school and the end.

dark sunset

Today is August 31st. (I’m sure by the time I hit publish, it will be September 1st…) And as much as August is my enemy, it sucks that it’s ending.

Sorry for the less-than-joyful nature of this post. I won’t be offended if you run away screaming now. I know I’m annoying. I also know I’m freaking out. I also know that I’ve been a terrible blogger… I can’t keep up… with anything. I’m sorry.

School started today. (Or yesterday… it’s already after midnight…) My daughter began 3rd grade and she’s got the same (wonderful) teacher my son had. My son began middle school, grade 6. I was nervous as hell for him… and I could tell he was nervous, too. But of course, they both did great. I never doubted it, I was just anxious for my son. I think it’s because he’s my first baby and he’s such a big kid now. I want to stare at immensely adorable pictures of him from when he was two. Also, I hate change… and he’s not especially fond of it either.

But the real crisis in my brain right now is something else. I’ve got to double down on my job search. Of course, doubling nothing gets you… nothing. I truly do not know where to begin (again).

I haven’t been sleeping well. I haven’t been eating much. And as I mentioned up there, I’ve struggled to keep up here… writing, reading. I suck. But I just can’t seem to do much of anything. And fuck, it’s hard to get up at 7am when I’m rarely asleep before 3am. At least John is taking the boy to school… which starts an hour earlier than my daughter’s school.

I love being just Mom. After the layoff, the plan was for me to take a few months off to be just Mom. But it’s been way longer than a few months. And the “just” part has to end… I need to be Mom and… something else.

I haven’t a fucking clue what ‘something else‘ is. I have never had a specific career… What do you do for a living? I have no fucking idea. I’ve never known what wanted to be when I grew up. I suppose I’m grown up now (and not happy about it) and I still don’t know what I want to be.

I’ve written about this before… a couple of times. And although it’s been nearly a year since those posts, I am in the same place. Oh, except that my one connection is gone. And my head is probably more messed up. Okay, not probably. It is.

If I knew what I wanted to be at any point before or during my college years or in the few years following, I could have done it. I could have been whatever I wanted (not like, a rock star or a movie star, but you know… within reason). I’ve always been very intelligent. Like, nerd-level intelligent. Not Dr. Sheldon Cooper, but you know, really smart. My sister D hated that I was this way without even trying. She is really smart, too, but she studied a lot. I didn’t. What a bitch I am, right?!

Of course, she always knew what she wanted to do with her life. Since she was about 14. So she’s in a great career place. And I’m nowhere. Because I still don’t know. And even if I did, it’s too late for me now.

Popular suggestions:

Further my education in a field that interests me.
I have no idea what that field would be and I cannot afford further education which is half the reason I’ve never done this.

Find a work-from-home job.
I would love to! LOVE. Love. love. Tell me where to find one… because I’ve been hunting for over two years and I have found… squat.

How about a job at a school – it might offer more time with the kids.
I’d like this, too. I could never be a teacher… and I obviously do not have that education/background. But some other school job? Sure! Sign me up! But everyone wants a job like this. They are extremely hard to come by. Unless maybe you “know someone”.

I was great at my last job. Fuck, I’ve been great at every job I’ve ever had. It’s who I am. Every manager, every boss I’ve ever had has loved me. I don’t do things half-assed. I won’t. I don’t think I can.

[Despite the wisdom of the great Homer Simpson:
“If you don’t like your job you don’t strike. You just go in every day and do it really half-assed. That’s the American way.”

homer simpson.

So. How does one find a job without knowing what sort of job to look for? Even if I wanted to find something similar to what I was doing pre-layoff, I don’t know what to search for. My last position was a conglomerate of different things — accounting things, payroll tax things, reporting and reconciling things, and lots more. But I am not an accountant or a financial analyst or any other professional with an actual title/career. So I search for……?

I am supposed to be doing this now. Literally now… at this moment. And any other free moment. I should be trying to find something. I should be searching for an agency, a recruiter, a job. Something.

But I fall apart. Just thinking about it is making me sick. Anxious, nauseous… head pounding, eyes leaking (yeah, that’s code for sobbing).

And I am completely useless. Incapacitated. And pathetic. I have no idea what I’m going to do… but I should already be doing it.

