Tick Tock, I'm A Slave To The Clock

Honest hour #1: I never mean to go a week without posting. But then all of a sudden I blink and it's Wednesday and I haven't posted since last Wednesday and WTF, mate?! Does anyone else feel like time is blipping by alarmingly fast? It doesn't help that by the time I get home from work, work out, shower, eat dinner and make lunch for the next day, it's 9:00 at night and all I want to do is drink tea and be a vegetable on the couch. If you have a full-time job and manage to blog every day, I have mad respect for you. Yes: mad respect.

Honesty hour #2: Has anyone else heard of the Doomsday Clock?

Essentially, it's a way to symbolically show how close we as a society are to world-ending catastrophe. It was started during the Cold War, for pretty obvious reasons of impending destruction. In 1953, when the hydrogen bomb was first developed, the clock stood at two minutes to midnight, which is the most dire situation it's reflected. Things got as good as 17 minutes to midnight, with the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Since 2012, we've been hanging out at five minutes to midnight.

I don't really remember how I first discovered this concept, but it was a good number of years ago and it's been stuck in my consciousness ever since. It's kind of fascinating to think about, and there's something about the whole metaphor that I find appealing. Morbid, yes, but still.

Recently I had an epiphany: for the last year and a half, my life has felt like it's been ruled by a doomsday clock of its own.

What the hell am I blathering on about?

Well, starting in the spring of my senior year of college, life became not so much about looking forward to what's coming (i.e. the next vacation, the next semester, etc.), but it became a countdown to The End. I was graduating college, and then... nothing. It was terrifying. Terrifying. I made myself sick with worry about my impending world-ending catastrophe, and every single day I felt the clock ticking. Only a few months left. Your life ends in May. Doomsday is coming. Tick tock, tick tock...

Thankfully, midnight was avoided after graduation as I got my internship with USA Volleyball and shipped off to Colorado for the summer. But that respite was short lived, and I had to start worrying and searching for a new job two months later. I saw midnight approaching and felt the weight of the clock settle on my shoulders again.

Again, however, midnight was avoided. My internship was extended through the end of the year, and I had a great few months of job security. But, again, it didn't take long for doomsday to force itself to the forefront. I scrolled through job boards that were bleakly empty and sent out a handful of resumes to the jobs I was able to find, my panic escalating. Five minutes to midnight. Four minutes to midnight. Three minutes to midnight. Two minutes to midnight. One minute to midnight.

Finally, inevitably, the doomsday clock struck twelve. My internship ended, I didn't have a job, and I officially became a statistic: an unemployed recent college graduate living at home with her parents. As someone trying to prove to people that this generation isn't as cruddy and disappointing as the older generations think it is, I was utterly demoralized. There were no jobs relevant to my career path to even apply for, so I set about trying to make a life for myself in my own post-apocalyptic world. (Meeting Jim Craig and Buzz Schneider certainly softened the blow a little bit.)

But then, lo and behold, I got a temporary job! Woohoo! It was like finding a little pocket of survivors out in the nuclear wasteland. So it was back out to Colorado, where I threw myself into the madness of Sochi 2014 head-on and enjoyed every second of it (even the seconds at 3 o'clock in the morning). I settled into my apartment, a routine, made a life for myself.

And now, again, the seconds are starting to tick louder and I'm starting to get panicky. Only a few months left. Your life ends in May. Doomsday is coming. Tick tock, tick tock...

As I face the prospect of clicking desperately between barren job boards again, all I can think about is how much this sucks. I don't even mean the whole looking-for-a-job thing -- that's it's own can of worms entirely -- but the fact that there's a constant end date in sight. Of course I'd much rather have a temporary job than no job at all, but can we talk about something? This is the fifth time in the last calendar year that I can say that I don't know where I'll be living in two months. What the heck?! How is that even possible? At this point, I don't know how I'll deal with the stability once I eventually do get a permanent job.

I realize that likening my own life to the Doomsday Clock is probably not the rosiest outlook to have. But how do you stay positive when, uh, the end is near? Because, honestly, right now I'm really feeling the effects of two minutes to midnight-inducing H-bomb tests. I'm about to start building myself a bunker. Hey, at least now I know I can survive midnight, right?

The thing is, although I've faced the prospect of midnight numerous times now, it's always worked itself out. My "world-ending catastrophe" ended up being a nice, refreshing month off for the holidays (ish) that ended when I got the job I've always wanted (albeit temporarily). So clearly I need to have a little more faith in the universe. And myself.

So these coming weeks are going to be an exercise in positivity. Life is an adventure, and there will inevitably be bumps in the road. I can't let myself get distracted from enjoying everything my current situation has to offer. And if it ends and there's nothing after that, what's the worst that'll happen? I'll lick my wounds, circle the wagons and find whatever the powers that be have in store for me next. Been there, done that.

Stability and control will return to my life eventually. And I'm slowly (slooooowly) learning to be okay with not having all the answers. (But if you try and talk to me about the job hunt, I'll still become the biggest grouch you've ever met. Hey, baby steps.)

Is anyone else out there tired of always having an expiration date? And how do you stay positive?

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  1. Oh, I definitely understand the whole "Time is going by too fast!" and the ticking down thing. And the uncertainty, too, and the struggle that can come with that. But I think what I've been learning since graduating from college is that... we have more time than we think and we don't have to be in a rush to have everything figured out. The experiences we are having now ARE helping us for the future, even if it doesn't seem clear-cut or it seems like we're going in circles. So, I guess it's like: keep positive because you are exactly on the right path and in the right place for the life you want. Even if you can't see it or know it yet, you totally are! :)

    1. Thanks so much, girl! I have moments of clarity when I can see that I'm on the right path, but then other moments where I'm just frustrated with eeeeeverything. So I'm glad to know you understand the struggle, and the words of support are exactly what I needed to hear!

  2. Life is funny. In my day, one graduated college and there were multiple jobs to be had. So - I never had to go through what you are encountering. However, you are an awesome young woman who has already had so many wonderful life experiences. You are living your dream and how many people get to do that at such a young age? Something wonderful is on the horizon and you'll be ready to seize the moment.

    1. Thank you thank you thank you! :) <3