You start off feeling positive. You’re young, you’re educated, and you couldn’t be more enthusiastic about giving yourself over to the professional world. You expect boundless plains of opportunity and bottomless wells of inspiration waiting to quench your thirst for life experience. So; ready, willing and able, you spread your arms and take a giant leap.
Something’s wrong though, you’re not being lifted by the winds of progress; you’re in a frightening and graceless freefall.
You’re flapping the wings that they strapped onto your arms with the promise of flight, but they aren’t doing anything to slow you down. You hit the ground with a painful and demoralizing thud.
For the first time in your life you realize you are completely and utterly without purpose. Up until now you’ve always had a significant pursuit to fill your waking moments; being an infant, studying, maybe a bit of travel. You could never have imagined the psychological burden of having nothing but idle time.
Suddenly, you’re re-evaluating everything. Your relationships, your choices, your hobbies, and every aspect of your inner most self are dragged beneath the grey lens of inquiry in an attempt to identify the cause of your failure to launch.
You desperately clutch to the proverbial philosophy that “there’s more to life than work”, ignoring the implication that work is still a significant something. You try to fill your time with more of this other stuff that isn’t work, but every new project or skill you can’t master immediately becomes frustrating and futile, further proof of your failure to ever make any positive contribution to humanity.
You wake up every day, not knowing what time it is; time is irrelevant in your bubble of self-pity and rejection. You trawl through page after page of job advertisements until your vision blurs. Hours are spent fastidiously completing applications; you follow the instructions to the letter and spend an unnecessary amount of time contemplating answers to questions that don’t seem relevant for the low wage, entry level roles you’ve resigned yourself to.
As the days pass without any response from prospective employers, you begin to suspect that your constant stream of applications are being delivered directly into a black hole. The only option is to cast an ever widening net; this means that you begin slowly compromising the ambitions that you were always taught to have.
With the mantra of “make your own luck” still resonating in your mind, you press on with your quest to be a go-getter, despite the creeping realization that there is a distinct lack of things to go and get.