About what sandra thinks

Sandra is a writer, blogger, poet, artist, emotional disaster. She thinks far too much and sleeps far too little. Sandra lives in the Northeastern U.S. but dreams of an oceanfront home in Hawaii where she could learn to surf. She loves books, brutal honesty, coffee, and the color black. She hates insincerity, beer, whipped cream, and facebook. And she is uncomfortable talking about herself in the third person.
This entry was posted in anxiety, autobiographical, fear, writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

86 Responses to school and the end.

  1. My heart goes out to you <3. What about a career assessment test? I'm sure there must be some online to give you an idea of what field would suit you. I know you can do this, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. amommasview says:

    Working from home? Why not looking into one of the many party selling stuff options? ENJO, Tupperware, Lingerie, Make-up… Seriously, I have a friend who is actually making money from it and she is enjoying it as she can invest as much time as she wants…

    Liked by 1 person

    • None of that would work for me. I cannot sell. I’m about as far from being a sales type that one can be. Just thinking about that makes me anxious. I even feel guilty asking people to buy from my kids’ fundraising things! I also have some social anxiety. I could never be around enough people. And I don’t have a home where I could do things like that anyway. I always hated to be invited to those… feeling obligated to buy… I’d never want to make anyone feel that way. And I need to at least come close to what I was making before. Even 75% might be okay… But I imagine something like this would yield less than 25% of what I was making before. I am not a people person at all. This wouldn’t be fulfilling for me at all. It’s just not me.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Miriam says:

    Firstly, you’re not useless so get that out of your head. Secondly, I can relate all too well because I’m in the same boat as you (as you know), trying to find work and having no clue what I really want to do. Someone told me recently that it didn’t matter what sort of a job I did because I’d already found my passion (writing) so anything else would do. Kinda true hey, even if it didn’t really help. All the best Sandra.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Kay says:

    Rejection sucks….but maybe find hunts that sound interesting and even if you don’t have the educational background, if your resume can get you in the door for an interview, you’ll find a good match. People want dependable, fast learning, well-rounded people. You’re one of them. Someone will jump on the opportunity, I know it. You’ve got this!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What’s your degree in?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi… sorry I didn’t reply sooner… your comment was in my spam. 😦

      Once upon a time I was an art major. A useless degree, really. I’ve never really “used” it. Honestly, since I never knew what I wanted to do (still don’t), I’m not sure any degree would help. The only thing it’s good for is having a 4-year degree for employers that require it.

      It’s not like I chose the major because I had a career path in mind. I never did… not in any field. There was no guidance at all… not in high school or college… to help me find a path to something. I think with some coaching, guidance – something – I may have figured out what to do… where to head. But no.

      Sure, I have some creative talent, but things have changed in the years since I got my degree. I don’t have the required background for graphic design jobs (even though I have taught myself a LOT). But you know, no relevant degree or work experience… and my resume is in the trash. Same goes for anything involving writing. So yeah, basically, the 2 things I kind of like… I have zero chance of getting a job in either of those areas.

      Liked by 1 person

      • No worries. I bet you could translate that love of art or writing into something. My wife’s first degree was Fine Arts. Went back for nursing degree. Now is in marketing/resident liaison/case manager for a retirement home. What that degree is oftentimes has zero bearing on what you’ll end up doing. Try to take your passions and strengths and apply them to something. Career paths are sometimes long and winding roads.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I don’t know. People always say this — Turn what I love into my job… Find a job related to my passions. But really? If this was remotely possible, I’d already have that job (whatever the hell it may be). I’d love to know the secret to making this possible because I’ve heard and read it so many times. But never with a single suggestion how to do it. Really. How on earth can this be accomplished? It’s not like I can invent a job I’d enjoy… and boom… get paid for it. It has to exist. And I don’t know what that job is… or how I could get it. No one will even talk to me if I have neither the education nor the work experience… honestly, it doesn’t matter what I want or what I’m good at. That’s crap… but it’s true…

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Meg Sorick says:

    Ah, damn. Half those suggestions were mine… What about the temp job idea? To get your feet wet again? For the next thing. You can keep looking for something perfect for you while you earn a little money. And its not a long term commitment if you hate it. Also, did I mention billing etc. for like a hospital or health network? I think you can do those from home. Or is it coding? I forget… But that sounds like something that would fit with your background. And remember that you are smart. You CAN do this. Its just a matter of getting over the initial step of looking. Take a deep breath. Ready, set, go!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh my God, do NOT feel bad about suggesting anything… I know you’re trying to help. And… I have heard those suggestions a LOT. I do think a temp job would be good to start. In fact, in my last 2 jobs I started as a temp. The first one really was good – I fit, I liked it. The second was a step down, and not intellectually stimulating at all (this last job)… but I stayed anyway.

      I have no idea what medical billing would pay… and I even did do this years ago (lots of years) for my dad. But now, they require certification or something to do this.

