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past-present-future-sign1-300x281The problem with most career change advice is that it is typically given by someone who is looking back upon their own experience. You know, the experience they had in the past. Back when they got fired or quit their job or started their own business. But ‘now everything is great’, and they are super glad that ‘that horrible thing happened to them’ because ‘they’d never have the life they have now if not for that struggle’. *Insert contented smile and possible inspirational quote-meme.*

And while that’s all well and good, and while I really, truly want to believe that ‘everything is going to work out for the best in the long run’, right now I’m living in the short run. And right now really, really sucks.

Right now I spend all of my days in front of my computer, screaming at the internet to let me do any work, any work at all–and deleting form email rejection letters.

Right now I can’t make any plans more than a week in advance because I’m waiting to hear back from three to five companies with which I have interviewed but from whom I have heard nothing. For weeks and weeks. N.o.t.h.i.n.g. For weeeeeeeeks.

Right now I don’t really believe I will ever hear from any of them again.

Right now I cut my own hair. Because I’m broke but also because it just really doesn’t matter what I look like.

Right now I often get up from my computer, walk into my bedroom, and pull the covers over my head and repeatedly check my pulse. Like in the middle of the day. I think this is called ‘having a panic attack’.

Right now I come home and silently cry after seeing a ‘delivery drivers wanted’ sign at my local pizza shop or a help wanted sign at the grocery deli counter. (And then I wonder if they’d even hire me. I guess I’d lie about my master’s degree?)

Right now I am so overwhelmed by all of the things I should be doing–applying for ‘real jobs’, looking for writing work, finishing my abandoned book, networking, searching and connecting on LinkedIn, reading ‘how to make a living as a writer’ blog posts (there are so many)– that I quite often choose to do nothing at all and instead scroll mindlessly through Facebook.

Right now I often go (far) more than 24 hours without eating. Not because I’m so broke that I’m starving, but because I feel as thought I don’t deserve to eat. I think this is called ‘being depressed’.

Right now I drink. A lot.

Right now I don’t get nearly enough exercise. And either too much or too little sleep, depending upon the day.

Right now I am angry.

Right now I am scared. So very, very, very scared.

So to those of you who are in this right now, those of you who are not yet looking back and quite frankly can’t even look forward, know that you are not alone. I’m right there with you.

And sure. I do hope that some day I get to look back and give this same crappy advice to someone else. Oh yes, I will say. I remember being there. It was awful. But now I’m super glad that horrible thing happened to me because if not for that, I’d never be where I am today! And then I’ll share an inspirational quote-meme and/or a photo of me smiling, contentedly.

When I finally write that post, please come find me. Congratulate me. And then punch me in the face.