I never thought I was a person who would lose myself without a relationship, or who identified herself by her job in any significant way.
But I think a lot of my confidence and identity came from being secure for so long in having a constant relationship support system right in my home, and from having a secure job. Now, without those aspects, I feel kind of unmoored.
For a while it was, “I hate my job, but I have this relationship, so everything is good.” And then we broke up.
Then I got a new job, so, “OK, we’re broken up, but I have my new job to focus on. I’ll be fine.” And then I got laid off.
Now, some days, all the available options aren’t exciting — they’re overwhelming. I can do almost literally anything I want. I just don’t know what I want.
I know, “Boo hoo, woe is me, the world is my oyster.” But it’s surprisingly difficult to process. I’ve been single before, but it’s been 10 years since I’ve had to think of myself much beyond a foundation of “girlfriend” and “employed,” and now I’m neither. I’m just…me. I don’t think I had a very strong sense of self outside of those two aspects. Maybe once I handle “employed,” “self” will follow?
I’d love to tell you I’ve taken this unemployed/alone time to “find myself” or whatever, but mostly I’ve just been trying (successfully, I think) to keep myself from unraveling. I’m just trying to remember basic functions like brushing my teeth, paying bills, and talking to friends so I don’t go Full Recluse. And it’s not as if I’ve been ignoring some booming job market — every time I force myself to look at the job sites, it just gets more depressing. But really, it’s probably time to do something. I just need to figure out what.
We’ll start with the job. That’s more important than any of this relationship noise, and I think I’m finally ready to have something more productive to focus on. (At least I am today. Who the hell knows which Me I’ll wake up to tomorrow.)
But also, I’ll be unemployed for a while longer yet during the application/interview stages, so it’s probably also time I do some of the things I always said I’d do “when I have time.” I have nothing BUT time. Really, the only thing stopping me is me.