It’s been three months now since I’ve been unemployed, and I’ve fallen into strange habits, a new pattern of day-to-day living.
On bad days, I’m down and dejected with no hope of finding a job. I wallow, hole up in my apartment, and eat poorly.
On good days, I spin Regina Spektor albums and work at home, breeze and sunshine trailing in from my open window. At night, as my writing wraps up, I light some incense and unwind with a nightcap and cigarette.
You might say I’m “living the life,” working so comfortably and not (yet) worrying about money. But it’s more like I’ve found a way to enjoy hermit life, because I can’t afford to go out and spend.
So the fun I have in my head, the drinks I enjoy by myself. Making playlists for solitary work and imaginary parties has become my new hobby. Sometimes I procrastinate and dance by myself.
Every time I have a discouraging job interview, I re-play the most depressing bits over and over in my head until I get home, eat an unhealthy meal, browse the internet, and think about which movie or TV show to watch for the rest of the night.
But I never get to watching anything, because at some point, some unexplainable force compels me to work. Do work of any kind. Produce things, complete tasks. So I reply to emails, send out more cover letters, and schedule more interviews.
And then I write. I write like my life depends on it, because this is why I left my job. I quit because I wanted to write more, and I’m not gonna let that decision go to waste. I write because it calms me and stirs me at the same time.
I write to be okay. I write to be okay with the fact that I’ve sent out 54 applications and only had 4 interviews. I write to be okay with how little I’ve saved up over the past two and half years. I write to forget about the numbers, realize my mistakes, and recognize that I’m doing the best I can.
I write because no matter how many people refuse to give me a chance, I’m never going to give up.