My life is stuck and it's making me feel incredibly depressed. Help me see the light and get on track for getting out of here.
This is long and a mess, and if you read it all the way through you're a champ because I feel like there's no simple catch-all answer to my problem. (I thank you in advance!)
I'm feeling this huge weight on myself that I just can't figure out how to shake. I'm relatively young (25 on Tuesday!) and a girl, and I moved cross country from CT to AZ two years ago to shorten up a long-distance relationship. Stupidly though, I really wanted to be carless, due to environmental and financial concerns. Since then I've spent most of my time being self-employed as an illustrator
-- I love what I do, but so far I'm not being successful enough to stand on my own two feet. Jobs come sporadically, and checks come even more so. This is a huge point of stress for me, but I've always been told it takes a lot of time and effort to get off the ground, so I've been mostly okay with that. But the financial concerns are big. The mister has been really supportive and pays most of the expenses, but I'm still struggling over student loans and some small credit card debt. I bought myself a tricycle a year ago (didn't know how to ride a real bike, still don't yet) and it helped with my sanity level. I figured I could get around a little more and get a part time job to supplement things. But it got stolen a month and a half ago and I'm once again effectively a shut-in. Except for mister actionpact's friends, I really haven't met anyone here (despite some small efforts of trying), and certainly no one I feel close to, and no one I can be creative with. My close friends are scattered across the country now, and I miss them constantly.
Since I moved out here, I held two part time jobs-- each lasted slightly under a month and then I just quit, not showing up to work again. To be fair the reasons weren't totally offbase-- one I quit because my dad was in the hospital and I thought I'd need to go home, and the other I quit because it was too far for me to bike (nearly passed out in the process) in the dead of summer. But still, I'm embarrassed at the way I just ditched those jobs. Very unprofessional. I tried to apply to some more jobs around here since then but so far have found nothing. The jobs I've applied to never phone back. I figured that owning my own business and being self-employed would be a plus, but I'm afraid I'm unemployable. I can't seem to figure out what kind of useful skills I do have, so it makes the job hunt hard. I'm nice and friendly, though I'm not especially pretty, so I have been turned down from waitressing jobs, for example. I'm also afraid to look for a full time job because I know myself and I would probably slack on my creative efforts if I put my whole time into another job. Plus, I don't like it here, and I'm afraid to settle into a job and get stuck here. (Irrational? Sure!) I know I'm depressed about this all, and could use some therapy, but to make matters worse I'm uninsured, and the only therapist I could get to currently I can't really afford.
I know I'm young, and I know that things aren't entirely hopeless; fortunately I've been blessed with supportive family and my boyfriend, and I have an unsinkable optimism that things will eventually turn around. But I still feel pretty darn trapped right now. It's causing mild strain to my relationship which could further escalate, and I really don't want that. I started seriously exercising last week to help with the depression levels and feel more energetic. I just don't know what else I should do. A friend offered to teach me how to drive, and I believe we have a spare car I could use. But I've been so reluctant to do so. I don't know if it's the fact I'm already broke so the cost of gas seems impossible, or my own strong feelings on the subject of car use. Maybe there's something I could donate to in order to offset the emissions once I had more money. I've tried really hard to be carfree, but maybe I can't win this fight. This is a car place, so maybe I just have to live with the guilt for now.
Well, anyway I know this is long and I must apologize in advance (but it does feel good to vent). I know there are lots of people who have it much worse, so this kind of feeling mostly just makes me want to kick my own ass. But I know I'm not living up to my potential and it's making me sad, because I know there's a lot of good I could do if I were less afraid and more in control of my life. Mister actionpact and I both agree this is not the place for me; I hate it here really. I keep wanting to make a change (like move to someplace like Portland OR, or go to grad school at the School of Visual Arts in NYC) but I just don't know how to get there at this point. Any suggestions of what I should do? I know people say 'if you have an idea, make the leap! It can't hurt' or something like that--but it's really hard when I'm clouded by depression and loneliness and financial strains.
And maybe on a more specific note, could you answer this question? When I apply to jobs I don't know how to bring up the subject of those two jobs from the past. A friend of mine told me that these are crap jobs and you don't have to write these down, but more and more places have background checks so I don't know. Sometimes I don't write them down as part of my job history, sometimes I do. Either way I haven't gotten any work out of it-- not sure whether it's due to a lie of omission or the bad portrait it paints of me. I am a good worker, I just can't figure out how to show them this.
Thanks in advance. I've read a lot of helpful questions already but I still feel incredibly stuck, so I hope I can make 25 a better year than 23 and 24 have been!