By Helese Smauldon
My name is Helese and I’m multi-passionate writer, performer and student currently in Brooklyn, NY. I vulnerably share about love, life, work and living with ADHD in various formats. Tap in to my work at https://about.me/helese.
(Yeah, I know, there’s no “Y” in Happiness.)
But there is a “Why.”
Like, “Why am I here?” Sometimes I feel so sure, and clear, about my life’s purpose, and other times, I just feel…lost.
Wrote a song about it, one that no one’s heard.
That seems to be a recurrent theme: Writing, creating, blogging, vlogging, all these amazing ideas that no one’s seen or heard.
I’m trying though, I promise, I really am. I’ve studied every marketing course, it seems. I mean the idea of applying it all, even trying to keep up with the constant stream of ideas I have, is overwhelming. It’s a common trait of ADHD. I’ve got about 49 folders to keep track of it all. I’m constantly taking notes. It just…doesn’t seem to be adding up to anything right now.
I’m usually the most positive person I know.
I mean as a Capricorn, I have enjoyed long periods of time of being mean, cynical, sarcastic, and just a
straight-up bitch. (Being a Capricorn means it was fun for me).
But I’ve been working on myself in recent years. (I want to be happy). I’ve really applied the principals
of The Law of Attraction, adding value, and just overall thinking positively.
But…I’ve let fear defeat me several times. Even today. Still crying about it. Here’s why…
I’ve been needing some steady streams of income for a while. To be fully transparent, I’m 35, have been
living with my parents for a total of about 3-4 years, (with stints in Charlotte and New York in between)
and my period is currently 15 days late.
Probably due to stress.
I learned from my previous therapist to go ahead and plan for the year. So I made getting full-time employment that I love, with good pay, my first-quarter goal. Today is March 31st. I haven’t had much luck with the job search – ok, I applied to a few jobs and my resume didn’t feel like it was working, and I’ve had a few interviews for one role with a nonprofit. I didn’t want to feel like a fool come April. Plus, I’d rewritten my own resume so many times…
So, I hired someone. I hired a career coach with the money that I made from a client, and she wrote me two SEO friendly resumes that really spoke to my skills, and a new LinkedIn profile. I’m currently keeping a spreadsheet of the 60 or so jobs she recommends applying for each week. (I’m hitting like 2 or 3 applications a day, the goal is 10). But I overthink the details of the cover letter (it’s what makes me a good copywriter) and sometimes get distracted by other things, so it can take me an hour, even two to get through one application.
And for these applications to simply disappear into the abyss, with no response, just feels… disconcerting at best, defeating to say the least. I had escaped that for a while by starting my business. But it wasn’t as successful as I initially envisioned.
The professionally-written resume should help with that feeling, but for now, it’s 11:36PM, and I’m writing a blog post about how bad I feel.
Now, my personal belief system tells me not to dwell on what makes me feel bad. And as I write this I feel better. But from around 11:00PM, I just needed to dwell…
…On all the work it took for me to work job after job after job where I was unappreciated, underutilized as a creative mind, just simply, discarded…
And let’s not forget underpaid…
Since I was 15 years old.
So I don’t feel bad about not taking a job I hate now. I paid my dues. (A term I despise and would never make anyone else do just because I thought I had to.) But…
You know I still have people asking me “What do you want to do with your life?”
I DON’T KNOW! MAYBE ALL THE THINGS I TRIED TO DO BUT FAILED AT! Maybe all the things I’m naturally good at, but there just doesn’t seem to be a place, for me at least, to get paid a living wage? There’s no blueprint for being a creative. There’s no blueprint for this shit.
And even when I did have jobs, I found myself wanting to be free from them. I’ve always had a really interesting relationship with work. I think I’ve always undersold my abilities and the impact I can make on people.
I know my priorities haven’t always been in the right place.
I have virtually no income, no savings, no 401k. No emergency plan, and no back stash of toilet paper. I know many Millennials can relate. I have probably wasted money on stupid things, but I have nothing to show for it (except pictures). I just know that many people have relied on me when they’re feeling just as down as I’m feeling right now. And right now, this blog is my soundboard. I hope you feel me.
I’m usually hopeful for the future. I still am. I just needed this. I needed this good cry. I needed this moment to ask “Why?” Why does my pursuit of happiness, and the self-actualization that lies therein, seem to be so elusive for me right now? How long will this struggle last?
I’m signing out. I wanna get this out before midnight, so I can say that I did something productive today.
If you’ve ever felt lost, disenfranchised, or wondered how long it will take before you start being appreciated for what you bring to the world..and getting PAID for it…(or if you simply just want a place of your own…) This is for you. Things’ll look up.
Helese Smauldon (she/her) is an alum of Public Allies New York (’11).
This piece is part of Public Allies’ campaign to highlight Black voices in our network in honor of Black History Month.