Another insomniac night. Too awake to go to sleep, but too tired and frustrated to work on my site any more; it’s only making me painfullly aware of my deficiencies in PHP. So here I am at 1:00 in the morning freewriting to the darkness.
I hate feeling directionless. The six months since graduation have not been kind to me, and I’m really starting to wonder where I’m going with my life. I was on the verge of deciding to go back to grad school for that degree in linguistics, and then the rug was pulled out from under me. How can I worry about grad school when I don’t even have a job? But then, how can I worry about a job when I’ve got grad school looming over me?
Job hunting has never been something that I’ve been very good at. Ironically enough, it seems that the only time I had true success in finding jobs was during college. When I was about to be let go from my second-to-last student job (because there wasn’t as much work during the summer), I had something else lined up within twenty-four hours. It was the most amazing feeling. I’ve seldom felt so empowered.
Flash forward to April. I had two job offers before I even graduated, and they were both for fairly decent money. I turned down the slightly higher-paying one for the one that sounded more promising in the long term, and it just about killed me. The project was horrible—not at all what they had made it out to be—and I got reassigned from editing to desktop publishing (in Word!) after the first week.
I hated it. I wasn’t sleeping well, so I was drinking quite a bit of caffeine just to stay awake at work. I was spending anywhere from two and a half to three hours commuting every day, and it started to wear on me very heavily. By the third week, I was getting sick, and I had to let my boss know that I could not keep working full-time. So I got taken off that project and informed that there weren’t any other projects at the moment. I was employed but out of work.
The next few weeks were pretty hard. My nearly four-year winning streak had come to an end after precisely eleven days in the real world. I found something soon enough, but I shouldn’t have taken it in the first place. They were originally offering between $22,000 and $26,000 (my hourly wage the last few semesters was about equivalent), but I managed to talk them up to something that I felt I could settle for. Meanwhile, my wife got a pretty hefty raise.
And four months later, here I am, wondering where exactly I want this career of mine to go. I feel proud of my web site, but I’m no web developer; I’m a decent layout artist, but I’m no graphic designer; and I’m a darn good editor, but I’m feeling less and less sure that that’s what I want to spend the next forty years doing.
But somehow, despite all of that, I have a feeling that things will clear up soon.