So obviously, I made a major life change recently and now is as good a time as any for reflection! “Why now?”, you may ask. Well, now is the time because I’ve finally made it out of that awkward phase where everything is a mistake – and I say that tentatively. Anyone who’s ever traveled somewhere for longer than a week, especially by themselves, knows that terrifying feel you get at some point where your body is telling you to get back to familiar ground. For some people, it sounds like “why did I embark on this journey that I know nothing about despite my months of research???” i.e. illogical self-doubt. For others it sounds like “my mother was right, the world is falling and I need to get back to her guest bedroom ASAP” also know as “Why Isn’t My Reality Perfect” Syndrome (WIMRPS for short).
I’ve had my month and a half to adjust to a new city where I know nobody except my ever underway s.o. and all my initial business plans have fallen through. I’ve finally adjusted to my reality of working a part time job – or two – and mooching as much free information out of libraries and online resources as I can while I continue to send out resumes until I go back to school. Experience is the name of the game though and it’s easy to forget that when Plan A doesn’t go your way. Or Plan B for that matter. But I didn’t move out here to try twice and then give up and move back home. I came out here to develop resilience and to gain the confidence and the wisdom to break into my future. So starving creative/recent college graduate status here I come. In the meantime, here are some things I’d forgotten I knew already.
Have a backup plan
I had already started applying to jobs and internships before I moved to Seattle. None of which came through. Keep applying to jobs and internships – excessively I might add – but understand that it may take a while, a couple months even, for those to manifest into something tangible. Don’t stop there, apply to volunteer at places too. A lot of volunteer processes these day include the same things a job process does: an interview, references, a skillset. Today’s job market takes “started from the bottom” to a whole ‘nother level.
Be prepared to be bored
Create a Netflix playlist specifically for when you have nothing else to do. Research off-the-beaten-path things to do around your area cause you’re going to need it while you a) wait for all those applications to either go through or fall through and b) avoid applying for new opportunities for a few days because you’re burnt out and disappointed. The boredom is good though. It’ll de-stress you and invigorate you at the same time (trust me, there comes a point where you’ll never want to be bored again and you’ll be begging for real work to lay your hands on).
Don’t let your boredom make you cranky, and then don’t take that crankiness out on others
It’s a little known fact that isolation in humans makes for a bad cocktail. It encourages the onset off depression which of course makes people want to spend time with you even less which just exacerbates the cycle. It’s not your family and friends’ fault that you have 100% free time and they do not. The catch 22 about that, is that when you’re bored there’s a higher chance that you’re going to get reckless too. Do not blow through your savings because you have nothing better to do than spend your days at the mall “people watching” or hunting down over priced finds at thrift stores unless you’re actually going to turn around and sell your DIY projects. There is actually a study out there that asserts that people buy more as their income dwindles because of a biological feature that tells you to stock up before the famine hits. It’s programming, we get it. Fight it. It’s all fine and dandy until an emergency pops up and you have to make a choice between selling your plasma and cutting your cell phone data package in half for the month.
All in all, all of the above is simple. At the same time, none of those things I warned you about are detrimental. It’s all part of the journey. Pick your poison and live with it. 😉