Obviously I have made it known to many that I am going to be migrating West in the summer. With that decision I have actually had several panic attacks. Am I making the right decision? What if I fail? What if I move out there and don’t make any friends?
The biggest panic attack that I have had in recent days has a lot to do with finding a job out there. When the majority of my classmates were continuing their education, I tried it and had a meltdown and ended my pursuit of structured education.
I have always been a person stimulated by intellectual pursuits, but the idea of having to focus on one thing has never been something that I was ultimately comfortable with. I didn’t want to work hard for a job that I ended up hating. Instead, I started a laundry list of jobs and such that would pay my bills while taking my own path to learn new things.
When I am given a rubric of things that I need to focus on and my interest is not met, I have a tendency of getting angry about the idea of spending my time on something that I am not passionate about. I could blame it on my generation with our crazy sense of entitlement, but that is a generalization that is not fair to people my age that knew what they wanted to do and followed through on their pursuit. In fact, I have a misguided sense of entitlement that whatever I want to do I should do and should be paid highly for it.
Sadly, the world doesn’t agree. I have recently joined LinkedIn and spent my lunch break one day looking through jobs that are currently available in the Portland area. As I clicked on jobs that interested me, I felt my anxiety grow. The requirements for so many of the positions required a degree in something that I wouldn’t have ever thought was a possible degree. Eventually it felt like a centaur had kicked me in the solar plexus.
My brain started to battle itself. In my head, it was like a part of my brain was an irritated douche and the meek reply I imagined was from that of a brow-beaten child that had failed and knew that they had done something wrong. The conversation went thusly.
KidBrain: “Oh, this is an awesome job. I’m going to check it out.”
DoucheBrain: “You’re not going to get it. You need to have a degree.”
KidBrain: “I know, but maybe they will…”
DoucheBrain: “Stop it. Stop living in your stupid little fantasy world. They are NOT going to hire you.”
KidBrain: “Yeah but I have all this experience with webpages and sound editing…”
DoucheBrain: “… that you cannot prove at all because you don’t have a piece of paper telling them that someone has already confirmed that you are capable.”
KidBrain: “But… but… I AM capable.”
DoucheBrain: “Why would you even send over a request. Think about all of the rejections for your book idea. Think about all of the jobs that people didn’t call you back about before. Didn’t you want to work on a cruise ship?”
KidBrain: “Yeah… I thought I would be good on a ship.”
DoucheBrain: “And did they call you or contact you after your preliminary inquiry?”
KidBrain: “… … no.”
DoucheBrain: “ What makes you think that anyone wants you to do anything?”
KidBrain: “… … … … … shut up.”
After awhile, KidBrain would just allow DoucheBrain to brow beat me into exhaustion and I would look for something to take my mind off of the stomping of hooves on my breastplate. My hands would be shaking from an argument that I hadn’t even had with someone else. I DIDN’T have a reason to feel that way. I had used nonsensical logic to incite a riot in my body.
When I have a panic attack, I tend to forget that I can go to someone when I’m having an issue. I KNOW that there are people that would be willing to help usher me through it, but during the stampeding centaur moments it rarely occurs to me. There used to be a place where I felt safe to admit that I wasn’t feeling great and needed help. The moment there was note that sharing that side of myself wasn’t welcome, I had the misguided notion that no one would be able to help me and I felt so very alone. Since that happened, I feel lost when I suffer through a panic attack.
I never wanted to be considered THAT GIRL or the butt of someone’s joke. The idea of sharing something so vulnerable about me and having it met with either indifference or flat out hostility turns my stomach. But alternately, I had to realize that only sharing sadness is rough to whoever is on the receiving end.
Tangent aside, I have had a difficult time listing the things that I am capable of when setting up my assault on the job market. I figured I would try to make a list (and if you can think of anything that you feel I am capable of PLEASE let me know).
Things I Am GREAT At:
– Talking to people: When someone isn’t being a megadouche, I have to admit that I enjoy speaking with people and hearing about their point of view.
– Visual design: If I have a blogging theme to work with that allows me to customize things I am actually very proficient in making it appealing to people that would be frequenting it.
– Sound editing: Being able to edit down a podcast or set up a theme song is not only fun for me, but it is exciting following a project from start to finish.
– Adapting: Whether it is working on a webpage and figuring out how to set up a podcast or teaching myself how to use Windows Movie Maker, it is the problem solving part of my brain that fits things together like puzzle pieces.
– Efficiency: Creating spreadsheets to make any job easier is an absolute joy for me. I cannot tell you all enough that my brain thinks in excel spreadsheets. I streamlined my job and I streamlined the compilation process of several projects and have made it so much easier to keep track of things in the future.
– Writing: I enjoy writing, regardless of the amount of people that actually read it. Sometimes I get discouraged about it not being read by many, but knowing that the possibility of someone happening upon it is invigorating.
– Appraisal: I have ideas for things when people approach me and I have the ability to offer critique or even offer a different perspective (even if I don’t agree with the perspective I’m giving).
… I’m sure there are more things that I am proficient in, but I just don’t know. If you can think of something, please please please let me know.