Unemployed and Okay With That*

My name is Monique and I’m an unemployed Ivy League graduate.

When you’re done laughing at me (and the disrespectful amount of debt I’m in), I’ll tell you the story of how I ended up this way and how I’m responding to my current reality.

Let’s go back to my final semester of college…

I was in the process of applying for a one-year educational fellowship in Boston and things were looking very positive. The program was through a network of charter schools that spanned kindergarten through 12th grade. The specific group of students I would’ve been tutoring/mentoring were rising 5th graders in a pilot program to implement technology use into their learning. This was a seemingly perfect position for me, as I had recently recognized my desire to pursue a career in educational media and technology. It’s the perfect mix of my two main passions: Cognitive Development and Media.

Fully cognizant of the fact that a fellowship stipend ≠ a job paycheck, I decided to find a paid summer internship in order to help leverage the minuscule income I’d be bringing in during my fellowship year. So, I applied to, interviewed for, and received an offer to work as a (very handsomely paid) Summer Assistant at an educational technology company until the end of August, right when the fellowship was to begin. Considering how quickly everything happened and the fact that this internship was completely relevant to my career path of choice, I do not doubt that there was some divine intervention occurring. Shortly after I accepted the internship offer, I received an offer for the fellowship. Perfect, right?!

Wrong.

Around the time that I began at my summer internship, my older sister began chemotherapy for lymphoma. It was the first time I’d ever seen her so weak and vulnerable and scared. It was difficult. I realized then just how necessary it was for me to be there for her while she was being treated. As much as I wanted to move away from home and begin my career/adult life in Boston this Fall, my first adult decision was to turn down the fellowship offer to remain close to home during my first year post-grad, in order to support my sister; And I don’t regret it one bit.

My lovely internship ended on the last day of August and, unfortunately, didn’t lead to full-time employment. In the ensuing week-and-a-half, I’ve rested and begun applying for positions. I had an in-person interview on Monday with an organization I’d love to work for and I’m waiting to hear back from them. It’s a bit nerve-wracking to be out of work and a little scary, after 16 years of formal education where I always knew exactly what my next step would be, to have literally no idea what the future holds for me. But y’know what? It’s kind of exhilarating, too.

* = Okay with that until November, when my grace period ends and I have to begin repaying my loans.

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This is NOT a Think Piece

Maybe the term “Feel Piece” would be a more accurate description of what this is.

I was in the process of completing (meaning: procrastinating on) another blog post, but in light of both recent and sustained events in local, national, and global news, I felt compelled to shelf that post for another day and, in its stead, write this one.

What events, perchance, am I referring to?
Basically every hateful, negative, and horrific thing that’s been in the media as of late. I don’t really see a need to name any particular happening because there are just so many. I honestly feel that I’ve been seeing the underbelly of humanity for the past few months.

The main thing I’ve learned from this unrelenting wave of ills is that people have a great capacity (whether we wish to believe it or not) to be extremely shitty to one another. Why? I don’t know. I couldn’t even pretend to understand how an abuser, or terrorist, or dictator, or sociopath, or cyber-bully, could justify his/her malfeasance towards other people, which prevents me from being an unbiased observer, but when it comes to those types of beings, I don’t care to be.

All I’m saying is, and this will likely come off as naive, but I just wish that we, as humans, treated one another with love and respect. I may not agree with everything (or anything) another person says and does, but that isn’t cause for me spew harm or hatred at them in any way.

There is just so much misfortune in this world brought on by circumstances beyond our control, so I can’t, for the life of me, understand why any person would want to contribute to that misfortune in even one individual’s life, let alone many lives.

6 Months

It’s been six months, six long months, since I’ve last posted anything on this blog and I’m quite ashamed of that fact. The reason for this hiatus/sabbatical/break isn’t that I haven’t had anything meaningful happen in the past half-year. On the contrary, these last six months have housed some of the highest and lowest points of my 22-year life:

  • Highest: I survived my final semester of college and graduated.
  • Lowest: My big sister was diagnosed with cancer and began chemotherapy.

As you can imagine, these two things, along with the hundreds of others that fall between them on the spectrum, forced me to focus more-so on living and less-so on reflecting. But, as these six months have come and gone, I realize how much mental and emotional build-up I have clogging my figurative arteries. I need a release for all of the thoughts and feelings that I’ve been accumulating since April of 2013 and this is just the place to do it.

Naturally, it will take some time for me to bring you up to speed on all that has transpired, but as I’m currently unemployed (I had a FANTASTIC postgrad summer internship that just ended) and on the job search, I have some indefinite free time. So, bear with me as I unload six months of joys, pains, hopes, fears, anxieties, and general weirdness.

Tell your friends: Monique is back and in full effect.