I’ve Made a Huge Mistake

I was warned that there would be “good days” and “bad days.” I thought to myself, “How is not working going to ever result in a bad day?” When I was employed, I LIVED for my days off. I always had grand plans of what I would do on those special days in which I didn’t have to pass out meds to the inmates, or babysit their illegitimate children (managers = inmates, children = their incompetent employees). Ultimately, I would end up spending most of the morning on Annaswasteoftimemachine, make a trip to the grocery store, maybe do some laundry, and consider cooking dinner. Fucking exciting.

Except it was fucking exciting when I was working… because all that mattered was that I WAS NOT AT THE ASYLUM.

Well, it does get boring. Free-time is great… but when all you have is free-time, it starts to lose its appeal.

I very recently had the benefit of spending some time with a friend who is in a similar situation. While his circumstances are significantly more complicated than my own, it was refreshing to chat with someone who understands the emotional part of being jobless. After hearing everything he’s has been coping with (unemployed, marriage is on the rocks, toddler to raise, finances a mess, not to mention the anxiety and bouts of depression), it made me think that I should be able to cope much better.

But I’m not.

Yes, I’m unemployed… and while my anxiety isn’t quite like this:

anxiety amy

it definitely fluctuates between this:

tired_george_michael_arrested_development

and this:

Buster

 

I think I’ve decided that what I’m truly worried about is this:

Gob's mistake

Hank's mistake

Theon's mistake

I’ve been given the opportunity to make a career change without any real consequences. I should be thrilled that I can finally do whatever I want and fulfill the saying, “If you do something you love, you’ll never work a day in your life!”

Except when presented with this challenge, the pressure mounts. I don’t want to make the wrong decision.  Most people are never afforded the chance to make the changes that I am about to. What if I screw this up? What if I choose the wrong career and hate it? What if I disappoint the people I love?

I’m truly afraid of failure. I’m afraid of hearing, “Ya blew it.” I know that even if I choose the wrong path and find myself starting over again, it will not be detrimental; no one will die and life will go on. We won’t lose the house, we won’t be financially unstable, my husband won’t divorce me… I just don’t want to FUCK THIS UP! Does that make sense? I feel like I need to navigate these waters perfectly, but I just picture myself as Ralph Wiggum doggie paddling in a kiddie pool only six inches deep with water… as if I’m going to drown in that. Then I start thinking about actually screwing it up and I get like this:

Sheldon's anxiety

Pretty sure this is how I’m going to feel during tonight’s Game of Thrones finale as well.

How do I get past my anxieties and just do this? Why do I feel like I need to be such a perfectionist about everything? I just wish I could have more of a honey badger attitude about it, but that’s just not me. Any advice you folks have to offer would be appreciated.

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I Googled myself, and apparently I’m dating Khan?

One of the tasks I’ve been encouraged to complete during my job search/career change is to Google myself. This book I’ve been reading stresses that “Google is your new resume.”

So this morning, I did just that.

I Googled myself.

I too, was interested in what potential employers may discover about me. It’s not as though I believe there’s an inordinate amount of embarrassing or detrimental material on the internet regarding me… but most people have a couple of college nights they don’t remember, a Facebook photo that they probably shouldn’t have allowed to be uploaded, or a poorly worded Tweet that makes them sound like a complete frittata.

Well, I dodged all of those bullets. Whew. But I did turn up ONE interesting result… initially.

  • There’s a furniture and jewelry designer in London named Anna James as well. (Boring)
  • A woman in Texas who shares my designation is part of the USA diving team. (Meh, but better than the designer)
  • There’s also a journalist in Sydney, Australia, that I could possibly be confused with. (Still boring)

There were a slew of other ladies out there bearing my title, with equally boring facts to list as those above.

THEN! I CLICKED ON THE IMAGE SEARCH RESULTS.

BAAAAMMM!

Ignore the woman in this image.

Ignore the woman in this image.

 

Do you know who this is?! No, not the pretty lady… the gentleman posing with her!

kirk-yelling-khan

Please read this in your head so loudly that it echoes in space.

Or, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the original Star Trek movies,

It's not the same, but Star Trek does love to dabble in alternate reality scenarios.

It’s not the same, but it’ll do.

