One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

I have a friend who sends me jobs. Out of every 7 jobs, I would only follow-up on maybe one. Mostly because they were low-paying or far commutes… But being sent jobs was a constant reminder of my failed career. I have been through two layoffs (one 9 months pregnant) and several dead-end temp jobs – all while applying to hundreds of jobs with no call backs. That did something to me. It changed me. I simply had one too many rejection letters to believe in myself anymore.

So I put a lot more time into blogging. But as an influencer, you are on social media a lot. It can be fun but to an already bruised ego, I was watching all of my friends celebrate their promotions as I sat at home, feeling like a college reject with 50k of debt that her husband pays for. So eventually I stopped looking for work as a defense mechanism. I told everyone I was committed to being a Stay At Home Mom but truthfully I was just tired. Tired of the rejection, tired of answering “how is the job search going?” and tired of unsolicited advice. But that didn’t stop people from telling me how “lucky” I was to be home with my “baby”. If that wasn’t enough, my husband got all the praise in the world for “taking care” of me… as if I was a burden. As if wasn’t taking care of my son. As if I never took care of us. As if I didn’t sacrifice for my family and my husband’s demanding career. Don’t get me wrong, my son brings me joy but just being his mom was never enough. I know I said it was, but it wasn’t. It is a thankless and exhausting job without pay. And can’t even put it on my resume… a resume that desperately needs an update.

You hear me talking a lot about finding balance, self care, doing yoga and getting away. Unfortunately none of my practices ever had a lasting effect on me. Unlike the average mom, my self care requires much more than a pedicure and a few inspirational memes. I have been suffering with anxiety and depression for some time now. I remember in 2015 crying became normal for me… so normal that I would cry in public at the drop of a dime. I knew it was bad when my husband stopped asking me what was wrong. 

I never had an answer anyway.
People often assume that I am this overly confident person but I am fighting self-doubt every. single. day. I hesitate on doing the simplest of things. I have this fear of failing and wasting my time which has made me extremely fragile. So no matter how many people tell me that I am talented, it doesn’t add up. I don’t have much to show for it. I can’t get hired for it and I can barely make money from it. I know that words are powerful but so are thoughts. So even if I never said this out loud, this is what is in my head. As a result, I find myself taking one step forward and two steps back. When your anxiety physically stops you and your depression mentally stops you… you can’t make muchprogress.

For instance… I was given a lead on a job two weeks ago. I took days to even print the application that was sent to me. My mind told me this was going to be a waste of time. As I began to fill out the form, I remembered how many times I have done THIS before and gotten NOTHING out of it. By the time I made it to the employment history section, I couldn’t relive my unsuccessful past. My chest was getting tight and I started to draw blanks. So I put the pen down and threw the application away.

Today was the deadline.

Safe to say I won’t be getting that job either. The funny thing is I didn’t even want the job. I just need work but I don’t even know what I should be doing anymore. I lost myself.

Everyone tells me that entrepreneurship is my calling but I didn’t even have the guts to apply for one job. How could I have the guts to be an entrepreneur?

To be continued…

13 comments

  1. Krissy

    Who knew we were going through some of the same things? I got laid off on 2015 and haven’t had a substantial job since then. I actually like working. I like having a steady income. I get tired of people asking me how the job hunt is going. Its not going. Its stale. And its not for lack of me trying. I try so hard but its become so depressing. Im tired of temp work. I go through the motions tho. I fake it til i make it. I smile during the say most days and cry at night. This has become ny life and it stifiles my writing and creativity.

