About six weeks ago I wrote part one of this post. When I wrote that I still had two weeks left in Scotland and life was all about socialising and doing nice things like baking for all my friends who were studying. Sadly, life isn’t quite like that right now.
Coming home was hard, because it’s not truly my home. Over time I’ve slowly been able to learn to like where I currently am, which is more than I ever could have asked for, but I don’t love this place like I love Scotland. I won’t write about the rolling hills and highland cows, because I think I’ve done that enough already, but I will try and tell you how to feel better about life during this stage.
1. STOP focusing on the things you don’t have. Worrying about being single and not having a job won’t get me any where; applying for everything in front of me will. Be active and be grateful for what you do have. For me that’s parents who let me stay in their house rent free, free food, and a God who loves me and who is working insanely hard constantly to help me grow so I can move on to the next stage of life, whatever that may be.
2. Be grateful for unemployment. A friend said this yesterday and I thought he was pretty crazy, but once I start working I won’t have all the time in the world to write, or read, or go for coffee with people, or bike, or run, or do all the other things I want to do. Free time should never be taken for granted.
3. Figure out some goals. Following in the footsteps of Jon Acuff, I tried to do Finish Year. But it turns out that it didn’t work out too well for me, simply because a lot of the things on my list were things that I no longer wish to have on my list. However, here are the things I still want to do within the next year:
- Move out of the parents house.
- Learn to drive.
- Get properly involved in a church.
- Find a job.
- Read eight fiction books (I’ve almost finished number one and have the next three lined up!)
- Finish my book; I’ve also maybe decided to finish it even if I don’t get a publishing deal, for writing practise if nothing else.
- Climb Dumyat for a second time, as well as two other mountains in Scotland (perhaps a Munro).
- Get fit, improve my stamina; bike and run more.
- Spend more time with my good friend Jesus.
- Keep you all updated, once a month, on how these plans are going.
These are simple goals. I’m about to start week eight of fifty-eight; I think things are going okay. The only differences between this list and my original Finish Year list was that it had stuff about TEFL courses and moving to Scotland. I’d love to move back but I’ll take a job wherever I can find one.
4. Get up early. After coming home from graduation I slept in. I slept in because I felt pretty pants. I felt like there wasn’t much to aim for. Yes, I want to find a job, but it’s no easy task in the current economic climate, and being 22 and living with my parents again is kind of depressing. I’ve lost my independence and reverted to childhood; I didn’t really want this. But this morning I awoke at 8:15 am and decided to go to church with my parents. It’s not the church I want to stay at but I knew I couldn’t go to the church I wanted to this morning, so I decided to go to theirs. It got me out of bed, started my day off with some Jesus, and motivated me enough to come home and do some cleaning for my Mum while she worked. Which leads on to…
5. …Use your free time to bless the people around you who don’t have so much free time. Both my parents work full time (and kind of more than full time a lot of the time) and doing the little things like washing dishes and cleaning the toilet helps them out a lot. Cleaning the toilet isn’t much fun, no one enjoys it, but it doesn’t cost me much to take twenty minutes out of watching a film or writing a blog to do something that is actually quite beneficial to everyone living in this house. Within your family you are part of a community, you don’t need to be part of some hippie commune. Your community is wherever you are placed; don’t forget that.
There’s a lot more things I could add to this list, but you don’t need me to tell you that you should socialise as much as possible or eat healthy food and exercise. However, I will add this:
1 John 3:1
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”
We must always remember, whether we are unemployed or not, that our identity is in Christ. We should never forget out worth. Just because you are unemployed doesn’t mean you are any less of a person. You are still incredibly important to the Creator of the Universe and that is why you need to keep getting up in the morning; He should be your reason if nothing else. He loves you and He has a plan for you, so just keep your eyes fixed on Him and He’ll light each step of the path in His own time.