The Exploration of Unemployment: On Being Rory Gilmore'd
I was Rory Gilmore’d recently. And, no I don’t mean in the two guys fighting over me at a house party leading the cops to be called way. Or the getting into Harvard and Yale and trying to figure out which one to go to way. No, I mean in the Mitchum Huntzberger real talk way. I haven’t stolen a yacht though, so maybe I’m in better shape.
For those of you who aren’t savvy on Gilmore Girls references, I’ll explain. There was a point in the series where Rory was offered a dream internship at a newspaper, where she’d be trained up in the journalistic ways by a real big cheese of the journalism world. Big Cheese also happened to be her boyfriend’s dad, adding more soap to the mix. Big Cheese decided after a very short time of her working there that she wasn’t cut out for it. Rory then left, stole a yacht, dropped out of school and just spiraled into to poolhouse of her rich grandparents. I didn’t have a dream job. I don’t have a boyfriend who is Big Cheese Jr. I don’t have grandparents with a poolhouse for me to hide in, but I was told I couldn’t cut it a very short time after I started.
I know I’m not the only one this has happened to- there’s a show where this very thing occurs, and my lovely HG Editor at large, Chrissa Hardy, told me she experienced it to. But, that doesn’t make it easier to handle. Sitting down and hearing those words suck. IT SUCKS. It definitely sends you into a tailspin, making you question pretty much every choice you have ever made leading up to that moment.
I spent a good two days trying to inflate my spirit again after it had been crushed. It’s still a little wobbly, like an old Mylar balloon that’s fighting to stay afloat. I ended up walking into my boss’ office and handing in my resignation, choosing to keep my dignity instead of crushing my spirit down even further every time I walked in the office. And, luckily, I had something else lined up in the pipeline, so I wasn’t as scared as I could have been.
What are we supposed to do when life hits us with this particular sack of potatoes? How are we supposed to act when we’re told we might not have it when we’ve just started and don’t yet feel comfortable with our role in the office? What is the appropriate response to being told that hey, you might not be good enough for the profession you’ve spent time and money and countless hours studying in school for? What is the next logical step?
For me, once I recovered from the shock, I knew it wasn’t the right place for me. Being able to line something up so quickly was just sheer luck. But, I’m pretty certain my actions would have been the same without something to fall back on. In this particular instance I trusted my gut instincts, something I had ignored for months.
I’m not writing this to bash my former employer or paint a negative light. No, overall, I’m grateful for this experience because it has taught me a few things I feel like I should share with you, if you’re ever in this situation (and I hope you never are because it is horrible).
The first thing it taught me was how to be an adult. I know, I’m 26, I’ve technically been an adult for a while now. But, this really added some maturity to the mix. I had to not only sit in a conference and hear those words, but I also had to figure out a mature, professional way to handle what came next. I had to do something I had never done before: resign. I had to face my boss, an authority figure, and explain that I was leaving. I did so in a professional and polite manner. I gained significant experience from this, that I am grateful to have.
The second thing it taught me was to trust my instincts. I often ignore my original gut instinct on things because I feel like everyone or everything deserves a shot. Or I’m persuaded by others around me. Or I don’t really know if my first reaction to something is always good. By now I’ve learned that usually when I ignore those first inklings it will always come back and bite me in the ass. I feel that I’m old enough now to know when to trust my first reaction. And, I’m going to start going with it more often.
The third thing this has taught me is that it’s ok when things don’t work out. Things aren’t always going to be sunshine and roses. I was in school for so long I think I kind of always thought everything would just end up ok. But, in the real world, that’s not always the case. And, yes, I know that not everything always ends up alright- look at relationships and friendships that end messily. I get it. But before this experience, I had always had a reason to leave whatever I was doing for the summer or the semester, because my internships had a natural end point. I knew that even if I was unhappy, the light at the end of the tunnel would get closer and closer every day. Now, I have experienced what most adults have experienced at least one or twice in their lifetimes.
I know that this experience has made me stronger. I know that I am in a better place now than I was a month ago. I know that it will probably end up being a blessing in disguise. I know that we have to go through many different trials and tribulations before we reach the place we are supposed to be and each one of them gives us something new to learn about ourselves in the process. I know I’m not alone in this, either. I know that with each day I’m feeling better and my confidence is being restored.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, if this has happened to you, you’re not alone. And, maybe, just maybe, I’m hoping that it will have further pointed me in the right direction I need to be in. Even though it wasn’t a fun experience, I have gained something from it.
If anyone feels like sharing their own ‘You don’t have it’ story, feel free to do so below and we’ll all commiserate together!
Featured Image Via: Homeofthenutty