Video from BuzzFeed via YouTube
At the end of 2012 and into the beginning of 2013, I watched as my younger sister grappled with the consequences of quitting her job. Around Christmas, she felt she had outgrown the company she was working for (to put it in the nicest way possible). I witnessed the stress she dealt with when she realized she still had Christmas presents to buy before she could return to Baltimore and find a new job. She had to face the probing questions from a firing squad (also known as our fairly large extended family) on Christmas Eve. After the holidays, my sister embarked on a harrowing monthlong journey that few could relate to. Exactly one year later, I found myself in the exact. Same. Boat.
In the United States, the major difference between quitting your job versus being furloughed or laid off is that when you quit, you are ineligible to collect Unemployment. My decision point came in November; I moved to Los Angeles with a goal to work toward: the ability to support myself as a full-time photographer. A goal which is difficult to attain while waking up for work every day at 3:30am. So I made the decision to part ways with my company, which was a month ago (as of yesterday). Today I saw the above video on BuzzFeed (while “working from home”) and for the first time in 31 days, I finally felt someone (besides my dear sister) could relate to me without simultaneously shitting on me.
So I give you the Conor Clancy List Of 10 Awkward Moments When You’re Unemployed in Your Twenties. And please, anyone who has been in/is currently dealing with this situation feel free to share YOUR 10 Awkward Moments!
I would refer to myself as well-traveled. I have had my fair share of connecting flight in the past, and my luck has always been excellent. I once missed a connecting flight in Atlanta back in 2007 because I misread the departure time, and had an extra-long weather delay in Dallas due to a Tornado Warning. But my flight has always departed. Until today.
I moved to Los Angeles this past May to become a Photographer. I transferred my “just-enough-money-to-break-even” hourly job to from the suburbs of Philadelphia to West Hollywood and spent 6 months working myself to death. Finally I quit. I made an executive decision rooted in my lack of energy and time to do anything with my camera, and also the fact that I was literally waking up at 3:30am every day and I am almost positive brain cells were killed in the process. So I did it. Never before in my life have I ever felt so completely terrified and excited at the same time.
Today was the first day of my new job. I was due into LAX at 12:16pm on United Flight 163 from Houston. The only snafu being that my luck completely fucking ran out. Winter Storm Hercules rolled in on the Eastern Seaboard last night, twelve hours before my flight from Philly left for Houston. I refuse to have my entire life put on hold until Sunday. Refuse.
Right now I sit at a table in the café of where I began my “just-enough-money-to-break-even” job (hint… rhymes with Farclucks) listening to two 8-year-olds chatting about their iPhones and touching upon the fact that “everything happens at the bus stop.”
So I begin this new year longing for the days that my biggest problem was “Shit… one of the closers called out.” Or better yet, the days where I would sit in front of the television on Long Island with my sister waiting to see if the impending snow storm would close the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District and I could go to the mall with Christina and Marissa.
In short, I’ve waited long enough. I refuse to let the snow delay my new career path.