Anxiety stems from knowing there are goals we should be achieving, but due to circumstances that seem beyond our control, we aren’t. This could be any goal no matter how big, small, or completely inconsequential it might seem to those on the outside. Obsessing leads to fear of accomplishing these goals, to avoiding them, to becoming what people label as “insecure.”
I have no idea what I’m saying. Sounded good, right?
This tumbled around in my head while I thought about the next couple weeks after my job ends. I’d like to believe I’ve grown a lot over the last few years. My job has almost been like College 2.0, a training ground where I adjusted to a typical corporate environment, bonded with my coworkers, and took on more responsibility. I can still be a loner introvert, but I’ve noticed that I’m way more likely tell people exactly how I feel and brush off daily obstacles. I also take on new challenges without worrying as much if I’ll be able to figure them out on my own.
The Internet helped. I’ve become even more honest on Twitter and other platforms, while pulling back stuff that made me look stay-the-hell-away-from-that-girl crazy. I’ve met some really great people online, and almost never got negative feedback from strangers. I’ve been lucky in that sense.
In the past I always earned above-average grades, but didn’t have confidence outside of school. The year after college was a nightmare because I wasn’t getting interviews and struggled to set realistic career goals. I didn’t want to be a “regular” print/broadcast journalist even though I had a journalism degree, but I didn’t know what else to do either. Why don’t they have college classes that tell you what to do after graduation? Why don’t they have classes on pursuing a career related to your field, even if it’s not exactly what the major’s for, or not making an ass of yourself during the job interviews you eventually manage to get? Where were those classes? Hell, why don’t they at least tell you HOW IMPORTANT it is to amass an insane amount of internship experience so that employers look at your resume for longer than half a millisecond?
I started at the pulmonary rehab/sleep center over four years ago thinking I would only be there four months to scan patient charts into the computer server. Eventually I worked more and more hours until I had full-time. For the most part I knew I needed something better, but it was so easy to settle in for a while. I did send out my resume on occasion, going to interviews…and still making an ass of myself. Much like putting off a dentist appointment in spite the cavity you pretend isn’t there, I forced myself to believe that maybe this job would change in the long run. Maybe I’ll work my way up.
Referring back to what I said before, while I didn’t earn a livable income, I still gained valuable experience. I got more interviews when I did send out resumes. At first I was awful, but the last couple interviews I went on actually weren’t so traumatizing. I don’t think there’s a trick to it, or I could’ve landed a better job earlier if only I’d done that. I needed these years to grow. Right now I’m not looking because of the impending knee surgeries, but when I do have to apply again in about six months, I won’t be so nervous. I’ll know what job posts to seek out, if the requirements fit me, what answers to have ready for the interview. If a tiny bit of luck is on my side, I might even do some freelance writing and editing during my recovery.
So I realized all this is why I’m not so anxious anymore. It’s because I have more faith in myself. I can be cynical, and pessimistic, but I won’t let fear of failure stall my ambitions anymore. Then again it could be my pessimism speaking. After the company you work for closes, there’s nowhere left to go but up.