Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The conversation I needed

It’s been more than 2 months and I am still looking for a job. It’s been frustrating, scary, and disappointing. The fact that I live alone in a huge house only added to my depression. Unexplainable, but I have had mood swings. I have cried myself to sleep. I have refused to answer phone calls from friends. I have snapped at friends when I need not have. I have tried to explain to myself that it is just a phase that shall pass. I have tried taking care of myself, almost as if I was another person taking care of me. My innards have experienced every raw emotion- pain, fear, agony, numbness, rejection, and more. I have tried to hold on and keep moving.

At some point, I decided not to give up, but apply to school again. One of the things I needed to do was to call my ex-colleague and school principal to request for recommendation letters. The first call never went through, and the second had so much background noise that nothing could be heard. It was the familiar noise of children in the school screaming. How I missed my other life back in Kolkata.

When the call finally went through, we talked for a long time. I told her how lost I felt here, how disoriented and depressed I was, unwanted in my job. I was amazed at how I had vocalized my fears for the first time, and that too to a person living half way across the globe with who I had shared a very formal and professional relationship.

“You were a very good teacher, and I know you will do well. You will find a job. And even if you don’t, come back. You will always have your job ready for you back here”.

These must have been the magic words I needed to hear, some kind of positive reinforcement, someone telling me I was good enough and more, that I am capable and worthy. Those were the magic words I had least expected from her. After that, I got a strength I did not have before but so very needed it.

I decided not to look back. I decided to apply to schools. If I had done it once, I can do it again. I still live on my own and feel depressed at times. Who wouldn’t? But with that, I feel a strength, a confidence from the knowledge that not all doors are closed for me. It’s amazing how a little bit of acceptance does wonders, and how strength and encouragement comes from the least expected places.

sunshine

10 comments:

nits said...

you reminded me of my days just after college....

after finishing my engineering and not getting a campus placement, i was pretty much disappointed and discouraged... after few days, i was back to the college to collect my certificates and all... was discussing job scenarios with few professors... one of them, "jao try karlo, agar job mil gayee to achcha hai, nahi to ham hain na"...

dont know how much that guy would have been able to help me, but those words calmed me a lot... after that i started applying and got a good job in my first interview...

and the best part of the story is... i kind of hated this prof before that day... :)

Raj said...

Yes, hearing such words help. And if these words come from an unexpected person like in your case, I think it helps more. You start valuing yourself more.

Good luck for your job hunt. I am sure you will get a good job really soon :)

Shilpa said...

I read your blog sometimes but never comment. Oh I feel so bad, please do not lose heart. I know these are tough times for you but please keep looking, there is a place for everyone and you will find yours. Hugs.

Gazal said...

why don't u try posting here what kinda job u looking for. I tried it on my blog and got some leads. You never know.
Your blog certainly has more readership than mine. I am just one of the local people who reads you and I might quit mine here soon. But I know we are not in the same field.

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

Dear sunshine,
I am glad you reached out to your old colleague and found the required assurance. This is definitely a tough time for you, so there is no denying that you will need all the help and cheer-leading to see you through it. So never hesitate to reach out. And yes, doesn't it feel great that you have a whole home country as a back-up option? I hope that also helps you in feeling a bit placated. all the best, and again, if you feel like venting and are looking for a listening ear, i'll be glad to be of help..
-tgfi

Life as usual said...

Quite a nice smart effort to call back, it is in such hard times one needs a safety net; not because one will fall but rather have confidence that one will survive the fall! That's all the confidence required to get up and fight....
Have been following your blog since long, some of the old posts (pre-US) are straight from the heart...never commented though..

However don't worry and keep trying, this too shall pass :-)

Pavi!!!! said...

N if those magical words came from YOUR PROFESSOR..they must indeed be true how awesome is that !

N herez my 2 cents on the job hunt…well, its hard to find jobs during the festive season! No one ever recruits during this season.. so try have a blast now n start serious job hunting around the 2nd week of Jan. All the Very Best sunshine….

PS: as far as my understanding goes…word verification helps in avoiding spam…if u anywez have comment moderation on, why do u yet keep the word verification on?! This comment..coz I check blogs from work! n the word verification makes it a li’l tough to do the same discreetly !

sunshine said...

nits- Yes, we all face similar experiences, and strength and help comes mostly from the places we least espect :)

Raj- Thank you :)

Shilpa- Don't worry, we all know things will be fine. Thnak you :)

Gazal- I am still somewhat skeptical about mentioning personal details here. Most readers are encouraging, but some have not really been the nicest people in the past.

TGFI- First, everytime I read your name, I think of TGIF :) I will look forward to talk to you someday, and thanks for the encouragement :) In fact when I was visiting your city last year, I was somewhat tempted to ask you if you'd like to meet up :)

Life as usual- Thank you :)

Pavi- hehe, I love your advice about the holiday season. Really cheered me up. And you are right about the word verification thing. Will remove it. Am so glad people still put the effort to post comments and their thoughts here :)

Ash said...

You know, I went through the exact same emotions when I got laid off. For one year I was without work and it was beyond frustrating. But then, things turned out okay in the end.
So now I believe that sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.
Just hang in there.
Cheers,
Ash

Shalini said...

Dear Sunshine,

I have never commented earlier but I have been reading your blog for a while- summer 2007 to be precise. I had just gotten an admit to a school here (somewhere in the midwest)and I came across your blog and I avidly read it.
It was a huge help, your insights, your little vignettes of life here as a grad student.
As you see, I still read your blog every now and then.
I get lonely too... and have mood swings and miss home.
But hopefully this too shall pass, and from your blogs you seem to be someone who is introspective but also resilient.
Like Scarlett I believe that tomorrow is another day and so keep your chin up.
Meanwhile, Thank you for blogging, it is a ray of sunshine :)
PS: I am from Calcutta too.