I’d be lying if I said things have been easy around here lately. I spent most of last week laid up in bed with a high fever and the better part of the weekend acting out the final scenes from Moulin Rouge, except with more coughing and less corsets/duets with Ewan McGregor. When I’m sick, I become an everything-is-wrong-with-everything pessimist, so I also picked a few unnecessary fights with Michael and had one fever-induced meltdown on the couch while elbow-deep in a bowl of Velveeta. Suffice to say, I needed Amanda‘s post today. Because as someone who tends to get bogged down in all the things going wrong, it’s important for me to remember that it’s in these moments when I usually find myself most clearly. And finding the joy in the little things often leads to being the big things that bring me joy.
The last three and a half years have been full of huge life changes. I became a vet, I moved countries (for the third time in my life), I got married, I lived in a farm, I helped deliver calves multiple times and stayed awake waiting for cows to give birth, checking for signs of labor at regular intervals, which meant almost no sleep. I interned at a small-animal clinic and worked as a research assistant at a virology lab as well as at a call-center and at the web content department of a very big hotel reservations company.
When I put it that way you would not be able to tell that I have been dealing with unemployment or underemployment for about as long as I’ve been in my adopted new country, and how awfully hard it has been. I have two scientific degrees that took lots of work and time to earn. In these three and a half years I have not stopped applying for jobs, and I haven’t been sitting around waiting either. I have been busy with internships or working at the random jobs I have managed to find. Just two weeks ago I heard I did not get a PhD position that was a perfect fit both with my studies and my experience (working with cows, in reproduction, both subjects that fascinate me), and I was told I was among the best three. It’s not the first time I get that feedback. How are we supposed to get experience if no one gives us a chance, takes a risk on us?
A few weeks ago, in desperation, I went to several placement agencies to look for anything, maybe customer service. (I am after all, fluent in four languages and I understand quite well another two.) I was told there are very few positions and employers are getting very, very picky.
I always thought we should fight for what we want. I was taught that if you do what you love, if you do your best, the opportunities will come, that it was possible to love your job, to do what you like, that you should not limit your dreams. Maybe I am living in fantasyland. Maybe it is stupid to keep hoping to work in my field of study. I wish I had a magic ball, I wish I could see the future. I wish someone would tell me when or how this will end. I wish I could know that if I wait long enough I will get there. Or that no matter how long I wait, it won’t happen. I do not mind working a “different” job, though there is a part of me that feels it would kill my soul, and I feel like I am dying a bit already. But this is real life. Continue reading Joy In The Little Things