Christie Mitchell: Laments of the Unemployed Millenial – While We May Be Raised To Feel “Special”, We Are Also Honest

I am 27 years old. I can sugar-coat things by saying I am single, free-spirited, and full of optimism when really I live under the security blanket of those words.  So let me be clear: I am alone. I am, at times, spirit-free. I am unemployed and more than I’d like to admit, feel the glass is half empty. Being honest and showing vulnerability is not to win some sort of Purple Heart, literary or otherwise. It is, justly and in fact, the truth.

I don’t want to earn or gain sympathy. Exercising my right to free speech and type will always bring the bearers of bleeding heart and bleating doubt. So it is essential that I assert through this brief dissertation that I have said and done these things by choice.

I have made many decisions that have led me to this fork in the road. I have no blame to point towards myself or others. I have no regrets either. Instead, I have nothing but time to learn. Quaint as my living quarters may be, the vast and unknown are things I am facing…as I should in my twenties.  I have no doubt the evidence of struggle and the peace I find with this time in my life will line my pockets one day. I am, of course, the quintessential millennial with high hopes and dreams. The only question now is how.

It would be nice to contemplate my navel with this time away from the working world. I did for a couple of weeks after the hangover wore off from the perpetual hamster-spinning and mind cluster crap I became accustomed to in my previous position.  Now, I only wish for an opportunity that would make the wheels in my brain turn, a new thought, a new idea, a break from the monotony, a way out…a paying job. At this point, it doesn’t have to be the job.  Just A job.

There are moments in my wallows of self-pity that I do find comfort and the ability to think positively.

Christie MitchellI find being unattached at this juncture a blessing. I hear stories of those who have lost jobs and are working hard to provide for their families and I find my scenario as a single female and tiny dog in tow much less harrowing. He eats out of one bowl, poops outside, requires less attention and is always happy when I come home. Also he sleeps. A lot. It is my disturbed sleep schedule that puts a wrench in his day.

As free-spirited as I used to be as a younger tot (yes, Baby Boomers, there is a complete shift in mentality from the ages of 22-27…just go with it), I have become indebted and feel power from the responsibilities that keep me yearning for more.  To meet a cute boy and hop on a tour bus at 27? Well, that’s stupid, painfully unaware, and desperate. I lived those days. I loved those days. Although I have time to spend on whatever my heart desires, my spirit leads me towards watching Tom Brokaw, not Tom Petty. The days of free falling are over. I loved them, I thank them for being in my life, and I don’t miss them.  I like the news now.

I have learned by age and experience that it is also okay to not trust everyone, everything, and every situation.  Sometimes it is okay to be a little weary. The glass may be half-empty at times because I realize there is a glass half-full waiting for me somewhere else. I would not trade the wisdom and the newfound ability to trust my gut for anything in the world.  It has given me the most mature outlook on the world I have possessed thus far in my life – one that keeps me from diving in head first. I have learned to be patient and cautious enough to check the temperature of the water.  I also avoid hot tubs. Another habit rid from the early twenties.  I hear those things have lots of germs.  Gross.

So I show this vulnerability.  Why?

Didn’t you know?  It’s the age of the Internet.  People love to scan through this stuff and make judgments either in favor or in contempt. Or to give some other opinion that makes voicing it on the Internet a special experience for those deprived of human contact and self confidence. I am, at times, lacking in both as well. Why take to the vast and unknown and divulge my inner feelings?  Again, Baby Boomers – it’s just what we do.  Go with it.

I do know that I am not the only one.  And I, along with many of my millennial brothers and sisters out there struggling to figure it all out, will have lined pockets one day after contemplating our belly buttons, watching educational programs, searching our souls, calming our too-free of spirits (sometimes), buckling down, earning – and loving – the next move in our journeys. Interesting enough – it won’t take Journey or Tom Petty, but we Don’t Stop Believing. We are resilient little twerps, aren’t we?

Career, life, and love are like really great bourbon.  They’re fun when they’re young, but there is something sweet and powerful when they get a little age on ‘em.

Oh, and they’re more of a commodity – because they’ve grown to become something very special. The days of boxed wine and cheap seats are over for this gal. At least that’s the metaphor.  I will be drinking boxed wine and looking on from the nosebleeds until I find a job to soothe the pockets…and then line them.  Love? I assume that may be next.

Life? Well, that’s what I’ve had all along. I won’t be waiting for wrinkles to become special. This is one thing I’m confident of; a sweet gift I do have in my half-empty pocket that’s sure to surprise – Tom Brokaw and all.

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