The last time I posted I was in a weird place. A place that I’ve been in since graduating college last May. I got great feedback but also a lot of pity which wasn’t what I wanted. I didn’t write that post as a “poor me”. I wrote it to explain to people why I’ve been acting a certain way and give others an insight to what being a recent graduate in NYC is like. A few days later I read something that helped me. It was like someone splashed some cold water on my face and said “wake up, kid”.
An article titled “To Anyone Who Thinks They’re Falling Behind” on Medium by Jamie Varon came across my newsfeed on Facebook. I rarely read those types of articles with photos of silhouettes and a vague title anymore because they end up somehow being sort of judgmental. I decided to read this one because I thought, “Hey, I kind of feel like that.” It was almost like Varon was writing to me. She wrote something that no one ever told me before. I’ve spent the past few months telling myself that if I work harder, look in different places, if I feel more confident, I’ll get the right job for me and be happier with where I am in life. Instead, she suggests that maybe you don’t need to be more inspired or work harder and what I really needed was, “less shame around the idea that you’re not doing your best.” What hit me was when she stated, “You can show up every day to your best intentions, but if it’s not the time, it’s just not the fucking time. You need to give yourself permission to be a human being.” I hadn’t given myself even a second to be human. I was trying so hard to get to the next step in my life that I hadn’t stepped back to give myself a break. There were times that I forced myself to enjoy where I was but it only lasted no more than a few hours because there was always the anxiety creeping back into my mind about how I could be using that time to apply for more jobs. I never thought that the year after graduating college would be one of the most prevalent transitional stages in my life. I don’t know why I thought I would breeze through it and that I would just be able to skip my way into adulthood. Social media has made me feel like everyone has breezed through college into the perfect jobs, everyone except for me. It’s difficult to remind yourself that Facebook is not real life, that that is not true humanity. It’s rare when someone posts about hardships or “failures”. Well here I am doing just that.
I read the article two days after having a draining and vigorous interview that I felt went really well, but I was so used to being let down I decided to not think about it. I decided that if I didn’t get that job, I would take at least a one week break from applying, interviewing, writing cover letters, just to be. I decided to deeply and truly accept that hard fact that I’m only 22, I moved across the country with my boyfriend, I have two part time jobs, I’m struggling to make ends meet, but such is life. I’m human.
“You don’t get to game the system of your life. You just don’t. You don’t get to control every outcome and aspect as a way to never give in to the uncertainty and unpredictability of something that’s beyond what you understand. It’s the basis of presence: to show up as you are in this moment and let that be enough.”
I surrendered. Everything that day seemed a little brighter, sounds weren’t so harsh, the air was crisper and comforting rather than painful. For the first time since moving here I felt this way for more than just that day. I’ve felt this way ever since.
That next week, I was offered the job. I start a week from today.
Maybe all I needed was to relax for one damn second.
My offer letter and welcome packet.