Wow. This month has been a tough one. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to document the way I’ve been feeling because it has royally sucked and, as much as I want to be honest with my audience, a lot of my negativity usually has the positive spin of reflection and hindsight. After some personal debate and being really in my feelings, I’ve decided that sharing my experience as it happens is important and if letting the world know how I’m coping helps even one person, it’s worth posting.
Last month, I finished up my placement as an Apprentice Learning Support Assistant (read as: teaching assistant learning her craft) at the best school as part of an indescribably wonderful team (also read as: work family). It was rewarding, heart-breaking and, thanks to the infuriating intervention of COVID-19, not as previously imagined. I could write a whole separate post about how much this role has changed my life, my mental health and my aspirations for the future – and I probably will, so watch this space – but August has not brought with it the normal joys of summer.
Since the end of my placement, I’ve now joined the ranks of the unemployed and reached job-seeking status. This has begun the cycle of search, apply, wait, interview and REJECTIONS. And the rejection is what I need to talk about. For me, the most recent rejection looked like a whole day spent in bed trying and definitely failing to stave off a huge wave of depression. I avoided my family the evening I found out and cried myself to sleep. My phone stayed on silent, I barely ate and I spiralled down a hole of how this is going to impact my future. Rejection must mean I’m not good enough. If I’m not good enough, I’ll never get a job. No job means no money and no money means no freedom. No freedom to move out, to become an independent adult, to pursue my personal goals. Now this feeling wasn’t specific to one failed interview, rather it was the culmination of the lack of responses, the applications that failed, the interviews that felt bad, the phone calls that began with “I’m sorry but…”, and the feedback that sometimes hits a nerve.
I have heard so much about the world of work for years now, about how difficult it is to get ahead and how hard it is to get and keep a job in the current economic climate – they were NOT joking. I wish there was some magic wand I could wave to make everything easier, but I fear being an adult might really be this: having to take risks knowing a lot of them will blow up in your face and knowing there may be huge periods of time when life sucks but waiting it out til it gets better. I want to offer all my readers solace and words of wisdom but the truth is I don’t have any right now. It sucks and unfortunately it will continue to suck until luck changes. The only thing I can recommend from my previous experience with rough times is practice being grateful for what you do have (even if it’s something small) and keep trying. You will have to work at this gratitude and perseverance, probably routinely, to stay positive.
We’re living in weird times right now. Stay safe, stay positive and wash your damn hands. x