The In Cahoots! podcast is back! In this episode I talk all about how I’ve been feeling since graduating college a year ago in 2019, and how unconventional that year has been. Especially since the beginning of the quarantine.
Check out Jazmine Rogers for all your thrifted fashion and sustainable lifestyle! Follow her @ThatCurlyTop on Instagram, and That Curly Top on YouTube. Click here to listen to Jazmine’s interview on the Pre-Loved Podcast!
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Quarantine Catch-up: reflecting on the Covid-19 crisis and my first year as a post grad – In Cahoots! with @thegingerintrovert
Well hello there! You are In Cahoots with Liz, and welcome to another episode of my little podcast. Today, I’m going to be talking about the last year of my life, and how my first year after graduating college was basically a disaster even before corona. Or, so I thought.
Now before I start talking about today’s topic, I wanted to use a little bit of this time to highlight a Black creator that I’ve really been enjoying this week! I’m going to try to do this every week, so that I can lift up some wonderful voices who are doing great work within this space! So first I’m going to ask you all to go follow That Curly Top over on Instagram! I discovered Jazmine’s content through the Pre Loved Podcast, and I was really intrigued to hear her story. She is a sustainable lifestyle and fashion influencer, and her Instagram is truly beautiful. Whenever I see she has new posts or insta stories I click on them immediately! She is just one of those people that you can tell has a beautiful soul, and I love everything she shares about her life and her fashion, which I also find super inspiring. She is a big thrifter, and champions sustainability in everything she does! She just recently started posting on YouTube as well, and I have been so enjoying those too. They all have a warmth to them, like you’re hanging out with a friend. One more thing I really like about Jazmine is that she is a woman of faith, and her mission statement as a Christian seems to be similar to my own. An example of this is the bible verse that she has in Instagram bio, which is Isaiah 58 6-7. This verse reads:
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?”
I’ve clearly been gushing for a while, so I’ll just say that you all need to go follow her! I think you’ll enjoy her content just as much as I do. I’ll link her Instagram, Youtube, and her interview on the Preloved Podcast in the show notes!
I graduated one year ago in 2019. I’ve mentioned before, the end of my senior year was a little bit of a dumpster fire. I got dumped during the last month of my senior year, and my life was basically up in smoke right before finals started. But, I was able to rise above. Once all the papers were turned in and the finals were completed, I graduated with honors one sunny May day in 2019. However, I basically had no job prospects in sight, and when I moved out of my last college dorm, I moved back in with my parents, and I’ve been living in my childhood room for the last year, spinning my wheels and not knowing what the fuck to do with my life.
That’s not to say that I didn’t apply for jobs, I beat the pavement so to speak and put myself out there. However, I am planning on becoming an archivist, a career that requires a masters degree. I was originally hoping on getting a full time job for a few years before grad school so that I could knock down my existing student loan debt before I added more to it, but that didn’t work out so well. All the jobs i applied to at my local universities, museums, and libraries that didn’t require a masters degree either didn’t give me an interview, interviewed me and hires someone else, or my personal favorite, got me on a preliminary phone interview and told me after five minutes of talking to me that I wasn’t “right for the job.” Even after I had spent days painstakingly preparing a 13 page outline for said phone interview. Eventually, I was able to get a part time job at Barnes and Noble, and I settled into that position nicely. That is, until Corona hit. Then, I found myself laid off and suddenly without a job again–and back at square one almost exactly a year since my graduation date.
And to tell you the truth, I felt like a loser. But in a round-about way, the Corona Virus helped to put some things into perspective for me.
First, let me give you a little run down of what I have been up to the last few months in quarantine. I found myself with quite a lot of time on my hands and not a whole lot of motivation to do much of anything. By the time Covid hit, my mental health was already pretty shaky. But throw the stress of a pandemic, not having a job and still needing to pay loans, applying for other jobs and not getting them, and all the other things in going on in the world that makes me want to cry on a daily basis.
And the last few weeks, I found myself slowly developing those same feelings I felt last summer when I got passed over, yet again, for a library job I was not only well qualified for, but extremely excited about. I felt so low after receiving my final “no” to top off a year of “nos,” that I felt thoughts of unworthiness creeping back into my mind once again. I asked myself over and over, will I ever be able to get a good job? Will I ever be able to move out and get my own space? Will I ever be able to stop comparing myself to the people I graduated with, who all have full time jobs? I didn’t know, and it broke my heart over and over for weeks following.
