1 Month of Unemployment

It’s been one month since I stopped getting a paycheck and started getting my life back (slight exaggeration). I thought I might have a job again by now, but that would have required a little more enthusiasm (and lying) during my many rounds of interviews. I also thought I might be bored by now. It’s actually nice to be wrong on both counts.

Sure, I didn’t get the job I actually wanted, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t still slightly bitter about it. But I don’t believe in fate, or even oneĀ right path, so I trust that something good will come along eventually. Or at least something tolerable. I feel very different from my friends (at least the rose-tinted view I gain through Facebook), most of whom are climbing up the career ladder and/or working in a field that actually interests them. Occasionally, I do feel like I’m just aimlessly floating around, as I still have no clue what I actually want to be when I “grow up.” When I start feeling sorry for myself, though, I remember that I’m pretty damn lucky to be here in Oxford, having adventures with John and meeting some wonderful people along the way. Life, to me, has always been about more than a good career. Life is what happens beyond the 9-5 (or 9-8 — I still don’t understand why people stay at work later than they are obligated to, without extra pay. But that’s another story).

Where was I going with this? Oh, right. I thought I might be bored by now. John thought I’d be bored by now, too. Yet every day still feels different, special, full of opportunity. It’s not all glamour – some days I don’t brush my teeth ’til after dinner, and stay in my pajamas all day (lovely, I know). Luckily, those days are rare. I try to get outside as much as I can, exploring the familiar and unfamiliar corners of my neighborhood and the city. I move a little slower, soaking it in. I read, cook, play with my cats, do yoga, half-heartedly apply for jobs, meditate, write a bit. There’s a routine to it, I guess, but it feels different from the “work” routine.

Soon, I’ll get back to that, and I’ll appreciate getting paid, and hopefully doing some good work that contributes to mankind (or at least a friendly, smart team of people). In the meantime, I’m enjoying this time for what it is- a chance to step back, reflect, and grow in small, personal ways. When I look back in a few years, or even months, I’ll be glad that I had this room and space between jobs. I’m lucky that my cheapskate ways have let me save up a bit of cash and I’m not desperate for whatever comes next. Very lucky.

Next week, it’s off to Germany, and then my mom and Oma are coming to Oxford. Can’t wait to show them our little (and I do mean little) abode, and the stunning city I currently call home.

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