September 7, 2011

Ruminations on Unemployment

I've recently had the (mis...? nahhh)fortune of becoming unemployed; fault--my own. I am strangely at peace with this abrupt change to my life. Tomorrow will mark my first full week of being a stay at home mom, and I couldn't be happier with it. 

My previous occupation was not at all where I expected to be after graduation. I have a Bachelors degree in Political Science (social sciences are the equivalent of occupational death, I know this now). Law school was not my cup of tea, so out into the workforce I went, resume handy.

My biggest problem? I had the disadvantage of graduating in 2008. Helloooo, recession, nice to meet you!

I took a job because it was a job. Never in a million years did I believe I would still be there, three years later. Talk about a nasty case of disillusionment. Accompanying disillusionment comes its good friend, apathy. Apathy blows. I don't appreciate you, apathy.

Then I had Peyton. That sense of apathy regarding work was replaced with a sense of total and utter dread. How was I supposed to leave my baby for eight hours a day, five days a week, an hour away from home, and be okay with it? The weeks leading up to the end of my maternity leave were filled with such anxiety it almost made me physically ill.

I understand people have to work; I'll openly admit that I am one of those people. I think my problem isn't working in general, it was where I was working. I have resumes out everywhere, and I am praying I can get unemployment insurance for at least a few months. But the old gig just wasn't for me. It would have ultimately destroyed me.

Am I worried? Yes. Do I know everything happens for a reason? Yes. This knowledge is what keeps me sane.

Sometimes I grapple with the fact that I took such a hefty investment in my education to have it wasted by not working. But then I remind myself that it isn't "wasted". I will find work eventually, something that I want to do that fits me and my interests, but my new job is to be responsible for the health and happiness of my little girl. I can instill in her some of the things I've learned with that fancy degree. I want her to think critically for herself. I want her to look at the world objectively and make her own decisions about how she wants to be a part of it.

But if she comes to me one day talking about partisan politics and the flaws of a two-party system, I'll have to rescind that statement.

Up next: Adventures of Stay at Home Mom-ness and the realism of the fabled "trophy wife".

1 comment: