I am writing this because of an article I read that talked about how no one talks about their struggle when they are in the thick of it. Only after, when they are on the other side.
After about a year of living in Nashville, I realized that for my personal happiness there are 3 components that have to be in balance. Job, friends and a significant other. If I hated my job but had amazing friends to go to after or a boy to kiss, great. If friends were not strong in quantity or quality and I was single but had a job that was incredibly satisfying, great. You get where I am going? It is all about balance. After almost 4 years in Nashville, I felt like I could not find a consistent balance and I was over it. I missed my family and had a maybe 2 good friends in Houston, but at the time that seemed like enough. So last February, I made the drive back to Houston, the city I hadn’t lived in since High School.
What was I going to do for work? No idea, but it would be something I love because I was living with my parents and had that ability. Those first few months in Houston were amazing, full of weddings, reconnecting with friends and exploring my city again. I got a part-time remote job with Bumble helping with the blog and Bumble BFF content. So great, right?! Life was great! Then in May, I got a job with a beauty startup doing social media. I was so excited because on paper it was my dream job. Running all of the social and digital marketing for a company that had huge wholesale accounts! In the next 6 months, I moved out of my parents’ house, got an apartment in one of my favorite neighborhoods and reignited an old fling. Things were looking great with a capital G.
A few months later the old fling ended [again], the dream job wasn’t so dreamy and the dreaded 26, kicked off your parents’ insurance, birthday was creeping in. Days after my birthday, miserable that I was in a job I hated with little prospect of other opportunities, I was laid off. So there I was, newly 26 just having learned how to get my own insurance, wearing one of the two more than I could afford happy birthday to myself presents, in an apartment I still had 8 months in, jobless. JOBLESS.
If you are reading this thinking “this happens to everyone, it’s your 20s everyone is struggling and confused” please leave. Not trying to be rude and I get it but it’s like beating a dead horse and it’s actually very unhelpful ‘words of wisdom’. Becuase no matter how many times you tell me that there are millions of struggling people in their 20s that doesn’t make me feel better about being one of them.
What do you do next? Anything you can right? But there is that thing stupid thing called pride that seems to get in the way. Pride and judgment. Friends tone when you say “I will attempt the restaurant industry” but also frustrated when you can’t go out to eat. It is a sticky sticky balance and I was in the thick of it. I am already a homebody, 70% of me would rather stay in and 30% wants to rage. I am the person who sits on the couch sad that she doesn’t have plans but then the thought of reaching out to see what people are doing is not appealing and turns on a movie. This behavior mixed with not being allowed to spend a penny is really bad. I was getting weird.
So there I was, unemployed in a corporate city wanting to do something creative with social media. Not the best combo which had lead me into the of a spiral of why did I move to Houston? Why did you have to fall in love with social media? Why do you have ‘skills’ that majority of the jobs listed in Houston do not give 2 shits about? How do I become a boring 26 year old wide wife to an oil tycoon? Is taking a photo of makeup really a skill? What am I going to do with my life in the short term? What happens when you don’t pay bills? Will the 2 hours I spent watching youtube videos on editing help my unemployment or my blog that does not make money? Reading your lease over and over to see how much they charge to cut it short. The list could go on and on and it does.
On a quick lighter note, having no income can result in two things: gaining a ton of weight or losing a ton of weight. Becuase you either go the route of ‘crap food and fast food are cheaper’ or ‘barely eat anything and eat random cans [of veggies]’. I was/am dead in the middle, a can of refried beans here, Mcdonalds there, sweet potatoes and eggs. every. damn. day. It’s a pattern I am getting used to but honestly wish my body could thrive on less so I could take the ‘damn she got skinny during her unemployment phase’ route.
As of 2018 things are starting to turn around and I will share more on that journey next. Finding the light at the end of the tunnel. But in conclusion, my time in 100% freefall was semi-amazing. I was able to think about what I want in a job. What I want in my next professional community. What I value in a company I work for. The saying “if you can’t laugh you will just cry” got me through the past 2 months. Don’t let me fool you there were a few full-blown breakdowns full of hyperventilating but for the most part, it was a “what the F is happening in my life this is comical” laughing. End tangent.