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Rock Bottom Is The Most Freedom You’ll Probably Ever Have

I’ve been in a really weird place lately. Every few weeks I think I’ve had my “aha” moment where I’ve made some breakthrough and reached a new understanding that will lead me to the next chapter in my life. But nothing really changes. No matter how articulate or unique I try to make my applications and cover letters, I never hear back. And I try my hardest to stay positive and take it on the chin but I’d be a bold faced liar if I pretended it didn’t affect me. I’d be a liar if I told you that these past four months have felt like anything but my own personal hell.

It’s a statistical fact that the more you put yourself out there, the more likely you are to get what you want. The more resumes you send out, the more networking events you attend, the more messages you send to LinkedIn recruiters, the more likely it is that you land whatever it is that you’re after. But when all you’ve heard is “no” for four months it doesn’t seem that way.

I dread waking up every morning because I’m anticipating another day of putting time, thought and energy into efforts I know I won’t likely see a return on. Again, I know that statistically, something’s got to give. But I also know that I spent hours yesterday and the day before trying to make myself stand out as a candidate. I found jobs that actually excited me, and seemed like I’d be perfect fits for. And I already know that on the off chance I hear from any of them it will be a month from now to tell me that they’ve “moved forward with other candidates but encourage me to apply to positions in the future, and wish me luck.” And I hate that I’m thinking so negatively. I hate that I’m expecting the worst. But at this point, it doesn’t even feel voluntary. It feels like a necessary defense mechanism.

Lately, I’ve felt trapped. I feel trapped in my parents’ house. Trapped in this small, boring city. Trapped by my student loans, and in a way, trapped by my own beliefs. I think about some of the abject morons I graduated with that couldn’t put together a presentation to save their lives at the end of senior year. I honestly don’t know how any of them are doing because I don’t care, but I assume they’re doing well. And to put things bluntly, I can’t help but wonder what on earth I’m doing wrong. Then I remember that one of our resumes isn’t covered in conservative organizations and causes in one of America’s farthest left enclaves.

Then I saw two tweets that I really needed to see, and gave me the gut check I needed.

https://twitter.com/AJA_Cortes/status/891818723253731328

I’m not trapped.

There has been more opportunity in unemployment than any of the jobs that rejected me combined.

I don’t have an office to be at Monday-Friday. I don’t have anyone to answer to, and I really don’t have anything to lose. When our lowest points are examined through the right lens, they become points of endless possibility.

I have responsibilities, anxieties and I have obstacles to overcome. But so does everyone- especially the entrepreneurs and business owners trying to sell us web classes every 3 posts on Facebook. Everyone has a reason NOT to try but what sets the people that we admire on Instagram apart is that they were willing to make a way when they couldn’t find one.

I would get annoyed with certain friends because I felt like they were constantly badgering me about what they thought I should be doing with no real perspective on my situation. They’re like “start a business right now” and I’m like “bitch….with what?” I don’t have a steady source of income and I have loans to pay off every month. Even in the age of the internet it takes money to make money. The specific organization I’m looking to start and the vision that I have for it will probably cost tens of thousands within the first year that I just don’t have. But that doesn’t mean that I should waste time waiting for a perfect moment that’s never going to come. The stars will never align and every last one of my ducks will never be in a row. That doesn’t mean I should keep putting off what I want to do. It means I need to start thinking more creatively about doing what I can with what I have.

As far as my views go, every public figure I admire has lost opportunities, been fired or been “disinvited” over something they said. And they’ve always ended up not only back on their feet but better off than they started out. I will never let the fear of backlash come between me and the truth.

Though it will undoubtedly be a more difficult path to take, in the long run I know I’ll find more success diving head first into my passions. There really is no better time than now, and no better place than rock bottom to propel yourself forward. Rock bottom is a lonely, terrifying place. But in the pursuit of great things fear is inevitable. Whether or not you let it paralyze you, however, is entirely up to you.

