Thursday, February 19, 2009

Becoming My Parents...

I grew up rather poor. We're talking empty refrigerators, food stamps, sometimes we didn't even have a home.

Things changed for me when my grandparents adopted me and took me into their home. My grandmother has her master's in English and my grandfather was a retired steel worker. I began to have a normal middle class life.

I went on to college, graduated with a degree in journalism, moved out to the East Coast, got a descent job, then switched jobs to accommodate part-time graduate school. Everything was going great, up until I got fired and began to question everything.

I haven't been able to find a new job. I'm starting to question if I'll ever find something in the professional world again, considering I've been sending out at least 2 to 3 resumes a week since September and have only gotten one in-face interview. It looks like it's going to be a couple of part-time jobs in order to just start helping my boyfriend with the rent.

The rent. We want a new apartment. We're in a studio with literally no where to sit but the bed or one desk chair. Everything else is covered in boxes. There's just no room. Can't get the one-bedroom because I need a pay stub. I feel worthless.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Cue Depressing Music

Unemployment is quite possibly the second worst thing that has ever happened to me. I feel completely useless. At this point, I can't even tell you how many resumes I've sent in, how many cover letters I've revised or how many times I've wanted to scream at the unemployment online filing system.

Some of my friends think I have it made. They say "oh, it must be nice to sleep in!" or "Man, what I wouldn't give to have some time off." Well let me clear the air about what unemployment feels like. IT SUCKS. Just because I get a check once a week, doesn't mean I'm not constantly worried about everything. This check pays nothing. And if I get a part-time job to help support myself, then I won't receive unemployment anymore. Dear State of Virgina: I can't pay my rent on what little you offer, please let me get a part-time job too!

I know this makes me sound like a total snob, but I can't believe that I'm going to have to work two jobs just to buy groceries when I'm only a few months from getting my master's and I already have almost 5 years of experience. There's just nothing available. And what is available, doesn't seem to want me. When I first started this blog I said I was having trouble figuring out who I am. Well, now it's ten times worse, because now I don't even feel like I'm worth anything. I don't seem to be able to offer anyone anything, judging by the lack of any calls about my resume.

Le sigh.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I've Been A Long Time Gone...

I know it's been awhile and I apologize to my readers. The unemployment thing got the best of me for a little while. I didn't get the aforementioned job. Boo. Dealing with the unemployment office, moving into my boyfriend's studio apartment and going home for Christmas caused a great deal of stress. I'm assuming writing probably would have helped, but it was the last thing I felt like doing.

However, that has changed. I recently got back from an 11 day trip to the British Virgin Islands. Before this trip, though I am an avid traveler, I really never cared if I ever made it to the Caribbean islands or not. But now that I've been, I'll forever be an advocate. These islands renewed my desire to write. The colors of the water, the people and their smiles, the food and its flavors, were all simply amazing.

If you ever find yourself in the area, please, Please, PLEASE, visit Mrs. Scatliffe's restaurant in Carrot Bay on the island of Tortola. This woman literally laid the foundation of her house/restaurant with gravel her family gathered from a nearby road. She cooks all of the restaurants meals herself and uses only ingredients from her humble farm. Here I had my first taste of breadfruit soup and a conversation with a woman I will never forget. Her simplicity and love for people made me realize that life just doesn't have to be complicated to be happy.

We can all learn a little lesson there.