It’s four days into 2018, 8 months post graduation, and I still do not have my shit together. The pressure is there. Of course it is. I feel like I’m carrying the weight of the world on my shoulder, and maybe I am. The weight of my world. The weight of the expectations of the college I graduated from where 94% of graduates have a job 12-months post-graduation, the expectations of my family as being one of the few to actually graduate from college, the expectations of society as a college graduate, the expectations I have set for myself.
I feel like I am in the middle of nowhere. During the holidays, I was literally in the middle of nowhere. While I was in Washington, D.C., my parents retired, packed up my childhood home, and moved to, you guessed it, the middle of nowhere. I barely lasted 10 days, especially after the hustle and bustle of the holidays passed, after family packed up and left, after the excitement died down. On day 9, I was loading up the car and driving to Arkansas, a state I had never visited. I didn’t have a plan, but I had to go somewhere. I had to be doing something. I had cabin fever and I was going stir crazy.
Now I’m in the middle of nowhere again. Figuratively, not literally. I don’t have a home. I mean I do, I’ll always have a home with my parents. That’s their rule. Long after we have moved out of the house, if the day comes that we need to return home, there is a room waiting for us. But, I don’t have a home. I don’t have a job and I’m stuck in the limbo of being overqualified and not having enough experience. You figure that one out and when you do, let me know how I’m supposed to get around that. I’m at the bottom again, and I can tell you that it is my least favorite place to be – I hated it when I was in 6th grade and it felt like the 8th graders ruled the school, I hated it as a freshman in both high school and college because I hadn’t yet found my place, my people. I hated it when I was working at a CNA because I did a lot and then I did more, but I didn’t get credit because I was at the bottom of the medical food chain. I hated it when I was a temporary seasonal associate at the job I held during my last two years of college, still hated it when I was kept on as an asscociate. Only did I stop hating it a little bit less when they promoted me to a different title, but I was still in between associate and manager. I hated it when I was a CIT at the camp I volunteer at every summer because I had been at the camp longer than some of the counselors. I’m at the bottom in the middle of nowhere.
I hate the bottom and I hate being in the middle of nowhere.
Hate is a strong word, I know, but in this moment it fits the situation sublimely. It also serves as fuel to the fire that has been burning in my soul. Some days, that fire is strong. Some days, it is there, but it isn’t producing any heat. It’s still there though. It’s the same fire that pushes me to perfect my resume even though I have already spent hours perfecting it. It’s the same fire that pushes me to scour the internet and newspapers and to email contacts, begging for jobs, begging to let me put my foot in the door. It’s the same fire that has always pushed me, shoved me at times, encouraged me, and inspired me.
If you are like me, stuck in the middle of nowhere, whether it’s between homes, between jobs, between decisions, between being an actual adult or being a child, find that fire. I promise you it is there. It is what has gotten you this far. If you would have asked me a few days ago, I would have told you my fire has long since burnt out, but then I got in my car and I drove. I went somewhere I’ve never been before. I watched my two year old niece experience life. I came back to my childhood home because even though it is mostly empty, it is still the closest thing to home I have at the moment. I opened my laptop and I wrote this blog post and I looked at job openings. I’m proof that even when it feels like your fire has long since gone out, that even when you’re in the middle of nowhere, there is still a fire in you, in your eyes, in your bones, in your soul. I’m working on building mine up again, on making it stronger, on making it brighter, but don’t count me out yet. It is a new year and there are doors waiting to be opened and new adventures waiting to be taken.
“Do not question her fire.” -MvDarklight