Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Apply Yourself

I'm struggling.  I have been this whole week.  I have been doing my best to resist it, but it's not working.  My sleep schedule is extremely disrupted, and it's causing me to drag (majorly).  Then I'm beating myself up because I feel like I'm getting nothing done.  In reality I have been continuing with my baby steps, but I've also been avoiding. 
I just don't feel like taking care of a lot of my errands and chores. I've been having a terribly difficult time getting myself to do what I need to do.  I need to give the dog a bath.  I need to mow the lawn.  I need to get a car wash.  I need to go to the bank.  I need to go to the post office.   I need to send faxes to my student loan servicers.  All of these tasks are so simple, could be done so quickly, yet I cannot convince myself to act. 

Even worse, I really need to start making my way through the long list of job openings that I've created.  All would be suitable.  Some would be amazing.  I just need to send a flood of cover letters and resumes.  I'm not talking about papering just any company either. I'm referring to a very deliberate and targeted job search.   I'm saying that I have created a spreadsheet of about 50 jobs that either my previous experience matches well with or for which the skills that I have developed are very transferable or dream jobs that my skills, education, and experience would make me a great candidate to grow into.  And yet despite having such a long list and despite having updated it continually over the many weeks that I have been unemployed, the section of jobs to apply for has always remained long.  

I set myself up for failure.  I continually sabotage myself.  It's what I do; it 's what I've always done.  As I've mentioned before, I apply for a handful each week instead of just sitting down and making the effort to apply for every last one, just sitting down day after day until a resume has been sent for every position on the list, so that all I have to do going forward is keep my eye open for new positions and apply for each one as it becomes available, very manageable.  That has remained a goal that I have never met.  Positions soon close, and I watch opportunity after opportunity pass me by with no idea what would have happened if only I had put in the effort, any effort.  That is a habit I have developed in many areas of my life, a way of protecting myself.  I think I am afraid of failing and of rejection, so I create a situation that feels like it is more within my control.  Then I can still tell myself that I didn't get the job because I didn't apply, that it was my doing.  (That I didn't get a certain grade because I didn't put in my full effort.  That I didn't score high on a test because I didn't study nearly as much as I should.)   Then I can still tell myself that that was the reason, that if I would have applied they probably would have wanted me.  

This also creates a problem when I do finally apply.  I will be convinced that I am a great fit for a job, and I get my hopes up.  I start to bank on getting certain positions.  When I don't get the call, the interview, the second interview, or worst, the offer, I find it incredibly discouraging.  This search has been like a roller coaster.  I go from periods with no calls to weeks with back to back interviews and second interviews.  The latter is actually worse in many ways.  It is completely deflating to be interviewing a lot, to make it to the second round of interviews for some of those positions, to be told you are one of 3 or 4 final candidates that the company is considering for the position, and to not have an offer extended.  

I do have an interview this week, for a job that I don't want.  I'm just being honest.  Right now I just need a job, should be happy with even a stepping stone, but I would obviously much prefer to find something that is fulfilling, challenging, something that would be a great long-term fit.  After a year and a half in a position that I was unsatisfied with, miserable in, disrespected in, and an extended period of unemployment with any professional development stalled,  I do want to hold out for the ideal.  Maybe this is selfish, especially right now, but I think it's time that I be a little bit selfish. This creates an even greater sense of urgency.  I need to apply for more of those jobs that I really, really want, so that I don't end of in the position where I just need to take an offer that I am less interested in because it is available.

I'm in a bad place.  I really reached a low point in the last twelve hours.  I should have gone to bed at 11:00 last night.  Instead I stayed up until falling asleep in front of my computer around 2:00 maybe?  Then I woke up at 7:00 and tried to go back to sleep.  I woke up again around 9:30, feeling extreme dread.  I just didn't want to face the day today.  I pulled the cover over my head and drifted back to sleep at some point.  I awoke from another nightmare around 11:00 (I'd been having them all night).  I finally got out of bed, but I am fighting a strong urge to crawl back under my covers and hide there for the remainder of the day.  

Things had been going so well.  When will days like this go away for good?  When I have put the work in, I that now.

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