My life has been quite turbulent lately, which I am learning is pretty much just a fact of life. The only constant in life is that life is not constant– for someone who doesn’t deal with change well, and doesn’t accept that she doesn’t deal with change well, I am having a hard time accepting that life is uncontrollably turbulent.
Two years ago I wrote this post. At 25 years old I had not found my calling in life. I didn’t have what I would consider a career, nor was I close to finding a career. But that was okay because for the last two years I was one of those lucky people who enjoyed going to work. I liked my job, my coworkers, and I didn’t dread Mondays. For those that didn’t know, I worked for a college bookstore. My official title was textbook coordinator/buyer, but I wore many hats. And I loved it. I had a lot of autonomy, a lot of flexibility, and I got to make a lot of big decisions.
I’ve had some brutal jobs in the past, so finally having a job that I didn’t want to quit was a big deal. In fact, I was going to start a masters program this fall in creative writing (working at a college gives discounted tuition). For the first time ever I finally felt like I had a life plan, or at least a 5 year plan. And I had a plan that I was excited about. I do not write this blog because I am making money, or because I have a lot of readers (hey Missy, and Ben). I write this blog because I love writing. And the idea of getting to spend two years in a creative writing program was so thrilling for me.
Wellllllll life had another idea for me. Mid May I found out that my college bookstore was being bought out by Barnes and Noble, and I only had 4 weeks left of work. Life is so incredibly humbling sometimes. Losing my job was really tough, and I was in a pretty low place. But that uncontrollable turbulence of life kept up. Two weeks after losing my job, my grandma fell ill (she’s now on the mend). Let me tell you, I had no idea how hard caregiving was until I experienced it firsthand. I spent countless days and nights by my grandma’s side, helping with bathroom trips, showers, and anything else she needed. I love my grandma very much. I am an only grandchild and in a lot of ways she was like a second parent, but caregiving is so taxing. Some days it felt never ending. There were mornings when I would wake up and think “shit, this is my real life.”
I was jobless. I was stressed. I was anxious. I was exhausted. I felt like I was (am) just barely keeping my head above water. There was one day in particular where I was on the verge of what felt like a mental breakdown. I really didn’t think I could handle anything else thrown my way, but of course more was piled on. And I lived. I carried on. I kept breathing.
It’s really hard to have things happen in life that feel out of your control. And let’s not even start talking about the current state of Trump’s America, that’s a whole other level of hopelessness. The last 3 months have easily been the hardest 3 months of my entire life. Although I feel I need to stop here, and acknowledge that I am a white woman of privilege. If losing my job, and having one sick relative is what is causing my mental breakdown, I have a pretty good life. But I also don’t want to discount my (or anyone else’s) emotional well being. Because it’s really hard to wake up everyday and feel utterly hopeless. Somedays I wake up and think is life really meant to be this hard? Am I really suppose to feel this miserable all the time? And I know, I know, I am in charge of my own destiny, blah, blah. But somedays it really doesn’t feel like I am in charge of anything. Having a relative fall ill, losing a job that you loved, these are things you cannot control. And there are many other things in this world that we cannot control, so what do we do? How do we live? How do we prosper?
I wish I had these answers. If the last 3 months have taught me anything at all, I have learned that we just need to accept that life sucks! Life is really fucking hard sometimes. Finding a purpose or passion in life can be really difficult. But if we’re really lucky, sometimes we will feel moments of utter bliss. Moments so incredible that we will be reminded why we deal with the misery. I’ve also found that keeping a positive attitude in the face of adversity really makes all the difference. I may have lost a job I loved, but how wonderful is it that I was lucky enough to ever experience having a job that I didn’t completely hate?