Judgement of being unemployed

172There has been a lot that I’ve learned through being unemployed this time in my life, which is interesting because when I was younger it seemed to be less of a problem. I was ’employed’ as a babysitter when I was a teenager, and this was actually one of the best paying jobs. It was also one of the most stressful, hair pulling, and frustrating start to working a couple of hours watching three girls so close in age. Surprisingly, or not, I came to love these three little girls, and appreciate their mom even more for her working and juggling taking care of them at the same time.

They were all firecrackers, except for the youngest, who was my comrade. My first step into the real workforce was a dog groomer, for more than two years, and then I had a break. I had a then boyfriend who didn’t have to work, and was independently wealthy. I don’t think he had to struggle really with money, or finding a job, and that was his decision, of course.

I spent more than two years with him, and I would be out of a job for two years or more. I missed working, and I missed my coworkers, but I devoted myself to college full time and entered massage school.

As I’ve said before, massage really sparked a passion in me that I knew was there, but never quite realized how much passion I had inside of me for working. Now, my career is never perfect, my job is never perfect, I had tough days where a client would say I wasn’t doing my best. They didn’t connect with me, or my style, and this literally cut me to the bone. I didn’t make any friends to start off, kept to myself, and kept my personal life pretty much to myself for four years.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen, I found my husband, my life completely changed. Suddenly, it wasn’t all about me, and I made the decision to move with him. Unemployment, yet again, found me right after my wedding day pretty much. Suddenly, when I came across people and told them I was a massage therapist, and unemployed, I got judgement. Not only did I get judged, but once I let it slip I was married I heard many times, “Must be nice your husband makes enough money that you don’t have to work…

I was told I needed to have children if I was going to be unemployed, to give me something to do. I was told that I was not working hard enough to get a job. That my standards were too high, or that I wasn’t applying to enough places. So, I began to isolate myself, so I wouldn’t meet people and get asked that question of, “what do you do for work?” I was in a new place, I’d never moved so far away in my life, and I was terrified of driving and getting lost. The resumes kept on getting sent, but some days I’d really have to force myself to go outside because I hated so much being asked that question.

On this blog, I could be honest with my struggle, and the people who have been following me through my job, to unemployment, knew how much I wanted to be working. My work friends seemed to envy me getting time off and not working, when they’d ask me if I was working I’d have to reply, “no.” While when I would meet up with them I would envy them working at the place that sparked a passion in me and that I missed so badly it literally hurt.

My purpose had become my job, my career, and not having one literally felt like I had no purpose. Being unemployed taught me to be more forgiving of myself, and to really lean on my husband at times for support. I had to learn self compassion, because if I didn’t give myself that compassion, I’d run myself into the ground with guilt. I had to work at my confidence, and take harder days with hopes that a better one would be out there.