I’ve been a nervous, anxious person for most of this year. I’ve been on six interviews in the last four months, and no job has (yet) come of it. It’s been a constant mix of interview prep, dread for interview day, and more dread waiting for the phone call. And, when the position isn’t offered, it’s all anxiety and nerves about my future. Will anyone hire me? What am I doing wrong? How can I stop being so nervous during these interviews and show my potential? Can’t I just curl up into a ball on the couch and waste away there?
In the middle of a weekend of stress (I have a very large interview on Wednesday and an office visit next week for a job I feel unsure about), I’m woken up this morning by my mom calling me in tears about the mass shooting in Orlando. Then, messages galore from my friends and loved ones. Everyone checking safe on Facebook, everyone sharing blood centers for donating. And it puts my dumb silly fears in perspective. My heart goes soft and starts thinking about what’s important: that we come together and help our community. That this just happened in our backyard and lives are now ended by extreme senseless violence. That this needs to be not just another shooting; this needs to be a catalyst for change.
How can all of this stress and anxiety and nerves for a one hour meeting on Wednesday matter when I have breath in my lungs and life in my body and the ability to even interview for my dream jobs? That I get to express my talents and skills and live a comfortable life. Who cares how well I can talk about course alignment when we’re all grieving?
I realized instead of giving in to the panicky thoughts, the best thing I can do going forward is to be human – to show my compassion, my faults, to live honestly and be the best version of myself. Fear doesn’t let you do that. Fear cripples you at the core of who you are. How selfish of me to choose to live in fear when today, many of my neighbors don’t have that choice at all.
Today, there are more important things to worry about than your job performance or career choices. Today, we need to be humans who have the ability to help other humans and be the most honest versions of ourselves – a version of ourselves that simply cannot exist when fear is around. My interview on Wednesday will come and go, and I should be lucky for the chance to be there. To show that I’m not some candidate on a resume, I’m a human. We all are. And we should rejoice in that, the sheer pleasure of the human experience.