morning pages

I slept like absolute dog shit last night, which is no surprise considering that I had just gotten back from the “last hurrah” of vacations planned during my sabbatical, and am now getting hit with the hard, cold dose of reality that I am still unemployed after quitting my job nearly 5 months ago.

It’s not for lack of trying. After taking the 2 months off that I had intended, I have applied to 20+ jobs, followed many recruiters on LinkedIn, had many interviews, gotten hired for 2 separate 2-3 month opportunities just to be told the night before that “things had shifted” and they no longer needed to book me without leaving me without any kill fee or safety net. As a former HOP who was used to hiring freelancers, and understanding that things do happen like this, I now empathize with the struggle.

When I was a freelance post-producer 10+ years ago, I don’t remember bookings being this volatile. I know the landscape of the industry has changed with the addition of streamers, and unfortunately my career transition came at a time with union strikes, layoffs, and advertiser jitters that I couldn’t have predicted when I gave my notice back in March. I couldn’t have predicted that I was going to have *feelings* about turning 40. I couldn’t have predicted that my sister was going to plan a wedding within 4 months of getting engaged and have to prioritize these events for those months. I couldn’t have predicted my brother was going to get pregnant and have to prioritize those events. I couldn’t have predicted my other sister was going to stop talking to me in the throws of her abusive relationship. While last year seemed so hopeful – new relationship, the promise of a new career, the prospect of moving in together and building a life with another person, this year has felt like I’m struggling to catch up and adapt to all of the transition around me and that I’ve embarked on personally myself. I don’t know how to take the next steps in any direction, and I certainly don’t know how to do them in the context of a relationship with a romantic partner.

Despair is the emotion that I come back to frequently, amongst the anxiety and fear that I feel. I don’t want to say I’m hopeless, but I am very very frustrated and everything seems impossible. I keep praying for next steps – show me the way! What am I supposed to be doing? I am desperate. I want this feeling to go away. I want to feel secure, like I have my feet under me so I can make the next move in other areas that I really want. Moving in with my partner, marriage, family. Working TOWARDS something, building the life I want. Is that the issue though? That I need to feel secure before I can feel like I can do those things? How can I feel secure in this transitional period that feels anything but safe?

So here I am, writing to try to make sense of my feelings. Stream of consciousness, getting out all the muck that will hopefully help this buzzy feeling in my chest subside. Please, please, show me the next steps on how to get out of this mess.