Today was day four of my latest adventure in the land of Funemployment. Consider it harrowing times for my generation; we are a flock of fledglings, indignant with the state of things, but blind to the root cause and therefore at a loss for a viable solution. I am one of many: a college graduate, law school dropout, well-read and well-versed in too many skills for a specialized society, and earnest to contribute in any way I can.
In the last few days of zen-like introspection and lifestyle bubble-sorting, I’ve reached a bit of an epiphany. Some inner voice has enlightened me of the proper code of conduct for my present predicament. I shall share these teachings and desperately hope that the population that would benefit from these revelations remains small.
- Don’t panic.
- Don’t slack.
- Trim the fat.
- Avoid vices.
- Introspection: find your cake and slice it into edible portions.
- Temper your pride: filing for unemployment.
- Be a butterfly, a social butterfly. Make contacts and pick up loose ends.
- Be the shark. Keep swimming. Learn. Take advantage of present technology.
- Love like you’ve never loved before – both yourself and your loved ones.
- Bonus secret: fun.
In the great words of Douglas Adams, drunken scribe and ultimate traveler, DON’T PANIC. If you absolutely must panic, have a box of tissues, pacifier, paper bag or a towel handy to calm yourself down. Clarity of mind is paramount to ensuring you survive this limbo period.
Don’t slack. Don’t get lazy. Don’t sleep in.
You need to make every minute count, even if that minute is used for relaxation. Get into the practice of doing, not just being. Letting things happen to you is part of what got you into this place. I wake up in the morning and make sure I’m heading somewhere for the day. There is a Vietnamese colloquialism for people who stay in bed too long, effectively “toasting”. My parents often warn against “toasting until you’re burnt”. Consciousness is a blessing and you’ve gotta earn your sleep, even if you are employed. When you open your eyes, use them. BE OBSERVANT.
Trim the fat. Exercise. Get your ass moving, because a slow body can lead to a slow mind. Lethargy is a disease. Also, cut off any monetary excess. Do you really need that $70 gym membership? That smartphone data plan? That subscription to Fabergé Egg Weekly? Maybe you do, maybe you don’t, but at the least consider the possibilities.
Avoid vices. Sounds easy, but it’s not, especially if you don’t know what your vices are. For myself, I don’t have to worry about drugs or alcohol, but I do have to control my internet and gaming usage. I watched an episode of Glee on Hulu yesterday called Asian F. It struck home because, as luck would have it, I’m also an Asian kid with dreams and an incongruous reality. I’m sorry to say, that episode was a waste of my time because a.) it was not relaxing nor entertaining to the level of my expectations, b.) the direct aftermath of watching left me frustrated and sluggish and c.) I will never get that hour back. I lost 3 things from that stint: morale, stamina and time. Words can’t describe how valuable this currency is in Funemployment country, and one can’t afford to squander resources.
I’ve probably lost your attention by now. Too many words, right? Let’s continue in Funemployment 102.