There it was: a big, red "REJECTED" stamped across a plain white sheet of paper with my bolded name and contact information in the header followed by a plea for employment. As I looked closer I realized I was not only rejected- I was downright ridiculed with a red finger pointing out at me. The more I kept staring at the sheet of sadness I realized the paper was suddenly talking. That's right, a talking sheet of paper with black-framed glasses and beady eyes not only rebuffing me but calling me out. Telling me, "who do I think I am trying to apply for professional positions with this excuse of selling yourself !"
My eyes jumped awake as much eyes can possibly actually jump but the room was dark. Reaching for my phone, I realized it was only 3:30 in the morning. I was supposed to sleep until 6:00 and then start working on sending out my resume. That was my plan. That's why I had worked on editing my cover letter the night before.
But at that point I was so paralyzed with fears of inadequacy I immediately propped open my laptop and started editing the letter. Correcting the same lines over and over again. Trying to make myself sound like a viable candidate for otherwise menial positions. At 6:30, I closed my laptop and tried to find some peace with the back of my eyes but I still couldn't. I had developed a cold, nervous sweat despite the open windows blowing in 26 degree snowflakes. Next thing I knew it was 9 am and I could barely move from my bed from panic.
I sent out the first round of applications this morning. And I already received one rejection back. And you know what? It feels as terrible as I had imagined it would despite the respondent wording it nicely. Before I moved to the city, I had applied at literally over 100 random positions. But the rejection didn't phase me- I believed they were the one's losing out. Now, I feel stupefied. There is too much responsibility riding on these applications.
Now, I'm really a grown-up looking for a grown-up job with my grown-up degrees. The anxiety is overwhelming. I already had one pseudo-seizure/anxiety attack today before coming to class. All my self-soothing methods have failed me, all my classroom learned techniques a flop.
And now? I wait. Just like the thousands of others unemployed Americans.