I’m Coming Out…

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It has now been exactly one year since my college graduation, and I think it is time that I come out about my last few months.

For those who know me, whether we grew up together, just met in college, or we’re simply Internet friends, I think it is safe to say that 90% of the time you could find me smiling.  I often made corny jokes, took things sometimes too lightly, stayed on the bright side, and never really let anything negatively affect me for more than a few minutes. I once had a friend tell me I existed primarily as a form of ‘comedic relief.’

I lived to make others happy through my own positive view of life.

But that all changed sometime post grad.

Sometime between May 2013 and February of 2014, I let my self worth be defined by others – by my lack of a job, lack of a boyfriend, lack of college friends keeping in touch.

I couldn’t find happiness in anything other than going out every weekend and pretending to live in the moment. But when I would wake up the next morning, the self-loathing would increase.

My degree, my honors, my college life did not matter. Nothing mattered. I didn’t have a job. I didn’t have money. I felt lonely, isolated, useless…

Sometime between May and February, I fell into a deep depression. I couldn’t sleep. When I did eventually find slumber, I couldn’t wake up. I couldn’t motivate myself to get out of my bed, to shower, to put on real clothes. I ate nothing at all, or everything at once. I avoided hanging out with my best friends. I ignored phone calls and texts because being alone was just easier. I would break down in tears in random places, at my part time retail job, while driving, alone in my bed, at dinner with my parents. I couldn’t explain it.

I began to have thoughts about life, about living, about myself that I never thought I would have.

Looking back, I am embarrassed and ashamed that I did not seek help. I have always been and will always be an advocate of mental health awareness. It is not shameful to ask for help, and yet, I was a hypocrite. I came to no one.

My parents would say, “You used to be so happy. What happened?”

And I didn’t know how to answer them. I didn’t know who to go to, or what to say, or even why I was sad.

High school to college isn’t the most difficult transition in life, college to post grad is.

Eventually, I snapped out of it. With the changing seasons, my attitude on life also shifted. I found happiness in myself once again. I became excited for my future…. for living.

This isn’t to minimize the real issues of clinical depression that many people face, but this is to say if you are having more than just a bad few days, you are not alone. I had a bad few months. I came out of it. You can too.

So yes, I am writing this to come out about my depression, but not just for me. I am writing this to the class of 2014, and to my current peers, and to future college students and post grads or anyone who finds trouble in valuing themselves.

It’s hard when your entire life you have a set path, and suddenly that path just abandons you in the real world with no career. With the steady rate of unemployment for recent grads, I assume I am not alone in feeling worthless this past year.

But you are more than your career. You can define your own success. Just keep pushing, never give up, and create your own happiness.

Don’t be afraid to talk to someone, to me, to a parent, to a friend, to a therapist. I wish I had.

There is no real reason in writing this other than to share my story in the hopes that it will allow others realize they are not alone.

I am now back to my normal, peppy, overly-excited-about-life self, but it wasn’t without months of struggle, pain, anxiety, tears, and feelings of worthlessness.

Keep thinking of your bright future, even when it looks nothing but bleak. I promise it will get better.

“Don’t be fooled by your emptiness, there’s so much more room for happiness.”

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Life at a Standstill

I’m at a standstill already.

I go to work at my part-time retail job. I come home. I sleep. I rinse and repeat.

My days off are spent comfortably on my couch staring at my computer screen.

Searching through countless job listings, rewriting my cover letter, giving up and staring at Reddit for the remainder of the day.

In fact, I stopped looking entirely.

It’s all about who you know in this world, and unfortunately, I don’t know anyone with these connections.

On occasion I see a friend and have a fun few hours.

But.

I don’t see a way out. August will come, and I won’t be packing my bags to join my friends at the little bubble we call college.

It feels like a summer vacation, wasting away my days in the air conditioning.

Yet, that’s the problem.

I’m wasting away my days.

I’m fine with my part-time retail job for this summer. It is allowing me to enjoy my last ‘free’ summer.

Well it should be, if I would take advantage of it.

But

This begs the question:

How long after graduation am I still considered just a ‘recent grad’ as opposed to a ‘failure’ for being career-less?

How much longer do I have to find a job before I’m looked down upon for having a degree, living at home, and only working a part-time retail job?

How much longer until I can escape this pause, and press the play button to resume my life?

I don’t want to sell out.

I just want to find a career, and  be happy with the one I find.

The Undercover Badboy

In a recent discussion with my two roommates, Mom & Dad, I realized how personality-shallow I am when it comes to boys.

For example, I am attracted to intelligence. You use the wrong your/you’re in a text and I’ll probably politely file you into my imaginary friendzone folder, if you’re lucky.

Ambition turns me on like no other. Oh, you have dreams and goals? You don’t know exactly what you want or where you’re going but you know you want something more and you’re determined to get there? Tell me more while I schedule our wedding into my planner.

Don’t even get me started on politeness. You have manners, and you use them? Not only can you win my parents’ respect and admiration, but you are also nice to the random cashier or waiter or old man on the street? Get me a fan, I’m sweating over here, because that is hot.

 

And there is just something to say about a good sense of wit/humor. You crack out a corny joke and I’ll probably laugh. You keep up with my humor, poke a little fun, and feed off of sarcasm, and I will most definitely come tripping over my own feet into your arms.

However, these aren’t the only keys to my heart. Because, every girl loves a badboy as I am coming to learn. Yet this is a very specific type of badboy.

