Cheeeers to the holiday weekend, folks! I hope everyone celebrating my problematic homeland had a fun and safe 4th. It’s been a minute since I’ve posted and it’s primarily because I haven’t known what to write about. To cut to the chase, we have my old friend depression to thank. It has stopped by for a bit to hang out with its frenemy, anxiety, and the three of us are barrels of fun to be around! But I’ve always found comfort and healing from writing when I’m feeling down, so I’m going to try to put some words to keyboard today.
You may be thinking, McScuse me? Depression? You spent the first month of your summer frolicking across Europe on a dream vacation with your one true love! What do you have to be depressed about?
Or you may not be thinking those things, but I sure am. Yet I know after all these years that it doesn’t matter how great things are going for me externally; my weirdo brain will still do what it wants. And right now, it wants to dwell on this sense of dread that nothing positive awaits me, that everything good in my life comes from the generosity and kindness of other people who take care of me, that I haven’t done anything to deserve that goodness and I’m a burden to everyone, financially, emotionally, and otherwise.
Fun, right? So where is this all coming from? Besides screwed-up serotonin, which can totally be the cause all on its own, but this time there are other factors at play. Honestly, I felt like I was watching this slump come toward me in slow motion near the end of our trip. At the risk of sounding like a #basic #millenial, there’s a Kacey Musgraves song that I had in my head a lot of the time called “Happy and Sad.” The gist is that even when you’re at the very top, having some of the best times you’ve ever had, there’s some sadness there, too, and the feeling that “everything that goes up must come down.” Kasey, u get me, gf.
So this is the come-down. When I left my ~real, stable, paying~ job back in March, I knew we’d be traveling May-June and I couldn’t really start any normal, full-time position ‘til after. So I was sort of floating, pursuing writing in a couple different ways, and looking into future options. And describing it all in a vague AF fashion like that so no one asked me too many questions, because I didn’t have answers. Well, we’re at the “after” of my grand adventure and therefore, it’s time to actually do something ~real, stable, paying~ again. Emphasis on the paying part. And March Kaitlyn really, really thought July Kaitlyn would have figured out what that is by now!
While July Kaitlyn has a lot of ideas and applications and cover letters floating about, nothing has stuck yet, which as anyone who has ever job-searched can tell you, is a bit demoralizing. I worry that I’m not good/talented/qualified enough for anything I’m interested in doing. I worry that I’ll never find that job I really love. I worry that it’s a stupid, privileged-person thing to even try to find a job I love and I should settle for a job, period, and be grateful. I worry that if I do that, I’ll only spiral into a worse place mentally and find myself repeating this cycle. I worry, worry, worry. I’m so extremely, ridiculously fortunate that I’m not also starving and/or living on the streets while going through the process, but that’s where some of the I-don’t-deserve-this-and-I’m-burdening-others guilt comes in, too. It’s a frustrating cocktail of constant uncertainty and quickly decreasing self-esteem that makes me feel really, really bad.
Plus the screwed-up serotonin thing.
When I feel this way, my instinct is to retreat into myself, try to ignore it, read read read books of other people’s stories that make me happier than my own right now, etc. Unfortunately, none of these are very productive when it comes to making myself feel better nor do they help me find gainful employment. What a pickle, right? I hate figurative pickles even more than real ones.
So what’s a gal to do? I don’t know. This isn’t one of those posts where I espouse nice-sounding advice that I hardly listen to myself. I don’t particularly want advice or to talk about it with well-meaning friends and family whom I love and appreciate endlessly and (as previously stated) do not feel that I deserve. Particularly input of the “you’ll find something, I just know it, it’ll happen” variety because while I love when others have confidence in me, it also makes me want to throw things and say, “You know nothing, Jon Snow!” And I don’t even watch Game of Thrones. That is to say, I’m only good at writing about my feelings. Quite bad and semi-uncomfortable talking about them. But I’m told that it’s a thing healthy people do, so maybe I’ll practice sometime. I’m not even sure that posting this has a purpose, other than to say, “Hey, reminder in case you feel like you’re the only one with a messed-up brain out there — you’re totally not!”
Please know that you can always come to me if you need that reminder. ;) We’ve all got problems, many much larger than my own, and ups and downs are part of life. Until I figure anything out and find that hidden secret to endless success and happiness that will absolutely come to me if I just keep trolling indeed dot com for long enough… I’ll be over here, reading lots of books and writing lots of words and even going on actual family vacation in a week-ish where I will maybe feel a lot of the same things but with better scenery and pleasant company. I am a stupendously lucky person in so many ways, and I promise I always know that!
So don’t you — yes, you — go worrying about me. I’m the only one allowed to worry. You’re doing more than enough by continuing to read my blog and thereby making me feel like there’s a purpose in putting my words/feelings/guts out into the world. It happens to be one of my favorite things to do, and I feel a little better today just from having written this all down.
Here’s hoping I don’t cringe and throw my laptop in the garbage when I reread it a few days from now, right??? And if any potential future employers stumble across this, I leave you with the immortal words of Daryl Hannah when she’s trying to get hired at Dolly Parton’s beauty parlor in Steel Magnolias: “Miss Truvy, I promise that my personal tragedy will not interfere with my ability to do good hair.”
Yours in shared human experiences and desert-dry humor,