And still I rise

I swear you guys, this job search is just getting weirder as time goes by. Suffice to say I am still “out there” and still interviewing and filling out online applications, and my ego and self esteem is responding accordingly. Now one can beat us up like we do ourselves, no? As I’ve mentioned before, my high school yearbook predictions had me as pegged as an unemployed alcoholic at fifty, so clearly there were some predispositions in my formative years. Okay, I kid, but seriously, starting over is tough and of course the irony here is I’m a WAAAY better employee now, than I was, say, for the last two decades. Go figure.

I experienced a group interview for the first time recently and I gotta tell ya, it wasn’t nearly as horrific as I had thought it would be.  As soon as they mentioned we’d be interviewed together I stood frozen in terror,  mouth agape at the thought of being compared to these hip and keen millennials, because honestly, I’m just over here hoping my bra is hooked correctly and my shoes are from the same pair.  However, once the interview began, I quickly saw how this was going to work to my advantage.

The gal to my left was really pretty, and really young and earnest, and I immediately liked her and felt a slight kinship with her, maybe because of her trembling.  She confided in me that she had chugged her first ever (!) neon-colored tallboy energy drink about thirty minutes before this interview and that she was fairly certain she could feel her heart beating in her left eye.

This little tidbit was no secret when she was asked her first question. Y’all.  She was about to rocket out of her chair and shoot headfirst across the room.  She was really chatty and there was some awkward nervous laughter sprinkled in that made me cringe for her, but all in all, she seemingly pulled it off. I was thankful that she was setting the stage for me to projectile vomit.

The guy to my right was obviously living the dream, and I also liked him immediately. He was twenty years old, middle eastern, and very handsome. He had only landed a scant few jobs in his life and was just “kicking about” and “seeing what’s out there”. Well, how nice and cavalier for you,  you YOUNG AND SMART AND (let’s be honest) DREAMY TECH-SAVVY LITTLE SHIT. He wasn’t nervous in the least and answered every question with unrehearsed honesty and a little distant part of me wanted to kick over his chair and pounce on him like a howler monkey.

So all of this to say, it was pretty darn amusing up until the point where dude asked ME to “describe one of your most humbling experiences“.  Jesus Roosevelt Christ, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?  I sat there and blinked. My first thought was to chirp, “Well, here’s a fun fact; I’m an alcoholic . . . so quite frankly my entire LIFE has been one humbling experience, so I’m torn on which horrifying and emotionally scaring experience I can entertain you with, for starters.”  I guess I could have mentioned something in the beginning like when I’d dig a dirty cigarette butt out of someone’s half drunk beer and finish it at a concert?  Not sure that’s as much humbling as it is disgusting, but I also know that it’s not a bragging point. How about when I had to tearfully admit that I seem to only quit shaking after I’ve had some vodka . . . at 7am?  How about my ridiculous attempt at giving myself an enema because that is one humbling experience, lemme tell ya.  You know, because it’s not liver failure, it’s clearly constipation. Ahem. I could go on and on with even more pathetic examples, but none of that is particularly helpful.  There’s a line between humbling and humiliating, and I’m pretty sure I have a surplus of both experiences.

Starting over is incredibly hard.  Feeling inadequate is scary and uncomfortable.  Stepping out of your comfort zone is terrifying, yet exhilarating, and I’m ready for mine to expand.  In fact, I’m ready for everything inside of me to expand; my understanding, my compassion, and my desire to learn. I know I can’t make up for lost time but if there’s one thing I surely have, it’s life experience and if I can offer some assistance and be of service to someone along the way that might need it, all the better. When I help others, it smoothes my road as well, you see.

I’ve recently joined a bootcamp that meets at 5:45 am for a workout and as tough as it is, I absolutely love it.  I feel alive in the morning and that wasn’t always the case, as you can imagine. This morning as we completed our workout and stretches, we were instructed to lie down on our backs and take three deep breaths.  As I did this, I stated up at the morning sky.  It was a faded light blue with streaks of crimson and pink stripes appearing, as the sun slowly peeked from the horizon, starting it’s new day as well.

I can’t really describe the feeling that came over me except to say that it was peace.  I heard nothing but birds chirping and my own breath and felt this overwhelming sense of calm inside of me that *almost* made me weepy.

Wait.  That’s not completely true.  I did hear something. I heard the universe quietly telling me that everything was going to be alright.

 

*can I also just mention that there was a candidate in the group interview that brought in a service dog?  It was wearing a bow tie. I’m not sure why I bring this up but I feel you should have a full understanding of this group interview situation and just how screwed I was.

3 thoughts on “And still I rise

  1. Anonymous says:

    I wish I had the hand clapping emoji to put all the way across. Hilarious, touching, teared up a smidge (i am at work now, mind you) love it…clap clap clap

    • Jen says:

      Thanks! I try to keep my sense of humor with the harsh realities of getting older and remind myself constantly at what a privilege it is to do so. (but sometimes it still stings) Thanks for reading AND commenting!

  2. Heather says:

    I remember trying to re-enter office work in my late 40’s. Impossible to compete with the Millennials so I went into retail. LOVE it! Cuz I’m too social for office work! Haha

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