This is something I’ve been wanting to write about for a while, but it just hasn’t happened yet. Recently, I’ve been a pretty bad depressive rut. I’ve lost a lot of motivation to do…anything, really. I’m back to hating my body, after I stopped working out and lost all the progress I had made. I find myself not wanting to read or write. I’ve even come to hate my job, one that I’ve held for almost four years, now.
Because I’m really stuck in looking at the negatives.
This new attitude towards my job is a surprising one, for me. I am very lucky to have the job that I have. I enjoy working at an academic library. I enjoy being able to assist and help out college students. I love working with my student staff (they are amazing) and I have the best boss I could ever ask for, because he is so understanding, encouraging a healthy work-life balance and is always willing to support me, whether it’s in growing professionally, being adaptive and empathetic to the struggles of my position or not asking questions if I tell him I need to take a mental health day. I’m also lucky enough that, when the desk is slow, I can work on personal projects, like my blog or reading, while I wait for students to need my help. I’ve also grown as an employee, working in my first supervisory role, and, for the first full-time job I’ve held outside of college, I think I’ve done pretty well!
But lately, I’m not thinking about any of that.
I’m focused on my shitty hours, working 3pm-12am Sunday through Thursday. I’m focused on how I never get to eat dinner fresh or with my boyfriend and how I never get to see him, since we work opposite schedules. I’m thinking about how I can’t go have dinner with my family or meet up with friends because they are all free when I’m working and weekend plans fill up so fast, when someone says, “Hey, do you want to catch up?”, my response is always, “Sure, are you free in two months?” I’m zeroed in on how I haven’t ever received a raise at this position and, thanks to moving debt, my rent increasing every year and new puppy medical bills, I’m back to paycheck to paycheck and I hate it. Especially when I always exceed expectations on my evaluations and then I look at the system and how I’m at the very bottom and taken advantage of and I know it, yet can’t do anything about it because, despite wishing I made more money and despite wishing I worked days, I can’t afford to lose this job, because at least it’s enough to pay the bills, even if it isn’t enough to do anything else without requiring a second job.
Focusing on all of that has…kinda sucked, not going to lie. It makes it difficult to go to work because I just don’t enjoy the work anymore. And I know that I should be grateful for the job that I have, because I can pay my bills. I’m able to sleep in when I need to (and I’m not the best morning person). I can go to appointments without taking time off work. I have really good benefits as far as vacation and sick leave go (not so great on the health insurance front). My work week feels like it goes by faster, even if the weekends always feel too short. I have a low stress job that has it’s peak season, but I can always leave work at work. I am very lucky and should embrace that more.
And usually, I do. It’s just been…harder to do, as of late? I’m not sure if that is just a side effect of the depression I’m battling currently; a result of applying to a few different jobs to help either increase my pay or get me closer to my boyfriend’s schedule and yet not being selected after two interviews (or even reaching the interview stage, for some); or just working for the same job for almost four years that I never intended to turn into a career and just feeling…underappreciated and taken advantage of because I’m on the “night person” shift.
I’m not asking to not work. Although I’d love to be a stay at home writer, there is no way my finances would make that work, especially since I’m, ah, not even published yet (and I know that, even if I were, the chances of me making enough money to solely live off of is very slim indeed). I’m a hard worker and I enjoy being productive. I’m happy to put in my 40 hours a week to earn my salary and then enjoy the weekends. I think I’d just like…a job where I actually have some financial security. A job that allows me to be able to go shopping every once in a while and build up my savings and travel for vacations. A job that I feel appreciated and make a difference. A job that doesn’t prevent me from seeing my boyfriend and allows me to have dinner with my friends.
So, you know, something completely impossible, apparently.
I’m just…so tired of being so stressed out all the time. Of being unable to pay off medical bills. Of fighting for a raise and being denied one every time because it’s “not in the budget,” yet our admin department averages over 50K a person (with some closer to six figures than five), yet I bring home less than 30K a year after taxes, retirement and healthcare.
I wanted to turn this around and talk about how I just need to change perspective, since I’ve seemed to lost my vantage point in terms of being appreciative of what I have (which is a very true statement). But, I guess I just needed to rant more than anything else, because I’m just not feeling the positive spin right now. I think I need a change, on top of altering my mindset.
I’m just not sure what that change is, yet.