If you still need further explanation (and shame on you if you do), Benedict Cumberbatch is the actor who played Khan in the most recent addition to the Star Trek franchise.

“Cool.” I think to myself. Some chick with my name dated Khan. The bona fide nerd in me is secretly jumping up and down like an eight year old who actually got a pony for her birthday.

But then I discovered, as per usual, you can’t believe everything you read on the web. A bunch of frittatas out there incorrectly named his now ex-girlfriend Anna James, when in fact, her name is Anna Jones. No more Star Trek ex-boyfriend for me. I am now the eight year old who asked for a pony, but whose parents instead rented a donkey for birthday party rides assuming that would equally suffice.

Back to boring.

So then I Googled my maiden name.

At least this time it turned up my Facebook page. Other than that, nothing incriminating or interesting. Just my Macy’s wedding registry from two years ago and a page indicating where and when I graduated high school. Most links after the first page turned up results on Nietzche, and I ceased browsing beyond that.

The whole point of this exercise was to determine what might be out there that could deter employers from hiring you. Basically, find it before they do so you have an adequate response prepared, should they ask.

Guess I don’t have to worry too much, or hope “The Right to be Forgotten” becomes law in the United States.

 

My Friday vacation… in the sewer.

So things here in jobless land aren’t exactly what I was promised in the fairy tales. It seems like every time I try to get going on figuring out what my next career will be, something blocks my progress with a giant boulder and I’m left in a rat infested tunnel with only the flashlight app on my Samsung Galaxy. But whatever, I’ve gotten through worse things, I think.

imagesCANM2D2L

Welcome to the metaphorical sewer I occasionally vacation in 🙂

Yesterday was a peculiar day. I woke up in a pretty good mood, and had made plans a day earlier to have breakfast with my mom, nephew and sisters… sans Hooch, who is still in Bambalamba (not sure how it occurred, but it’s how we refer to Alabama in my family. Probably sounds much more degenerate that the actual state name). When Hooch moved there, Alaina had this made (after countless hours of southern stereotyping):

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Don’t ask why it says “black hooch,” or why there is a crab, squirrel and short bus… that’s a story for another day.

I hope no one from Bambalamba reads and is offended by this.

Anyway, as usual, I got up, got in the shower and got ready for breakfast. I was in kind of a hurry, since I spent too much time yesterday morning going on about my TV binge watching here (got through three more Game of Thrones episodes last night… OMG). I chose an outfit, which I immediately discarded once I looked in the mirror. Then I went to plan B, C, … and eventually just sat down and considered calling in sick. But I couldn’t, cause I don’t have a job… and calling in sick to a breakfast date with your family is probably going to catch you more flack.

So I sat there and stared at my feet.

Ok. This is the definition of “white person/first world” problem. “Pull yourself together,” I told myself. And I looked around the room and the chaos I had created while choosing what NOT to wear. Sigh. I finally selected a T-shirt and jeans and was on my way (without looking in the mirror again).

I hate this feeling of vulnerability. This is my family. Who cares what I look like/am wearing? No matter how smart I am, how great a mood I was in the day before, how tough I think I can be… there are just certain triggers that leave me feeling deflated, like poorly whipped egg whites in an angel food cake. It makes all the progress I’ve made pushing that giant boulder out of the sewer entrance come rolling back at me… at least I can see the graffiti on the walls with my smart phone flashlight.

I walked into breakfast and everyone was already there. First thing out of Alaina’s mouth, “Do you buy your clothes at baby gap?” For the love of God, I’ve gained six pounds since I left my job!

Breakfast was fine, delicious in fact. Alaina and I spent a significant amount of time discussing what had occurred in the most recent Game of Thrones episodes I had watched, and my nephew spent a significant amount of time trying to crawl under the table. I headed home an hour later with the intention of continuing my career change process.

But the egg whites were deflated, and sliding back into the sewer like a puddle of melted ice cream. I had lost all of my motivation, and it wasn’t even noon yet. Full of carbs and calories from breakfast, I decided the only solution was a nap. Maybe I’d wake up feeling better.

I didn’t. I woke up to my phone freaking out about a few text messages. Then I was pissed at myself for not silencing my phone before my nap. Then I looked at the clock at it was almost 3pm… and I hadn’t done anything but be a waste of a human being all day.

