Saturday, March 24, 2012

Outside Looking In

Nobody who isn't here understands the sense of
frustration and helplessness at not being capable of
finding a solution to your own problems...(yet) not being able to earn your keep, or pay your
own way. At not having a clear sense of purpose or
an outline to your day when you awake in the morning.

No matter how sympathetic and compassionate,
those not going through it don't feel the sense of failure
and disappointment in self...the sense and fear of not
being complete, or for we men, being a 'real man.'

No one knows what the crushing despair of not
having a schedule to adhere to, not knowing what the
future will bring, not having a sense of continuity will
do to you.

And the longer it goes on, the worse it gets.

You feel judged and 'less than' wherever you go,
as if the most basic task is something you can't

The job skills, and the people skills, and the interaction
skills all get rusty. Without use, nervousness and doubt
further sets in. People keep asking if you haven't found
work yet, as if you wouldn't be telling them about your
new job if in fact you had one.

Do they have one for you? No, of course not. But they
still want to know all about it. Certainly you just haven't
looked in all the places; they hear there are jobs out
there. Here come 100 or so questions to make sure
you've been giving it your all. All old news.
All annoying as shit.

You get your hopes up, they get knocked down.
Other less qualified folks get jobs you applied for.
Rude customer service reps keep their jobs, somehow.
What exactly are people looking for, anyhow?

You have less and less in common with other people
who do work. They avoid you because your joblessness
is depressing and they don't know what to say. If they
eat out, they're afraid you'll mooch or not have the
money to go, so the invites stop coming.

Everything changes.

So, everything changes.

Head high, no matter the feeling.
Best foot forward, no matter the frustration.
Faith in self, if nothing else.
Ask for help when needed; pride is a worthless virtue.
Reassess priorities.
Accept less than you were hoping for, if need be.

Survival comes at a price, but it beats the alternative.

Believe it or not, here comes a chance at major growth.

Get ready.


Friday, March 16, 2012

It's Blinders, Not Blindness

These times may seem insurmountable.
They aren't.

This can seem like the end of the road...
It isn't.

Dreams can crumble,
old friends are disappearing,
hope is a rare commodity
(or perhaps even a distant memory.)

Survival...merely staying afloat...
can seem a strangely unattainable and
even undesirable notion.
("How will this ever work out?")

Ideas don't seem to manifest,
'nothing' seems to bear results,
opportunities seem to have ended.

But, this...this is NOT the end.

Your view is distorted by the experiences
you have endured. By the surroundings
you are 'stuck' in now.
Right now, no end is in sight.
The outcomes seem dark and unavoidable.
Everything seems lost.

But there is a tomorrow...there is possibility.
There are options and choices and chances
that, right now, you are not even capable
of imagining in your current
state of despair.

But even this...this struggle
and helpless sensation
and fear..
is giving you something you can use.

If only you can hang on, and believe,
and persevere.

And you can...
you can do it, even if you don't yet know it.

You are about to discover just how strong
and courageous you are...but it will take
being nearly destroyed for it to happen.

Push on.

This is a new life, a new chapter,
a new understanding.
Be open to the changes, without giving up.

Some day, you will find yourself,
as I have, with a new perspective
and an ability to transcend... that
gives you hope and appreciation
you cannot imagine...
from where you stand now.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

"Nickel & Dimed" by Barbara Ehrenreich

As the subtitle suggests, this is a book
about how the American workforce is
not making it on the minimum wage
American nightmare.

It details in exhausting scrutiny how
companies and corporations have us
all behind the eight ball.

If you're already in trouble, it may
not be able to serve as warning, but
sometimes the simple act of
hearing that others know, understand, and
have experienced similar difficulties
can be therapeutic.

Available at most libraries as
book or audio book.

There is strength in numbers.


Monday, March 5, 2012

Michael Franti & Spearhead - "Sound of Sunshine" (ft. Jovanotti)

A little Monday morning pick-me-up and inspiration
for me and my jobless (or underpaid) brothers and
sisters.  Don't give up on the finer points.

'Down' is not 'out'.
Stand strong.