But about a month ago, I had a late night conversation with my boyfriend that proved to be revolutionary for the both of us. When I cried to him for the hundredth time that I felt unhappy and unfulfilled because I had lost this job opportunity, he gave me some much needed perspective. He said to me, think of it this way? You’ve been given the gift of time.
And I realized he was right. Not only in the wake of Corona and a four month quarantine, but the last year as well. When I felt like I was spinning my wheels, I was also processing my wants and needs for the future. Did I really want to become an archivist, and go on to even more schooling and debt? After being granted this gift of time, the answer, it turns out, is yes. I’ve missed school and learning the last year, and now that I’ve discovered that I basically need a masters degree to be hirable and able to compete with others in the field, it’s a step I am now ready to take. And even though I came to this realization too late to apply for the fall semester, I will have six months to hone my application for the spring, enjoy the end of what might be my last year living at home with my parents. It’s really been a comfort to look at this past year as not so much as a burden, but a gift. And if you’ve been struggling and feel stuck during this difficult time in the pandemic, I want to tell you that you’ve been given the gift of time, too.
But I wanted to share something else. Even when I felt like I was spinning my wheels and like I didn’t know what to do, I found other outlets. Late last summer, I started this podcast, and I even found myself writing much more. I found creative fulfillment through these avenues, and they nurtured my soul in ways that a 9 to 5 might not have. And, again, I was given the gift of time to explore these new creative projects. So, if I can give anyone who may be feeling stuck some advice, I would say this: if you are struggling after graduating, or you can’t find a job, or you got laid off or anything, and you’re feeling really low, give yourself a break. Give yourself space and time, and think about what really nurtures you. Whether it be reading, writing, podcasting, exercising, cooking, anything! Dedicate time to that one thing, and even if you’re feeling unfulfilled in your professional sphere, you’ll at least be feeding your soul. And I promise you, you’ll grow so much more than you think.
Before I sign off I also want to mention Taylor Swift’s new album, Folklore! I, like everyone, was so super shocked by the surprise release of this album! I’m not going to dedicate an entire episode to the play-by-play reaction of each song like I did last year for Lover, but I thought I would briefly share with you my thoughts and my favorite songs for those who are interested. I thought this album was so down to earth, figuratively and literally with the whole woodsy motif she has going on for the cover art and the “cardigan” music video. I’ve listened to the album multiple times now, and it’s safe for me to say that I liked this album even better than Lover and Reputation. Red and 1989 are two longstanding favorites of mine, and I think Folklore ranks up there with them both for me. My friend cassie said something that I will echo, that this album is like red 2.0, which might be why I love this album so much! I just can’t get over the woodsy, warm vibes of this album, which I think was intentionally made to be super folksy and intimate. I just want to listen to this album on my record player next to a fire with a good book under a heavy crochet blanket while it’s raining or snowing outside. I don’t know… this album is just a vibe! My favorite songs are august, seven, mirrorball, invisible string, epiphany, and the 1. My least favorite ones are Betty, illicit affairs, and exile with Bon Iver. I was super surprised I didn’t like exile, since Bon Iver is one of my go-to fall time and writing soundtrack artists. But I think I’m so used to his whisper singing, that the tone of his true singing voice rattled me. Especially when he was the first to sing in the song, and that was just not what I was expecting. But the rest of the songs are golden, and I think so many of the lyrics are so hard hitting. Like in “the 1,” the line “you know the greatest loves of all time are over now,” which makes me wonder even more about the apparent easter eggs Taylor has talked about leaving in the album. So it always makes me wonder with lyrics like this, what is she trying to say? I guess that’s the most fun about this album for me, its so mysterious.
And that’s the end of this week’s episode and your cahootsin’ with me, I hope you had an enlightening time. I’m sorry it’s shorter, but I figure it might be nice to just put these little baby episodes out weekly. Next week I’m going to be talking about processing heartbreak, whether it be a breakup or the end of a job or anything like that. So tune in next week, and be sure to check out the shownotes for all the links to the people I mentioned above. Also be sure to follow me on Instagram @thegingerintrovert, and come hang out with me there. And if you liked this podcast, be sure to leave me a review and a rating, it would really make my day! Thank you for listening, have a great weekend!
Until next time!