This is just a bit of venting and analyzing my current feelings on my jobs and relationships since college. It is not a request for pity or even necessarily advice, though as usual I welcome constructive feedback.
I’m also publishing it to help destygmatize male emotion (wooh let’s get gender politics into this). I have feelings and vulnerabilities and they are things that I take seriously and am not ashamed of. I can embody strength and positive masculinity *and* have feelings.
As always, it’s important to recognize what I am grateful for: I have a job, I live in a house, I have my family, I have my friends. I love all these things.
It’s also important to recognize that my problems relative to those others’ are small: Within a half mile of me, right now, there are many people sleeping outside. There are people who are alone, who have depression, who are jobless, or caring for someone who is dying, or mourning a death. Those are difficult states, both absolutely (to the sufferer) and relatively (compared to the suffering of others).
The same logic applies to my problems: I can recognize that they are trivial relative to the problems of others, but still big in my experience. To respect someone is to respect their struggles, and I owe myself that respect.
I graduated from UCSC almost 3 years ago. I’ve had (at least!) ten jobs, and, aside from a relationship that ended shortly after graduation, no serious romantic relationships. To some degree, it’s been my fault: I haven’t been fired or laid off yet; I’ve quit all my jobs except for the current one. And I’ve been hella (probably unfairly) picky while dating. I own my choices and their consequences.
But these two things are fairly glaring from my perspective. They seem exceptional in that I specifically try to find jobs and relationships that last, but I have failed at both endeavors over the past couple years. I’m generally a capable person; I don’t usually fail that consistently, for such a long time, at things I sincerely try at. So what gives?
Maybe they’re just hard things to do. Maybe it takes time and perseverance and a make-your-own-luck kind of luck. Maybe these are tough things for millennials in particular, for reasons both cultural and economic. Maybe I’ve got more growing to do, or maybe I have an unhelpful mindset. I’m pretty sure these are all true to a degree.
This post isn’t finding answers. It’s just about recognizing and respecting my feelings.
And to be honest, I’m tired. I’m tired of first dates and interviews. I want job stability. I want romantic and emotional companionship. I have faith in myself, and I am okay, and I will be okay.
But, fuck, I am tired.