There are some self-imposed limitations that dictate my unemployment experience. I’m sure we all have them. We can’t be reasonably expected to move anywhere in the country or the world for a job–that’s ridiculous. Some flexibility when it comes to location is good, I guess, but when are we allowed to say, “No, I’d rather be unemployed and be in my current city/home/state”?

My boyfriend is in business school for his master’s right now, and he’ll be done next spring. Our lease will be done next August. Therefore, I can expect to be in my current city for another year and half. I’ve already been unemployed for almost a year, and I haven’t found many opportunities that I’m qualified for here (that wouldn’t make me miserable; we’ll talk about that another time). Another year and a half of potential joblessness? Ugh.

But what’s the alternative? Moving somewhere else for a job for a year and a half? Being away from my other half for a job? That would involve a second apartment, another set of bills, and oh, my car doesn’t work right now, so I’d have to get that taken care of. All of those expenses, both financial and emotional, aren’t worth it. I would rather be here, in my city, with my boyfriend, my cats, my friends, and the other parts of my support network, and not have a job, than move somewhere and leave all that behind so I can get a job.

It’s so frustrating. I see job postings for things I’d love to do, things I went to graduate school to do, all the time, but they’re always on the coasts, or in another state, or 5 hours north. That sucks. I live in an awesome place, and that’s why I can’t find a freaking job: everyone wants to live and work here. Go away, cool people. Wait…. Never mind.

The sad truth of it, too, is that my boyfriend (let’s call him Patient One) will make more money than me right out of school. So wherever he gets a job next year, that’s where we’ll go, and that’s where I’ll continue my quest for employment.

These limitations aren’t really restrictions… I’m placing them on myself so I don’t beat myself up for not applying for every job I see, regardless of location. These limitations are because I care about myself and I care about the people in my life. Limitations keep me sane.



  1. Amen to that. After my unemployment, I was uprooted to DC for a job opportunity. No friends, no lovers… a fresh start I guess, but who wants one at 27 years old? It’s now nearly 8 months later, I refuse to call this city my own, and Thursday nights now mean making a salad and reading on the front porch, instead of martinis in the West Village with a roommate I’ve known practically since birth (did you know Leah and I lived together?). Stand your ground. There are so many rewards to being where you are.

    1. Thank you!! Yeah, I heard that you and Leah were living together. I miss the East Coast so much that it hurts sometimes…. No one here has known me for longer than 3 and a half years, and most people have only known me for a year. I don’t have anything even close to resembling those old friendships, and I miss it! Since I broke up with the person I moved to the Midwest to be with, a lot of my friends who I met when I first got here have decided not to talk to me anymore.
      I wish I could afford to visit New Jersey and New York again. I will get there within the next year (but I keep saying this every year).
      I miss you!

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