As my conspicuous absence from blogging, writing or updating this site indicates, I've been totally busy doing... nothing. JKJKJK. Yes, I am currently unemployed, but I have been keeping busy. Before I finished my contract at the CBC, I wrote another piece for VICE Canada about needing a job and, like, how shitty it is to work in media right now.
"No one is out there saying, “Yo, this is not a reliable or particularly pleasurable path to gainful employment.”
So, I still need a job (and this is why I talked about fear in my previous post: fear of pissing off the people that hire) and I'm still on the fence about making a living as a writer. But, I will still write, because how could I not? This is so much a part of my identity right now it would be like making an entirely new person and I am not so much into abandonment. Instead, I will do as the brilliantly in-touch Margaret Atwood suggested in a recent interview: "Read and read and read and write and write and write. And get a day job."
In the spirit of writing for the sake of writing, I should express something before I finish this post. My first week being unemployed was very difficult. I woke up with nothing to do. The weather was shit obscuring any hope for an end to this painfully long winter and exacerbating my S.A.D. This caused me to: cry a lot for hours on end, stare listlessly at walls and screens, almost break up with my boyfriend, act generally manic, deplore my existence.
This is a mental health alert. Because I have a tendency to dip in and out of depressed states, this was my warning signal. And, in truth, I felt I'd already hit rock bottom so succumbing to the ease of being sad and angry and ditching a relationship because it felt like an easy solution to my problems was an easy way out. I can't live like that. Literally. I've spent too much time being paralyzingly, heartbreakingly sad to not at least try to swerve before a bleak spot. And so I did the simplest thing: the second Monday of unemployment I started a routine. I got up and went to the gym and made sure I had plans for every day of the week to get me out of the house and doing things that weren't just shopping or roaming or coffee dates (though the latter did figure heavily).
This was important for me to say because I've classified it as "funemployment" and a lot of people do, but it's really not fun. Particularly when you have skint savings and aren't eligible for E.I., and when money is a very real concern. But it's during those kinds of moments when checking in with yourself, preserving your sanity, is especially crucial.