of you who left me suggestions on how to help with my anxiety.

In other news, on February 11th I placed an order for earrings on a boutique website. I’d been eyeing them up for a while, deciding whether or not I could justify spending the money on them, and finally decided to pull the trigger. I paid for express shipping in hopes that the ‘2-3 Business days’ promised under the express column meant there might be a slight chance that I could have them for Valentine’s Day. When I hadn’t received a shipping notification by February 14th I sent an email to the boutique to ask where my earrings were. Apparently, unbeknownst to anyone, there’s a 5-10 business day handling period prior to shipping. So paying for express shipping would be 2-3 to ship following the 5-10 handling period at the boutique. As a small business, I can understand a need for time to process orders. What I cannot understand is why you don’t tell your customers that. Had I known that there was a handling period, I would not have paid for express shipping. Perhaps it’s just my needing to rant, but as a small business, you should be willing to be transparent with your customers about things like that. It’s good business and it’s good for survival.

My anxiety has gone down considerable amounts since yesterday. I think that I was overly nervous for my cat-scan last night. Being confined to small spaces, especially a cat scan machine, wasn’t sitting well with me. It’s nerve-wracking thinking something could be wrong with me. I’m trying to practice patience, though. And also, to find solace in the fact that they are trying to figure out what’s wrong and not just leaving me be. Knight and I went to the gym today t blow off some steam and that helped considerably. I’m going to take some of the suggestions that were left in the comments of my last post and try to start working them into my days. The way I figure, it’s worth a shot.

Plans for tomorrow include sending off my resume to a few more leads. Also – there’s apparently a coffee shop in town that has a wall of old books you can sit and read while you’re in there. Perhaps I’ll take my laptop and spend a few hours outside of the house.

Reminder to self: just breathe.

It’s time to find a job. A job that furthers my career. Just waiting on someone to realize what a badass addition I would be to their office.

Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.

Sending love ❤

Tired and uninspired.

2019 has been kicking my ass. That’s become a phrase that I’m using a lot this year. At 1.5 months into this year, I’m wondering where the time went while also wondering why everything is going so slowly.

This just in – I am still unemployed. And it’s not for lack of trying. I even had a professional writer take a look at my resume to tell me what was wrong with it. It’s good. Trust me, it’s good. Somehow though, that doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter that I have ten years experience, a degree, or anything that’s listed on my resume. I am just another one of the bunch. And since the bunch is plentiful, here I am… serving as the token unemployed millennial. Such a stereotype. Such I am.

In other news, my mother’s chemotherapy has been delayed. The poor woman seems to be allergic to just about everything, so, I guess the doctor’s are hesitant to completely destroy her immune system until they know that she’s not going to adversely react to the medications she’s required to take through the process. Knowing that this process is being prolonged is affecting my anxiety in copious amounts. It’s hard enough to have to watch your mom go through something like this, but it’s getting harder knowing that it’s so much more complicated than we originally thought it would be.

I’m still homeless. It’s been difficult. Though I’ve lasted 12 days at this point so I am pretty proud of myself for that. I find myself missing simple things… like being able to open the cupboard and see exactly what I want to eat in there… or being able to leave the dishes in the sink and wash them later. Or just sitting down on my own couch. Things are just things, I am aware of this. I am now realizing though just how much comfort some of these things can bring… especially when you might just be in a frail state yourself (and not wanting to admit to it).

I have a CT-Scan booked for Saturday. I was quite amazed that I actually got it booked so quickly. Hopefully though, they’ll be able to see what’s really going on inside of my head and provide me some relief to this constant pressure in my face. The doctor thinks it’s internal damage from a broken nose, but needs a CT-Scan to see the extent of the damage. I guess we’ll find out on Saturday. As if there wasn’t enough to worry about in my life already…

To take a moment and talk about the bonuses – Knight and I travelled to Lake Louise to see the Ice Magic Festival this past weekend. It was magical, and everything I’d ever wanted it to be. I’ve had dreams of seeing it since I was a kid, so being able to be there and see it up close and personal was a pretty big check off my bucket-list.

Here’s to trying to see the positives through all the mess.

And self-care. Self care is very important.

Day 37: Ugh

As the fifth day in a row of temperatures below -30 degrees Celsius continues, cabin fever is real and hitting hard.

I don’t own a car. The idea of taking on that much debt terrifies me. As someone who has been on their own since they were 17, I don’t want to accumulate more than I can pay off. So, when it gets this cold, there’s not much more to do than stay in side, look for jobs online and watch a lot of Netflix.

Not owning a vehicle definitely makes getting around an interesting task when you’re 30 miles from the nearest town.

There’s a dog in this house named Bruiser, who quite literally leaves bruises on your body if you piss him off. And he’s a temperamental little bugger too, so it’s quite easy to piss him off. Never have I met a more aptly named pet in my life. Also, he snores. He’s on the couch across from me, four legs in the air, snoring like a full-fledged human man right now. Oh, Bruiser.

