I’m sure there are people out there that can meditate themselves in to a half coma. I’m sure they find it quite relaxing to breathe and contemplate the silence. I’m sure they find it a rewarding and uplifting experience. I’m sure I’m not one of them. I’ve tried – honestly, I have but I can’t seem to fall under the spell of remembering to breathe. This can prove problematic as I forget to breathe in other circumstances as well. What results is a blue faced, heart racing, mind whizzing woman who feels the earth is falling away faster than you can holy lack of gravity Batman. I need to remember to breathe all the time.
I loved being a mature student and will never regret the choice I made to go back to school and take control of my career. I loved the learning. I loved meeting new people. I loved finding out that my skills are industry worthy. Lots of love. But the end of school and finding a job was far, far away in September and so remembering to breathe whilst knee-deep in projects and deadlines was easy to do. It’s easy to breathe when you are in your element and enjoying what you are doing. It’s easy to breathe when you feel you are taking the steps to improve your life and the lives of those around you. It’s not so easy to breathe when it’s all over and the reality of the debt you’ve accumulated and the responsibilities you have come at you like the Joker on a bender.
The first part of summer was great as I felt it was my due to take some time to recoup from a stressful year. I was working on my internship and the glow of school was still around me. Reality did not intrude as much as I still felt student-ish. Doing my internship allowed me to feel as though I was still on the right path, still being active in my career development, still moving forward. Now that the internship is over and the job hunt is in full swing, reality is much closer. It is taking some time and much reassurance to remember to breathe and acknowledge that applying for jobs in the summer time and during a recession is challenging. Regardless of everyone’s fantastic reassurance, I feel like throwing up the Bat Signal and having the caped crusader rescue me in his Batmobile.
There have been perks to this time off. My husband and I are getting to spend some time together. In fact we went for a bike ride in my old neighbourhood of Bronte to have breakfast one day. Riding down streets I travelled as a girl I did a little zig-zag move and started doing the Batman theme out loud shouting “Bananannnannaaaa Batgirl !” while pedalling madly. I’m sure my husband thought I’d lost my ever-loving mind but it was early in the morning and he’s quite indulgent to my moments of juvenile abandon. I loved the feeling of riding in the sunshine and revisiting my old haunts. I knew how to breathe when I was 12 and the hardest choice I had to make was what shorts to wear. Maybe I should get myself a Batgirl costume and ride about the neighbourhood for stress relief. That sounds like a mature way to handle stress and add some creativity to my day. For those of you who know me, you know it’s not beyond the realm of possible.
Yesterday was a bad day for breathing. While my informational chats are going amazingly well and the professionals I’m connecting with are very valuable in my job search, I’ve yet to have an interview in the real sense. I know this will change. I know once summer is over things will pick up. I know that being off right now is better for my family. I know all these things. But remembering to breathe in the face of unemployment and an eroding sense of self and accomplishment that a job brings is challenging. It’s not a challenge I can’t overcome. This is not my life for the rest of my life. This is my life right now and in this moment I need to remember to breathe. I need to remember that the villain isn’t me. I’m Batgirl not Catwoman. I’ve overcome challenges before and didn’t need a trusty utility belt to do it. While I may only be a superhero whilst on my trusty Schwinny, maybe remembering that once upon a time I knew how to breathe is enough to get me through. Now remembering to breathe all the time ? That might require some super powers.