I confess....I'm not waiting two more weeks to write this. It is drumming loudly in my head and I hope hashing through it helps me with that.
My pre-turkey gratitude post referenced some of the events of 2011 but I also want to reflect more broadly on my 33rd year. As I noted last year around birthday time (early then too....), my AP English teacher once told us to be alert for 33yo characters. The age carries biblical significance and often is a hint that the character will be experiencing some significant change. 33 has been busy for me...I do have two weeks to go but I'm ready to reflect early. In pondering the process of pondering, I decided two posts were needed. When asked, I always pick "bad news first, good news second"...I'd rather start down and end up. So look forward to a celebratory post to come...but this isn't it....
The most obvious disappointment of 33 (and the focus of most of this post) is on the career front. In a week, I become one of the 99ers....unemployed long enough that my benefits all expire. I do have my little writing gig (that will be in 33, Part 2), but I haven't found a full-time job. I feel exhausted by the job search. I apply to many jobs each week, some that I'd truly love and others that might work for now. I don't hear back much, though I get totally jazzed when I do and start dreaming and planning and thinking about how perfect that job would be. Good for showing enthusiasm, not so good for the let-down if it falls through.
I feel like my education and career background has been a huge hindrance in this. I went to a top college. I went to a top law school. I do NOT want to be a lawyer (I have a lovely speech about that topic...) but people get stuck on that. I have expressly heard hiring folks say they thought I'd be underwhelmed by certain jobs b/c of my background. I have no big ego. I get that I'd be entry-level in some jobs and I am cool with that. I'd love to find and build the RIGHT career and I can pay my dues. I would absolutely come and stay with the right job. Getting paid helps, but I am not primarily motivated by money. I had the high-paying job that made me miserable and I want something more intangible. But I don't get the chance (see this post for one of the harder rejections....but there were many more).
And now I'm also prepared to take a non-career-path job too. I do have savings and MM has never complained about paying the vast majority of the bills. But it matters to me that I help with some when I can and that I pay for my personal expenses (groceries, drug store, cell phone, insurance, lingering medical bills). I have savings...I won't starve....but I do need some cashflow. But, again, I have the stumbling block of my resume. Approaching 34, I can't leave it all blank but I know the supermarket is going to pick the high-school kid over the applicant with the BA and the JD. Truth -- on some of those jobs, I really couldn't promise that I won't leave when I find a career-path job. But I'd be a darn good worker (and there's no reason to suspect the career to pop up tomorrow when it hasn't yet). I'd be on time. I'd do my job. I'd be helpful. I'd be polite. I'd respect the managers, even if they are younger than me. I don't know how long that 17 year-old plans to stay either. I'd at least be courteous and give notice rather than not showing up one day.
I look hard. I've networked, I've made targeted resumes, I've applied, I've followed-up. Heck, I went to an interview one week post-op AND prepared a presentation for it (most people can only get out of bed for 20min at a time at that point)!! I feel defeated. Truly, that's the biggest thing missing from my thirty-third year. And the one I'm finding it the hardest to deal with.
Moving on....I am not thrilled with where 33y50w has me in terms of body image. Or, frankly, in terms of body/fitness. That one, however, I feel more able to tackle. A lot of it relates to the aftermath of major surgery (also to be included in Part Two since it IS a positive) and is somewhat expected. I am finally getting ready to start physical therapy and have a consult late tomorrow afternoon. I plan to ask about being able to start getting some muscle back on my own in addition to the work with the therapist and I know that will be a HUGE step forward for me. Losing definition has been tough on me and send me into a cycle where I feel icky and then respond by eating and then feel ickier. I think being able to work on getting the muscle back will help break that. It won't happen overnight, but it WILL happen. Fitness level is in the negative column for 33 but I see it moving into the positive for 34.
There are some other disappointments in 33...a misunderstanding leading to a lost friend is one...but those are the biggies. So, there's part one...the bad news. Not fun but now I get to look forward to assembling part 2. And 33 had some pretty awesome stuff too.