my truth: i don't have a job right now.

i believe there are great truths bouncing around out in the world, waiting to be found. i believe there are multiples channels by which to find these truths, but i also think that one of the best ways to happen upon them, is music.

and the other day, while i was running at my beloved hugh macrae, i felt those truths shining through. i listened to aerosmith, i listened to beyonce. but i kept hearing the same truths, the same struggles, the same sentiments. true emotions.

right now, i do not have a job.

and while i was always one of those people who dreamt of what it would be like to be unemployed, to be in total control of my life & what i'd do each day, all day, i can now say, with relative certainty: being completely jobless, well, sucks.

some days i wake up & hop out of bed, ready to take on the world, whatever abstract idea that may mean for me right now. other days, it's impossible to even wake up before 10 o'clock. and i think by wake up, i simply mean acknowledge that i'm awake & do something about it. because i do wake up, i just refuse to admit it. i stay in bed, slipping in & out of sleep, until i feel it's no longer acceptable to remain there.

and right now, nothing feels worse than those days.

i'm too embarrassed to sit here & type out all of the career options i've toyed with since graduating in 2008 with a degree in journalism. but they've run the gamut. nursing, hand-in-hand with law. physician assistant, hand-in-hand with master of fine arts in creative writing. children's book author. dental hygienist. college professor. and seriously, that's not all of them. and see how they don't even really correlate? they're just these visions of success that i'm attempting to feebly grasp at. 

i've held back sharing this struggle of mine, because it embarrasses me. i want desperately to be seen as successful, to be seen as intelligent, & to be seen as driven. but honestly, i feel so torn, so pulled in multiple directions, that i don't ever even give myself the chance to achieve any one of those specific successes.

but, like i said earlier, the other day, i felt a whole bunch of universal truths, aligning themselves in my head, allowing me to hear them, see them, feel them. 

and here is what i know to be my truth right now: 

i am lucky. oh so unbelievably lucky. i've been afforded a chance in my adult life, where i am allowed to focus on what it is exactly that i want to do in the grand scheme of things. like, really, truly want to do. not just, here's a bunch of horrible options, the only options that exist, & you have to choose one. but rather, lauren, the options are limitless. choose what you want.

i am lucky to have the husband that i have. he supports every vision i entertain regarding my career. he gets behind every idea i have. he supports my dreams, no matter what shape or size they come in that particular day. no matter how much they change & evolve. i am lucky because he has a stable career, one that that ensures it's not required that i work right now. he doesn't guilt me for not having found a job yet [but that doesn't mean i don't guilt myself]. he tells me to use this time to find out what i want to do with my life, to find out my passion.

and while i'm always so quick to jump on a new career bandwagon every time i turn around, i'm trying my best right now, to focus on the bigger picture, to focus on what i really, truly want.

what i've discovered so far, is that i want to open my own business. a business i've been told multiple times, by different people, that i should open. and this business will use the talents i've been gifted with, rather than shoving them under a rug & pretending they don't matter, that they're not good enough. it would showcase my strengths. and i couldn't be more thrilled about it.

in the meantime, though, i'll be searching for a job that i know i'll enjoy. a job that will allow me to contribute to my family. to make an effort every day. something i can get behind. a reason to get out of bed every morning, to get going. 

right now, that's my truth.

photo: one of my many 'work stations' \ instagram


Betsy said…
oh my goodness I KNOW this is a hard thing to say aloud even just to yourself and a harder thing to write in such a public place - you are very brave, and I really do think that by publishing this post you are owning your situation!

I'm in a similar boat, so if you want to talk more just email me :)
You're writing style always impresses me!
This was beautiful and truthful. Pray about it, I mean, REALLY pray about it. That way maybe you'll end up stumbling in the right general direction by accident! You are blessed and talented beyond belief. Don't settle! <3
Not to get all preachy since I'm NINE DAYS away from a Master's in Philanthropic Studies BUT... have you considered looking into the nonprofit sector? One of the things I LOVE about nonprofits is the flexibility! For a small nonprofit (for a small paycheck, most likely. just fyi), a person is likely to wear a ton of different hats -- event coordinator, fundraiser, project manager, program developer, interoffice communication facilitator, PR and Marketing, blogging and social media advisor (!!), etc.
So, while you're doing your contemplating and considering a for-now position that you'll enjoy until you get your business together, you might find that working for a cause you believe in and getting to do it in so many different ways could be really fun!
I hope that doesn't add to the mire and struggle that is job hunting. haha.

