Friday, September 5, 2008

Being unemployed.

People, let me tell you this - I can be a lot to handle. I am wordy. I get really, really obsessive about everything. I am occasionally an emotional train wreck. My friends are all incredibly good people, however, and they come with their tradeoffs as well, so it's okay that I'm like this and I don't feel quite so bad about making people put up with my shit because, well... let's just say it's a give and take sort of relationship. You know the one time people can't handle me, though?

When I'm bored.

I am a high-stress, constantly moving sort of person. I also really like to bitch and whine about it, as if this isn't the sort of thing that I live for. So, for example, I would spend the last three weeks of my school quarters complaining about projects, not eating, not sleeping, telling everyone around me that I couldn't wait until it was all over. Then, like clockwork, two days into my one week break? I don't have anything to do, and this is stupid.

I have been without anything to do since June 14th, the day I graduated from college. I'm pushing three months of unemployment. This is the longest I've ever been without something to cling to or something to look forward to. The last time it got close to this bad was the summer of 2003.

I moved from one midwestern city to another, but the two cities are hugely different. I was subletting an apartment - starting June 13th, coincidentally enough - from a frat boy who was going somewhere else for the summer. I had the attic of a three story house to myself and paid $250 a month for it. Out of pure convenience, I paid him the full $750 up front and had a place to live for the summer. I had a boyfriend who actually had things to do during the day, which left me in my sublet, unemployed and looking for a part-time job. This was before I ever had a credit card, so my bills were completely non-existent, and I was living off of going-away money from relatives. Life was affordable and okay. However. I had absolutely, positively nothing to do. This was before I realized the hobbies and pastimes that at least get me through a few hours now. This was the summer I learned to sleep.

Boyfriend gets out of class at 4:50? You better believe I can sleep in till 2, wake up, microwave an artichoke, eat it with some mustard and mayonnaise, and be back in bed at 2:30, awaiting his phone call to wake me up at 5. I was sleeping easily 16+ hours every single day, and I was good at it.

Now, I live in an apartment with three giant windows that face east, so I wake up at 6:30. By 9, I am bored. The Roommate doesn't get off work until 6. The ability to entertain myself is getting a little harder each day. I know, I know - one of the greatest cities in the country, get out, explore, blah blah blah. It's hot. I'm not used to riding a bike this hard all the time. I'm tired. Also, lazy. And I'd like to be within 8 feet of my laptop at all times so that I know when a new job has come up on craigslist.

But I am really, really bored. My favorite author released a book recently that I hadn't picked up yet, and it will be finished within the hour. I managed to convince myself to get out of the house, so I went and sampled some absolutely fabulous Mexican cuisine - and Mexican bottled coke. Oh, God. Highlight of my day for sure. But now I'm back in my apartment, doing whatever it is that unemployed people do. Perhaps I should get out more and explore the area, but I legitimately feel guilty if I'm not spending as much time as I can trolling the internet for jobs. 

So tell me, friends, what do YOU do to get through those times when you seriously have nothing better to do? And if it could cost me a freakishly small amount of money, all the better.


erin said...

when i graduated, i didn't get a job until NOVEMBER. so while you're under pressure, cut yourself a little slack. and in the mean time, if you're worried about money, get a part time something or other to fill the void. then at least some $$ is coming in and you have something to pass the time.

what i did when i wasn't working involved watching dr phil every day, going to panera and using their free internet to work on my portfolio, and sleeping.

Jonno! said...

Google Reader is the bomb, you can also keep up on CraigsList with it (I don't do it, so I don't know how functional it is. You might end up with 1000 items in your box every morning, perhaps there's a search filter?)

Anyway, yeah google reader is awesome. You can read SFist all day, and more! Waking up with 300 items that I probably am interested in reading is enough to keep me busy clicking links all day long.

Also, I ride around, if you actually want to leave your house. If the hills are too tough, hit the east bay (OMG leave the island nation?!?) or just ride around wherever hills don't grow. You can end up interesting places this way.

New to the Bay said...

@ erin - I applied to a job today decorating cakes. It's no design job, but oh my god, I am so excited about the idea of a part time job at a bakery! And yes, I need something to pass the time. I have a TV in my apartment that I have yet to turn on... I'm trying to keep it that way. (Till Grey's comes back, of course.)

@ jonno - The hills, they are killers. I'm simply not designed for this sort of thing. I've been spending some time trying to just get used to the area, so my favorite hobby so far is figuring out different ways between here and SOMA, where The Roommate's office is. So much time to explore!