Unemployment is exhausting on the body, mind and soul.

Another day, another setback.

I first had a phone interview with a company on July 3rd. They had liked me so much that I had a Skype interview with the same company on July 10th.

Then I was told they needed a week to continue interviews with other candidates and they’d get back to me. I was told I’d hear from them regarding a decision on July 17.

On July 19th, I sent an email and said ‘Hey, haven’t heard from you guys, just wondering if there are any updates’, in a professional manner. Less than ten minutes later they wrote back and said ‘Hey, we’d like for you to have a skype interview with our CEO. He has a busy schedule though, we’ll get back to you when we know he’s available for an interview’.

On July 22 they sent me an email that said the CEO would be available to do a Skype interview with me on August 6. More than two weeks away, and more than a month after my initial phone interview.

I ain’t got nowhere to go. My job offer had been rescinded on July 11, so it’s not like I had many choices. I agreed to call them on Skype on August 6 at 11 am and asked that if a time came up prior to that point they let me know because I’d love to speak with their CEO sooner.

I waited my turn. I continued applying for jobs, arranging interviews, wasting my time filling out assessment tests that explain nothing more than a candidates deductive reasoning skills. I’ve not been sitting on my butt. I’ve genuinely been trying as I waited for August 6th.

August 6th finally arrives.

As I’m straightening my hair and putting on my makeup this morning I hear my phone beep with an email that’s come through.

9:55 am I receive an email that says “We’re so sorry to do this to you but we have to cancel. An emergency came up and we won’t be able to have the interview this morning. – M”

ALRIGHT. At this point you’re just screwing with me. You’re wasting my time and you just don’t give a fuck.

Honestly, I’m so tired of these games. If you’ve got another candidate you’ve offered the job to, that’s fine. Stop lying to me. If you actually had an emergency in which you have enough time to email me, you’d say “We’ll reschedule”. If you actually cared about me as a candidate whatsoever, you’d say “We’ll be in touch” or something of the sort. But nothing. No “We’ll call you”… noooo language whatsoever that’ll allow me to believe I’ll ever hear from this company again.

I feel like this is the unemployment version of a breakup where… instead of breaking up with you they play stupid games with you in hopes that you get fed up and walk away.

Things I’ve learned applying for more than 200 jobs.

I’ve been unemployed for seven months. It has been seven months filled with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.

On one hand, I’m glad to be free of the prison-like confinement I felt being around my previous boss. I’m glad I’m not in an environment that celebrates toxic-masculinity and treats women as though the only thing they bring to the table is boobs.

On the other hand, I miss work. I miss financial independence. I miss the feeling that I felt when I was contributing to something, when I was making a difference to someone’s (not in my office) day.

I looked in my resume folder last night and I realized that it now has more than 200 files in it. 200 resumes. 200 times I was rejected. 200 times I was said no to. 200 times I tried and it didn’t work out.

I’ve been applying for employment throughout the past seven months. I’ve applied for career positions, for retail positions, for casual positions, for any position that I thought might allow me to start earning a pay cheque again. I’ve been hired and had my job offer rescinded after I signed contracts and employment paperwork, I’ve made it to the final round, I’ve been one of the last two candidates for them to choose from, I’ve had people ignore my resume, I’ve had scammers tell me that I need to pay $4,000 as a security deposit before I can work for them. I’ve been to good interviews and bad interviews, I’ve wasted my time trying to hunt people down and I’ve spent a lot of time on interviews and conversations that didn’t end up going anywhere.

I’ve been through it all and, through it all, these are the things that my unemployment has taught me.

Always, always, ALWAYS review your resume. The most embarrassing thing you can do for yourself is to send off a resume with the wrong company name on it, or with spelling mistakes. Whether you’ve sent off 3 or 4 resumes, or 200 resumes, ensure you’re reviewing and spell-checking every time you curate your resume.

Curate your resume. Every time. As annoying as it is, it will stand out a whole lot more if you’ve got it curated to the job your applying for. Everyone on earth can write standard skills for standard employment on a resume. If you want ‘this’ job, then curate your resume to showcase skills that would make you an asset for ‘this’ job.

