The words of a Victorian stoic bolster me as I enter month five of joblessness.
The purpose of this blog has always been two-fold, to keep me occupied with a daily ritual, and to give me a place to express my journey in the search for a job.
It’s hard to put into words how I feel five months down the road from being “made redundant” as they say in Britain.
The anger has subsided (for the most part). The emotion is leveling off. And the confusion is gone.
As I mentioned in last Tuesday’s podcast, the truth is I really don’t know what it is I want to do with my life. It’s hard to proceed when you don’t have a direction. Once I find one, I can achieve it, but not having a goal is disheartening right now.
When I graduated from high school, my Dad handed me a card with the classic Rudyard Kipling poem “If” printed on it. Nothing else. Just the poem and “Love, Dad” signed at the end. I knew it was personal then, because he didn’t add “…and Mom” to indicate he was covering for her as well. No, this wwas different, this was HIS advice to me. Not being the talking type family, the message was clear, and I took the words of the poem to heart.
I have referenced that poem time and time again in my life. It has come to be my lifeline to my late father in times of need. It’s almost as if through Kipling’s prose he can guide me from beyond.
Well, it seems, Dad, I have come to the line: “If you can bear to…watch the things you gave your life to, broken, and stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools”.
When reading that line, I can recall him getting dismissed from his job at about the same age I am now. He kept a stiff upper lip and moved forward without contempt, in the Victorian stoicism championed by the poem.
And so I pick up the worn out tool box. The one with the wrench that doesn’t fit the bolt. And I step forward, not knowing if I can fix things, but only knowing I have to keep trying.