I’m sitting on my couch and crying as I watch American Idol. Watching struggling artists getting their chance to shine. Watching these singers that feel hopeless getting their big break.
I studied studio art and psychology. I am 28 years old and my résumé consists of foodservice.
Serving tables is physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting. It’s fast-paced, high-pressure, endless multitasking, faking smiles and laughs every day for hours on end. There is no real growth or reward…no matter how hard I might work. Throw in a global pandemic, my anxiety and depression over the last year are at an all-time high.
Some days are good, I feel optimistic about the future and can tune the unappreciative, rude customers out. I assure myself that someday the ‘job’ that I’ve been actively searching 5+ years for will work out.
I listen to endless advice from my parents, my peers, my partner… “Don’t get down on yourself. Keep trying. Something is going to work out. Keep taking online classes. Keep working on a portfolio. Keep applying. Keep searching.”
I appreciate the encouragement, but some days I just want to break down. I want to cry. I want to shut everyone that loves me out. I don’t want to listen to the optimism. I don’t want to read any more articles about guides to self-love, finding your true passion, how to spice up your résumé, how to get that dream job, how to get a professional job with no experience.
Today I feel hopeless. I know my depression is in my ear telling me that I’m not good enough, I’m not confident enough, I don’t have the skills, I won’t ever get out of the service industry.
I’m so tired.
I’m tired of picking myself up after every single rejection, countless job applications, and interviews. I seem to get nowhere…I feel worse about myself.
“But you are getting practice with every interview! You are always getting better. It takes time!”
Alright. Time. I’ve given it a lot of time. I’ve given it a lot of tries. I’ve spent too much money (that I don’t have) trying to learn new skills. Trying to learn how to code. Buying books and reading. Trying to get better at Adobe Creative Suite. Trying to train myself in UX design, web design/development, etc. Trying to explore new software, new apps, etc. Trying to network. Trying to connect with people on LinkedIn. Looking for internships. Creating a website for my artwork.
Maybe it’s not depression, maybe I am meant to work at a restaurant. Maybe I will never have the confidence and the spark to STAND OUT from everyone else that is in the same position.
I don’t know what I’m missing, but I’m feeling lost…and I can’t keep up. But I bury those feelings of imposter syndrome, and I will continue to work towards my goals.