A frank discussion of inadequacy, uncertainty and anxiety in the here and now

I have  confession to make…

If you were to ask me in 2011 where I’d be now, it sure as hell wouldn’t have been in a career that isn’t fulfilling. The worst part, I despise myself for allowing this job to become such an important part of my financial well-being. In every other aspect of my life I live in the present and I look to the future, as a rule I never look to the past. Besides a few harsh lessons I learned the hard way, nothing can be gained by looking behind. When I think about my career though, I can’t stop looking to the past. What could I have done differently? Should I have worked less in college? Wrote for the school paper? Cared for my sick brother less? Turned down my father’s job offer in favor of unemployment? The questions eat me up, they never stop.

When I do meet similar minded people who allow me to take a bit of the wall down, I often get told that I’m the only person that can make a change – wise words, words I’ve often said as a matter of fact. So then, what exactly is the problem? Why am I not making the necessary changes to ensure my happiness, future, and sanity?

“All the horrors in the world can’t compare to the terrors of a blank page”

Goosebumps

I think at some point, even the strongest can feel inadequate. I’ve stared at the samples I’ve written for my masters application for several years, not daring to finish them because the fear of not being good enough for Johns Hopkins looms in the back of my mind. Inadequacy, procrastination, fear of the uncertain and anxiety all go hand in hand. A quick Google search will yield dozens of studies regarding exactly that. For years, I’ve told myself that I’m being far too lazy and if I weren’t so lazy (not to mention introverted) I would have written and finished my novel, submitted the application to Johns Hopkins and built a following on my blog by actually posting more than once every few months. I have come to terms with the fact that I’m not lazy but suffering from anxiety. Coming to terms with that makes my life a lot easier going forward. If I’m being honest, I believe society in 2019 has contributed to my development of this anxiety. Nowadays, it is easy to feel inadequate, uncertain, and anxious.

Getting into a great university is no longer “good enough.” I always thought my acceptance to Seton Hall University with a partial scholarship, my iron-clad work ethic and volunteer experience would go far in the work force. I’ve since learned that regardless of all those things, the sun sets and rises in the almighty resume. Experiences stopped becoming experiences. Instead questions such as, “are these experiences good enough for my resume?” have arisen. Experiences have, sadly, become resume fillers. I’ll never know whether or not employers thought I had the “right” kind of experience for a career in writing, I’ve had to go with intuition. Realistically, I’ve realized that my resume is inadequate for my age. I’ve seen it on the faces of my interviewers, in the probing questions (why have you not become a nurse?) and in the lack of call backs. Getting turned down from every job you’ve applied for…well that’s enough to make anyone feel inadequate.

When did we allow a one page piece of paper to define our abilities? How can an employer tell from that paper – the one with the 8 point font and 0.5 margins that you would not be a good fit? Sorry (not sorry) work ethic cannot be summed up in that mannor. My resume can’t tell an employer that I’ve never been fired from a job, that what I lack in knowledge I make up for in determination, perseverance and passion, or that I took a job with the family business because I was afraid of disappointing the person who paid for my college education.

The answer is simple, employers can’t tell from that measly piece of paper what you’re made of. Studies be damned – some of the best employees are those who’s resumes weren’t cut out for the position in the first place. It only takes one person, one opportunity, and one chance to propel someone into the career of their lifetime. When did I stop taking chances? When did we as a society stop taking chances?

“It’s a leap of faith. That’s all it is, Miles. A leap of faith”

Peter B. Parker (Into the Spider-Verse)

This is my promise for my loyal readers, in an effort to combat this mounting anxiety, I will post far more often, I will not be afraid judgement, uncertainty or inadequacy and I will tell myself I am good enough – that my writing is good enough. My resume may not be filled with immense, intricate experiences but I have hope and faith on my side with a good dose of optimism.

xoxo Amanda

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