Life is a complete roller coaster. You have your mornings where the coffee tastes perfect, your hair is doing exactly what you wanted it to do, and there’s sunlight streaming in through the window. It’s going to be a good day, you think to yourself. Then there are days where you feel exhausted, defeated, and nothing is going right for you. Why do things have to be so complicated? Humans are complicated creatures with constant overwhelming emotions and impulses. That’s a known fact. Here’s a little tale of how I lost myself, and found myself.
I’m 23 years old. Last May I graduated college with a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications with a concentration in Journalism. I was excited and a little nervous for this big, new step in my life. I figured I would find something soon enough and all my dreams would come true. It wouldn’t be easy of course, but I’d figure it out. And did I find my dream job, you ask? No. In fact, it’s nine months later and I’m still completely jobless.
I was concerned with my future all four years of college, but it wasn’t until senior year that the anxiety really started to settle in. It was like a parasite, feeding on my worries and munching on my stress. I was interested in covering news, but also fashion. I was obsessed with New York and big cities. I wanted to move away, become a writer, and become the successful journalist I’d always wanted to be. Would any of that happen for me? What if I never made it as a journalist and ended up having to settle for a crappy, mediocre job that I hated? What if I never left the small town I lived in? What if none of my dreams came true and I ended up unhappy? These thoughts caused plenty of sleepless nights, but I was able to distract myself with friends and parties.
Graduation came around and I felt positive for my first few weeks afterwards. College was still fresh and I was eager (with a little dash of fear) to begin my life. It still felt like just another summer in between school and I had my entire life ahead of me. There was time for Netflix binging and sleeping in. There was plenty of time. Fast forward four and a half months to a defeated, depressed Kimberly. I applied to five to ten jobs a day, receiving nothing but rejections or no responses. Depression began to eat away at my bones, my soul. I felt like a loser, like I wasn’t going anywhere. I was never going to leave this town or get a job I loved. This time there was nothing around to distract me from my overwhelming thoughts.
I applied to an internship with POV, an award winning documentary series for PBS, because I knew I needed more experience in order to get any job and figured I probably wouldn’t get it like all the other places I had applied to. To my surprise, I got an email the next day and a FaceTime interview the following week. Although it was unpaid, I needed the experience and was beyond excited to finally begin my life. I moved to New York in October and started a part time job the following month. It felt like things were starting to look up for me. I attended my internship, my part time job, and explored the city on my free days. Although it was lonely, I was happy to be doing things on my own and feeling free. My mother was always an extremely independent, hard working woman and it was a role I always coveted for myself. However, the end of my internship came around and even with my part time coffee job, it was nowhere near enough to pay rent. Living in New York is extremely expensive and I had no way of supporting myself.
I moved back home with my parents and things only went downhill from there. If I had felt sad before, it was nothing compared to now. The small town I’d grown up in felt even tinier than before. I applied to jobs with no responses in tow. I felt like I was never going to go anywhere and would always be stuck in this despairing, in between stage where your life hasn’t really begun yet. I felt like I wasn’t getting hired because my writing was lacking and I didn’t have enough experience. It gave me anxiety and made me feel like I wasn’t good enough.
This isn’t a story about a happy ending, but one of learning how to deal with the curves that life throws at you. Regardless of your situation, it is your mindset that defines everything. If you choose to dwell on the negative aspects of your life, you will always be an unhappy person. I didn’t want to be unhappy anymore. I woke up one morning, read the first chapter of Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, and decided to write a poem. I hadn’t written in a while. I’d forgotten how much solace and comfort it brought me. I began to write more poems, short stories, and just random thoughts that floated in my head. I decided to be positive and to keep trying. No great author, artist, or important figure had ever gotten to the place they were by giving up and feeling sorry for themselves. They’d persevered, worked hard on their passions, and eventually found their calling. I decided I would do the same. I decided to focus on the things that I had accomplished in my life so far. I’d studied abroad in London for a semester, traveled Europe, graduated college, and done three internships that I’d thoroughly enjoyed. I decided to continue applying for jobs, but also take some time for myself to do the things I love, like writing and reading. Life isn’t about the destination, but the journey and I have my entire life to figure out what to do. I’m just taking it day by day, step by step, and hoping for the best. Here are a few tips with dealing with career rejections or any form of the blues that starts to take over your life.
- Wake up early, drink coffee, and set goals for the day. Even if it’s something as small as applying to just one job for the day. One small act can always make a huge difference.
- Working out or yoga. You don’t have to go to a gym. Simply stretching and getting the blood flowing in your own home will help you feel better, as well as more relaxed.
- Focus on your passions and hobbies. If you love writing, write. If you love singing, sing. If you love painting, paint. You get the idea. Do whatever brings you comfort and helps you express your creativity. Not only is it essential in your happiness, but it can also help you figure out what it is you really want to do with your life.
- This one is extremely important. Don’t stress! Anxiety and stress are tiny monsters that eat away at your soul. Don’t give in to them. Have a positive attitude, positive mindset, and you will see that your days won’t be as blue.
- Take a day off and spend it with a close friend. Sometimes all you need is a little girl time, laughter, and conversation to make you feel better. Everybody needs that person that takes their mind off hardships.
- Finally, breathe. Sometimes all that is needed to turn your day around is a good album and sunlight. Step outside, listen to good music, and a take a deep breath. It’s all going to be all right. You’ve got this.
Author: Kimberly O.
Author Bio: Just a girl trying to figure out this whole adult-ing thing. I love writing, traveling, films, my dogs, and laughing.
Link to social media or website: https://www.instagram.com/kimbuhhlyy_19/