Rejection is not about you. Think of it this way: most often, you’re competing against hundreds of candidates for a position. As one of hundreds of candidates, if your resume doesn’t even make it into the ‘read’ pile, that says nothing about you. Sometimes, they only read the resumes of those who are local. Sometimes, they only read the first 300 resumes they get instead of all 800. I know what you’re thinking… that’s silly. Why would they only read 300 of 800 resumes, they’re missing out on so many candidates. The newsflash here is… most companies don’t give a damn. They really don’t. I’ve seen this in action. Though they’d never say it publicly, the previous office I worked in would eliminate all resumes from the pile for, management positions, if the candidate had a female’s name on their resume. If they had a name that is more gender neutral (where it could be a guy or a girl), they’d go into the maybe pile. They’d only move to the gender neutral named candidates if they couldn’t find the person they want in the resumes that were clearly men. I guarantee you that my former office is not the only place on earth where things like this happen.

Don’t feel bad about lying to put yourself ahead. Companies don’t care about you. They don’t. If you need to state that you’re living in a place in order to get them to consider you as a ‘local candidate’, say that. If you need to have your best friend pretend that he/she worked with you at your last job in order to get a reference, do that. Companies are putting themselves first, so do the same thing for yourself.

DO NOT be afraid to correct a potential employer. I’ve been called the wrong names… multiple times, I’ve had companies read form the wrong person’s resume to ask me questions… in front of me. I’ve had companies imply things about me that weren’t true and I’ve had companies speculate things they have no business in asking. When you’re unemployed, it’s easy to sit and be quiet about these things because you worry that if you speak up they won’t like you and you’ll miss the opportunity. I’m telling you right now, honestly, it’s far more important for you to stick up for yourself then to fall quiet and be seen as a push-over. Do not let a company ask you when you plan on having children. Do not let a company call you the wrong name. Let them know who you are and that you’re strong enough to speak up for yourself.

If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. I had a company tell me that in order to work for them I needed to pay a $4,000 security deposit. I was told that it’s a ‘normal thing and that all employees have to do it’. There is no security deposit required to work. None at all. There are, however, a lot of people in this world ready and willing to scam the vulnerable. If you feel as though someone is scamming you, they probably are. Be mindful of what companies are saying and trust your gut.

You are strong, you will get through this. Deep in the throws of unemployment, it can often feel as though you’re never going to get a job. It’s easy to get ‘down in the dumps’. Though it seems as though it’s never going to end, it will. You’re talented, smart and a viable candidate for many a positions. Don’t let your current situation define your future. Don’t let your head win.

Use each devastating blow as fuel to the fire. Having my job offer rescinded just three days before I was supposed to have my first day of work… it broke my heart. It really did. I think it’s important to remember in times like these, though, that I still got the job. I still was their candidate selected. And I dodged a bullet now that I’m not working for them. Turn those negative thoughts into positives and use it as motivation for your future job applications, future interviews and future opportunities.

Seek help. Accept help. Use help. Wherever you find it, however it comes about in your life, help is a good thing. Whether it’s someone to vent your frustrations to, someone to read over your cover letter or someone give you money, no questions asked, so your bills get paid… use the help. Don’t be too proud. If you’re lucky enough to have people offer help when you need it, take advantage of it when you get it. There’ll be a time in the future when you can pay it forward.

Remember your worth. There are a lot of companies in 2019 who list egregious qualifications and education requirements for positions where they’re only opting to pay minimum wage, if that (a lot of companies are trying to turn these positions into internships). Don’t ever allow a company to make you feel as though you’re worth less than you are as a means to pigeon hole you into a run of the mill position in a sub-standard office. If you have a means of holding out for the right position, do that. And if you don’t have those means, take the position that pays minimum wage, but take it ‘for-now’ and don’t stop looking for your dream job. Because it’s out there and you deserve it.

Find and effective means for managing stress. Unemployment is stressful as heck. You need an outlet to help you get through. So find that outlet and make use of it. Whether it’s yoga, a good book, screamo music or whatever helps you destress, find it and use it.

If it doesn’t work out, it’s probably for the best.

Don’t stop. Don’t ever stop.

Unemployment isn’t easy. It’s one of the most difficult things that anyone can go through, quite honestly. I think the biggest thing you can remember through a trying time like this is to just keep going. Keep your support system close and make use them, every step of the way. Whether it’s for a cup of coffee, help with your resume creation or just And don’t ever stop. In the words of Ayn Rand, “the world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it’s yours.”

I’m tired.