I long for the days when life is figured out. When I have a plan, a job and can effectively turn this passion project of mine into a full-fledged reality. The days when I can wander the world, taking beautiful photos and meeting beautiful strangers… and eating food even before I learn what it is. I long for the sunsets on new coasts and sunrises in new cities.

I am bound and determined to believe that December 31, 2018 will become the best thing that ever happened to me. That it will have been the day this all started. It was the day that all of the negativity in my life was cut out and the new, proper chapter began. What I need right now is to get through this literal and metaphorical cold snap confining my existence to this unemployment.

Life will get figured out. Hopefully it doesn’t come to robbing banks to get me to the sandy beaches of the Seychelles. (Small joke, I would never rob a bank) And hopefully that’ll just be my beginning.

Until then, still counting the days.

Day 32: February, how did you get here so quickly?

Today is not going well for me. My anxiety is skyrocketing to the point where I’m struggling to catch my breath. What’s triggering it? It would be nice to know. How is it February already? Where is the time going and why does it feel like it’s slipping away from me faster than sand running through my fingertips?

More questions. Every time I get anxious it seems as though all I am filled with is questions. Questions, questions, questions. It’d be nice to have some answers for a change.

I don’t tell people about my anxiety. I haven’t really ever. I’m not ashamed of it, I just don’t know how to explain it. Talking about anxiety to someone who doesn’t suffer from it really doesn’t understand. Trying to answer their questions just seems like an arduous feat I’m not capable of at this stage in my life.

We’re a month into the year and all I can feel is that I don’t have my shit together.

My mom starts chemotherapy on the 7th and though I know they caught her cancer early and I know they’re incredibly optimistic she will come out of this clear and healthy, I’m still scared.

The job hunt has become more frustrating by the day. Step 1 – Upload your resume. Step 2 – Rewrite everything that is listed on your resume in our form. Step 3 – Answer a bunch of questions that we should be asking you in an interview but don’t because we’re not going to interview you. Step 4 – Waste a lot of your time.

And, for the interviews that I have had, I’m now playing the waiting game. And the waiting game sucks. Everything feels unsettled. Everything feels out of place. It’s as though the world is off-kilter and I just can’t keep my feet firmly planted on the ground. Life happens.

Waiting for this to pass. Hoping it passes soon.

I really need to stop pouring my thoughts out to the internet.

Day 31: Officially of no-fixed address.

It’s not as bad as I thought it might be. I used to think people were crazy if they had no desires to tie themselves down. And I realize that it’s only been a few hours, but to a certain extent, I am feeling very free.

For so long now I have tied my identity to my career. I lived in a crappy little apartment (that rent was extremely overpriced for) for too many years because I told myself that it’s what I needed to do for my career. My job was what mattered and I was going to do what it took to maintain that. Now that I have no job, nor an apartment, I’m relishing in the fact that there’s more to life than what one does to make a pay cheque.

I still want to work, don’t get me wrong. I desperately want to work. I’m over and done with settling, though. The shit that happened in 2018 is going to stay in 2018.

I had an economics professor in University that used to frequently tell us there are three C’s in life that matter: choice, challenge and change.

“You’ve got to make the choice to accept the challenge to make a change,” he would boast, captivatingly, from the front of our lecture hall.

Well, I’m making the choice to accept the challenge. This year I want to find a career that will make me happy. This year I want to find a home that feels like a home, and not just a place to sleep. This year I want to travel. And most of all, this year I don’t want people in my life who are going to drag me down.

I have roughly 10,000 dollars in my bank account (luckily), desire in my heart and wanderlust in my soul. There’s 11 months left of this year, it’s time for me to make something good of it. 2018 is staying in 2018.

Here’s to bigger and better things. And, hopefully, no more whining to the internet.

Day 29: A rant.

There’s something that happens whenever I speak about the very real issues of inequality – things like sexism, classism, racism and pay gaps. 

I’m met with responses such as: “Don’t be ridiculous!” or “Why are you making problems where there aren’t any?”

Every time. And every single time, I get frustrated. How do they not get it? Why don’t they care?

I honestly believe that they just don’t know any better. I think we’ve reached a point in society where it’s inequality has become so prominent that we don’t even realize it’s happening when we see it happening. We downplay it, we minimize it, and we overlook it. And why?

Now, to preface this, I grew up in a very middle-class comfortable white family. By many, many, many accounts I have had a lot of privileges in life. I’m not trying to cry foul, I am merely trying to shine a light on the fact that as a society, women are largely undervalued in a world dominated by ‘boys-club’ mentality.

When women speak the very real truth that we’re underpaid and undervalued for the things that we do in the workplace, we’re mocked. Or ignored. Or, in a lot of instances, we’re even called liars. And why?

