Man Sitting In Valley

Boy, have I been in a funk.

It’s an all-around, life sorta sucks, poor me, I’ve got the weight of the world on my shoulders kind of funk, and it’s mainly due to the fact that I’m still unemployed.

Yes, unemployment was all fun and games when I first climbed on the ride. After working hard for 12+ years at the same newspaper, it was nice to not have to do anything more than make lunches and chauffeur my kids to and from school.

I would go on job interviews with somewhat of a choosy attitude, and shaking hands at the end would think to myself, “I really don’t want this job.” Other jobs I wouldn’t even consider, as my attitude was “I’m better than that and worth double the pay they are offering.”

But now, after more than 6 months, the ride is getting scary, and so is our bank account. I’m going to have to find something soon, and I have a feeling my new job won’t be something I dreamed of doing when I was a kid. And those jobs I snubbed my nose at? I’m applying for them. The jobs I really didn’t want seem very appealing right about now.

This all reminds me of the last time I was unemployed. It was the late 80’s and Tiger Beat, the magazine I was art director of, was sold to a big publisher in New York City. They had offered me the job, but with a very small raise – a raise that wouldn’t come close to compensating for my commute and tax hike. I thought I was hot shit and could easily find a job somewhere else, so I turned them down.

What a mistake. It took me years to find a full-time job in graphic design. Years. In the meantime I worked as a waitress, and was a cashier in a liquor store, and did some time as a receptionist in a window factory.

Now I wonder if I am reliving that dismal time in my life – a time where I am destined to work someplace that you know you are just settling for.

Being broke sucks. I’m tired of telling my kids we can’t afford this and that, especially during summer vacation. We do as many free things as possible, but even then I get depressed. I sit on the beach with klatches of moms who talk happily while their kids swim and build sand castles, and I find myself envying them for their seemingly carefree life. Ugh! I hate myself for that.

A Facebook friend posted something the other day that struck a chord in me. It was a quote from Marylin Monroe:

“Sometimes good things fall apart
so better things can fall together.”

I can only hope it’s true. Yeah, I lost my job of 12 years…it was a job I was good at, but I wasn’t at all happy there. Maybe down the road is a job where I’ll make some good friends, at a workplace that I actually enjoy. A job that would make the rough road I’ve had to travel this year worth it.

Until then? I need a one-way ticket out of Funkytown. I’ll just have to take life as it comes until my new path is laid out before me.