The Unemployment Chronicles: Blogging through the pain

I don't know how else to describe it.  It is unbelievable how much "what you do" becomes "who you are." Think about it....when you are introduced to people, they ask, "What do you do?"  When you meet up with friends, they ask, "How's work?"  After a long workday, you come home and divulge the details of your current project or upcoming deadline with your spouse or roommate.  When you visit family, you boast about your recent professional accomplishments.  All aspects of your life become intertwined with work, so when you no longer have "work" you feel as if a big piece of yourself is least that's how I feel.

I don't know what to do next.  At certain points throughout the last three months I have stepped outside of my despair and told myself that this is an opportunity to explore paths I have desired but always deemed impractical.  So, I explored.... and what I found is .... more education required, too expensive, too much time, too risky...IMPRACTICAL!

So here I am the computer....updating my status on LinkedIn, reminding old colleagues and professional contacts that I am looking, checking every job board I am familiar with, feeling very frustrated and very discouraged.

Yes, I have enjoyed my time to "self-explore" and experiment with art, and read, and exercise. My yard looks fantastic, my house is clean and I have never cooked so much in my life...but I'm ready to work.  I'm ready for challenge and intellectual dialogue and to feel as if I am contributing more than just clean baseboards.

Does everyone in my situation feel the way I do?  Do they feel a tinge of envy when they look over in 5:00 traffic at the woman dressed in a suit on her way home from work?  Do they ponder how they could have been more valuable to the company and avoided this situation?  Are they, too, documenting their emotional journey?

Please share your do you deal with the emotions?  Are you considering a career change?  Has unemployment affected other aspects of your life?

A year ago, I was anxiously awaiting the closing of our first home,  avoiding my mother's crazed wedding planning calls, and three months into a job with a company I was certain I would retire from.  My career in human resources was progressing and the opportunities ahead were infinite.  I was hungry for challenge and advancement and certain I would quickly climb the corporate ladder.  My professional future seemed defined.... for the most part.

Today, I have been unemployed for more than three months.  I feel so lost...

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