Reflections on Fall, 2012

I’ve wanted to expand this blog more, but my goals have fallen flat. Don’t worry, I won’t quite writing. It’s not the writing that is the problem; it’s the time. I have time to write, read the blogs I follow, comment and like as desired, but I don’t have time to seek out and explore new blogs. Nor have I had time to research for deeper content posts.

Why is this the case? When I began the blog, I said that I had hoped to do so sooner but I had two sick family members to take care of. In both cases, I was primary caretaker. After a mere month’s respite, the process began again. My grandpa’s health-both physical and mental- rapidly declined.* He has become combative and won’t take care of himself. My grandmother can’t handle it alone and it’s taking a severe mental toll on her. As the only person in the family of age without a permanent job, managing daily events for my grandparents and driving them where needed has fallen to me. It’s nearly a full-time job. I never expected with an undergrad in history and a masters in library science I would end up a nurse and chauffeur. But if it wasn’t for me, my mother would have been forced to give up her job and with it our insurance.  We are now looking into nursing homes as well.

This whole situation has devastated many plans I had for this fall; it’s not just the blog. I’ve missed the deadlines for applying to several good jobs. Most of my cover letter and blog writing is done in the late night hours. The days –and nights–are simply too full. I also have the volunteer transcription project I’ve been working on. Under normal circumstances, there is no reason it should have taken me two months to transcribe 31 documents. Somehow I’ve managed to attend a handful of webinars and read my ALA and ACRL publications to keep up with the library science world, but not to the extend I would like; I’m behind on the journals. Plus, I’ve substitute taught at least one day a week and the son of a family friend was in a horrific motorcycle wreck in late October (he’s slowly recovering).

Why am I writing this? It’s not for sympathy. For as long as I can remember, writing has been my way of coping. First in journals; later in poems and short stories. If desired, I could publish a slew of the latter. The coping is one reason. Sure, I don’t have to share this but I am. Why? I’m competing for a job in an extremely tough market. As several recent studies (1 2 3) demonstrated, less than 20% of the positions in my field are entry-level, and even then most are filled with experienced candidates instead of recent graduates. None of this family stuff is resume-worthy. I can only officially fill the nearly-six-month gap with subbing, a medium-sized in-progress freelance project, and volunteering. If an employer finds this post, they will have a greater understanding of what I’ve been through since graduation.

Additionally, I had more free time and sleep when I was in college and grad school than I do now.** I’m not trying to be a boomerang kid with no plans to leave home. On the contrary, I have plans and goals I would very much like to complete. I want to find a fulfilling career, publish more, travel a bit, and settle down and raise a family of my own (not necessarily in that order). All my plans are on hold, waiting for that elusive job offer. It’s just if there was any point in my life to not have a job, I’m thankful it is one in which I can help my family instead of sitting idly by.

You’ll notice for this post I’ve removed the like and share options. There is nothing likable or share-worthy about this. There is no sense to have them.

*I will not provide full medical or situational details here.

**This might be why the explorations that inspired my earlier bonus post were so joyful.

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