2 years on: the Great Depression

On 7th May, 2 years ago, I handed in my Masters thesis. I was super stoked and relieved, plus excited to crack on with trying to function like a proper human being again.

What actually happened was that I had 4 days of relative chill before the biggest mental breakdown of my entire life, in a swanky bar with Rebecca Deluce in the middle of Copenhagen, which resulted in me being really, really ill for a while instead…

This photo is bittersweet because I literally had no idea at the time that things were going to get hella lairy imminently: I thought I was already at rock bottom! Looking back, I can say that I’m truly super proud of myself for getting through one of the most challenging periods of my life so far. Plus, my mates and fam are absolutely solid and I wish everybody going through a tough time had that kind of support behind them. Wouldn’t be here without it.

So: life is like a box of chocolates, folks! Sometimes you think you’ve picked up a praline and you take a bite to find it’s orange, instead. It’s really, really sad but remember you can always pick up another choccy straight after and hope that one’s better.

P. S. this photo is the first in the folder I made of images from when I was poorly, remind me to take a look at those photos when/if I think about penning a PhD proposal in a few years’ time…

LIFE UPDATE: Unemployment!

Alas, we have reached the end of another life chapter. A long-awaited verdict came in yesterday morning and I can now announce that I am now unemployed. The finality of this decision is just starting to sink in, twenty-four hours later, but I have had the loving support of family and friends to help lessen the blow. An additional bonus is the flurry of supportive messages I unexpectedly received today from my former colleagues, who hadn’t expected my abrupt departure.

I am fondly reflecting on the amazing connections I have made with people over the last year and a bit, and also looking back on the skills I’ve acquired as well as finessed during my time as an editorial associate. I have worked very, very hard within this role and know wholeheartedly that I gave my all to the position, and so I am able to move forward with the full awareness that I committed myself as an employee and took advantage of all learning opportunities extended to me.

It is a particularly difficult time to be without work: COVID-19 is a rollercoaster ride and has only further complicated the process of snagging interviews and putting your best foot forward for new (very elusive) opportunities. That being said, I am grateful to be in circumstances that don’t necessitate putting immense amounts of pressure/stress on myself in order to snap up another role ASAP (though my brain will do this anyhow, as that’s just how I roll). I am privileged to be living at home without a mortgage to pay off or mouths to feed, and I stealthily made contingency savings so that I can still make some plans for when lockdown has been rescinded and “normal” life resumes. It is important to have things to look forward to, especially as a hermit with agoraphobic tendencies at a time like this!

My resolve is to focus on my wellbeing and to fill my time doing what I always do: read, write and pick up some new skills/qualifications while I have the time. Everything is impermanent and my goal is to remember that this rule also applies to unemployment, no matter how frustrated or deflated I may feel by the ongoing rejection of fruitless applications.

I have heard every cliche in the book and I am reassured by the words, as cheesy as they may be. I know from past experience that I have managed to navigate periods of unemployment, and that I will come out of this stronger if I take care of myself and don’t let the underconfidence fester. “Everything happens for a reason” and “as one door closes, another opens”. But most importantly, and without trivialising the gratification a career can provide a person (I’m all too aware!), it is crucial to remember that the world has not stopped turning due to unemployment as a job is just a job. My dad put this beautifully into perspective yesterday as he gave me the one-on-one cheerleader pep-talk that only dads can give: the end of a job isn’t the end of a life, this could very well be an opportunity in disguise. So I am trying my very hardest to look at this situation with only positivity, as that’s all I want to receive, in turn, from the universe.

If COVID-19 has taught me anything, it is that there are twists and turns galore in life, and that we can’t take for granted the essential things like health, wellbeing and love. I may be unemployed but I have nothing but love behind me, and with that I am invincible! I am looking forward to the challenges and opportunities ahead.