Tuesday, September 2, 2008

On being discouraged

There. I've said it. I am discouraged.

I have been putting on a brave face for the last few months regarding my job situation and life in general. I gotta admit - it's been hard. Very hard. Money is very tight. There's a lot of tension in the air. I feel cut off from my friends and I'm generally just not as happy-go-lucky as I usually am. I can't seem to find a job in my field to save my life.

And then the news, in their daring quest to keep the world informed of the most depressing things possible, puts out this little article titled "People Who Lose Jobs Become Hermits." Um... ya think?

This article enlightens you to the fact that the world's social butterflies who involuntarily lose their jobs are 35% less likely to be involved in their communities than their employed counterparts.

Well heck - I could have told them that!

Shockingly, "Workers who got flung out of their jobs during their peak earning years, between the ages of 35 and 53, were the most likely to withdraw from the social buzz throughout their lives."

I've got to admit, my circle of friends has gotten considerably smaller since my recent job loss. Sure, there are some that are concerned about me, but I think there are far more who feign interest and those who really, in the big scheme of things, don't give a poop one way or the other.

I am happy (or trying to be) for my friends who have good jobs, lots of family support and a cushion to fall back on. But honestly, as most of these friends/acquaintances go on about their daily lives, people like me aren't given a single thought. We can't help them anymore. Believe me, it's difficult for me to NOT give of myself, my things or my money. And both Carl and I have noticed that since we no longer have the "means," many of our friends no longer have the "way" to reach out to us. It's then that we realize these people may not have truly been friends - but probably just hangers-on. And then it turns to bitterness and regret.

And then I wonder: Am I just a poor judge of people?

Believe me, I truly cherish those who have stuck with me and reached out to me during the last few months, when times have been the hardest. There have been two dear friends who have totally stuck by me, helped me through the most difficult, agonizing times, listened to me talk or was patient while I typed my IMs. I am so thankful to you two women (and you know who you are).

You know what the funniest part of this is? These two women aren't even "believers" in the commonest sense. One claims to be an agnostic (I believe) and the other, though she grew up Catholic, claims to be an atheist (although she herself was deeply injured by the religion and the inherent guilt heaped upon the heads of those trying to be faithful).

How wonderful is it that these two wonderful women are much closer to me than many of my Christian sisters! How wonderful that they will see a need and meet it, when others will turn a blind eye or walk away. How wonderful that they are literally putting feet to God's words without even believing them.

So this morning, I will cry a little, blog a little and pray a lot. Actually, these tears streaming down my face right now feel so cleansing.

And I know that in just a little while, BOTH of these dear women will contact me to check on me. They will remind me that it's not so bad. They will encourage me to NOT become the hermit I want to be.

I love you guys. Thanks for making me feel a lot less alone.


Hello...My name is Kareah... said...

Susan...I really do pray that things will get better soon. Hang in there and don't be afraid to ask for help. If you need some time out of the house, email or call me or Mon...we get together every Thursday night and it's almost always free stuff (like movies or karaoke or wii at one of our houses).

I actually came on over to your blog because I couldn't leave the following comment on you FB page - it was acting all funky. Anyhoo - here's what I was going to write on your wall:

LOL! I just logged on and my news feed said Susan League is now married! I guess I should send my congratulations...and maybe a toaster oven...