That was then, this is now

It’s hard for me to really process that I was able to get a job so easily. What about all the hours I’ve spent in the past updating my resume and cover letters, going on interviews and still getting ignored or rejected? Getting this job almost makes the sadness from all that way worse.

One of the things that I’ve learned in therapy is to not judge myself for spinning in circles. I was doing the best I can, and often there are circumstances outside my control. Maybe this is simply a matter of circumstances now being more in favor. When I was a believer I would have thought in situations like these that God was intervening in my life, totally ignoring all the times that I just as desperately needed intervention and it not coming.

I used to be really passive and just let things happen to me. I think even believers would agree that’s not necessarily a good approach, but I really did my best to follow the direction that I felt God was leading me in. Often that was at odds with taking matters into my own hands. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, In all your ways acknowledge Him and he will make your paths straight, and all that. See, I still have some scripture memorized, Ha. When I stopped believing, just over four years ago, I realized this had led to a wasted life. That realization was so hard to stomach.

It seems that many attempts I’ve had at taking matters into my own hands has failed and some of that is my circumstances but, if I’m honest with myself, I realize that part of that is that I was engaging in ineffective behaviors. This is why I often feel like I’m spinning my wheels. It takes me a long time to bounce back from failure.

I’d like to be the kind of person that figures out what doesn’t work, evaluates what went wrong, and then gets back out there and immediately tries again. But, no, my default is belief that something is wrong with me, or that nothing good will ever happen in my life. I’ve got a lifetime of those thoughts that I have to battle with.

What I did different this time was look at the years that I’ve spent looking for a job and decide that way was ineffective, which is why I reached out directly to companies to see if they were looking to hire someone. I think circumstances were in my favor, as someone might have to really work at this before they got a response. I don’t mean to give the impression that it’s just that easy.

Most employers want you to do a online application and then they have an automatic process where a computer program looks for key words to find the right candidate (the vocational rehab counselor I saw a few years back told me this). It’s not a very people-friendly method so it’s a very ineffective way of finding work. Especially if your strength is people-focus over skills, as mine is. I really need to get my face in front of someone to convince them to give me a chance.

As my now-current boss said to me in the interview, employers want to hire kids right out of high school or college because they want to mold them and they can treat them like dirt. And I think employers figure because of my age and experience in the job market that I’m passed that phase, which is why they won’t give me the chance. I guess that’s a good thing, as my last job, in an entry level position, I stood up for myself and others for being treated like shit. I felt like I did it respectfully and diplomatically, but still, they didn’t like that I spoke out (shocker) and I think it had a detrimental effect on me because I was treated differently afterwards. I don’t speak up often, but I truly believe that regardless of age or experience everyone deserves to be treated with respect.

Back to this unsettled feeling, like the other shoe is going to drop: it’s easy for me to believe that life isn’t going to work out for me because of how things have been in the past. The reality is that both good things and bad things are going to happen in my life. Some of it I can’t control, but a lot of it I can. So might as well get smart and figure out what works, what doesn’t, and make changes if necessary.

Just because something fails doesn’t mean I’m a failure, or even necessarily that I did anything wrong. I think I may be at the point where I can evaluate these things without getting a major blow to my ego. So maybe I don’t have to become despondent and spend so much wasted time beating myself up.

Maybe I can try new things, and if they don’t work, I can keep getting up and trying new things. The more things you try the more wins you’ll get. Maybe now that I can try more I’ll start getting more wins.

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About Quixie

Hi! I go by "Quixie." Quixie is a shortened version of "quixotic," which means: "exceedingly idealistic; unrealistic and impractical." It's how I described my evangelical Christian faith when I started blogging 7 years ago. Now I'm an agnostic atheist who is trying to find a balance between idealism and reality. I write about my mental health journey with bipolar disorder, my loss of faith (deconversion), parenting teens, reading, exercise/health, work-life, and my marriage separation/divorce.