anxiety · life · social anxiety

When You Grow Up

Some matters in life were much simpler at a younger age. Or maybe not. The problems of life were there even when I was a young child, except I either didn’t know about them or didn’t have to be the one to deal with them at the time. Everyone has dreams in childhood about what they want to be when they grow up. For me, it was to be a teacher, but naturally, it wasn’t something I truly conceptualized as a reality I could see myself in. I think I was playing pretend in a way. Even now I don’t know what my ultimate dream career or job is. I have stumbled for years in school with no clue what the hell I was doing there or if I gave a shit about what I was studying. Of course, I know going back to school may open up more opportunities for me, or I could crash and burn like I did in the past in medical billing school, where I graduated but spent almost the whole way through not really wanting to be there and basically half-assing my class assignments. This is the reason why I no longer send my resume out to billing jobs because I feel like I didn’t even deserve the diploma and I wasted my parents’ money on tuition fees.

So where I am now? I have done some stuff, but not much. I passed a civil service exam for the office assistant position and applied for a couple of job vacancies online. I’ve tried for weeks to get in touch with the Human Resources department by phone to ask about my applications, with each time the answering machine picking up. I’ve also received two canvas letters asking about my availability to work in different locations. This isn’t an offer for a job though. I haven’t mailed back the latest one yet because this one asks for three references and I don’t think I have anyone I can list because I suck at keeping in contact with people. I passed the postal exam for USPS and now qualify for all the positions I applied to on their website, but have the tedious task of waiting for them to email me to come in for an interview, although there’s no guarantee when or if they actually will pick me. Today I sent out my resume and cover letter for a spring intern position at a volunteer-centric organization. I really loath writing cover letters. I know I have the necessary skills for the job, but I can’t help but think that deep down the whole formality of having to write a cover letter to prove myself is dumb. That’s what I don’t like about the job market. Either I can do the job or I can’t. It should be that simple to be hired, but instead, I have to play by these rules of professionalism and decorum to make myself appear courteous and well-spoken, which may land me an interview but won’t necessarily lead me to bagging the job.

The weather is getting warmer in New York and it’s making me more anxious to have something to do and focus my energies on instead of being cooped up in the house. But I wonder if that will be enough for me. My days alternate between thinking, I should get out and do something nice and I should have stayed home and not come out today. That’s the thing with social anxiety I can’t ever turn off.

A few days ago I went to Bloomingdale’s in Soho since I have a $200 card to spend. This was a trip of leisure that I really pushed myself to do and yet somehow by the end, when all the clothes I tried on didn’t fit me well and I left the store with nothing, all I could feel was frustration because things didn’t turn out the way I wanted them to and that trip itself was a total waste of time. It’s actually one of the smaller Bloomingdale’s in the neighborhood, and I didn’t think of it at the time until my brother told me, but I can go to one of their bigger stores on 59th Street near Central Park, perhaps.

Yesterday morning I had the rare breakfast outing with not only my parents but also my brother before my brother left for work later on in the day. I almost didn’t go. This family breakfast was already planned in advance, although the night before my dad had implied we weren’t going since my mom had a dentist appointment early in the morning. So that morning, when I was awoken at 8:30 AM by my dad telling me to get up so we could go out to eat, it was difficult not to feel grumpy since things apparently changed at the last minute and I had to adjust. Truthfully, I almost wanted to pout and continue hiding in bed to stew in annoyance over the situation. In the end, I decided to get up since I was awake anyway and lose the childish attitude. I had a good time at breakfast and had plans afterward to do shopping in Manhattan, but instead, I spent the afternoon doing a tank flush since one of my goldfish (Hippo) is sick and I don’t know why. I thought my stresses over being an anxious pet owner ended when I gave up Birdie to a better home, but I guess not. I don’t like seeing my pets suffer, even if it is just a fish. Hippo has not improved at all today, much to my worry. A second fish (Ghost) in another tank was also sick on the same day after I noticed he was moving very slowly and not swimming as fast, so I did a tank flush there too. Unlike Hippo, Ghost is back to normal today.

My self-growth is slow. In the physical sense, I stopped getting taller when I was about sixteen and stayed at 4 feet 11 inches ever since then. Being short sucks. It will probably take me a lifetime to be emotionally mature. In some ways, I still cope very badly: with life, with people, with plans and ideas. I haven’t been to any meetups lately. Although Annelise and I made up after my big chicken-out, I have refrained from asking her to hang out with me, mostly because I know how fickle I can be with changing my plans when anxiety hits me. I’ve had time to reevaluate the friendship and I think it was unhealthy because I got close to her but it made me less willing to befriend and/or open up to other people within the social anxiety meetup group. I clung to her in a way I shouldn’t have.


2 thoughts on “When You Grow Up

  1. Job hunting is the worst. I’m seriously slacking with mine because all of the work I put into the applications just seems so much when I get a stupid rejection email two days later. Gah. But I wish you the best of luck!

    I hear you on the having nothing to do. I generally just do food shopping when I get all antsy and need to just go outside and do something.

    I get the clinging to friends thing too. I called a friend of mine a while ago and she was basically unresponsive on the phone. She was tired but I was just like, ‘Yeah, not doing this again’ and we barely talk now. She was the last person that I sort of had a ‘hang out everyday’ friendship with and we come from the same place, have similar backgrounds but I don’t know. People drift apart for various reasons. I try to give myself a day to think about it all then move on. If I talk to her – fine, if I don’t, that’s fine too.

    And sometimes distance is what you need to realise just how good or bad the friendship is for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, it really is a downer when you work so hard on fixing up your resume and cover letter only to be rejected by the employer so quickly. I hate those jobs that advertise they don’t require people to have prior experience. That’s bullshit because of course they’re going to pick someone who has more experience.

      I am the same with food shopping, omg. Some days I have nowhere to go and/or don’t have the energy for it and I end up spending like hours out grocery shopping with my parents. I am so lame lol.

      Sorry to hear about your friend. It sounds like she was going through something that put a strain on the friendship if she couldn’t talk to you on the phone. With Annelise, I can only count two different days I texted her after we made up. I felt like such a fake bc I basically asked how was her New Year’s and the other time I just asked how she has been these past few weeks. Usually I am open to her about how I feel regarding my anxiety and how it’s affecting me currently, but these two times I decided not to mention it. I feel I depended on her too much to hear about my problems every time. The part where I feel it may have gotten toxic had I allowed things to go on as they were is I had the mindset that just bc she and I had similar struggles with SA that we had to stick together, kinda like the misery loves company thing. So when she would make progress with something SA related, I’d feel like pulling her back so she’d stay in the same emotional stunt as me. I also felt that way if I made progress with SA and then would feel obligated to not grow and change in this instance bc I didn’t want to leave her behind.

      Liked by 1 person

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