I’m on my honeymoon this week and my good friend (and best man) Mike has agreed to step in and do some guest posts. He blogs regularly at The Bleacher Seats (a blog about Ranger’s baseball) and has some great insights into life, work, and unemployment. This is part three of a three part series. Click here for part 1 and here for part 2
…and now for the exciting conclusion of my weeklong series, Lessons in Funemployment. (If you’re sick of me and my constant whining, don’t worry. Alex will be back next week.)
I left college in December of 2008 with my Bachelor’s Degree, but I didn’t start looking for production jobs immediately, because most of my drive had been lost at that point.
Instead, I came up with a new plan, which was to get any other job that I could find and do that for a year or so. (This could have been retail or working for a restaurant or whatever as long as it wasn’t in production.)
After working for Mr. Schmitt for another summer, I started looking for real world jobs in the fall of 2009. Nothing much came of that and I sort of meandered about for a while until I was struck suddenly by an epiphany.
It was one morning, just as I was waking up, that I had an idea, the very first thought that popped into my brain. It was something like “I want to make movies.”
My realization was that I had had a dream once and that I had let other people like Patrick, Dave, and Mr. Schmitt (those fiends!) talk me out of it. Those people had managed to deaden my spirit, but I wasn’t going to allow that anymore.
From there, I decided that I was going to give it a real go. Not sure how exactly I was going to do it, I set out looking for production jobs. (That obviously hasn’t worked out because I already told you that I’m unemployed. Can this story possibly have a happy ending?! Buckle up, because it’s about to get really real.)
I did get a few gigs early on, but it wasn’t long before they dried up and I was left exactly where I had started.
The weeks and then the months rolled on and there was nothing to show for it. Finding crew calls on Craigslist, I would send my resume out into the universe and never hear anything back. The few leads I had didn’t turn up anything either.
It got harder.
The constant rejection was eating away at me because I was being told almost daily that I wasn’t good enough.
Eventually I had no spirit left and I slipped into a depression. I still ate and bathed and stuff, but I did little else. You can only get knocked down so many times before you don’t have the strength to get back up. (Is there anyone out there that still wants to call this funemployment?)
There were mornings where I would open my eyes and my very first thought would be “If I lay in bed all day, never even bothering to move to my computer chair, nobody on this planet will even notice.”
That went on for months, I guess. My birthday came and reminded me that I had wasted another year of my life. (This is the first time I can remember not wanting to celebrate my own birthday.) Before long it was Christmas and then New Year’s.
2010 was gone and my life was no better.
Sometime early in 2011 I had another epiphany. This one didn’t slap me across the face like the one before. This one was quieter and more subtle, like someone whispering from a different room.
It was something like “Are you just going to quit?”
Truth be told, that sounded pretty good at first. There may not have been anything to salvage anyway, assuming I even wanted to try.
But then there was a spark. I realized that I had let people like Patrick and Dave and Mr. Schmitt take all of the fight out of me and I started to get mad.
At them. At myself. At everybody.
I decided that it was time for me to get up off of the canvas. Not only that, but it was time to start swinging. If it’s hard to find a job, then I’m trying harder and doing it with a chip on my shoulder. Other people aren’t going to tell me what I’m good at or who I am anymore.
You can rest assured that things are going to be different from here on out.
Not just different, but better.
For those of you who know me, you haven’t heard this story before, but it is true. As I went through all of this, it was never something I wanted to talk about. You probably know that I’m not a sad sack and that I don’t like being down on myself all the time. So, I never felt the need to say anything about it.
For those of you who don’t know me, thank you for reading. I’m not sure if you’ve learned anything because it was never my intent to provide content exactly the way Alex does. I just wanted to share my story with you and, if you got something out of it, all the better.
At the very least, I hope I haven’t driven all of Alex’s readers away.
Feel free to tell Alex that he has lost you as a reader in the comments.
While I still stand by my 2nd epiphany, it has not been entirely easy. A few months ago I interviewed for a full-time job that was exactly what I’d been looking for. Coming out of the interview, it felt like the best I’d ever had and I waited for a call that never came. So I took another hit and got knocked down, like so many times before…
…but I got back up. I’m not done quite yet.