Drifting can loosen your anchor; that you may never be able to cast again
So, it’s been about five months since I’ve been out of work and I remember that initially I was really gung-ho about finding my next career opportunity. I spent every waking hour touching up my resume, having people (friends and former co-workers) review my resume and applying for jobs that I wanted to be in. I thought to myself that I was going to bounce back on my feet and set sail again. I’m confident that for 2-months straight I was on this mission. I’m still on this mission. I have not failed in carrying it out or in continuing to seek out and apply. This is my “shock and awe”. It’s the type of mission that says: I won’t give up and I won’t give in. That I will find my way out and be back at the shore. However, I’ve noticed that my drifting has been happening for a while now and every day I find myself even further out at sea.
Today is/was another one of those days, as a prime example. I actually got up at around 6 a.m. to move the trash from the garage to the alley. But, since the sun hadn’t started to rise yet, I waited until 7 a.m. I didn’t want the night rodents having too much time to have fun with my trash, else I’d be picking it up, because often times the Waste Management professionals won’t do it. So, I went back up to my room and flopped in my bed. I don’t have a dedicated alarm clock, so I always use my cell phone to set my alarm. It’s a multi-functional device, so I do use it for everything that I can. I set it for 7 a.m.
While I was laying there, I realize that (as with most of the days leading up to this day), I have absolutely nothing to do. Let me put this into perspective: I am not married; I am not currently in a relationship with the woman of my dreams; I have no children, heck, I do not even have a pet. It’s just me. I look back on these 5-months and from my perspective, these “have nots” have been a blessing and a curse. Because I do not have these responsibilities, I am capable of not having to worry about the well being of a family circle that is dependent on me getting back on me feet. Yet, this is duplicitous as well. Since I do not have these “responsibilities” it also means I have no accountability to any direct person. There’s nothing pushing me on or driving me forward, except for my sheer will of not wanting to give up. That introspective came at about 6:48 a.m. (this is where you hear the pulsations of “tick-tock-tick-tock” from the tv series 24).
I looked out my window, saw a hint of light in the sky, deactivated the bomb (sorry, Jack Bauer moment) alarm clock and ran downstairs. I wasn’t excited, but since I have two new house mates, there was a lot of trash to drag to the corner and at least that was something productive to be done. After accomplishing this minor task, I went back inside and up to my room. The lights were still off and it was around 7:10 a.m. I again, flopped back into my bed. This time laying on my back and the following thoughts were swirling around in my head:
What, if anything, will I do today?
When is this going to end?
Is anyone really hiring, or are they all just sitting back and laughing at all of us applying?
Are positions created just to gauge interest?
Will I hear another, “we’re on a hiring freeze”?
I wonder if it will be sunny today?
Damn, it’s going to be hot, I bet… (and it was, right on!)
I should go to the beach… no, that will cost me gas, which will cost me cash, ugh…
After those thoughts I fell back to sleep and was not scheduled to awaken until 9:36 a.m. After I woke up, feeling groggy and drained, I realized that there was so much I could be and could have been doing. I had five months that I could’ve been working out. Beyond applying for jobs, I could do that much needed backing up of my computer files. Because I am going to have to move soon, I could’ve started to pack up some of my things. I could find more stuff to sell on Craigslist. I have a good 5-7 books that I either had loaned to me, or purchased a while ago, that I could be reading. I could go for a walk. The list goes on and on. Yet, when I woke up, my hand went instinctively for the remote to the TV and I stayed that way until two calls came in, both canceling on the plans that I at least had for the day. I thought this was a positive, because it meant that I didn’t have to get up and go anywhere. That’s the first mistake in losing your anchor. Actually being happy that your plans have been canceled, and through no fault of your own, so that you can justify not doing anything. Utilizing the TV to pass the time away or doing something so un-productive that it becomes routine and you drift away from your goals. But, during this time, that doesn’t negate the fact that I could’ve still went and did something, and I knew it. I know it every day. Yes, I thought about all of that while I laid there.
Truth be told, I didn’t do any of the things that I could’ve done. I showered and dressed up, and then proceeded to slouch over my computer (some of it looking for work, some of it not). Then, I saw myself in the mirror and realized that I was doing more damage to myself then anything else. I’ve allowed myself to be holed up in my room all of these months (with occasional exceptions) and on many occasions, sleeping the day away. Waking up some days and feeling down or sorry for myself, and at other times just not giving a damn. But then, I get these bursts of optimism and hope, and go all out in my searches. Yet, still, I was continuously drifting further and further (I’ve used further in this post intentionally, as farther is a definition of distance, but further is a definition of degree) away and not quite understanding why I was still lost.
Fact is, even if you don’t find a job; you’re single; no family; no accountability, you can still do something meaningful. Perpetually losing yourself within yourself and then being down about your current circumstances does nothing, but provide you with the insane objective of doing the same thing over and over again, while expecting a different result. Haven’t we all heard that before? This is, metaphorically speaking, drifting. Some time after I was laid off, I lost my anchor. I still do not quite know where it’s at, but that doesn’t mean I have to keep searching for it. With all the weight of my situation that is on me, I can create a new anchor! This is the best thing about being in this situation right now. You can recreate. You can, as it has been written in Latin: Carpe Diem! There’s going to be those days where your own personal recession will hold you back, you can not always defeat this, but it doesn’t have to last and you don’t have to let it be continuous. I can’t promise that tomorrow will be any different, but now I’m toiling with new ideas and wanting to try some alternatives that I’ve been pushing to the back of my mind. I found my helm and I am pointing it in a new direction. And my anchor? Well, I have that in tow now, because when I get back to my shore, that’s when I’ll be dropping it down again.