There is a lot of frustration and guilt associated with being under-employed. You hate that it’s hard to find an extra or full-time job, and you wonder deep down if you’re just being lazy even though you probably aren’t. Doesn’t keep people around you from entertaining the idea from time to time, though.
And you hate yourself on those odd days where regular work lets up and your side projects don’t work out. You stress so much over trying to keep busy, to justify your existence, that you accomplish less of substance than if you had spent the entire day doing something like watching Netflix or playing Skyrim, all of which are holdovers from more prosperous times you feel guilty about for even owning and enjoying.
And, yes, First World problems and check your privilege and other Internet-branded ways of saying fuck you right to your face. True, I’m not in any immediate danger of going hungry, but I still feel useless. I still feel like I’m not living up to some archaic societal standards I don’t fully understand.
I said awhile back I wish adulthood came with an instruction manual. I’ve said that for years and I see myself saying it for years to come. I missed something somewhere along the way and am reaping the whirlwind for it.
I’m not asking for pity or even understanding. Just recognition that this country is full of people, good people, who have worked hard and have very little to show for it. So far, anyway. Two things the world will never take from me are my honor and my hope.