Not 10 minutes after I arrived at my cousin's wedding I got the first "where are you working?" question. This is the main reason I haven't been to a family gathering in years. I have been employed and single, or unemployed and dating for the past 4 years and frankly, the only questions they ever seem to care about are where I am working and who I am dating. And even when I've had one out of the two I felt lacking.
Now, I love my family and I don't mean to portray them as negative or controlling. They probably don't know me well enough to ask me about the pursuits in my life other than work and dating. I don't fault them exactly. But when it comes to Christmas Eve or other gatherings, I have avoided them because I have nothing to report. I have been barely employed for the past two years and I haven't had a serious boyfriend for even longer. And to make matters worse, my employment goals are not that of an up and coming Wall Street go-getter. I would prefer part-time work. I NEED local work. I have all but given up on a career job for the time being.
Because that is not my priority.
But there is so much back story to that statement. A simple "How are you?" can't possibly cover it. I appreciate the attempt at non-judgment when they each ask me (and mind you, there are about 10 who ask), "are you still working at blabity blahs?" "No, but they decided to keep the guy without my level of education and field experience who was buddies with the supervisor... ". I'm just kidding. I never actually told my family that one. It's too real, too personal. I come up with lame excuses about budget cuts and work limitations in southern California (which are totally true). Except that I have made a decision to stop looking for that kind of work. This I don't go into. I don't expand on the fact that I'm changing careers. I make light-hearted comments about "looking for the next adventure" or calling myself a "Jane of all Trades".
But the truth is, I'm lost. I'm outside of time. I've worked myself into a career corner with cultural resource management and without a higher degree, I'm essentially done there. But what else do I do? I don't have real experience with sales or serving and limited experience with office work. And I can't commute far. The last time I tried commuting to LA for a job I almost fell asleep driving home on a regular basis.
I'm willing to work. I just want something local. I don't understand why its so hard to find work in my own community. I find the perfect jobs everywhere else, it seems.
I digress. My family, of course, just wants to know whats going on, but I feel like I owe them a good story. And the fact that I don't have one and I know that I don't have one, feels real shitty.