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13 COMMENTS
  • Vicki Nelson
    1 year ago

    Amazing article. I really needed to hear this. I love the quotes, reminding me how much power I have, and how I have nothing to lose. Thank you, thank you, for this!

    • The Pretty Patriot
      1 year ago
      AUTHOR

      I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  • Michelle Joy
    1 year ago

    I totally understand that feeling of discouragement and it took me many months post-college to find a job barely related to my degree. It will happen when the time and position is right and until then, don’t be afraid to pursue that side hustle as much as you can!

    • The Pretty Patriot
      1 year ago
      AUTHOR

      Thank you for your encouragement!

  • Lost With Liv
    1 year ago

    I love your positivity! You’re right – rock bottom is never easy. But it can only go up from there. Great post 🙂

    • The Pretty Patriot
      1 year ago
      AUTHOR

      Thank you!

  • stephanie
    1 year ago

    I wish you the best in your pursuits. I completely commiserate. Even starting your own business, may not answer your problems. With my business, I have many days where I feel like all i did was work from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. with little to no revenue to show for it. When I get discouraged, I think about an interview I read with Desi Arnaz. If you don’t know who Desi Arnaz is, he was married to Lucille Ball and starred with her for many years in the popular tv show, “I Love Lucy”. In the interview Desi described a childhood of privilege in Cuba that was ripped out from under him after the 1933 Revolution. HIs family had to flee to Miami with nothing but the shirts on their backs. Desi didn’t know English and had to work cleaning bird cages and picking up odd jobs. Desi formed a band and practiced at night. He started to book gigs and was able to make a living playing clubs in Miami. He then became a well known musician and made his way to Hollywood. From there he had the idea for I Love Lucy and was able to make a deal to produce the show. While casting for the lead, he suggested he play the lead, unheard of at the time, to have a Latin Man star in a tv show in the 1950’s as a husband especially to a white woman. Desi managed to convince the studio to cast him as the husband. The show went on to be one of the most successful shows in television history and Desi was able to build his own tv studio called DesiLu Productions.

    • The Pretty Patriot
      1 year ago
      AUTHOR

      Thank you! And the more I’ve delved into my entrepreneurial ambitions the more I’ve realized how completely and utterly time consuming it is. Between keeping up with my social media, trying to produce & promote content and working on all these different business ventures I feel burnt out at the end of the day and like my work is never done. But I love this and even as tired as I am every day I have faith that it’s going somewhere.

  • Your post really made me feel stuff. Our situations are very similar, I’ve been in a very tough place for the past few months. I’ve been avoiding calling it “rock bottom” but honestly? That’s what it is, but I’ve been trying everything I can to avoid actually hitting the floor. My situation is more depression related rather than career related… but I feel trapped, too, for the most part. Things have been getting better and they usually always do. You’re going to land an awesome position days, weeks, or months from now that’s going to make all of the waiting, frustration and misery worth it. The universe works in weird ways, just throw yourself head first into the things you love and enjoy doing in the meantime. If we’re really at rock bottom, we can only go up from here after all.

    • The Pretty Patriot
      1 year ago
      AUTHOR

      Though I’m sorry to hear you’re also in a tough situation, I’m happy to see that you were able to relate to what I wrote! Best of luck to you and thank you for your encouragement! It’s easy to get discouraged but as cliche as it sounds I really think most things happen for a reason.

  • Shell
    1 year ago

    I don’t think an exact perfect moment ever comes… we just have to go after our dreams and make them happen to the best of our abilities…

    • The Pretty Patriot
      1 year ago
      AUTHOR

      Very true!

  • Lisa
    1 year ago

    Keep your head up and keep trying, you will eventually get to where you want to be and when it does happen you will be so proud and every path it takes to get there will be a lesson for you to remember how strong you are to get to where you wanted to be.

    XO-Lisa

    http://www.thatssodarling.com

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