The other day, I told an interviewer that my dream job is to be a lion tamer, that my ultimate priority, in general, is to acquire coffee, and that I firmly believe that people in conflict with their co-workers should “do some soul-searching and get over it.”
Yeah, I got that job, contrary to what I felt while walking out of the office.
The past two weeks of unemployment have been horrible. I definitely had the general sort of, “I need to have an income to pay my bills, and this city is very big and I am very small,” anxiety, but I saw that stress coming and was well prepared for it. What I wasn’t prepared for was the psychological tax of having no real responsibilities or mandates.
I haven’t not had a job of some kind since I was something like fourteen years old; I stretch myself probably a little too thin most of the time, making as many of my minutes as possible either productive or deliberately unproductive, so having any semblance of structure abruptly stripped from my life was pretty jarring, to put it lightly.
I cried a little. It was alright.
The first few days of joblessness were consumed with packing and dealing with car issues and a lot of teary-eyed goodbyes to friends and family members as we prepared to move, and then did move, hours away from home. I was too busy to notice that I wasn’t working. And for the first several days in Columbus, I was good about keeping myself to a regimen, morning vitamins and all; I was determined to make the most of my newfound free time.
That motivation crumbled, though, and I descended into an apathetic (or, more honestly, just straight-up pathetic) lethargy. Why even put on pants if you have nowhere to go?
Getting out of bed in the morning has been excruciating. I tried to blame it on the time zone change, but, let’s be real, it’s only one hour of difference. The real issue is that it doesn’t feel worth it to drag myself away from my pillow kingdom when pretty much my entire day is a big question mark and may or may not (but probably will) involve cleaning something, making a trip to Meijer to find something to eat, and then repeatedly opening and closing a Facebook tab. Facebook is never not there, the grocery is 24/7, and I can bleach the hell out of the bathtub whenever I get around to it, so it really makes no difference when I bother to actually get up… so, like, why do it at a reasonable hour? Why get up ever?
Something that’s perplexing me, though, is how doing absolutely nothing can be so exhausting. Even if I’ve stayed in bed until ten before I managed to migrate downstairs to the couch, where I remain for the day (except possibly to pour more coffee or grab a snack), by the time evening rolls around, I feel so tired that I don’t even want to climb the stairs to get back into bed.
My professional assessment of the situation is that being a person and having a body is weird. I’m counting the days until I am back to having a real, established life again.