This blog was originally created to showcase my photography. That kinda stopped happening. Shooting (guns and images) is still my passion, but I'm a writer at heart, so that seems to dominate, regardless of what I try to do.


Monday, January 15, 2018

So This is What it Feels Like to Have No Control...

I've reached a point in my life where I feel as if I have no control over any of what's happening to me. Every aspect of my future is either in someone else's hands, or being controlled by some unknown force within the universe.

Sure, I have decisions I can make: what I want for dinner (which I haven't been doing much of lately. eating has been difficult), when it's time to do laundry, and other mundane, relatively insignificant tasks.

I've been told repeatedly to stop taking job rejections personally. I'm so emotional and sensitive most of the time and, let's be honest, desperate to find a job. It's hard to see past that. I mean, consider this: You have to sell yourself. Hard. You put all of your education, job experience, skills, objectives, and philosophies out there for them to see and then they say "no, you're not good enough." And when you apply for a job you really, really want and you're confident that you meet and probably exceed their requirements, it hurts.

I was literally crushed when I got notification that *the* perfect position had been filled by another applicant. It was the answer to everything, that job. Everything I wanted to do, perfect location...it was a real big hit to the ego and the heart.

So far, I have probably 20 outstanding applications. All are "being processed," or whatever term that particular organization uses. Most have been for quite some time. Some have been in progress since October. Some I applied for yesterday.

I have another option - to move out of state - but I'm not really sure about it. 1500 miles away from everything I've ever known and loved. It's hard to convince myself that would be the right choice. Both my parents are telling me to go. I know they probably don't actually want me to, but think it will benefit my future. Hell, my mom cries every time I leave their house now and I only live 2 hours away and visit at least once a month.

I think it's weird that, with all the contacts I have in my chosen career field, nobody is able to help me out. In fact, they don't even really sound that willing to. I kinda get a lot of "I don't know"s and other non-committal answers. That makes me doubt myself. Maybe they don't think I'm good enough. Maybe they don't even really like me that much. I mean, why else wouldn't they actively help me? I'd do it for them.

My friendships and relationships have suffered from my moving up here. Maybe they weren't that strong to begin with and I just didn't recognize it. Things I used to be included in and was invited to attend have stopped being extended, even though I DID go down when they invited me. Either way, I feel pretty alone in the world right now. It's not a good feeling. I've been so happy since I moved here. Even for the first 6 months when I knew nobody and found it hard to connect with anyone in my classes due to the age difference. I was lucky to overcome that, but now they've all graduated and moved on to other things and I'm still here. Alone. It sucks. But I'm still in a town I love dearly, so there's that. I've been hanging on to it like a life line.

I've never had such a hard time finding a job before. I knew it wasn't going to be easy, but I didn't think it was going to take this long to even get so much as an interview - which I haven't. I feel lost, floating, adrift. I don't feel like doing any of the things I used to do when I had free time. I just keep reloading my email account, praying that I'll find an email asking me for further communication in regards to a job...and they're not there. The rest of my time, I'm searching and applying for anything that even remotely seems like something I'm qualified to do, since it seems like I've tapped out all of my resources for jobs that should be slam-dunks.

My future is the hands of faces obscured behind a computer screen, voices that don't return messages, and computer programs meant to pull out keywords from electronically-submitted documents and ditch the ones that might be worded incorrectly.

I can vent to whomever will listen, but it doesn't fix the problem. It doesn't get me hired, it doesn't make me money, and it doesn't even make me feel any better. Nobody can help me with my current struggles.

Everyone says things happen the way they're supposed to, but I sure have a hard time getting on board with that.

In the meantime, all I can do is continuing to spend my days looking for work, checking my email, and resigning myself to the fact that I may have to wait months before that opportunity comes up. And pray I don't end up homeless in the interim.

Friday, January 5, 2018

My New Title As "Former Student"

I graduated in mid-December but haven't really had much time to post about it. I've been relatively busy ever since.

My feelings on this are quite mixed. I love being in school, learning as much as I can, being involved in student activities, and just enjoying the TAMU Family culture. While I'm excited to start a new career, I know I'm going to really wish I could have gotten into a Master's program.

The ceremony was great. Although it was not my first time to walk across a University stage, this time it meant more to me than many other experiences I've had in life. It was a hard road to get there and I'm very proud that I made it, but it was also a very sad time, knowing that my education there was concluded.

I pretty much blubbered the whole time. I was either misty or straight-up silent-crying. My classmates made fun of me and, although I still tried to impart some wisdom about "best time of their lives," and "experiences to be treasured," they still giggled. I guess I can understand that. The old chick tearing up through the entire ceremony, I guess, is kind of entertaining.

The part that really got me - I'd been moderately okay until then - was hugging and shaking my professor's hand at the end as I exited the stage, knowing that it was possibly the last time I would ever see him. He was definitely one of my favorites - maybe THE one - and he helped shape me as a student and motivated me to push myself to accomplish things I thought were impossible. He was patient, he was kind, we used to have great talks in the lab during my late nights of studying. I even offered to have him eat dinner with us for Christmas because his family is in NV and he rarely gets the chance to see them. He declined, of course, because although I would no longer be his student due to class schedules, I was still a student and apparently there's a Rule about that.

After graduation, I emailed each of the professors I'd ever had and thanked them for their dedication and gave reasons on how each had impacted me as a person and student. I don't know if many people do that, but I felt like they really needed to know that their hard work is appreciated and that I am one of the students who took all of their lessons seriously and really did learn. As a former teacher, notes like that meant the world to me. Based on each of their responses, they appreciated the emails as well. Which is exactly what I wanted to impart: an appreciation for them.

I'm still on the job search, which sucks, because many of my classmates are already working. I'm not being overly picky - although I am searching for jobs solely in Texas - and I KNOW I qualify (maybe overqualified for a few) and meet requirements, but not much is coming to fruition thus far. I know that, especially with government organizations, these processes take time, but my father is continuing to finance my living expenses and will have to pay for my relocation as well. The quicker I can find something - preferably here in town - the better. The job I really want is a perfect fit for me and the challenge is having faith that I'm the best candidate. I wouldn't have to move, I could afford all my own expenses, and it would be glorious. The job sounds like a wonderful challenge and fun to boot.

Being a Former Student of Texas A&M is, for sure, an extremely emotional situation for me. I'm not entirely enjoying it, but I have been given permission to audit a few classes for extra learning to put on my resume, even though I won't be receiving credit for it. The only thing that would keep me from dropping out is if I obtain a job. But I plan on attending at least one class.

Well, y'all...I made it. I graduated.