I’m so tired. I’m tired of painting a smile on my face. I’m tired of rejection. I’m tired of trying to explain who I am to people I’ve known my whole life. I’m tired of trying to be a neutral party when one side is so clearly out of line.

I’m tired of everything that I say being wrong. I’m tired of everything that I do not being enough. I’m tired of ending up on the losing end of every discussion. I’m just tired of talking. I’m tired of consistently falling short of everyone’s expectations. If they don’t know me, why do they get to have expectations of me?

I’m tired of considering their feelings when they never consider mine. I’m tired of being told there’s nothing wrong with me, that I’m just making it up. I’m tired of hearing ‘you’re not anxious, you’re just overdramatic’. I’m tired of being told ‘just cheer up’.

I’m so tired of being constantly watched. I don’t need to be inspected and I definitely don’t want my every move, my every action judged. I would love it if people could just let me be… leave me alone…

I’m tired of people taking advantage of me. I’m tired of everyone always wanting help from me but never wanting to help me.

I’m just tired.

I dread the night’s most.

Lately I’m finding that when the day winds down and everyone goes to bed for the night, that’s when my anxiety takes over. Swallowing every ounce of what’s good about my mood and my being, I turn into a twisted knot of explosive fear and delirious sadness.

I tried to stay positive about the world this week, I really did. I made a conscious effort every day to try and see the good in what was happening. The good was there. There was good in my life and I did see it. The problem was, the negatives seemed to swallow me whole.

I’m scared that I’m going to make the wrong decisions, do the wrong things or say something that cannot be taken back. I’m scared that I’ll never feel like myself again. As much as I can give myself pep-talks that fear doesn’t really seem to fade these days. Coping techniques help, for a little while. It always comes back though, seemingly stronger than before.

It’s a vicious hamster wheel I’m spinning in.

The struggles of being female part three.

There are some very real struggles that come with being female. I’ve written two posts about this in the past, and I’ve been feeling the struggle this week so I was motivated to add more to the list.

This was meant to be both satirical and serious, but the majority of them ended up being more serious than satirical. Either way, these are some very real struggles that come with being female.

  1. When women are mean to other women. This drives me crazy, and I really hope I’m not the only one to feel this way. I’m of the belief that, as females, we should be bringing each other up, not tearing each other down. Empowerment, that’s what the world needs more of.
  2. Crop tops. I hope I’m not alone in this. As a 30 year old female, I am passed the stage in my life in which I would like to be wearing half-a-shirt. Crop tops seem to be having ‘a minute’ right now, and they’re all I seem to find in every store that I go. What drives me even crazier about crop tops is that they’re essentially half of a shirt, and they seem to cost twice as much as the equivalent in the men’s section. While in a store called ‘Journeys’ the other day, a men’s Champion brand hoodie was $40. A women’s cropped champion hoodie (half a hoodie) was $86. How does that make any sense? I want a full shirt.
  3. Double standards. If a man sleeps with a lot of women, he’s seen as a ‘hero’ so to speak. If a woman sleeps with a lot of men, she’s treated as though she’s a whore. If a man marries a younger woman, he’s again seen as a ‘hero’ for landing a younger woman. If a woman marries a younger man, she’s seen as taking advantage, or gross, or any one of the mecca of negativity society places on her. Why is it right for men and wrong for women? Look at how women are reacting to the Priyanka Chopra/Nick Jonas marriage. Why do so many people take such issue with it? Why does it matter?
  4. Employers/potential employers asking inappropriate questions that are none of their business. Three days ago, I made the mistake of answering the phone for an unknown number and it was the CEO of a company that I’d applied for a position with. Over the course of the forty minutes that we spoke, I proclaimed that I was wanting to relocate to be closer to my boyfriend. He then decided it was an appropriate question to ask me when I plan on having children. I can’t even begin to explain the ways in which that is inappropriate, uncalled for and none of his damn business. I don’t think he appreciated my answer, and I think he knew he pissed me off. Though we spoke of the prospect of me coming for an interview, I have yet to hear anything from him since. Which is fine. If that’s how an employer operates, I likely don’t want to work there anyway.
  5. ‘Don’t be so emotional’. Firstly, I take issue with this statement being thrown at women because of the fact that it paints the subject of being emotional as being a negative trait. There’s nothing wrong with being in touch with your emotions. Women, females, girls alike are kind, caring and giving. And being emotional helps contribute to that kindness and caring that we give to the world. Secondly, I take issue with this statement being thrown at women because it contributes to the culture of toxic-masculinity that instills a belief in men they’re not allowed to be emotional. Being emotional is not a negative thing.
  6. Why is makeup and skincare so darn expensive? I love collecting makeup, I really do. I love dolling myself up, I love trying different types of skincare and seeing what works and what doesn’t. It seems ridiculous to me that we’re in a time where a Drugstore Foundation costs $20.99 and Sephora Foundations can cost $200. Economically speaking, there’s no need for the markups on these products to be so high. Companies are taking advantage of us because they know they can.
  7. Walking alone after dark can be really scary. It is. If you’re a female and you’ve ever had to do this, on a creepy street, on a dark street, right downtown the city, you likely know what it’s like to walk with your keys in your knuckles, or to call someone while you’re walking just so that you have someone to talk you through your walk. You know what it’s like to want to park as close to the door as possible, or under the nearest streetlamp so that it’s not as dark. It’s not that I’m overly fearful of the world, it’s just that if you take the proper precautionary steps, you can avoid running into bad situations.
  8. Fake pockets in women’s pants. This one makes me so ragey! I want my pockets. Why you gotta play me like this? I have things I need to carry. Why are so many women’s pants made to look as though they have pockets when they really don’t?
  9. Trying to understand what goes on inside the mind’s of men at any given moment in time. Because you can see the wheels spinning in their head, you ask them what’s up, what they’re thinking or how they’re feeling and you’re hit with ‘Not much, nothing and fine’. You know that’s not the full answer, but you can’t force them to tell you anything.

