Old Wounds, New Adventures

After nine months of having to be the strong one, I finally get to be crazy. Well, more crazy than usual. That’s our rule, only one of us gets to be crazy at a time. IT’S MY TURN! Which is why this post has little organization and follows tangental thoughts, enjoy a glimpse at what I have to deal with in my head every day.

crazy koala

It’s been a hell of a ride through unemployment land. As the weeks stretched into months, I was getting some serious triggers back to my own battle with finding jobs. The self doubt, the reading article after article of what I was doing wrong and why my moron self was unable to land a job because it’s so simple if you just follow these steps that you will be picked over the 150 other candidates. The looks and subtle hints from friends that you must have done something wrong to not have a job.

This is Becky’s first week at her new job. So we will have some stability. She’s learning the ins and outs of her new colleagues, space, company, and so forth. I’m so proud of her for getting up every day and continuing to fight through the rejections, the poor communications from professional communicators, the painful near misses of being in the final two, the ridiculous processes that involve interviewing with eight people for one job and most of whom won’t have anything to do with you and don’t know why they are talking to you.

We’ve said it before and will continue to say it. Job hunting is insane. Interviews are often way more demeaning than they have any business being. Becky may or may not touch on some of the more ridiculous processes and people (including two robots!) she’s met over the past nine months – people she knew after 5 minutes she wanted to run away from but had to sit through the rest of the interview anyway. I am so proud of her for recognizing red flags and avoiding such places rather than jump into another bad fit out of desperation.

One red flag: they look like this after working there for 2 years.
One red flag: they look like this after working there for 2 years.

A bright note is that many businesses seem to have moved away from horrible application systems like Taleo and are recognizing as unemployment numbers improve that they can’t continue treating applicants like dirt. This round was the first time Becky kept being asked to tell them if she’s getting close on any other jobs – an indication that companies are not moving fast enough to secure good candidates before they get snatched up. Some employers, however, hadn’t yet come to this realization (one company Becky had multiple interviews at in January has yet to make a decision).

We went to Davina and the Vagabonds last Friday at the Dakota, as we often do at pretty much every tectonic shift in our lives. She soothed our traumas as we ate like kings to wash away the past.

I’ve still got some deep wounds from three years ago – I felt that familiar sick to my stomach/holding back tears feeling back last week while reading the news of Target layoffs going on in real time. I felt like I was right there again, hearing Becky’s voice telling me she no longer had a job, that ice-vein hot-face paradox of fear washing over my numb brain.

It may have been three years ago. I may think the scars are stable, but fresh news can rip open the past without warning. So today, I am just focusing on this day, this week. Making lunches for Becky and I. Keeping the cars running. Watching the budget. We are OK. We made it. We got through, scratched and bruised. Some of that is coming out now, and Becky is getting used to “Joel the unstable” in this new dynamic. Most hours I’m good, but then something hits me wrong and I’m snippy and regretting it almost instantly. I don’t know how to behave in this new world yet. We’re feeling it out together.

Closing this out with one of Davina’s new tunes that’s PERFECT for our exact moment in life right now – through the rain, optimistic about the future. Seriously, go buy it for your soul’s sake.

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2 thoughts on “Old Wounds, New Adventures

  1. Good (familiar) read. I’ve been working at my job for nearly 8 years and am still paralyzed with a fear of being RIFed (Reduction in Force–euphemistic, isn’t it?). May Becky’s employment last for many happy, fulfilling years. Same for you. 🙂

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