The end of funemployment

The good news is, I’ve just accepted an exciting contract position with the communications team at Georgian College — one of the best employers in Simcoe County. Thank all of the harp-toting angels in heaven because I will soon be earning my keep.

The bad news is, my adventures in funemployment are coming to an end. On August 26, I will bid farewell to leisurely Mondays, sweatpant Tuesdays, romance-novel Wednesdays, quiet Thursdays, and going-out-for-a-stroll Fridays. I’m really going to miss them all.

Me a few weeks ago, carefree and funemployed

Tobias and I a few weeks ago, carefree and funemployed

But to those friends who poked fun at my funemployment activities, I’d like to say my hours weren’t all spent eating ice cream while watching TV and scanning eBay. Many were, but not all.

While funemployed, I went to Wonderland on a Thursday with friends.

While funemployed, I went to Wonderland on a Thursday with friends.

Finding a job is really tough. Mostly on your brain and confidence. That self-inflicted pressure to find work is omnipresent. I woke up and went to sleep thinking about jobs. Every day, I either put together an application, prepared for an interview, or met a nice new contact — apparently Simcoe County is full of lovely people.

I also learned a lot about unemployment and job hunting these last 2.5 months:

  • Listen to everyone but your own brain. Try to enjoy your time off.
  • Don’t be shy about telling people you’re looking for work. You’d be surprised who will help you.
  • You don’t have to take the first job that’s offered to you, even if every practical part of you says you should.
  • Don’t apply for jobs you don’t want. You will end up getting them, debating madly with yourself, and then painfully turning them down.
  • Try not to let the process get you down. You will apply for jobs you think you’re perfect for and never hear back. You will also interview for jobs you want and won’t get. That’s okay.
  • Have faith that the right role will come.
  • Have faith in yourself.

Well, I’m off to enjoy a gourmet vegetarian dinner prepared by my mother. And red wine, of course. It’s time to celebrate.

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Silver Linings

Still no house. And we’ve now officially eliminated Midland from our list of possible towns to buy in.

In other real estate news, there are no houses in Elmvale — the one location we agree on — that we both love. Ugh.

But even as JF and I continue to plod through real estate hell (at least we’re in it together!) there remains much to be grateful for. Unemployment has its perks:

  • Sitting comfortably on a TTC train, travelling opposite the rush hour crush
  • Reading a whole book in one day
  • Playing the piano loudly in the afternoon without worrying about neighbours
  • Staying in on rainy days to watch movies
  • Going out on sunny days to explore
  • Listening to CBC radio in the middle of the afternoon
  • Doing groceries at off peak hours
  • Wearing jeans or sweatpants every single day
  • Forgetting what day of the week it is

And that’s just the list I compiled these last two weeks. I feel like I’ve more everyday pleasures to discover.

 

I also have a list of things I would like to do this summer, assuming I don’t find work:

This is me at the 9th concession beach two years ago. I hope to do a lot of this next month.

This is me at the 9th concession beach two years ago. I hope to do a lot of this next month.

Much as I want an income, miss my old colleagues and crave routine, this whole no job thing isn’t so bad. You should try it sometime.

Day Four of Unemployment

This is my fourth day of unemployment and people keep asking me how it feels. There is no straight answer, but I’ll give it a shot.

Most of the time, I feel a sort of righteous freedom. A bit like this:

But even in these early days, every once in awhile I find myself wading through a quagmire of self-pity. Like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3KoJj4dz2I

On the one hand, I have all the time I need to write, paint, or learn to play canasta. Or at least I should — so far it’s been kind of hectic. On the other hand, I have no income. And because work is important to me, I currently feel a bit rudderless.

I’m realizing that doubt and leaps of faith are a package deal.

Until last Friday, I had the privilege of working for a fantastic non-profit filled with lovely people. When I handed in my letter of resignation, I knew I was leaving a damn good thing. But that didn’t make actually walking out the office doors, boxes in tow, any easier.

Sometimes when I contemplate unemployment, all my brain can think is “holy fuuuuuuudge!” Except I don’t say fudge.

When that happens, I force myself to remember two things:

1)   I left because I’m chasing a simpler, quieter life

2)   So few people have the privilege of self-imposed unemployment

This time between jobs is a rare opportunity. To ride the TTC in the middle of the afternoon, read a hundred romance novels, and focus on what I really want from my life.

So, in the words of Joanna King (my heroine, who picked up and moved to her hometown in Newfoundland a few years back), my “job” is to enjoy it.

Easier said than done, but I’m working on it.