Read previous installments here:

9 Struggles that come with being a girl >

The Struggles of being a girl, part two >

Tips for coping with anxiety from a Psychiatrist

The frontal lobe is the part of the brain that is responsible for executive functions such as planning for the future, judgment, decision-making skills, attention span, and inhibition. It’s responsible your ‘normal’ mood.

For a regular person, the Amygdala (fight or flight) portion of the brain is switched on when one comes in contact with danger, or potential danger. The Amygdala takes over the frontal lobe to ensure you make/take steps to protect yourself. For example, when you’re walking a trail and you can see a bear in the path ahead of you – that is when the Amygdala comes into play.

For an anxious person, it can almost seem as though there is no clear line between what is perceived as safe and what is perceived as dangerous. Instead of their being a clear switch to turn on the Amygdala, it seems to consistently stay on. Almost like a light with a dimmer switch. The light can be bright, or it can be dim, but it always stays on, and that anxious feeling always stays there, in your mind.

If you’ve ever experienced anxiety before, you know that static can really take over your brain and make it hard to do or focus on anything. Everything seems to stress you out more, and everyone seems to agitate you with even the most simple of gestures. Once you’re in that state of mind, it’s hard to escape it.

I’ve recently started seeing a psychiatrist to see if it will help me cope with the massive amounts of anxiety that I’ve had in 2019. And, quite honestly, if it’s something that you can afford, I highly recommend it. But, I realize that it’s not a feasible option for everyone. It’s expensive. And, if you’re not in Canada, it gets even more expensive! The Psychiatrist that I’ve been seeing has given me a few points of suggestion to help me cope when I become anxious, and I wanted to share them. They might seem quite obvious, but sometimes it helps to see everything written down in one place to take things more seriously.

