Last Updated on February 23, 2023 by ThoughtsStained
You know, I think we’re quite overdue for a personal post. Said no one ever but me. 😅 But, I’ve had some things going on in my personal life that I need to process. And we all know how this is my processing outlet. I’ve been feeling a lot of frustrations chasing change that I actually want to create in my life. Namely, hiccups that I can’t control.
So, let’s talk about them.
Frustrations Chasing Change
So, beginning of 2023. I, like many others, fell into the reflective state of looking at the past year and dreaming about the future. I even made a (very) tentative list of where I hope to see myself in five years. It was from that list (which is not public) that some of these desires to change came about.
Also, something about turning 30 sparked a panic in my brain, causing me to think, “If not now, when?” I know 30 is still young and I still have plenty of time! Yet that panic has lingered, lighting a fire in me to do something.
So, what do I want to change, you might ask? Namely, where I live, where I work and my plans for publication.
Where I Live
Ignoring the fact that I want to move out of this state (
country), let’s think smaller. For now.
We all know the jokes that are more like truths: millennials will never have houses because how can we afford to buy houses? Especially when we aren’t paid what we’re worth, inflation is killing us, debt is drowning us and we aren’t being given raises to keep up with the cost to live? I feel this all very much, as someone who has been renting apartments and townhomes since 2016.
Yet, two friends my age recently bought houses, so I thought: why not me? Why not now? So, my partner and I began the process: finding a realtor (who was amazing!), getting pre-approved, looking at houses. Getting excited about the idea of owning a place we can call ours, all the customization projects we’ve always dreamed of, just at our fingertips.
Apparently, they are going to stay there a little longer, just beyond our reach.
Well, there was more than one:
- Despite being approved for a loan program that would assist with a down payment, there were others we weren’t prepared for. Closing costs, inspection and appraisal costs, escrow accounts and more, blindsided us. Our savings are meager and would have been depleted (and thus our credit card debt increased) to even attempt to buy a house. And that didn’t include the cost of physically moving.
- The market is so bad where we live, that our options forced us to sacrifice too much for too little gain. Yes, we might be able to get a house, but it’d either be the size we want in a neighborhood we hate with a commute we didn’t expect. Or in the location we want (for now) but way too small for both our needs and our dreams. Almost all houses we saw needed upgrading.
- And all of them would have cost more in mortgage monthly than what we’re paying in rent currently.
We gave it a solid two months try, but in the end, we just didn’t have enough money. It was…deflating, to say the least. Not to mention fucking stressful throughout it all.
Where I Work
Yet, with the housing situation, where we rent isn’t awful. We have a good space, if outdated. We have a yard (if only mud). Affording it is doable, for now. So despite resigning our lease, we aren’t screwed in that department.
The day job, though? That’s another story.
I’ve talked about it often in the blog and on social media: my day job is a toxic dumpster fire. It absolutely doesn’t have to be, but management has made it so. The last six month of 2022 were the worst months in my working life, ever. I have never been so burnt out and demoralized.
Until I started job searching earnestly. 😅
Last December, I started seriously applying myself (literally) to find a new position and escape the toxicity I’ve dealt with for the past two+ years.
At the time of writing this post, some stats. I’ve:
- Applied for 40+ jobs
- Been rejected to 16 (a third of which have been silent rejections)
- Out of those 16, five were initially interested and one led to an interview
- Another ghosted entirely after offering an interview opportunity
- Most recently, another asked when I was willing to move and I said I wasn’t, since I am looking for remote work. And then said they would require me to work in-person one day a week, so I couldn’t do a remote job. Despite the job posting itself being listed and advertised as remote.* 💀
Friends, I’ve only been job searching for three months, now. Yet I’m so tired of writing cover letters. I’m so tired of getting excited about a position that seems like a dream, only to hear nothing. Or not be accepted. Of trying to be selective in where I apply (so I don’t fall into another toxic trap). Yet also feeling desperate to escape, before I gaslight myself into believing this place “isn’t as bad” as bawling-her-eyes-out-and-developing-GI-issues-from-stress Nicole of last year believed. That’s not even getting into my diminishing confidence issues and starting to wonder if I’m truly not good enough for any of these positions. If I don’t deserve to make a living–or, even better, thriving–wage. If this rejection is earned.
*This is my villain origin story.
How I Publish
So…yeah. The job search isn’t exactly going swimmingly in my favor right now. Luckily, I still have a paycheck, at least. (I can’t imagine my stress levels if I didn’t have a regular income right now. Not when I’m literally a month away from being unable to afford my bills if I don’t have income regularly coming in.) And I’m not giving up. I’m still looking. But demoralized doesn’t even cover it.
Speaking of being demoralized. Hello, publishing industry. 😭
I’m not going to go into this too much here. (I might do a more in-depth post on my Patreon later, for those who might want to learn more.) Let’s just chop it up to a few quick emotions regarding publishing:
- Since attempting to get traditionally published (for over a decade), I’ve found myself becoming demoralized and falling out of love in writing. Being met with constant rejection and the jarring difference of opinions can do that to a writer.
- I’ve been left wondering if it’s my skill that’s lacking or if my ideas are too weird for the traditional market. The price being my love of writing that I’m fighting to regain has killed me.
- The pandemic has highlighted the mistreatment and burnout of publishing employees, making the market itself even more competitive and selective than ever before.
Needless to say, the route of self-publishing is becoming more and more appealing to me. Yet the time to try and learn about it properly? That I am struggling to find, amidst everything else.
So, where does that leave us, aside from feeling the frustrations of chasing change acutely down into my bones? We’re almost entering the third month of 2023. In some ways, the things I wanted to change–my housing situation, my day job hatred and my publishing trajectory–feel like a failure. Since I’m still living in the same place, in the same job and know the same amount about self publishing as I did January 1st.
I need to recognize what is outside of my control. I can’t force someone to interview me, no matter how much I want them to. There’s no way for me to influence the housing market. I can’t suddenly make an agent like my books.
So, I think first, I just want to acknowledge how much is outside of my control. And that some of it just feels shitty. That’s mostly what this post was. Just letting myself recognize that some of this is shit and luck isn’t always on my side.
Now, it’s time to continue focusing on what I can control. Like how many jobs I apply to. Learning more about the finances required to buying a house and setting up a savings plan (if possible). Dedicating more specific time to learning about self-pub. And trusting that, eventually, it’ll pan out in my favor. It’s got to at some point.