Since my move to Alexandria, I’ve finally had some downtime with my significant other (yes, it’s still weird to say husband), and I also started my full-time job as a full-time job seeker. Like many others unemployed out there, it is scary! I recently had the chance to read this awesome post by a fellow wordpress blogger [for the life of me I can’t retrieve] and it talked about the difficulties and grouchiness that trying to find a job after graduate school can be (yeah that’s me!). The main message of the blog was to inform readers like me that just because I qualified for a graduate degree doesn’t mean I qualify in the same way in the real world. It takes grunt work, lots of failures and entry-level paid and unpaid internship work before I can do what I want to do. It was a good refresher for me as I had spent a lot of time around fellow students, who would gripe about the difficulty of the job market and would justify their unemployment to the country’s failing economy or the growing scarcity of jobs in the humanities. Somehow I always found that to be too easy of an answer and there was a part of me that would say, are you sure it’s the economy? Don’t you think it may be the fact that we are JUST graduate students and we BARELY have any job experience with almost NO connections??? So the blog post was the boost of self-esteem I needed believe it or not. There is a great deal of comfort knowing what my true market value is and know that it’s not that there are no jobs left for me or that I am somehow failing because I can’t get a full time job with full benefits the minute I step out of school.
At the same time, it can be incredibly scary, too. Being inspired is one thing but staying mindful of the wise lessons I learned about employment is another. When I’m sitting in front of the computer resume after resume, the fears can start to creep in. Knowing that I have to work from ground level up with limited time makes that irrational fear become this exaggerated worry wart that consumes the time I should be working on writing convincing cover letters.
I took solace in this amazing prayer book that my mom gifted to me recently. I haven’t quite gotten into the daily habit of reading it but last night’s Day Eighteen helped me sleep peacefully:
So much of my living, Father,
is bound up in the search for security.
Desperately I seek after life without risks,
ironclad assurances, complete coverage,
No sooner have we humans stepped into this world,
than we commence preparations
to cushion our departure:
retirement plans, pension schemes,
annuities, benefits, double indemnities,
precautions for a future which may never arrive.
Teach me, instead, to live with insecurity, Lord,
to realize that life is essentially insecure,
and to accept, and affirm it as such,
in all of its glorious insecurity.
Show me, again, that the grave
is totally secure-
no risks, no chances, no hopes.
Weave into the fabric of my daily life
the message of the parables of Jesus,
that we can secure nothing against death
nothing except abundant life
in this present, eternal momentAnd in this present, eternal moment
And in this message let me find all the security there is,
all the security I could ever hope for:
the secure assurance that, in this
and in ever fully lived moment,
I stand in your presence,
I rest within your care,
I participate in love,
the only thing which is truly,
and eternally, secure.
The third stanza really spoke to me where it talks about striving to live in insecurity and that “the grave is totally secure-no risks, no chances, no hopes…” I love how this prayer turns the assumed characteristic of security that we all have up on its head, and rather, shows how insecurity and taking risks is what life is about.
It’s nice to reference this prayer whenever I get a little queesy about the unknown future. And I hope I can remember to enjoy living on the edge and learn to keep focused on the end goal of living with insecurity.