It happens every year. The weather starts to get colder, I become more cynical, and the world starts to feel like it’s closing in around me. Any problem I might be having looms larger. It becomes insurmountable, and I begin to close off and hide in my room, apartment, dorm, all of the above and barricade myself from the weather, the dark, and my responsibilities.
Such a mood was setting in yesterday.
Although I am employed, my employment is a year long thing. I hold a transitional job at my college. It’s helping me build some incredible experience and allowing me to stick with a program that means a whole lot to me. That being said, I am starting to think about next steps, and next year, which is not very far away.
Where will I be living? What will I be doing? I want to start working toward my ultimate goals: writer, editor, teacher… career building steps have to happen soon. And that’s when the mood and the voice and the fears started creeping in. What if I can’t find a job? What if I NEVER figure out what makes me happy? Do I actually like to write? Do I actually like to read? Am I going to do any good in the world? Does that even matter if I can’t pay my bills?
But the truth is, this stress and worry is in many ways reasonable. There is a chance that I will have to take a job that isn’t exactly what I want to do with the rest of my life, and there is a chance I might not want to write forever, it may be a dying art and a job you can’t get paid for anymore (I don’t actually know), but there is value in every experience, even the hard ones. No matter where I end up next year in physical space or in a career capacity, there is a chance I will be unhappy, and unsettled; I might struggle, but I know one hundred percent, that in one way or another, I will learn. And that helps me go to sleep at night.
What also helps me go to sleep at night is this post from Mic.com that shows that even highly successful people like Tina Fey had regular old jobs in their 20’s and even if right now you are just barely paying your rent, just learning to be on your own, you still have a shot at being great and doing great things. Another tactic that’s been helping me lately, is reading memoirs by famously strong and successful women that chronicle the ups and downs of the 20’s. Here are some suggestions.
These stories, solidarity with friends who have also recently graduated, and the belief that things happen for a reason, keep me going and keep me trying to do what i want and build the career of my dreams. Maybe these things will help you too.