Monday blues for the unemployed

When you have a job, whatever it might be, whether you like it or not, your monday blues begin and end on the same day of the week.

But, when you’re as awesome as you are, with no job and not because you don’t want one, but because you can’t have one, the whole week is a big blue ocean. The depth of which is unimaginable and every sunday evening you see yourself falling deep in the abyss. 

See, the thing is that from the outside, my unemployed life looks like a real vacation to most people. And why wouldn’t it, right? People imagine me sitting on my couch all day watching television, occasionally snacking on stuff that I didn’t have to pay for, Facebooking all day (I know i’m the center of envy for this one), voluntarily switch activities when I want to: from watching television, to taking long walks, to drinking coffee or wine.

What they fail to notice is the frustration that rarely peeks through all of my social media activities. What they simply overlook are the innumerable activities I force myself in to (sometimes even paying for it myself) to keep me motivated. Why is motivation important you ask? Well, because without that all that you think I do, would be true. And honestly, I don’t do 20% of what you think I do. I have more to myself than that. 

Because without the bare minimum motivation I manage to gather by keeping my mind occupied, I can’t get out of bed everyday without feeling worthless and incomplete. And, because even though I don’t have to be somewhere at a particular time or meet deadlines like the rest of you, I set them for myself so that I have a reason to get through the day like all of you.

Often, at social gatherings, I don’t get asked what I do for a living. It is conveniently assumed that I don’t do anything. Well, I don’t totally blame my unemployment for that because it is also very cultural. A woman, let alone an unemployed girl rarely gets asked about her career, because she is assumed to not have one.

When I’m with people I’ve known for a few minutes, I make an effort to understand what their lives looks like on the outside. Sometimes I do that simply to get asked back about what is it that I do. But it’s disappointing when that doesn’t happen. Most people love engaging in inane conversations about their favorite superheroes than talk about interesting human beings physically present around them. 

I’ve been at dinners where the host, a man, has barely looked at me while making conversations with the other male members present there. I do not think that was about me though, and completely brushed it off feeling complete pity for his wife. 

And honestly, it’s not all that bad. Except for sunday evenings that make me think, what having a job was like. And it sort of spills over to the Monday morning, where for most people with jobs, unless you absolutely hate yours, it kinda ends once you dive in to work. But for me, it’s a long day ahead and an aimless blue week that will probably never end. I long for Fridays as much as the next person with a job. I love Friday as much as you do.

 

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5 thoughts on “Monday blues for the unemployed

  1. Very honest and heartfelt. Really like it. It’s interesting how some women’s issue always slips into your writing! haha! Tell me though, do you feel the invisibility just around Indian men or American men too? I feel like it’s a more Indian thing to not ask women what they do, but I might be wrong. And also, I think this has to do with your field. I think most people don’t consider writing a ‘job’ for some reason! If you were an engineer or doctor, it might be different. It’s like how people think that all I do is watch movies!

    • That’s so true. I’ve never been around American men to judge them about this, but basically Indian men. Yes. I strongly feel that most of our issues are because our culture has just refuses to look beyond its unsaid boundaries. Anything new is absolutely rejected. But yes, out field does get a lot of flak for it not being too technical. Although if I do get technical, I will kick everybody’s ass.

  2. I know exactly how you feel, Deepa. I’ve been there 🙂 However, in my opinion (and experience), the sense of worth being equated to formal employment is quite an agnostic issue. I’ve had an equal number of inquiries from people belonging to different nationalities on my unemployment status. The difference is that the intent of the questioning might be culturally determined. I find that overseas Indians I’ve interacted with tend to be more acerbic and have a sense of superiority while asking the questions, while others are more kindly, though the kindliness might also mask pity and sympathy!

    • That’s a great thought, Aruna. I agree with you. I think it’s arrogance here, while it’s ignorance in India. And both are equally harmful. But honestly, culture determines what you think or make of other people. That is why a person should have strong concepts of personal space and boundaries.

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