Don’t Let The Grind Minimize Who You Are
Because you’re amazing!
I’m amazing. That’s what I tell myself whenever the darkness of doubt dims the light of my accomplishments. But, it’s hard to escape the shadows when you’re at the tip of middle-age — and still scrolling for the same jobs you wanted — a decade ago.
The last three weeks have been a whirlwind of changes that have culminated in my current status of unemployment. The situation matches all the other gigs that abruptly ended — after months of toiling away for the sake of proposed extensions.
Once you’re laid off — the appropriate thing to do is to find a replacement.
But the notion of surfing for anything that will resemble what I’ve endured for the past couple of years — fills me with wearied dread. My expansive resume is bloated with short stints at companies that sport shiny logos — and possibilities that end on an empty note.
There’s a hostility that accompanies job seekers like me — who have consistently worked hard for enough years to be freaked out by the reception that hits us — each time we’re back on the market. The jagged jaws of a monstrously stubborn climate — lunges with fury — every time we proceed with caution — and zero expectations.
The grinding never ends — and retooling what’s left of me for yet another spin around the cycle of fake job listings, endlessly awkward phone screenings, harrowing interview sessions and the weeks-long waiting game — that often times ends with the department deciding to “dissolve or revise” the position you spent over a month pursuing — is quite frankly a formidable task that’s not worth undertaking.
Eventually I will explore the job boards and generic emails that are filled with all the reasons why I don’t want to work — ever again.
But for now — I’m reminding myself of who I am and what I’ve done — thus far. I’m trying not to be burdened by the weight of being jobless or the realization that by society’s standards — I could be branded as someone who didn’t quite make it — despite all expended efforts.
The truth is that I’ve been the only attendee at the pity party that is slowly coming to an end.
When I made drastic changes to my career trajectory — exactly four years ago — I wasn’t at the age — where optimism naturally shields the more realistic outlook. I was well aware of the risk I was taking — but believed that I was more than good enough to scale those mountains.
But, it’s a challenging endeavor — summoning the cheerleader in all of us — especially when you’re hooked on Instagram and the stories of success — assigned to users — who did what they were supposed to — in order to end up at the front row of brightly-lit runways — while you gaze from the bosom of your over-used couch.
The grind gets us down — and there is no other way but up.
The churning will be consistent with me — unless I win the lottery or sell an idea for something that a shitload of people want. I get the fact that I banked on the cards that dealt out nothing close to my reasonable forecast. I’ve accepted that my writing will dictate how comfortable employers will be when they discover my strong stance on ongoing issues. I’m not downplaying the seriousness of someone my age — having nothing concrete to display— after two decades of labor.
I’m just unwilling to be minimized by circumstances beyond my control.
The important thing is that this year was better than last. I have to acknowledge how my efforts have positioned me where I pledged I would be — when I left stability for the security of talent.
I can’t permit society’s ill-will towards the working class — who are being abused by the tyranny of riches that squash the population — forced into workloads that demand a lot more than we receive in return — to derail the riches of my dedication to the one practice that reassures my contribution to the trade — I’m perfecting.
Yes, it sucks ass that I have to begin the regimen of trying to decide which bot-like position will be the most bearable of the lot — while fielding made-up job postings that are aimed at keeping your profile active — once you stupidly reply with your resume and links to your portfolio.
There is the dark cloud that hovers because of the pressure of keeping up with the rules that demand the impossible while championing the lies of lives that are hearted — wholeheartedly.
I’m not that story, and that’s okay.
I’m part of the grinding machine that produces multiples at rapid speed — but I’m also part of a collective that I committed to — when writing became the urge of every moment.
The unfolding results have made Medium the landscape of a testimony that can’t transport me to Croatia with hashtags — proving how my #goals contain sprinkles of #melaninmagic — but I do get the thrill of realizing a dream come true.
To most — I will remain exactly that — a dreamer — with citizenship and the bad luck of not owning the properties that typically endorse the worthiness of existence. That’s a fair enough assessment in this age of excessive Instagramming and rows of retweets — at the frantic rate of empty adulation.
The grind was meant to test my prowess of self-preservation.
I won’t stop doing what I do best — even when the rewards are uneven and financially sporadic. I will wade back into the pool that is brimming with an even more potent solution — that makes the job hunting process burningly consistent.
I’m a writer and a fighter — and a pro when it comes to the words that are tossed up to create the evidence of why I won’t be minimized.
The sketches of my mind have amazed me so far — and that’s why I believe that despite the bite of career monsters that are out to get me — I will always stay intact.
And so will you. Because we’re amazing!