Thursday, February 16, 2012

In a funk.

I’ve been in a funk lately.

There, I said it.

My variety of ‘funk’ is one that comes and goes. During the day, I go about my business and am legitimately okay; I’m not actively ignoring or repressing any bad feelings. Last weekend I had the best Valentine’s celebration. The weekend prior was Super Bowl Sunday and I spent the whole weekend with Erik. Yesterday I spent the day running errands and checking things off of my to-do list. I was in a pleasant mood.

For the past two weeks, however, as the clock reaches 9pm, 10pm, and later, it’s like my funk wakes up, stretching its arms and tapping me on the shoulder. Time to feel awful about yourself, it says.

Time to realize you’ve wasted nearly three years of your life. You graduated college in 2009 and have done nothing since. It doesn’t matter if you’ve slowly progressed since then – you still don’t have a job and your life is pointless. You’re an embarrassment to your family and your boyfriend; the only reason your friends still cheer you on is because they don’t have to deal with the consequences of your stagnant life. You can’t expect your relationship to continue sailing smoothly if you are an unproductive member of society.

And the worst part is that all of this is (mostly) true. I can fight back against the useless negativity – the self-criticism about my abilities and my past – but all of the above cannot be argued. I don’t have a job, I have wasted my life for three years, I am a burden on the people who care about me because, when I come up in conversation, they have to tip-toe around the fact that my life is a mess.

My friends are my saving grace. It’s like I said above – they can be more understanding because they have less of a stake in my success or failure. A few weeks ago, when I posted about finally applying for some jobs, you know what happened? A bunch of my friends – including some of you, actually – reached out to say how fantastic it was. How proud they were. One of my best friends texted me with such enthusiasm, you would’ve assumed I’d already been hired.

My parents, however, said nothing. Erik had no reaction. They’re just as aware of my struggles with this, yet I get no positive response. I’m not trying to call them out as bad people. I’m just saying that it hurts. I don’t expect them to baby me, nor do I necessarily seek their approval. But a little encouragement would go a long way. It would be nice to know that they’re proud of me, too.

That's the main cause of my funk. I know eventually I'll find a job, but right now I'm in the middle of searching and constantly reminding myself I'm not a failure, and it saps a lot of my energy. I'm just fortunate that I can still put a real, not-forced smile on my face for most of the day.