Last week I was tempted to make an anniversary posting, since my regular blogging here as fallen by the wayside. It was a junior-high school romance anniversary, the type counted in days and weeks, and should it get to actual months, plural, indicates that the relationship is now officially serious. So last week marked the three-month anniversary of my now serious case of unemployment.
I was feeling a little positive though, and didn't want to bring myself down, so skipped writing. I've been trying to skip doing things that make me feel bad. Trouble is, my feelings have been rapid-cycling along the up-and-down spectrum, and so the prospect of feeling, period, is bad news. So avoiding feeling things has been my new method. And writing is one of those things one simply can't do and be emotionally distanced from. Actually, DOING much at all is too risky; feelings might pop out anytime, demand attention, and overcome me. Being overcome with negative emotions is a sure route to big-time depression. So the route I've taken has unwittingly led me into a low-level depression where shit isn't TOO bad, which causes me to mis-identify the state I'm stuck in. Sneaky stuff, this.
I did work last week, for the first time in three months. I mean, work for someone else, for money. Work that will be direct deposited on a bi-weekly schedule, that involved filling out forms, presenting id, going to a three-hour training class, and gave me something to talk about when asked what is going on with the job search. Actually, this work involved fingerprinting ($46) and a one-year state license ($25), so my one day of work has actually just paid for the money I laid out to get it. I'm officially a substitute teacher for a big, urban school system.
Since that first day, I've been getting up every morning at 5:45, taking a quick shower and starting to get ready in case I get a call-in. I've had no call-ins the past five days, and I've been calling the automated system and searching the web-based site for assignments. Nothing. So work, right now, is on an hourly countdown. The whole cycle of expectation, hope, awakening dread, and ultimate disappoinment that makes up the job search is distilled down to its essence, played out over the course of ninety minutes. By 7:15 the probability of even getting an elementary school gig is almost nil.
Strangely enough, this art of losing out seems to be somewhat ennervating. I've been more active, more able, more present to myself this past week than the past month combined. I've gone swimming, taken a water aerobics class, gone out with a friend for tea, visited an alpaca farm with my parents, read three novels, and well, written again. So I hold out hope, the big hope, the hope that rises above all the little wishes and wants, that by mastering losing out I'll win big. I have faith that I'm on a path, learning, and won't know the lesson plans until after it's over. I have faith that learning to lose and still perservere will pay off, and that the depressions along the road are necessary slow-downs rather than personal failings. I have faith.