Hello friends! Welcome to honesty hour with Michelle. Today, I’d like to speak on the subject of unemployment fatigue.
I’ve been unemployed on and off since March 2020. I have a masters degree and am an extremely hard worker. I never in my wildest dreams would have thought I’d be unemployed for 8 months. I worked way too hard in my life to end up without a job. And maybe some of you feel the same way.
I know I can go get a job at a grocery store or warehouse if I need, but the thing is I’m afraid of COVID. I am afraid of giving this virus to the people I love. It’s as simple as that. This season is full of unknowns, and I am just riding the tide.
What have I done during this long winded season of unemployment you ask? Well, I have tried to make the most of it. For example, I started a college certificate program for Marketing and Sales, which I will finish in December. I have worked as a preschool teacher for a few weeks, until they let me go due to the low number of students (why did they hire me knowing this???). I planned and trained for a thru-hike of the Colorado Trail. I hike all 485 miles of the Colorado Trail. I took a few trips around the state of Colorado to hike and drink coffee in different places. I visited Montana to visit old friends and feed some goats. I read my Bible every day. Prayed for joy, hope, and love over this planet, my country, and my future. I watched The Office a lot. I had some really great experiences.
I have also had countless sleepless nights. I’ve been depressed and anxious about the future. I have baked over 100 million calories worth of cakes and cookies (which is only bad because I’ve eaten all these things). I have applied to over 100 jobs. I have gotten into fights with people I’m close to because I lash out. I spent wayyy too much money on things I don’t need. I lost interest in several things that used to bring me joy, and the list could just go on and on.
I believe this phenomena is called “unemployment fatigue.” And it is a fatigue unlike any other, because it is taking time during a pandemic. I. Am. Tired.
I want to contribute to the world. I want to know what my purpose is. I was about to start a new full-time job (with benefits!) in April, but that came to a halt when COVID caused the first shut down. I was on track, and then suddenly, I was stranded without any way of escape. Well, besides the obvious jobs that would put myself and my family at risk.
Let me just say, that I appreciate all the hard work the essential workers have done during the pandemic. I especially admire all the health care workers who continue to do their part even after seeing how stupid humanity can be. I thank you, I applaud you, and I sincerely hope this all ends soon for your good.
I know this is a scary time, y’all. This post is just a reminder that if you are struggling, you are not alone. It is a reminder that being outside cannot always fix the doubts and questions in your mind.
However, being outside has been my greatest therapy. Well, that, and God’s goodness. I want you all to know that if you’re feeling stuck during this crazy time to go outside, get some air, and take a deep breath. We will get through this.
And when we get through this, we will be stronger, happier, and more united. I know it sounds cliche, but I have to keep telling myself these things because I need to know it, too.
Keep your heads up,