      I feel bad shooting down almost every idea, but I think they wouldn’t realistically work. Except for the temping… if I had a fucking clue who to call. And if I could make that call…

      Wow… even my comments are too long!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Late to the party but this is what I was going to suggest. In addition to having a number of assignments, many services offer software training – FREE – so if you need to brush up on, say, Excel, they might be able to hook you up.

      And don’t worry about finding “the” job or a “dream” job or IDing your career. That’ll come. for now, just get “a” job – being employed makes it MUCH easier to find the NEXT gig. I promise.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. So I’m not sure about your education background completely, BUT if you are up at night I suggest taking a look at this website: it’s for 1:1 English teaching to Chinese students and all you need is a computer with a webcam. It pays in American dollars and you can get bonuses and stuff and pick up extra lessons for a bigger pay check. I know it may not be in your field BUT at least it could be something for right away

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s interesting. I have, but have never in my life used, a webcam. I am really REALLY not sure I could teach anyone anything. My patience level is not good. Maybe it’s that I was always quick to pick up new things… so when I teach someone something and they don’t get it right away, I’m like… what the hell? It’s so easy!!! And of course, I hate people…

      Liked by 1 person

      • lol! okies 🙂 teaching does take a lot of patience, but it also depends on your students and their attitudes as well. But hating people is harder to over come haha

        Liked by 1 person

        • I know… I’m terrible. I feel really bad when someone tries to help with an idea and I shoot it down… I appreciate it so much that people care enough to try… But I just know what would never work for me… 😦


          • Oh no!! Don’t feel bad! It was just an ad that popped up today on facebook just as I happened to also be reading your post lol I’m in the “job search” boat as well..time is ticking down until I leave here and move back to Canada and I have to have the same conversations lol

            Liked by 1 person

            • Except I’m in immobilizing panic and can’t seem to actually take action at all… I have no idea what it’s going to take… but with every day, the panic worsens… which makes the immobility get worse… and you know… vicious cycle…


              • yeah of course! what about maybe just starting with volunteer some place? that way it’s kind of work but you’re in no obligation to go if you’re having a really bad day since you’re just a volunteer? It’s a small step into the routine and responsibility of a job but not the full impact right away?

                Liked by 1 person

                • I seriously doubt I’d be able to get myself anywhere to do anything like that. I am in serious trouble. The thought of any of this stuff totally messes me up. I’m shaking, panicking, crying… just thinking about it. How can I possibly do anything at all when I get like this every time I try to even think about it? 😦 I honestly don’t see how I’m ever going to be able to do anything… and money is going fast… and if we can’t pay the mortgage or anything else, I don’t know what happens to my family. But whatever it is, it will be my fault. And I won’t be able to live with that….

                  Liked by 1 person

  8. mandibelle16 says:

    Good luck. You may want to talk to a social worker of perhaps go see an occupations
    Therapist. They can help with this. For instance, mine said I could do three or four hours a day of admin work at home, on my own computer and on the phone. I’ve never been healthy enough to manage but it sounds like it might be a good situation for you, some place to start at least.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really don’t know what I’m going to do. Especially since I can’t seem to physically do anything. I have no idea how I’d even find someone to help me since I can’t make those calls either… nor can I afford anything. I feel trapped… and just… finished. Also… when someone mentions that that sort of admin thing is an option… is there an actual job to get or it is just a suggestion of something to look for? Because I’ve looked for things like that and I can’t find anything.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mandibelle16 says:

        My occupational therapist said it was really an option. Do your benefits cover going to one? I think it might be good if you can handle it. But that depends, I know what it’s like not to physically be able to do much. Are there any types of money you can apply for for people with disabilities. For instance where I live we have AISH. If you’re physically or mentally unable to work you can apply for the benefit. Maybe, if you can handle, some online research first? Or a social worker might be able to aid you with that? Could your family doctor refer you to one?

        Liked by 1 person

        • I know I’ve seen mention of the remote admin type of job before but I’ve searched the internet and I’ve never actually found one of those jobs. I don’t know where these jobs are hidden and who you have to be to get one, but I can’t find anything like that. I do have coverage for that, I think. Still have the copay of course. I just don’t know how to find anyone other than choosing at random and I fear that it won’t work out… I always think the worst! And then I’d actually have to call… and I can’t seem to do that either. I don’t know… I’m too difficult. I appreciate and am so grateful for your help. I wish I could do something… anything! Because until I can, I’m going to be stuck here.

