I had a lovely rendezvous with Karen from my community centre days yesterday. And despite the considerable time between meets, it felt like mere days had passed since our last sojourn. It is friendships such as these that are truly worth their weight in gold, regardless of having known each other for a lean smattering of months.
Funnily enough we concurrently battle with the same conundrums and find ourselves fixed in a similar positions on the board game called life.
She is unemployed yet again and feeling the societal strains and pressures of discovering recruitment. And yet in this ridiculous day and age unable to find a suitable post. Much like myself she is incapable of locating an office willing to pay a decent and livable figure. It seems the majority of employers are intent on devouring susceptible “juniors,” naive and eager youth oblivious to their extortion. A female in our age bracket however is purely undesirable, excessively pricey, regardless of her appealing and considerable experience. Companies are suspicious of us, concerned we’ll run off and get married then start having babies, leaving them with the bothersome burden of having to employ another individual. Another mouth for them to support whilst simultaneously “securing” your position. Karen, whose newly engaged mind you, tells me how prospective employers of late seem to be drawn to the rock on her finger. It’s brilliant crystalline shine blinding future bosses and dulling the radiance emanating from her resume.
The two of us have equally experienced workplace bitching, bullying and under-compensation throughout our short years. And it is nice to have an ally and companion who understands the relentless torture that searching for employment brings. We are both seeking something permanent and seeking a site that treats its employers as it should; fairly. But we’re beginning to doubt their existence. I imagine they do but those employed are just too damn happy there and refuse to ever resign, hence the complete lack of them on the market. Like men they are. All the good ones are taken, the rest are full of shit.
Or so they say.
Aside from employment woes the topic of mental health also made an appearance and with that a wonderful new perspective on anxiety. She has suffered and continues to battle with anxiety. Those incessant and uncontrollable heart palpitations drumming away rapidly, vibrating their message of dread and instilling indescribable terror of immanent death. And that crippling effect panic brings, imbuing irrational angst and despair. I felt a calming tide of serenity wash over me as we traded tales. Knowing I wasn’t alone and that my symptoms and experiences are categorically “normal” is refreshing.
The majority of our conversation led back to the topic of employment and with it dwelling upon her fondness for music. In particular how people around her continuously urged her to pursue it. Music is her passion and she’d love to chase it forever, she even contemplated teaching at one stage but was tormented over the financial strain that may accompany it. And as an outsider, to me it was obvious the Universe had been alluding to something vital and perhaps even blessing her with time to decipher all options. And in noting this I also recognised the same within my own situation. Perhaps the Universe was giving me the present to become fully aware of my own possibilities?
Freeing me to dream big even?
And as Karen and I parted ways I too urged her to delve deeper and explore all options regarding her passion. To not fall back into that employment trap and rut of misery that so many of our peers seem to concede to. Give her music a fighting chance and shoot for the stars. And even if she failed at least she tried and in doing so would liberate her future self of regret.
For there is nothing more horrible in life than to live it with regrets. And I know this too well.
In hindsight I realise I should also take my own advice and start to walk my own talk.
It’s been sometime since I actually prepared anything. I’ve let the disappointments of years past grind me to nothing. Or so I imagined. So with that I’m going to do what I haven’t done all year and sit down with my 2014 journal and pencil in places and things I’d like to see and accomplish by the year’s end. And pray the universe will guide and figure out those icky financial issues of mine. High on that list is travel obviously, such as my dream of a writers getaway to New York City for a month in November. A cozy apartment with a view of the Hudson River, watching the sun set at night and catching snowflakes during the day.
I’ve got nothing to lose in planning these things, except my silent dignity really. Oh, and another part of my nomad soul adrift, charred or burned away with the loss of yet another dream unrealised.
But my soul is a phoenix and as such will arise from the ashes of my broken dreams.