    I pray we both get to a happy place 😕

    Reply

  2. JKGF

    Such an introspective post! I love it. Thanks for sharing…

    Reply

  3. cleverlychanging

    Hugs sis. I would like to just share your post and say something loving, but the truth is, I can relate. I always wanted to go to law school and I never envisioned myself married let alone being a mother. Sometimes the whole thought just feels overwhelming. I applied to law school but found out my husband and I were having children, twins and one would have health problems. My life changed. My friends changed. My worldview changed. I really don’t know what it all means, but I have come to find comfort in knowing that the experiences I have lived weren’t for me. They were to help others in this journey we call life. We are all on a journey and we have to share, we have to allow others to learn from our joys and our sorrows. Thank you for your transparency. I’m planning to hire a psychologist for therapy and life-coaching. I also want you to know that I believe you’re immensely talented and I hope you will see the fruits of your labor soon. You are beautiful and you’ll make your dreams come true.

    Reply

    1. Fatima

      Thank you so much! Crazy when you have these plans and life pushes you in a totally different direction. That say what’s for you, is for you but how do we know when we should give up or press through?

      Reply

      1. shatrell jacobs

        I believe you ALWAYS have to press through Fatima. It’s in doing that, that you will find encouragement, become more resilient and evolve. It’s all a part of the process. I truly believe in timing. We so often get caught up on the end goal that we aren’t doing the work inbetween so that we are fully equipt once we reach the goal, thus never feeling prepared or confident enough to take leaps that result in success! This is such a heart felt post that most women can relate to! I love you and just encourage you to just keep doing what you’re doing you’re amazingly talented and your definition of success is going to meet you real soon!😘

        Reply

  4. Linda

    Thanks for sharing. I haven’t read your posts in quite some time and I’m glad I decided to play catch up today! You do have something about you/your writing that draws ppl in! That’s a gift!

    I have a friend that’s going thru something similar and she too has given up searching for a job. It really is hard out there! I too am seeking new opportunities and believe you me, you are correct that the rejection and the non responses bruises you. I think it’s totally natural to re-eval oneself…and entrepreneurship might be an option. I already feel like you are for some reason!

    I think Therapy as mentioned above can really help. They can help sort thru those thoughts and feelings.

    Myleik MyTaughtYou Podcast on iTunes are pretty insightful to me.
    Dear sugar is another one I love!
    Recently I’ve listened to Ellevate, and have gotten some gems. Don’t wanna overload you..just sharing.

    I’ve recently joined a women’s network “ladies get paid” and they too have provided insight on how to find your niche or sharpen your talents, learn to negotiate, and maneuver this work life in a sense…
    They have a few podcasts via their site that may be a good listen and the Slack group has been great!
    Sorry I couldn’t post links..I’m on my phone and the struggle is real.

    Good luck with everything. You are not alone! And I appreciate your blog.

    I hope things get better and believe they would…it’s obviously taking longer than desired, so perhaps the big man above is still working on you in a different way.

    Sending love, light, and laughter. Cuz when we laugh, we feel good or at least better.

    Reply

    1. Fatima

      Thanks for reading. I have slowed down a lot on writing but I hope to be more regular again.

      When you have been looking for so long, you start to think something is just wrong with you. But entrepreneurship involves much more risk and rejection in my opinion you have to be resilient and truly believe in your brand because consistency is key. I do have a therapist by the way. I just don’t go often. Lol

      Thank you for the recommendations and words of encouragement. 🙂

      Reply

  5. Latoya jackson

    Great article. It was honest and real. Some women would not have the courage to post this. Don’t give up.

    Reply

  6. Mimi

    Thank you for sharing this. I have many of the same feelings of self doubt. I’m searching out a therapist now because I know I’m amazing and have a ton to offer the world in my head but the block to bringing it to fruition is real. I need to know how to step out of my head and into action, I’m hoping therapy can help me.

    May we both find our way!

    Reply

    1. Fatima

      I hope it helps you. I started therapy last year. It has help some but I haven’t been in month or two. I clearly need more work on myself. Because it’s way more difficult than just getting a job. I will put some more appointments on my calendar. Good luck. You do have a lot to offer!

      Reply

  7. dmvcapitalkids

    ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ I think you are so brave to share this! Sending you virtual hugs, because you are enough as is!!!

    Reply

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