Best of luck to you, lady!
Steph said…
This was one of the most real (and well-written I might add!) posts I've read in a long time, and it was refreshing because it was real-life. You're ahead of the game in terms of recognizing that you have a passion to do good work... a lot of people just midlessly go about their jobs and get by. You have a unique opportunity to seek out something that will enhance your life, not just provide a pay check. When the right opportunity comes'll be ready for it! Good luck with everything!
I really enjoyed this post. You were honest and straight forward and yet optimistic as well. I'm envious that you have a husband that supports you. Mine just sits there without much support. You are a very lucky lady, indeed.
Jay said…
This is a wonderfully honest post and it must have taken a lot of courage to write and post. Best wishes as you continue on this journey.
Anonymous said…
What an honest post! I can relate (I've been out of work the past 2 months for the first time since I was 15 due to breaking my femur) and am desperately looking for my next job and not sure which direction to go. I think it's awesome that you are going to pursue opening your own business and utilize your talents to the best of your ability. Can't wait to read updates on your new business venture :)

xo brooke
Melissa said…
I love that you wrote this. A ton of you expressed is exactly how I felt while I was unemployed - I just wasn't brave enough to share. Love! <3
Tina Byland said…
You are so brave for putting these thoughts down and publishing this for us to read. I loved it. I love everything you are saying.

You are blessed that this is where you are and own that. That you have this time to focus on your next big move, that is incredible. I am in a job I will never consider a career. It's a paycheck. I don't hate it. But it's not my passion. It's just a way to pay the bills. And to even think about finding something different to do takes too much extra time that I don't get because I am busy being a teacher.

I would die for the opportunity to be unemployed so that I had time to work toward that next goal. I am so glad you are using your time wisely. At the same time, don't let yourself get caught up in your "status". In fact, if you are writing business plans and whatnot, are you really jobless? I think not! You are already working, lady!

This is awesome. So glad you shared! ;)
Jordan Skiles said…
I'm so proud of you for speaking so candidly and openly about this! While I do have a job (and one that I am very happy with), I know that there is something else out there for me but I'm not quite sure what that is. It would appear that we are close to the same age, so that too helps me to relate to you even more. We'll figure it out with time! The right opportunities will come along and in their own perfect timing.

xx, Jordan
Allyssa said…
Thanks for sharing this with us! I think this is something a lot of other people struggle with! I know I do -- I quit my job, then my dad got sick so I was needed at home for awhile. I have some design jobs on the side, but I feel like I need to have an actual 9-5 to be successful. But at the same time, I want to be happy, so I'm kind of looking at this time as a chance to try my hand at growing my design business! Thanks again for being so honest and open!
Nat said…
Don't worry girl I think we all struggle with this! I have been out of college-eeek 8 yrs- and I've had 3 different careers and I've probably considered about 30 other ones!! You listed a few of them and I could add about 10 others.
I lost my job last summer and you just have to take some time for yourself and find out what your passion is and what you really want to do- you will find it! Take your time, I'm 30 and I feel like I'm just starting to really find my way and be comfortable
Ivana said…
Lauren, this is one of the most touching posts I've ever read! You are so brave to share your darkest thoughts with us! I can totally understand you: I went through the very same situation recently. I was jobless due to my own decision to follow my fiancé to another country. However, I've never been destined to be a stay-at-home person, being without a job (and thus money) depressed me beyond reasonable measure. Unfortunately, my fiancé wasn't as supportive as your husband (which is quite funny because it was because of him that I got into that situation), and it ultimately led to our break-up. I don't regret that experience: it taught me a lot about me and the people around me. I'm back to my old job now, and I'm dedicating all my free time to my blog, and I feel so happy! What I'm trying to say is that everything happens for a reason, and maybe now is the perfect time to really focus on what YOU want to do (not what somebody else thinks you should do), find out what you're passionate about and stick to it :) I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you!

xx Ivana
Macarons and Pearls
Ashley said…
Girl, you are 100% speaking my language with this post. Thanks for being brave enough to share it. I've got to say, that I struggled with the idea of being "successful" a while ago, and I'm learning to re-define what I see to be successful... I used to think it was becoming an architect who brought in a large paycheck, and I now know that to be not true. (:

If you ever want to talk about being "unemployed" I'm here.... oh and I know all about moving cross country too. We're moving to a new city this month, so I know all about the change and uncertainty that you're talking about. Thanks for sharing!

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