I recently moved over 500 miles to a new city I knew nothing about. I thought it would be an exciting adventure, a new chapter in my life. I thought I would make new friends and travel new places. Life would be good, I'd find a job easily, and live happily for a few years. That my friends, is called pure ignorance.
Cut to five months later. I'm sitting in my dressing gown having a melt down about yet another interview preparation for a job that lasts only three months. So this is what being in the "peak of your life" is like. There are a few problems with moving somewhere far away with no job to speak of. Some you can probably work out for yourself, money for one thing. Who knew that without a student loan you would have to pay rent, bills, and god forbid, even council tax! Yup, all the adult stuff really eats into your savings when you're searching for your "dream job." Friends arrange holidays, spontaneous trips abroad, and you are stuck at home having real life FOMO (fear of missing out). But I wouldn't say this is the worst thing.
The real problem, the one that physically pains me, is the social isolation of not having a job. When you have a job, you tend to speak to colleagues, over time you get to know them better, and sometimes they turn into your closest friends. Work is a way of socialising, and meeting new people, and when you don't have that it can be very lonely. There are other ways of meeting people of course, like joining a club or taking up volunteering. I have tried both of those techniques, and let me tell you a common theme I have found. There are very nice people out there that volunteer their time, and are very happy to be your friend. The only draw back? They all seem to be at least 60, which, as nice as they are, is a bit too old to be going down the pub with. I signed up to classes and the same principle applied. So where are all the 20-something year old's hiding?
The last point I will make is about purpose. I have a goal, I have an aim, but sometimes that doesn't seem to be enough. Having a job gives you a purpose. It gets you up in the morning, and gets you using your skills, whatever they may be. Whether it's a work from home job, a nine til five, or a 14 hour care job, there is always a purpose. There will always be someone counting on you to do a good job, and that is the final point. When you don't have a job, a purpose, a reason to wake up in the morning then life can get very difficult. You may wonder what the point is. Just remember, you are not alone. There are many people going through the exact same thing as you. It sounds dark, and in some ways it is, but there is a light.
I don't want to finish this piece on a downer. Writing this has soothed me and I hope that if you are having similar feelings that you find something that soothes you too. I don't believe I will feel like this forever, five months sounds long, but if you consider it as starting your life over, it really is no time. I need to find myself again in this new city, I am temporarily lost, but I have a feeling it's going to get a whole lot better!