While I'm gathering information for one of my Ethiopia posts and waiting for my new computer to edit pictures for another, I thought I'd open up a bit about some things that have been bothering me, concerning me, and depressing me.

I feel worthless. As a human being. As a productive member of society, really. I suck. And I know a lot of you are like gufawwing at this, thinking "No! You are so awesome Lauren, I love you, you're fantastic! You're wonder woman! You can do anything!" because most of you have actually said those things to me. I realize I come off a certain way - fearless, adventurous, even intelligent and capable. But the truth is, I'm not really any of those things. I know I've traveled a lot, and some places a lot of people wouldn't even consider seeing. And I know I pursued a very astute major of study. But I slacked on both of those things, and now I feel worthless.

I know I'm young, but I feel like I landed at just the wrong time in our society. I didn't do well in school, regardless of my degree, because I got burned out. Bad. I mean, it's not like I flunked anything, but I am not normally a B student, even, and in my physics classes, there are a lot of C's. And I wish at the time I realized "Hey, that's average at the number one research institute for physics, you can still do this" because if I thought that, I wouldn't have gotten myself down SO HARD that I didn't even try to do better, or try to make connections with students, or try to go for research opportunities with professors. I basically just quit at that point because I thought I was a failure, so why bother? And there's a lot of stories like that for the 3 years I was at UCSC. I just didn't know what to do with myself. I didn't know how to handle getting over 15 years of bad study habits from growing up in a shit town with zero challenges in class. And parents that never really pushed me to do anything because I was stubborn. I inherited my dad's laziness and arrogance and thought, "Well, when I'm put in a situation where I actually need to perform, it'll happen, I don't need to worry about it now." But all I wish for was that I had a better upbringing to push me to do more extracurriculars, or pick up an instrument, or TRY for that tennis scholarship. But with my parents going through a divorce that whole time, I was just floating around, not really being responsible for myself, but not having any idea what await me in adulthood.

And now here I am, I'm applying for all kinds of jobs on Craigslist, and USAjobs, and USGS, etc etc, and for 3 months I haven't gotten a single word. Not even from two tutoring agencies. All I think is that I don't come close to qualifying for any of this. I know I'm smart, I know I'm capable, but I got a 2.8 GPA in school and have zero experience other than Walgreens and Target. What scientific agency is really going to want me? I seem unmotivated and incapable of anything beyond those in-college jobs of cashier or customer service rep. But I don't want a job like that because after 6 months, I'm clawing at my brain for something that USES it. 

I know I belong somewhere! I know there's got to be something out there that can utilize my skillset. I know I HAVE A SKILLSET. It doesn't translate well on paper maybe, so I have no idea how to broadcast it! I just feel like nobody out there will give me the chance I deserve. I know I can make a difference in this world but I have no idea how or who to go to in order to start! Nobody wants me and for the first time, I don't know how to fix that. 

I'm so terrified that I won't find anything, and so how long do I stick around, mooching off my friends before realizing I need to give up, move back home, and work at Walmart?

Honestly, this is something I've been keeping to myself because it's not something I'd have thought about even a year ago, but I've seriously been thinking about joining the military. Just to give me something to put on paper. I feel like they could use my degree and I feel I could connect with people for a nice government job when I get out. However, lately all I've been hearing is how selective they've been now, and I worry THEY won't even take me. I think I'm going to talk to a recruiter when this snow stops though and see what they say. I'm just sick of sitting on this couch day in and day out, posting my resume everywhere and feeling like a whore with STDs. 

Why can't I just find a billionaire who wants a housewife? I could balance checkbooks like a pro. Then I could make art, learn music, and buy gym equipment to work out all day. Oh life. And how different mine has turned out. I think I had great potential and somewhere along the lines, I simply squelched it.
2/3/2013 10:16:34 am

There's nothing you can't do. Any one of us could be in a better position in life, but if you work hard at something, there's nothing that will block you from it in the end. Especially for someone as motivated as you are. Everyone has stretches of bad, but it's not letting that sink in, not letting it hold you down that makes you a strong, successful person.

You will find happiness. You will find an awesome job in your field, you will get lots of money for it, and you will be able to see the world because of it. For now, focus on what makes you happy that is attainable with the options you have and don't forget you have friends that love and support you.

16/3/2013 01:53:16 pm

I do love you, and you are awesome, and I am not one to be gentle. We make missteps throughout life, but the key is not living in the past or regretting what we did and wishing we knew then what we know now. Hindsight is always 20/20.

Get over it.

Let's be honest. When it comes to useful degrees for USGS, USAjobs, etc, I have more useful degrees, certificates, internships, and GPA, AND I CAN'T GET A JOB THERE EITHER. You need to set realistic goals and achieve them. When you do, move on to the next one.

We've had some harsh conversations in our friendship. You haven't hidden your distaste at my responsibility or decision-making criteria, but at the end, we're in similar positions in life. Some people get lucky, get their networking in, and get the dream job. Some don't. All I know is, I'm willing to work, at any job that will take me, to pay my bills until I can move on to the next better one.

Stop being mopey and get moving.

Love you.

17/3/2013 02:39:47 am

This is the reason you are a fantastic friend for me to have around. I love you.

17/3/2013 03:39:30 pm


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