Thursday, July 28, 2011

28 and Unemployed: Part 2/3

Part 1/3....

Part 2/3.....

Part 3/3 ......

Do you know the one big thing that losing a job does to you? No, it does not drive you bankrupt instantly, it does not make you friendless, nor does it strip you off your visa status immediately. However, it strips you off your confidence big time, eating into your self-esteem, and leaving a dull void of self-doubt at the core. You know you are supposed to go out and meet people, network to ensure you find a job soon, but it seems you have ended up with legs made of lead. You do not want to meet or talk to people. The world symbolically gets on the train leaving the station and you stand there feeling deadweight, seeing the world leave you in slow motion. You hate meeting people, or even picking up the phone because they will either ask you how you lost your job, or will tell you not to worry at the time when you have lost your happiness, your sleep, and your old self beaming with confidence. You hide and sulk, stop taking calls, eat wrong, put on weight, end up looking even more pathetic, question your abilities, look at your degrees with doubt, and sift through your graduation album and cry. Suddenly your friends are nice to you, they take you out for dinner and do not let you pay, and there you are sitting and watching them suspiciously. As an outsider, it is a simple situation where you have lost a job, and you are supposed to move on and find a new job without making a big deal. However when you are in the situation, it is the biggest deal of your life. The voices in your head forever keep nagging, “Maybe I was not good enough”. Our upbringing trains us to deal with success, but does not train us to deal with failure. You tell yourself that you were the college topper, the best performing employee in your previous job, and it does not make sense that you don’t have a job anymore. Few realize that although it is sad to lose your job, you can sail through this phase of unemployment with style, so that the world around you would die to be in your shoes.

Did I sail through my unemployment with style? I do not know about that. I am a liar if I said I accepted reality and moved on. Oh, it affects me till date. It was one single, isolated event on a fine morning when I was told I was leaving. However, I have replayed that incident in my head a million times now, making me feel the pain a million times. I still have nightmares of being asked to leave my workplace. The face of my employers change, but there is someone I always see in my nightmares sitting behind a mahogany desk with an intimidating and overpowering expression, asking me to leave. I was scared, vulnerable, and somewhere in the subconscious, I learnt to believe that I will never be good enough to hold on to a job, friends, or relationships.

I tried for months to get another job, but nothing worked out. Tired of feeling sorry, I gazed out at the waterfront, and asked myself one sunny morning what I would do if I didn’t have to worry about money, success, or what people thought of me. Pen and paper in hand, I started to make a list of the things I would do if I got a break. I was single, unattached, healthy, enthusiastic, could live in whatever part of the world I chose to, didn’t have a child to look after or a mortgage to pay, no ties absolutely. I wondered how I had overlooked these blessings. As I kept writing, my “wish list” kept growing longer. There were so many things I had always wanted to do, waiting for the opportune moment that never came. My unemployment turned out to be that opportune moment in my life. I now had a plan for my life, and a fun plan indeed. My crazy list looked something like, “Going back to school. Traveling Europe. Visiting family. Learning a skill. Losing weight. Watching all the top movies on the IMDB list. Writing a book.” I knew I could not finish even half of them, but I was already excitedly planning my unemployment period. What a welcome break it was from the boredom and monotonousness of doing routine things that everyone around me did.


To be continued ........

2 comments:

Richa said...

I agree with you completely ..
was going through the same phase few days back...
luckily happy with the consequences now.. :) :)

keep writing!!

sunshine said...

Richa, :) Am glad the bad phase ended.