  1. Exercise daily. Just 30 minutes of exercise that elevates your heart rate is the equivalent of a mild dose of prozac to the body. Something as simple as going for a walk each night can greatly boost the serotonin production in your body.
  2. Think of a memory, one happy memory, and keep that memory at the top of your mind, always. When you think of happy memories, it produces serotonin in your body that can help boost your mood. If you keep one happy memory at top of mind, always, you can use that memory when you’re feeling triggered. Forcing that happy memory on your brain when you’re feeling anxious/stressed can help trick your brain. It’s not going to take away the things in your life causing you stress, but it will help you cope with the stress better.
  3. When you get anxious, write down your happy memory, much like a journal entry. Whether it be in your phone, on your computer, in a journal, on a napkin at a restaurant… just write it down. The brain is such an analytical object, seeing the written words, wherever it might be written, will help your brain to think of the happy memory when you become triggered. While it may not happen right away, after a while of writing down your happy memory time and time again, your brain will automatically associate the happy memory with your triggers in order to help you through the struggle.
  4. Sleep. Sleep is so integral to keep the brain functioning properly. If you’re feeling anxious, the best thing that you can do for yourself is to ensure you’re getting adequate sleep and sleeping during the normal period for which one should be sleeping. (IE. Don’t sleep from 10 am – 6 pm) Giving your brain the proper rest it needs is much like taking an off-day at the gym. Much like your arm muscles needing to recover during leg-day, your brain uses sleep as a period of recovery. Without it, your stress will remain high.
  5. Consider an anti-inflammation diet. Inflammation wreaks havoc on the body and if you’re in a state of mind that is wreaking havoc on your soul, having an inflamed body is only going to make your state of anxiousness seem worse. With as many alternatives to Dairy and Gluten as there are these days, it’s easier than ever to avoid foods that could potentially be wreaking havoc on your body.
  6. Always keep music near by. As the universal language of the human condition, music can help distract you from yourself when needed most. Even sad songs. The simple act of putting those headphones in your ears and focusing on the lyrics or the beat, rather than what is plaguing your mind can help to provide one a greater sense of peace and help to boost serotonin when it’s needed most.
  7. Keep some sort of small ‘knick knack’ with you at all times. Make sure it’s something simple, something that can fit in your pocket, or in your purse, or wherever it needs to go so that it’s with you. When you’re feeling triggered, take out the knick knack and study it. Tell yourself it’s colour, it’s shape, it’s dimension, it’s size. Be as descriptive as you can in your mind about what this knick knack is and what purpose it serves. While you might just look like you’re fidgeting to everyone else in the world, what you’re really doing is sending a message to your brain that these triggers and anxious thoughts do not control you. Putting your attention elsewhere in moments of anxiousness is much like avoiding your boyfriend when he’s being a jerk. You are strong, fierce and independent and no boyfriend nor negative thought is going to weigh you down.
  8. Consider keeping a journal. Use this journal to write out all the nasty, or mean or negative thoughts in your brain. Sometimes, just having these thoughts escape your brain, even if no one ever reads them, provides catharsis for the mind. And that’s the ultimate goal. So test the journal method and see if it helps at all.

There’s no quick fix to combating anxiety. It’s going to take weeks, months or even years to train your brain that the irrational fears aren’t as bad as you think they are and that the real fears can be faced, and conquered, if you’re willing to work at it. Everyone faces hardship, and that likely won’t ever go away. But, if you can stare that hardship down and put yourself back to a good place in life, you can lock those anxious feelings in a tiny little box in the back of your brain and tell them to stay there and shut up. (Bad analogy, I know)

I’ve committed myself to trying these tips, to making a conscious effort to retrain my brain and defeating the static. Fight or flight is not a bad portion of my brain… but it also need not be on 24/7.

If you are out there and you’re struggling, I see you. I hear you. I understand you. You are not alone in this. Anxiety, depression, whatever plethora of mental illness/struggle you might be dealing with, I am with you.

My psychologist said that, in her professional opinion, through her patients she often finds that the people who struggle most are those of higher intelligence. And this is because they see the world and the people around them in a way that the majority of the population cannot understand. Being hyper alert and aware, it’s a sign of high intelligence, and also, most often a symptom for highly anxious people.

So… glass half full? If you’re reading this and you are struggling – kudos to you for being smarter than everyone else.

Adult Acne.

I never had acne when I was a teenager. I’d get the odd pimple now and again, you know, hormonal type spots, but I never had acne. Every picture that still exists of me from when I was a teenager, if you look back I had picture perfect, clear skin.

So it only makes sense that now that I am 30 years old, my face is covered in acne.

Honestly. Spots. Everywhere.

I can’t get rid of the damn things from my face, no matter what I do.

It’s awful because I get this insecure feeling about my face… like I shouldn’t go out in public. And that’s so silly, because no one cares about someone having acne, especially a total stranger. I just feel as though I’m not putting my best face forward, and if I’m not putting my best face forward, people won’t see past that and see the real me.

I realize these are first world problems. But oh my. Can the skin fairy come and please tell me what is causing this? Because I’ve researched everything online and no matter what I do, it only seems like I’m poking the monster and making it worse.

Honestly, part of me thinks some of it might be genetics. I remember when I was young, my mom struggled with acne.

Anyways, my rant is over now.