Heaven forbid we stand up for ourselves. Heaven forbid we point out the very reality that we’ve come to face every day in society. The reality that we, for the most part, quietly, humbly, and politely accept. We’re taught to. We’re told to. From a very young age it’s instinctively drilled into our minds that this simply the way the world works and trying to fight it, or change it, is going to be a waste of our efforts.

It doesn’t feel good. It doesn’t feel right. And it most definitely doesn’t feel fair. 

But maybe they just don’t know? Perhaps they aren’t aware that a male and a female doing the same job have salary differences in the upwards of tens of thousands of dollars per year. Perhaps they don’t know measure education, work-experience and skill-sets when setting these salaries. Perhaps it was just a lottery and he won the larger salary.

Maybe they honestly believe that calling us ‘gold-diggers’ is a fair assessment to make when we seek financial assistance in raising children.

Maybe they simply think that they bring more value to this world. 

They most certainly don’t believe they’re doing anything wrong when they insult each other in ways that demean the female gender. “Don’t be such a pussy”, I’ve heard said more times than I would ever like to admit to. You throw like girl. You’re such a little bitch. Sissy-boy. And the list goes on…

They don’t see it when we clench our jaw, force a smile, and continue on as to not ‘cause a scene’.They don’t know how often it happens. So often that it’s become routine to ‘grin and bear it’.

And heaven forbid we stand up for ourselves. Heaven forbid we raise very valid points that treatment of that nature is not fair, not right and not called for. Being labelled as a “difficult woman” is not a title that simply fades away with time.

This isn’t a new way to view the world. It’s always been happening. As female we’re taught from a young age how to do this. How to stand down. How to not cause a scene. So much so that we often don’t realize we’re doing it anymore. We’ve taught ourselves to be masters of de-escalation. To treat it as though it’s not happening; to be grateful for the mere fact that we have a job at all; to accept every name called, every insult heard, every insecurity showcased as a fact of life.

That’s the reality of being female. 

At my former place of employment my boss was married to a doctor. A very highly respected, hard working, incredibly talented doctor. Though she had more education, more skills and was far superior to him in intelligence measures, he weaseled his way into a high-paying job where he got to treat people like crap. His wife’s salary was 20,000 less per year than his and he never let her forget that. It almost seemed as though it was priority in life to demean and demoralize his wife for not contributing in the way that he did to their shared expenses.

My best friend’s ex-husband, without an education, works a job that pays him more than 100,000 dollars per year more than his ex-wife. His ex-wife that he, on regular occasion, referred to as a ‘free-loader- whilst she stayed home during the first year of each of her two young-children’s lives. His ex-wife, who he then referred to as selfish for not wanting to be with her kids, when she attended nursing school to help establish her career. His ex-wife whom which he now refers to as a ‘gold-digger’ on any of the rare occasions in which she has asked him to contribute towards hockey registration fees, or dance class fees.

These are just stories at top of mind. These are just people. And it’s not just in the people that I know. It’s everywhere.

It’s in the hallway of the office, any office, where I hear a male coworker to tell one of his counterparts to ‘stop pms’ing’.

It’s in the hockey arena, when the coach shouts that a ‘Dumb Bitch’ isn’t qualified to officiate his team’s hockey game. Because she’s female, she can’t possibly know enough about hockey to be qualified. Is that what we’re supposed to believe, coach? Thank you for passing along this incredible messaging to the next generation.

It’s over the phone, when a complete stranger’s first words to me are ‘Oh, you sound like a hot line call girl’, only to further that with ‘That voice could get me through a lot of lonely nights’.

It’s everywhere and nowhere, all at the same time. 

It’s so frequent and prevalent that we pretend it doesn’t happen because often times it means requires a battle so time-consuming and recurring that it’s not something we can physically and mentally focus on.

When a woman asks to be treated fairly, do it. It’s not a lot to ask.

When a woman comments on the pay gap, don’t ignore her. Don’t devalue her. 

When a woman seeks help, don’t criticize her. Don’t diminish her self worth.

When a man doesn’t measure up to your standards, don’t insult him by demeaning women. Don’t insult him by demeaning anyone. Actually, don’t insult anyone. Negativity perpetuates negativity.

I guess all that I’m trying to explain with this really long-winded discussion is, be kind. Treat everyone with the respect that they deserve. Try to understand. Or, at the very least, try to listen. Don’t de-escalate. Appreciate. Value. Put a stop to the inequality, the bullshit and the unfairness. Put yourself in their shoes. Put them in your shoes. Remember that no one else in this world has had the advantages that you have.

Be fair. Create equality on your own. Perhaps others will follow suit. At the very least though, at the very possible least, you’re going to make the women in your life feel a whole lot better when you attempt to understand. And it doesn’t take a lot of effort.

So just fucking do it.