I’m not talking about does hardcore drugs, curses like a sailor in front of your grandma, drives 90 in a 40, has no job, gets around badboy.

I’m talking the undercover badboy.

The undercover badboy knows when to be polite and when to let out his inner badness. In fact, you might not even realize he’s a badboy until you are starting to get bored of his supreme kindness and then BOOM he whips it out.

The undercover badboy will have a job, goals, and respect, but he will also secretly live life on the edge.

His inner badboy will only start to manifest itself slightly into conversation. You almost have to figure it out for yourself that he is not some every day nerd. They’re so subtle, his BAMF qualities.

The undercover badboy will play with your nephew, have a conversation with your mom, hang out with your straightedge friends, and then only when you’re alone or with other BAMFs, will he let his true badness shine through.

This is what differentiates the badboy from the undercover badboy. He is not trying to display to the world that he is a BAMF, such as the regular badboy, but he keeps it hidden and only displays his badness when appropriate.  It is a thin line between the two, but one of which makes all the difference.

And that, my friends, is why I am personality-shallow.

What Job Searching is Actually Like

Step 1. Make resume.

Skills? Uh…I sort of knew HTML back in middle school when I had a MySpace… I’ll put that on there, make myself really stand out. Any employer would feel lucky to hire me!

Oh..But what if they actually want me to use HTML at my job? All I remember is how to bold the B in BaBiiGuRl…

What you’re left with:

“Skills: Microsoft Word.”

Step 2. Reading through job descriptions

They want 3-5 years minimum marketing experience? I worked at a Hallmark store during my winter break one year. I had to market like, cards and stuff….I got this!

‘Looking for a finance/business recent graduate’….Hmm…I was a Communications major but I have a bank account…Sounds good.

‘High school degree or GED equivalent required, college degree unnecessary’… So glad I went thousands of dollars into debt…PICK ME

 

Step 3. Finding your objective

Objective…objective…

Objective: To be employed.

…is that good enough?

Or should I put: “Objective: I have no specific objective because I don’t actually know what your business is about nor if I am qualified for the position. In fact, I don’t actually even want this job at all but I figured I’d give it a shot.  Pick me”

Step 4: Writing the cover letter

“Dear business,

I have a great personality. And I want to move out of my parent’s house sooner rather than later.

Pick me,

Your’s truly”

Step 5:  Sending in the resume, cover letter, and application.

*Click*

That e-mail confirmation came rather quickly…Alright. Now I just have to wait for the interview. I got this!

How exhilarating.

Look at me go, taking the initiative, applying to real-person jobs! I love the real world.

Step 6: Waiting.

Monday…Tuesday..Wednesday….two weeks later…

Step 7: Trying to find the phone number and/or contact person and/or e-mail address in order to follow up and find out when interviews are being conducted 

Where do they hide this information? I feel like I’m searching through a Where’s Waldo book.

Step 8: Realizing you didn’t get accepted or rejected. You just got ignored. 

I hate the real world.

The Annoying Co-Worker

When working in retail, we all have had to deal with that one annoying co-worker. You know who I’m talking about. As soon as you read the word ‘annoying’, their face came to mind. Your annoying co-worker will exhibit most, if not all, of the following behaviors:

  • He/she will act super busy and important whenever your supervisor is around, but as soon as it is just you and them, the true laziness begins to show. You: “Hey, I’m really busy trying to ring up, wrap, and bag this customer’s items,  can you take the next one?” Annoying co-worker: “OHHH nooo, nooo, nooo. I don’t want to make them walk a whole foot over to my register! You can take them when you’re finished.”
  • He/she will have some sort of terrible body odor and/or a flatulence problem.  If they don’t have either of these, then they will definitely eat only onion sandwiches on their breaks and come back reeking.
  • He/she will tell you the same stories about their trip to London or Fiji or Sesame Place over and over and over again. Even when you stop responding, he/she will steep keep blabbering. They are like the energizer bunny. Except a lot less cute, and a lot less well-liked.
  • He/she will stand behind you watching as you count your change, help a customer, vacuum the store, eat, breathe, and possibly even sleep.  Every time you turn around, there he/she is…just hovering…watching your every move. Even after you’ve told them plenty of times that their mere existence makes you uncomfortable, there they still remain.
  • He/she will laugh at their own jokes, none of which are actually funny. Sometimes you will laugh along at the sheer pitifulness of the joke. Also, he/she will have a very disturbing, dry-sounding, been-smoking-for-50-years laugh.
  • He/she will be condescending, especially if he/she had, in fact, been working there longer than you. He/she will pretend you don’t know how to do your job even after he/she made you take care of all of the customers as he/she just stood there hovering.
  • He/she will be exceedingly slow, probably on purpose, in order to transfer the entire line to your register’s side.
  • Whenever a customer asks a question, he/she will stand there silently staring blankly into the customer’s eyes until you come up to assist, even though he/she clearly knows the answer.
  • He/she will spend the entire shift either drawing weird anime onto receipt paper, or making personal telephone calls on the company’s phone. Whenever you pass by, you hear them throw in the company’s name in the conversation to make it act like it’s a business call, but you know it’s not. Not unless the business is wondering what time he/she will be home for dinner.

 

If no one came to mind as you were reading these, maybe you should take a hard look at yourself…

You may just be the annoying co-worker.