Note to Self (134) Chin Up

In every cloud there’s a silver lining. I happen to be blind to the lining more than once, but after a long time spent in frustration, I finally see it.

I give myself enough determination to push beyond the walls that prevent me from moving forward, and force me to slow down. I’m too impatient to wait, and I need to break boundaries before they stall me for good. Change is needed, action is required.

I’m facing a dilemma right now. A dear friend of mine who doesn’t live here emails me the other day and tells me how demotivated she is not to find a job. The girl is smart, gifted, pretty, able to do anything anywhere anytime. Yet, she has been jobless for over six years. She graduated when I left France and moved to Long Island. Since my departure she hasn’t worked.

I’m in the mindset you can’t get what you want without a bit of sacrifice. Nothing will come to you, you have to be proactive. When I finished law school and looked for a job, my ex used to sit on the couch and play video games all day. I asked him if he was worried about finding a job. He replied yes. But he didn’t seem to be actively searching for a job. I made my life hell until I finally found a position in a law firm. I worried every day for nine months until I finally got hired. I can’t sit still and wait. I had to go to meetings and conferences and I networked as much as I could, meanwhile I sent probably a thousand resumes until I finally got the phone call that ended the torture once and for all.

It must be my personality, not to be able to stay idle for too long. I always hated school vacation because I had nothing to do. I admit I’m a workaholic. I love to be busy. Now sometimes I wish I could be busy with my own stuff I like to do, but I can’t have everything right away. Over time, I hope to reach that level of freedom though.

My girlfriend is the opposite of me. She has been looking – I guess – but she hasn’t really gone above and beyond to land a position somewhere. The gap in her resume between her graduation year and a potential hire is huge. There are so many things she could do or have done. But she stayed home with her parents, she’s above thirty, she doesn’t have a man in her life, and she isn’t rich either. I don’t really get her anymore. I don’t really agree with the lifestyle she chose. And in all honesty, I kinda don’t want to hear her complain about being jobless either.

Maybe it’s the system’s fault. France is a rotten country. It pays more to be jobless there than to work. And with the presidential elections going on, the situation won’t improve either. But maybe it’s also her fault for not making any efforts to find a job.

I’m all for individualism and responsibility. You make the bed you sleep in. I haven’t seen her in so long, and I’m going to France very soon, but I don’t want to listen to her ranting anymore. We’ve shared so much good, and I don’t want to upset her by telling her she has to make an effort, but I don’t want to deal with her negative attitude either.

What can I really do? Honesty makes or breaks friendships. I don’t like to lie, and pretend everything’s fine when it’s not. Maybe I should just tell her not to talk about her job finding issues when I’m around. Maybe I just worry too much.

Chin up. In every cloud there’s a silver lining. And if she really wants to be friends, she’ll have to accept my opinion too.

Let’s just hope she doesn’t take it the wrong way.


Add Yours
  1. moondustwriter

    I think in any other economy your sentiment would be dead on
    However there are millions of “us” who are out of work
    We are college grads (many with advanced degrees) competing for jobs against uneducated and illegal workers
    we will take any job
    “any job” is not available
    hundreds of us jump for a 15 hour a week job
    only one of us gets the job

    • themanicheans

      true, you’re right, competition is tough, but I’m still pretty convinced with enough effort anything can be achieved. And this includes doing business as an entrepreneur too. Recession or no recession, my friend would still be out of work right now. I’m sure of it.

  2. marthabourke


    Okay. Here’s the thing. It sounds to me like you’ve spent quite a bit of time in Europe, as have I. The thing is, the whole “hang out and live with my parents until I get married” thing can be pretty widespread there. The attitude about employment and leaving the nest is not only psychological there, it’s cultural. I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing, I’m just saying that it’s different. And that’s fine. Not every country on the planet needs to adopt a so-called American point of view. BUT…it sounds like you’ve been friends for a long time and I think that if you want to be happy in that friendship again, you’re going to have to talk to her about it. Now, you know her best. So you’ll have to decide on what you think she’ll best respond to. I would probably choose concern over, “Look, you’re driving me nuts,” but however you choose to do it, I think it needs to be done. Either that or you’ll have to make peace with things as they are. I just don’t see an option C here.

    Good luck! You sound like a great friend and I hope she realizes that if you decide to share your feelings with her. 🙂

    • themanicheans

      I agree. You couldn’t be more right. Well… Yeah I’m waiting to have her in front of me to share my true thoughts with her. I think an email might be misunderstood, and it will hurt me to hurt her.

      Thanks much. 🙂

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