I’ve been in the funkiest of limbos having serious work done on my heart -which is/should be every day-but between you and me, this one has been a real up-and-down-roller-coaster- of a season.
There’s a post in the wasteland of forgotten daily sprinkles drafts titled Resolutions, with a particularly hilarious opening quip:
Haha, no change. Right. Writing like I know anything about what’s good for me.
The last time I’ve posted in these parts was ironically -or not so ironically- the day I found out my position at work had been eliminated. The position I accepted only in November. I wasn’t *fired* so much as they just didn’t see the position they had created, that I accepted three months prior, to be the most necessary to the company. So off with my teeny-tiny severance I was sent packing that afternoon.
I’ll be honest, as this was explained to me out of the clear-blue nowhere, the conversation was mostly white noise in my ears, so the specifics of why float around my brain a bit fuzzy. I’ve replayed the moment often, piecing it all together with the 20/20 clarity hindsight provides.
I hadn’t been with the company long enough to get necessarily *comfortable* or make unbreakable, unforgettable emotional ties. None of that was particularly difficult, and there had *obviously* been some communication issues that needed to be worked through (or not, ha ha. ha.)
Immediately, it was simply a major blow to an ego so big and fat and cloaked in denial that I wasn’t even aware it still existed. But oh, it exists. And it is grimy, and embarrassing, and after years in the making, maybe finally being chiseled away by the pruning of my savior.
When anyone posts #blessed, 9/10 there is a corresponding photo of a house, or a baby, or a car, or a really fancy looking steak. And there’s nothing wrong with that, except not all blessings are as shiny and gram-worthy.
I would love to be posting that I have been #blessed with a new, sexy and better job and to the depths of h-e-double-whatever with the lot of them who caused me this pain(!!), because that would be oh-so-much easier. But I can’t. And it’s taken a couple of months, but I’m in a place where I am sincerely emotionally pretty fine. This has been a blessing of the most bitter kind.
If anyone but my mother is still reading beyond this point, you’ve probably already audibly asked why the heck I’m penning this maybe embarrassing open-diary entry:
- I’m writing in the interest of transparency and honesty in light of the work I feel God doing in my heart. I’m been convicted and terrified to write about this, or have any number of people “find out” before I really “got it together.” In the interest of said transparency, you should know a few tears have splashed out in the process of the last few paragraphs. This kind of sucks.
- I’m writing in the interest of, I don’t know, comforting or warning new-graduate-job-hunters that job-hunting is no joke. And it takes time. And it kind of sucks. This isn’t the first season of job-hunting I’ve had, but definitely the most unexpected and sanctifying in the best and worst way.
To the end of my second point, I cannot count the number of conversations I’ve had with recent college graduates struggling to find their footing in the job market. Can. Not. Count. (And if that isn’t you, I’m sincerely happy! If it is you, you aren’t alone.)
Reiterating: it is no joke.
I don’t feel like anyone did –or maybe could have –prepared us for this battle. I was one of the lucky ones who found employment merely four months post-graduation. It was a terrifying four months brimming with anxiety and self-doubt… mirrored if not magnified in this season, two+ years later as I am here again.
The people who can’t get hired didn’t work hard enough. Their resumes are no good, or bare, or riddled with typos. Their portfolio is garbage. They’re being too choosy. Be the model student. Be the model employee. Network. Earn your degree. Get hired, and make *a really good amount of money when you do*.
Unfortunately, that’s the mindset I had post-graduation, and wasn’t the only one based on said conversations.
I absolutely worked my. tail. off. through college. It’s easy to say I made a lot of decisions I would take back if I could. If you knew me in that season, Current Robin could speak to College Robin, and you know College Robin wouldn’t have listened. Bit of a workaholic, consumed with being elite, a total perfectionist, and I made sure that reflected on my resume. I was sure to get a great job after graduation. The possibility of *not* never entered my mind until I was filling out applications for retail jobs because my savings was depleting, no “big girl job” in sight, while it was already midterm season for the graduating class behind me. Talk about humbling.
I don’t think I realized how great I thought I was until no one would hire me. I definitely didn’t realize how much my self-worth relied on my professional title until I didn’t have one.
With every part-time application came a flood of shame, and the reality of my sin reared its ugly head. I thought so highly of myself and had so much faith in a piece of paper that said I was worth one degree’s worth of something to the world.
I shouldn’t be vacuuming dressing rooms. I shouldn’t be folding clothes that didn’t come from my own laundry basket. I worked my butt off. This shouldn’t be me. This wasn’t my plan.
That was the disgusting truth I felt about my situation.
Truth: a college degree does not mean you’re too good for minimum wage.
And here I am again! I don’t know that I had ever made it facebook-official, but I picked up a part-time retail gig last July for fun money + discounts + the fact I actually enjoy the retail environment. I never pictured it being where the lump sum of my income would come from, but it is right now. And that’s okay. I’m realizing: who the heck cares how any person ever anywhere makes their money, including myself? What an absolutely silly waste of time and energy.
(Life at Loft, aka the front for my REAL new secret business “adventures in ghost-busting.”)
I’ve had many a-back-and-forth day going from shame, to shame for feeling shame, back to shame, to depression, to really being okay. Really. I’m okay with the fact I’m a sales associate at Loft. I’m okay with the fact I enjoy getting up and going to work every day in this capacity. I’m okay with the fact that these 35 hour weeks with *incredible* coworkers and relationships has felt like the sweetest vacation (with the most rad discount) from the draining 60-70 hour weeks I’d been clocking for nearly half a year between two jobs. The value of the time it has given me for community, reflection, prayer, and time with my husband is immeasurable.
Some of you might be reading and not understanding why this has been so hard on my heart, apart from the stability of our financial situation and the grand mystique of the unknown (always a little unnerving.) Honestly, losing my job shouldn’t break a person the way it has broken me.
Truth: I have a difficult time not placing my identity in my reputation/achievements instead of rightfully in Christ. My worth so often has come from what others think of me. This is a struggle I have battled, real-talk, for like a decade. But as a daughter of Christ, I am so much more than my business card, or lack-thereof.
Truth: I am not the point. Christ is the point. He is the only point. Whatever my circumstance, that is the most solid truth of all.
Christ is better than any comfort of the world. Christ is better than any amount of acceptance of my peers. Christ is better than living up to expectation I’ve felt anxiety over for years. Christ is better than the pain of this season.
I’ve reached a place -not concretely, that definitely takes much reminding on the daily- where I don’t know where I’ll end up, and I’m okay. Sitting here, clacking this out on the laptop, I really don’t have a clue. What do I know is that God knows, and I’m going to go where I’m needed, because His picture is so much greater than my comfort. (These are truths as a Christian I know are supposed to come much more naturally to me, but I’m definitely working on growing them beyond just head-knowledge, and just knowing the truth, into heart-knowledge and actually feeling the comfort from that faith.)
PLUS! I have a husband who is the bomb-diggity, and supportive beyond words. And friends/family who have done nothing but pray for and love on me during this time. Praise be to God.
Very last transparent thought: No, I’m not okay everyday, that would be a lie. Which defeats the whole point of *this.* But I’m working on it and it’s mostly true. For me, part of that was writing this..confession? Whatever this was. And sharing it with you. In some crazy way, it helps.
Very very last transparent thought: if nothing that I wrote makes sense to you, or you have any questions, especially in regards what what “point” Christ is exactly, I’d love to have a conversation about it. I’ll even buy your coffee. (Cheap, black coffee, probably, right now because I am half-unemployed after all. Ha. haha. ha.)