Updated: May 8, 2021
This blog post serves as both a life update and a life lesson. There is some background information you must know before we continue.
I graduated from The University of Georgia in December of 2020 with a degree in Human Development and Family Science. I touched on some of this in my very first blog post (All About Kerbi Lynn) but in summation, while in college, I had plans to become a school counselor upon finishing graduate school. I decided that I was going to work for a year or two in order to save up for school. So after graduating, I took on a long term substitute teaching gig, started applying to jobs, and looking into graduate schools. Later on, I found out that some of the qualifications changed for the school counseling programs in Georgia, AND I realized it's not what I was passionate about it anymore. I fell in love with creating, but... I still needed income. I kept applying to jobs that I felt like I was qualified for but I hadn't heard back from any of them, except for one.
I went through the entire process. Application, cover letter, contacting my references, interview, a ridiculous second round of interviews... just to be ghosted by them. I didn't even get a rejection e-mail until days after I e-mailed them asking for an update. To say the least, I was sad. Not necessarily because I wanted the job that bad, but because I didn't know what to do next. Honestly, I still don't know what's next.
It's such a struggle. Graduating from college is this huge accomplishment. You literally spend 4-5 years dreaming about it, but afterwards you're lost. Personally, I went from an apartment with my friends, complete freedom, and a daily routine to moving back in with my parents, a 9 pm curfew, and no idea what my life is going to be. The depression is real.
And it's not clinical depression where you feel clouded. It's almost like a retrospect depression. You think about all of the things you used to have or could've done differently. I often ponder on the times I spent in my apartment with my best friends, the spring break trip we took to New Orleans, the trips to Race Trac I took at 2 am. To be fair, everyone reflects on the "good ole times" but I also think about what I could've done to prevent this feeling I have now. I could've majored in something different, had a better GPA, networked better, been more honest with myself about my passions.
The worst part is, I don't feel like I'm allowed to complain about it. My parents see that I have a place to live and food to eat so the rest will come; all I need is patience and guidance. It seems like my mutuals are accomplishing their goals, whether it be jobs or graduate school, so I know they won't understand. Anyone outside of that just tells me it'll be okay and I'll figure it out sooner or later. To be completely frank, I don't feel like I have the luxury of really feeling what I'm feeling. I have to keep moving, working, thinking, creating, networking, applying, writing, spending money I don't have. I am not allowed to have a day where I just deal with my emotions.
There could be a lot of reasons for this but I mostly relate it to culture. As a person who identifies as both a black person and a woman there is a narrative that comes along with it. Black women, since the beginning, have been the backbones of their families. They have to be strong for everyone else so they don't have time or the emotional space to care for their own emotions. The same thing could be happening here. Although I don't have a family (in terms of offspring) to support, there is the idea that because so many other black women before me have persevered without complaining, I have to do the same.
We also have to consider my age. I'm 23. I'm young so I have time to figure it out. Those who are a little older than me know for a fact that this will not last but it still feels like so much pressure. I have all of these things that I want. Things I need. I want to get an apartment, I want a brand new car, I want a career that makes me happy and gives me fulfillment. I need to be successful.
To those who can relate to my position in life, I wish I had the magic words to make it all make sense. I wish I could fix or change the way things are. Just know it is 100% okay to take a day to really sit with where you are. It is okay to want those around you to hug you and say nothing else. It is very okay to complain and/or vent. Most importantly, it's okay to keep going. Be transparent about what you feel, take those emotions, and put that energy into your work.
I hope that my transparency and openness on this topic reminds you that you are not alone. Remember that without fear, you cannot be courageous and without struggle there is not true success.