          Liked by 1 person

          • mandibelle16 says:

            I think have your family doctor recommend one. Or go online and look up social workers, or occupational therapists in your city on Google. Read through their bios and specialities, narrow it down to a few, say two. You can choose one, or bring them both to your family doctor and ask him or her. Could your husband take you to a doctors appt on a Saturday? That might help u go out, or your Mom?

            Worried for you. I don’t know how to help. I don’t get anxious, so I’m not sure how to help. Are you on any meds that can help with this? Sometimes, they are a good thing. If it takes a little pill to get you out the door, I think it’s worth taking. Or if it allows you to get out of bed.

            Praying for you. Worry about feeling better, not about working right now. You seem like you need to focus on you first. Just little steps, one day at a time. Hugs

            Liked by 1 person

            • I’ve been out of work too long to not to focus on the job thing. I’ve been in denial too long, I guess, and waiting any longer is going to affect my whole family.
              My mom lives about an hour away. The weekends… kids are home… if I go anywhere, it’s alone. I’m not even sure anyone in my real life believes me when I say I can’t do anything. I think they think I’m just making things up because I don’t want to deal with reality. But I’m scared of running out of money! If I could fix it, I would.
              Honestly, as pathetic as it sounds, if I had someone to hold my hand I might be able to do something. I’ve asked my husband to just take a day off work… a half day, even, and help me. But nothing. I don’t even know his reasoning… other than maybe not truly believing I need his help.

              Liked by 1 person

              • mandibelle16 says:

                It doesn’t sound pathetic at all. It sounds strangely familiar. I haven’t been able to work over 8 years. But I have some income so it’s not so bad and it’s only me. Email me Sandra. If you can tell me your last name, and your city and state. I’m wondering if I can do some research to help you or make a few calls. Maybe, find someone who can contact u and u can set something up, maybe they could even see you at home. I had people who did this for me when I was ill.

                Liked by 1 person

  9. The job hunt is all so overwhelming, isn’t it? It’s not just about Will I find a job I like? It’s also: What if I find a great job, but I’m not qualified? And, How do I make my resume reflect what experience I do have? What if an employer is interested in me, but the interview goes badly? Soon, all the questions and worst-case scenarios are swirling through your brain and you just want to curl into a ball and give up.

    Slow down, take a breath. This is hard. This is frustrating and humiliating. You’re doing the best you can. One thing at a time, okay? Try not to think too far into the future because that’s when things can feel too daunting. You have a whole army of readers sending you well wishes and positive thoughts. That may not lend much practical help to you, but people care about you, and that’s good to have. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for this.
      I have so much disappointment in myself that I let things get here. I should never have delayed things this long. It only gets worse the more time that passes. And now getting a job is urgent…
      I don’t feel like I’m doing the best I can… because I’m having so much trouble doing anything at all. It took me months to even update my resume… I’m not sure if I did it well enough. It’s impossible because my past jobs have been so non-typical, not easily defined. (And I’m not sure I even want anything like it… but really… I have no choice.)
      I feel like such a failure.
      I am amazed at the care and support I have here. I really wish I had that same thing offline. I know people care, but I don’t think they understand how incapacitated I am over this… so they don’t step in to help, even if I ask.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’ve accomplished several steps just by polishing up that resume and asking the blogosphere for ideas. Let’s not forget that August is a horrible time for you personally. Job-searching is shitty enough without adding on the extra heartache of painful anniversaries and memories coming up. Grief really, truly does change the way that your brain processes info. So if you’re feeling foggy or having trouble completing tasks, that may be why. Please show yourself the same kindness and compassion that you would show a friend in the same boat. I’m pretty certain you wouldn’t tell a loved one that they suck, that they’re a failure. You would encourage them. You would remind them to take breaks. You might comfort them by making them a cup of tea. You deserve those same things, Sandra.

        It’s amazing how supportive the blogging world is, isn’t it? There are certain people online that I think I would totally hit it off with in the “real world.” Sometimes I like to fantasize about a giant WordPress conference where all of us super-cool bloggers could come together and meet. Imagine the mayhem 😀

        Liked by 1 person

        • It does always seem hard to be good to myself but easy to be good to others.
          I’m not sure if it was intentional, but when you mentioned cup of team all I could think of was The Big Bang Theory. Whenever someone is upset, Sheldon offers a hot beverage… because that’s what you’re supposed to do.
          I am always amazed at the support here. I find myself wishing I had this kind of support in my offline life.
          Even though I’m kind of a downer (right now anyway) I hope you think we would hit it off because I think you’re awesome. And I want queso.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Haha I didn’t even think about good ol’ Sheldon.

