Lately I have been feeling a bit lost in what I am doing with myself. It would seem that this should be the most care free time I have had in years with my schooling finally being finished and my babies in daycare while I search for a job. However, I ironically feel a greater sense of unrest than I did before. I know it is partly due to the fact that I feel ill at ease not having a clear professional “purpose”.
The search for a job has been much more difficult than I was prepared for. It has begun to cause me increasing amounts of anxiety as the months of summer have come and gone. It is hard for me to have my babies in daycare when I am at home. However, right now it is necessary to hold their spots from being taken for when I get a job. If they do not go at least a few hours every day they may be replaced by other children. The financial strain of this without me working has been a constant source of stress I feel largely responsible for. I can barely begin to think about the student loan repayments that are too quickly approaching.
Since I have been home I have tried to create some sense of organization in practical ways to help me feel productive. There is of course no end of things to be attended to. I admittedly always tend to take on a pile of projects at once. I am aware I take on more than I can juggle at times. This often leaves me never quite accomplishing everything I would like to. I am a bit like the little kid who wants to be a firefighter and a rock star and president all at once. I am working on trying to narrow my focus to what I really feel most passionate about.
With all these thoughts and feelings swimming in my head it made me think about pressure. There is the daily grind we all must endure but that is not what I really think fully defines pressure. I have come to believe that what wears us down and leaves us out of synch with the joy in our life is the way we cope with the pressure we face.
For example, despite my diligent efforts to find a job I have to accept that there are difficulties I can only have so much control over. The job market is difficult right now for everyone. Although I know I am a qualified candidate I know there are many others to compete with. I am trying to stay positive and keep applying and believing that I will be given a chance soon. I admit I am struggling with trusting that things will work out and make all my years of hard work worth the sacrifices my family and I have made to get me through my education.
As I would tell a client who was in a similar situation this is a time to keep your focus on everything that you can have a hand in changing. It may mean that you have to adjust your plan and do what makes the most practical sense at the moment. It may mean a compromise in the vision you had for yourself for awhile. Dreams may be delayed but they will always find a way when you focus and never give up.
Nicole Michaud is a Counselor in training in Central Connecticut. She is also the voice behind the cooking Blog MyLoveForCooking.com