Monday, November 17, 2008

The Thing About Unemployment...

Today marks the beginning of my third official week of unemployment. I say "official" because I am not including the nine-day road trip that the What Now Wanderers went on. At first, unemployment seemed heaven sent. Prior to finishing my internship, sleeping past 8am seemed like a luxury. Now I find myself groggily waking later and later every day and I can't help but wonder if I am wasting my life away.

I have been filling in my free time in a variety of ways that usually require me to fork out money or clap a lot. Allow me to give an example. In the past two weeks I have attended two show tapings: The Rachael Ray Show and The MTVU Woodie Awards. Both tapings were free (sans train ticket) and a lot of fun! I have found that the best way to get a biceps/triceps workout in a short period of time is being a member of a studio audience. Failing to clap could cause for immediate ejection from the set via mechanical launching seat or, more likely, the warm up guy to calling you out for it. I have been going to show tapings for over a year now. I guess that you could call it "my thing" and although it's fun, I don't want it to be "my thing" forever. I would much rather have "my thing" be something noble or selfless than getting free tickets to shows in hopes of getting free stuff and being overcome by a case of star struck-itis.

When I am not sitting in on live television tapings, I can be found glaze-eyed in front of my computer searching for jobs on Craig's List,, and anywhere else that looks promising. I have to say that I really dislike online job searching. I like it even less when I do it every day. In an effort to spend more time online, I have been babysitting whenever I can, visiting with friends, and doing odd jobs. My last odd job was working at the polls. My next? Handing out cupcakes for a new local bakery at a nearby Thanksgiving parade. The odd jobs are fun and interesting, but I am ready for something more concrete that I can plan to do on a regular basis. Here are some of the ideas that keep me up at night:

1.) Service Trip
I have been wanting to go on a service trip for a while now. It seems like the perfect time to go - no work, some money from my internship just sitting in my bank account (I know... I know... I should save it up for something pretty like an apartment or use it to pay my college loans, but I have a serious case of wanderlust!), and nothing really holding me back.

2.) (Another) Road Trip
Maybe to visit my cousin in Texas? Maybe somewhere else?

3.) Seasonal Work
I have applied to a number of seasonal jobs over the past two weeks or so and am waiting to hear back from them. If I don't hear back by the end of the week I am going to apply for a job as a UPS Driver Helper. I would help deliver packages and get a snazzy brown suit to wear...

4.) Volunteer
What better way to use your time than to use it selflessly? I have been looking into volunteering locally and have a volunteer opportunity coming up this weekend that I'm really excited for. It should be a lot of fun!

5.) Retreat Into a State of Despair
This is depressing, but I can feel myself doing this on days when I have nothing else to do. I try to stay positive and usually have a sunshiny disposition, but having friends at work and no job to go to during the day can make me feel sad. I so want to be doing something that I love and something that I feel is meaningful, but not knowing what that something is or how to go about doing it is hard. The RTN road trip really opened my eyes to the fact that it is possible to do what you love for a living and that there are ways to get to the point of doing so, but I don't know what I love to do, so I feel sort of stuck. I have found that my best coping mechanisms are talking to friends about their situation and realizing that I am no alone in how I feel, praying about what it is that I should be doing and trusting that God knows what He's doing, and exploring my options. That's really what my Year of Yes. blog is about. Trying things that interest me in hopes of finding what I am truly passionate about.

*NOTE: If you happen to see that I seem a bit gloomy on any given day, would you mind just reminding me that something much bigger than me is in the works? Thanks.

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