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Cashew Lou's Yukon Annex

I've got Pop-Pop in the attic.

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Assessing my life once again
At what point do I give up?

I haven't had any reliable or stable employment for 22 months exactly, as of next week. I haven't had any income at all for over five months now, despite spending the better part of my waking hours doing nothing but searching for work, applying for jobs, networking, you name it.

All along, the assumption has been that I've been doing something wrong. After all, I'm not employed, so it's my fault, right? My cup runneth over with professional advice; I've revised my resume and cover letters countless times. It isn't as though I've been overly selective in my search; I've applied for positions that a few years ago I wouldn't even have remotely considered. Despite a good professional history and a strong resume, all I get are rejections--and the cumulative effect after receiving hundreds of them starts to get to me. I'm too old. I'm overqualified. I'm underqualified. I'm not a "good fit." Or worse yet, I hear no reason whatsoever. It all adds up to: I fucking suck. I am 45 years old, and I continually receive signals that the productive part of my life is over. I wish only to be of use, but no one will let me.

My personal debt is now enormous, mostly as a result of having to rely on credit cards for rent and essential bills. Additionally, said credit cards are now nearly tapped out; I will be unable to use them as a resource starting next month. I never thought there would be a point in my life where I would be forced to sell my furniture to keep the lights on--but here I am. I have to now realistically assume that stable employment is not in my near future. Then what? I'm sick and tired of having to continually ask that question and scramble like a goddamn loser for an temporary fix. Then what?

I have a handful of physical conditions that have needed attention for almost two years now. None of them are debilitating, thank goodness, but they are frustrating and will almost certainly get worse without any treatment. The mental weight of all this has been extreme; panic attacks, depression and sleeplessness hit me on an almost daily basis now.

I have friends who have been helping me out, but I've started to become something I despise: an absolute mooch, a sponge, someone who contributes nothing of use to the social equation. I've become an embarrassment to myself and those who care about me. They're kind enough not to say it, but I know the truth: I'm a burden, a drag. The loser.

I now face a choice: remain in Austin, mooching pretty much everything while living in a tiny room, with virtually no prospects or hope for employment, or do the exact same thing back home in Iowa. Either way, I'll have to give away or throw out most of my possessions (I have little left that can be sold; trust me, I've been trying). I'm not by nature a materialistic person, but I've already given up so much that is me, and will likely have to continue doing so.

I'm ashamed of myself, and I'm increasingly embarrassed to show my face.

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It'll be an interesting time to look back on, and certainly a signifigant one. Here's to gaining that perspective!

That's pretty heartbreaking. My thoughts are with you, but I've been saying that for 22 months now. :/

You are not a loser, not in the least. You're doing everything you're supposed to be doing. Just having really bad luck.

And it's not just you. Many people throughout the country are perfectly decent, perfectly hard-working, perfectly employable, and somehow jobless. Your situation does not reflect poorly on your character at all.

God... that really sucks. I'm sorry things are getting that bad.

I'm sorry it's been so sucky for you. But as I've said before, a lot of people are in the same boat as you. Poor consolation, I know, but perhaps enough to divert thoughts away from harmful directions, like self-pity.
And if you do wind up back in Iowa, I call dibs on Bad Movie Night!

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