All things considered, I guess you could say I’m pretty lucky.
Of all the unemployed people out there, and especially the unemployed recent college grads, I might have one of the best situations.
I have a partner in life who thankfully has a good job that enables us to live pretty comfortably. We have a tiny one bedroom apartment (you can literally see every square foot standing in one place), but it’s all we need. We’re able to make our car payments, student loan payments, and all other bills while still having enough left over for nights out with friends and an emergency medical fund.
Now, things might be easier if I were working too. We would reach our financial goals and pay off debt faster, and we would be able to save for the future.
But I am lucky, blessed, or however you want to put it, and I realize that. As for as our immediate needs, and even several of our wants, we’re fine (for now) with just my husband’s income.
I have had friends tell me they are jealous of me. They look longingly at me, and say they wish they were in my shoes.
My reaction to this is mixed because I know I should be thankful and I know there are millions worse off than me. But I don’t like hearing those words. Sometimes, they make my cheeks burn and embarrassment and shame rise in my throat.
Not working makes me feel incredibly empty, for several reasons:
1) I did not go to school for four years and spend thousands of dollars to not be able to use my education. Furthermore, on a personal level, being a stay at home wife has never been one of my dreams. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I just don’t think it’s right for me at this time.) To put it simply, I have big goals that I only feel are slipping further away from me the longer it takes for me to find work.
2) I don’t feel like I’m holding up my end of the bargain. A marriage is a partnership after all, and if he is bringing home all the money then there’s no reason why I shouldn’t have the apartment squeaky clean everyday, laundry folded, and dinner ready and on the table when he walks through the door. Somedays, I really do feel like super wife and I am able to achieve this, but most days I fail miserably.
3) I’m not contributing to society, which I think is one of the most important responsibilities of citizenship.
Now I have taken steps to try to ease these worries. I teach dance about ten hours a week, and I really love it (and if nothing else, it pays for groceries). I also volunteer two days a week in the media relations department with a non-profit in the KC area, which really helps with #3. I’m also learning and gaining skills that will help me branch out in my job search. The Wednesdays and Thursdays I spend volunteering might be the happiest of my weeks.
And I apply. I apply for just about everything I see, and try to not drive potential employers crazy with follow-up phone calls and e-mails.
People (mainly my parents and husband) have been telling me for months that the right opportunity will come along at the right time, and I have faith in this.
In the meantime, I have been given the privilege to really explore my passions and find the perfect fit for me.
Yeah, all things considered, I guess I am pretty lucky.
“I do believe that when we face challenges in life far beyond our own power, it’s an opportunity to build on our faith, inner strength, and courage. I’ve learned that how we face challenges plays a big role in the outcome of them.” ~Sasha Azevedp