Twenty Sixteen Strikes Again.


TRIGGER WARNING: contains themes of sadness and defeatism. If you’re intolerant to those substances, and/or you can here to read something happy and inspiring, I’d advise against ingestion of this post.

On the macro-level, there’s a widespread consensus that 2016 has been pretty shit. Here are just some of the reasons why:

  • Most recently, and closest to home: the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck near Kaikoura, New Zealand. (Similarly strong earthquakes have since struck in Japan and El Salvador. The Pacific Ring of Fire is feeling pretty prolific right now.)
  • The most powerful nation in the world elected Donald Trump as its president. This seemed so comically stupid I genuinely never spared a thought to it being a potential outcome, until it actually happened.
  • Brexit happened.
  • 49 people died at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida during a mass shooting. This was reportedly the deadliest single attack on LGBTQ+ people in American history. Americans still maintain there’s nothing wrong with their gun laws.

On the micro-level, (i.e. referring to me, Beth: one small human in this enormous population), 2016 has also been pretty shit.

  • The sense of directionlessness I felt after finishing university was borderline paralytic.
  • I’m still working the same odds-and-ends-type jobs, where hours are week-to-week and are never guaranteed. Some weeks I probably make less than I would if I went on the dole, but when I think about quitting my jobs and getting WINZ-ed up, I get depressed because they’re currently all that’s giving my life a sense of purpose.
  • I’ve now been rejected from more graduate programmes than I care to keep count of.

Which brings me to my latest piece of depressing news.

Last week I flew to Auckland for a job interview – hence, the black and white picture of the Sky Tower. (The Sky Tower because what’s more emblematic of Auckland; black and white to represent the greyscale lens of disappointment I’m currently viewing the world through.) I’m not going to say which company I interviewed for, or what the job was, et cetera. That’s not the purpose of this post. If you know me closely IRL, you’ll know all the deetz anyway.

At this point I almost don’t need to say what the outcome of the interview was. But I’m gonna.

I didn’t get the job.

The assessment day went, in my opinion, really well. I had an amazingly good time talking with people from the company, as well as my fellow candidates. I felt like my interview went as well as it possibly could have. I was honest and positive and friendly. I did the best I possibly could do, so at the end of the day it wasn’t down to me. It was down to them, and I just wasn’t what they were looking for.

I’m pretty devvo’d.* After attending the assessment day, I’d had a really good feeling about it. Not only that, but they sold the job to me so well that I was genuinely excited about the prospect of working there. I didn’t want to get my hopes up, but of course I would have loved to have been selected for the position.

But in the end, all I got was just a piece of shit news at the end of a shit week at the end of a fucking shit year. They can’t all be bangers, can they? Not gonna lie, my eyes kinda hurt from crying about this. I don’t even really know why I’m so upset. Maybe it’s because I’m also on my period and I’d just been through an insane emotional rollercoaster last week with first earthquake-related scariness and then pre-interview nerves. I really needed a piece of good news about now, and I got the opposite.

But don’t worry about me. I’ll be okay. In the long-term, it doesn’t really mean much. November 25th is a day I’ll remember for a while to come as The Day I Didn’t Get The Job, sure. But it’s also just one day in a life that is already 22 years long and filled with other, much better days. It’s comforting to think back on all the wonderful days I’ve had, all the lovely lovely people I’ve known and continue to know, and all the incredible experiences I’ve been privileged enough to have.

And in the short-term, it means I’m sad. It means my directionlessness has hit a new peak (the only thing in my life looking up at the moment hahahaha ha ha), and I feel lost as to what the next step is from here. (Before you send me advice, please remember that 1. this is the worst time of the year to continue looking for grad jobs, and 2. right now all I want to do is feel sad for a little bit, kay?)

BUT it also means I’m going to go and clean my room, do a wash and probably drink a premixed G&T while eating a falafel kebab as a consolation feast, and all those things sound pretty great to me.

Take care. Remember everyone’s got their own shit. And if you live in the Wellington region (or along any other fault line e.g. Hawke’s Bay fam I’m lookin at u) please take the recent quake as a wake-up call. The unpredictable and unstoppable nature of earthquakes has been heavy on my mind lately. I’m currently in the process of putting together my own emergency getaway kit, and since before that quake struck I’ve made a habit of keeping my cupboards stocked with canned food and bottled water should an emergency strike.

Please also remember, if you feel a strong quake start, don’t waste time laying in bed like I did. GET YOUR PRECIOUS ASS UNDER THE NEAREST TABLE OR DESK AND HOLD ON TO THEM DESK LEGS. If you don’t have a table or a desk, don’t get under the doorframe as this isn’t actually significantly stronger than the rest of your house. It’s better to get down right beside your bed and cover your head with your hands.

And with that, I’m off to go and have a party by myself with lots of Rihanna on repeat, while I’ve still got sturdy ground under my feet.

Much love and bon nuit.

*“Devastated”. Does anyone say “devvo’d”? They don’t, do they.


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