So instead of getting my shit together and being productive, I turned to AnnasWasteofTimeMachine… also known as Facebook/Candy Crush/WordPress. Then I text my husband and told him we were going out for dinner, because I’m a shitty wife and didn’t go to the grocery store, want to cook, or do anything else worth a damn. Going out to dinner usually cheers me up, and did a bit last night.

Today has to be better. I’ve just gotta figure out ways to combat the boredom that sets in at times, and not let the LITTLEST of inconveniences ruin my day. Husband’s band (check them out here) is playing a show at Mill City Nights tonight, which means he’ll be gone… but I made plans to go out with friends for the evening, so it can’t be all bad. I just want a fairy godmother that solves all of my problems for me (yes, even the first world/white people ones).

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Week One Complete. What it’s Like to be Unemployed.

Today did not start off well. I burned my poor little pinky finger 😦

Image

That white blister forming may not look impressive, but it hurts as much as the Chicago Blackhawks do this morning.

Did you watch the Wild win game 4 last night? IT. WAS. AWESOME. It also guaranteed a game 6 on Tuesday (which means I get to watch at least 2 more Wild playoff games). But how about the “musical chairs” goalie situation? In the past I’ve been a DIE HARD hockey fan. When I lived with my old roomie, she worked for Comcast, so not only did we have every channel available, but I was able to purchase NHL Center Ice every year at half price (yeah, it was as great). She didn’t care that I watched an inordinate amount of hockey because she was too busy hunting elves or witches, or whatever the hell you do when you play World of Warcraft for 12 hours straight.

Back to the goalie thing… “Did you know that Bryzgalov is a really weird dude?” My husband mentioned that to me last night, but didn’t elaborate too much. Just tells me he’s said some really strange things to the media over the years, but has kept his mouth shut since joining the Wild. I figured it would be similar to Patrick Roy kissing the goal posts before each start…. but no. Here, he offers his thoughts on the universe:

If you didn’t think that was strange, check out some of these classic Bryzgalov quotes:

“Siberian Husky. She’s all white. Beautiful blue eyes. That’s basically blonde girl with blue eyes. Your dream, man. My husky, basically, she’s a hot girl, man.”

“This is tiger and less than 5 like probably 500 species left on earth, yeah.  China law, if you kill tiger like this, death penalty. Yeah. If you kill tiger and they find you, your dead, that’s it.”

At first I thought there had to be something lost in translation… but once again, no. This dude is just strange. He is also afraid of nothing… except bears in the woods.

Speaking of Patrick Roy, here is one of the best goalie fights in the history of ever, and who doesn’t love a good goalie fight? One of the classiest things about hockey is that you can legally assault someone. Watch it. YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED. Make sure you have the sound turned up because NOTHING is better than the announcer during this. Trust me, it’s worth it, and the video is only about 30 seconds:

Anyway, that being unemployed thing…

I’m still getting paid severance, so it doesn’t feel too shitty yet. I think that has also stalled some of my motivation to move on to the next step. I really didn’t do much other than hang out and party. I know, it’s terrible. I’m 31 years old, and I just spent a week as an epic waste of a human being. A lot of nights at the bar (but to watch hockey in most cases, so that’s legit), a trip to MOA where I proceeded to spend over $100 on hair care products at Aveda, and a twist of the wrist that landed me at the casino for an overnight stay on a weekday.

I ordered a book to assist me in this challenge of choosing a new career.

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My husband told me this was instrumental in helping him take the leap. He changed careers 5 years ago, from retail appliance sales to advertising. I’m hoping this will help me decide what I want to do in my next adventure. I’ve been considering a few options, and yes a couple of them are food related. I just don’t know where I want to go next. Should I be a pastry chef? A medical coder? Continue my HR career in a non-retail environment? Open a restaurant? These are questions I’m hoping this book will help me answer.

I’ll probably take a week or so to get through this (cause I’m counting on the Wild advancing, and having to devote a lot of time to hockey). But I’ll keep everyone updated as this journey progresses.

On the other end… I’m missing my old job just a bit. Not so much the company or the job itself, but the people. I had a lot of fun working with those folks, and in many cases spent more time with them than I did my own friends or family. It’s going to be hard to move into a new environment eventually. What if the new place can’t handle my snarky scarcastic attitude?