            I don’t think you’re a downer at all, this is just a hard time for you. And I totally think we’d hit it off in real life. I could come keep you company while you job hunt, and then you’d get annoyed with me because I’d get distracted and start chattering about unrelated things. Or I’d make up a song about the horrors of unemployment, and make you sing it with me. And then we could get out for a bit and get some soothing, warm queso! The stuff is like medication, I swear.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I would welcome the distraction because it lets me ignore the rest. Of course, that’s denial and if I never get out of it, I’ll never find a job. I did one thing a couple of weeks ago… I emailed my old boss (she also got laid off)… I asked her if she had any recruiters she’d recommend. We were friends at work… but she hasn’t responded. I think she just moved so maybe she’s busy but it’s been over 2 weeks… I don’t think I’m going to hear from her. Scary that sometimes I wish I was single, childless and lived with my mom!

              Liked by 1 person

              • I think that was the worst part of job-hunting for me: the lack of response from employers. The majority of them couldn’t be bothered to send a generic email saying, “thanks for applying, but we’ve hired someone else.” So I’d wait and wait and wait. I’d wonder if I should reach out to them, but then worry that I’m seeming too desperate. I don’t think employers realize how disheartening that is, to not hear back from them at all.

                I don’t think it’s scary or weird that you wish you were back home with your mom! I think it’s human nature to seek out comfort and familiarity when we’re upset. On top of job stuff, you’re also still having to be a wife and mom. You take care of others a lot. It makes total sense that you’d want to feel like someone’s daughter and be the one who’s taken care of now and then.

                Also, you are more than your current job status. You’re funny, smart, and caring. You write beautifully. I live vicariously through your sexier posts, because I’m too wimpy to post anything like that haha.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Oh yeah, they never tell you if they don’t want you. I hate to be left hanging… in any situation. Of course, it happens a lot… even with “friends”…

                  Thanks for your very kind compliments. It means so much to me to have anyone who thinks I’m those things. And you are also all of those things. You crack me up! I love your posts.

                  I feel now that I need to post a sexy post. My mind has not been in the right place lately… and I hate it! And by the way, I was an anxious mess when I first posted something of that nature. I still get nervous every time that someone out there is reading and laughing their ass off at how bad it is…

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • I see you as a super talented writer, so the fact that my posts entertain you makes me happy! I’m so used to writing lighthearted things (or academic stuff for my field), I wouldn’t even know how to write something sexy if I wanted to. I would never tell in a million years that you feel nervous posting those things! There’s no way people are laughing at them, because they’re too busy blushing. 😉

                    Liked by 1 person

  10. MLYGhost says:

    It’s never too late. Just remember that.
    When I lost my job it was a shock to the system. I had never not worked. My maternity leave lasted only 4 months and suddenly I had been unemployed for almost a year.
    I felt terrible but it seemed that with each passing day jobs got harder to come by. It was as if recruiters and companies started to doubt my qualities (why haven’t you got anything in so long?). I was actually doubting myself and my performance in interviews fell as a result. I couldn’t focus!
    I ended up taking a job well under what I used to have. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t like it either. With me just being employed, opportunities started to appear again and I was suddenly being chased by recruiters/companies everywhere.
    I have changed jobs, now for one I love. Salary wise it’s still less than what I used to earn before the layoff, but I have a great team, work straight forward hours and don’t take any of it home.
    I don’t know if this will work for you, but it’s a possibility. Find something to do: anything. After that other possibilities will come up. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for sharing your story. Honestly, I wish I never had to work again… unless it could be on my own terms — doing something with my writing or art. But we need the money. I hate that happiness has to be sacrificed for money. But that is the world we live in.


  11. Marquessa says:

    I feel for you and there are so many helpful comments up there. Working from home? What about looking into beingva virtual assistant? So many people don’t have time/energy to do little time consuming things like find a good qualified roofer to fix a leak, research vacation options for a busy family…if I could and had $$$, i would hire someone to handle the repair estimates/appts/telephone conversations for me!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I tried to look into this before. Maybe I was in a negative state at the time (shocking) but I felt like I wasn’t finding any legit info. I’d get tossed to sites that wanted me to pay for them to show me jobs. I’ve heard many times in the past that you should not have to pay to find a job. Maybe that’s not true anymore…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marquessa says:

        No, I don’t think that is right. You could start something on your own à la entrepreneur. Seniors are always looking for good quality help from someone who is not out to swindle them (which often happens) or younger professionals who want someone to stay at their place while something is being repaired at their place and they don’t want to take time off…just a thought from a weird superplanning freak (me).


thoughts? talk to me.

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