Tea Time Chats: You Are Not Alone

you are not alone / post graduation blues / ziedarling.com

Today, I thought it would be nice to have a slight change of pace. So if you'd like, grab a cup of tea and let's chat, darlings. 

If you haven't heard over on Twitter, I started a new part-time job yesterday. I'm going to not say where for now, at least until I get the ok from Boss Lady, but basically, it's fun & I always leave smelling amazing. ;) 
Which kind of brings us to our chat today. I've gotten quite a few private DMs and messages from you lovelies concerned (or just curious) about that full-time post-grad-design job I scored right out of college. I've been answering these queries privately, as I wasn't really ready to be public about it. I was still too achy over it & still trying to catch my breath. Plus, I really just didn't know what to say. 

To the quick of it, that job was the worst experience ever. I won't go into a lot of detail, but on the first day, I was handed a screenshot file of another artist's work and asked to copy it completely. To which, I explained that I was extremely uncomfortable with and that it was against my morals, etc. Obviously that didn't go over well. 
Over the next 6 days, I was emotionally abused. My boss called me names, told me I was a "shitty designer and a complete waste". She was also extremely racist and on numerous occasions would scream racial slurs out of her office down the hall so our entire department and the department next to us could hear. They also were paying me for 40 hours but working me closer to 60+. Which, was 100% normal and if you didn't do it, you were going to be fired. The list goes on for days. 
I came home crying every single day and it very quickly started destroying me. My relationships started to suffer, my business 100% suffered and I just wanted to curl into a ball, cry for days and never come out of my room. 

On the last day, I simply walked out. I didn't even make it to an entire pay-period. I couldn't. And I felt like a total failure. I was supposed to have my sh*t together, you know? I was the one that everyone knew would get a job right out of school (which I did), and have this happy little ever after post-grad and rainbows and unicorns and glitter. 
And worst of all, I felt like I had failed my parents. They were so proud of me, you know? I had a job literally one week after I graduated college. I was working in my field and I was going to be making great money. That's what I went into debt for; that's what they went into debt for. 
But after having one of those cry-for-hours-convo's with my mom, she told me I was being an idiot. They were proud no matter what, ya know? 
So with their and boyfriend's support, I did the scariest thing ever: I walked out of a well-paying job with nothing else lined up. 

My thoughts were: I've never had a problem getting a job my entire life. Pretty much anything I've tried for, I've gotten. I'm great at research and resumes, I'm great at interviews. I was going to easily find another gig. 
To the short of it: I didn't. Not for a while. Like a month and a half or more. I was over qualified for most jobs, under qualified for others. And then some simply just didn't respond to me. All the while, trying to figure out where bills were going to come from, etc. Thank God for my parents, boyfriend and every single client I picked up in that time. Because that was an entire two-month period of just ultimate lows for me. 

But slowly, more clients came in. And eventually, I was pulling in enough that I'm actually doing ok! And when this part-time gig came along, I snatched it up. It's super part-time, pays really well and is at a place I love. Which is allowing me to freelance full-time, but still have the comfort of a regular pay check. And I'm so, so, so thankful! I'm 23 and I'm actually 100% chasing my dreams now. 
Things are still really scary. Money is tight and there is a constant state of chaos (because now we're moving! hah) and I'm trying to figure out a schedule and how to do all of this. But I'm doing ok. I'm making it work. 

My point in this little chat isn't to have some life-lesson take away for all of us. Because, I'm still not 100% sure what it is. Maybe it's to chase your dreams, take a leap of faith or hustle, hustle, hustle. Not sure yet. 
But I am writing because I want all of you out there who are going through similar situations to know that I'm here. I'm right there with you, just as scared, confused and panicked as you are.

So many people make this transition look beautiful and inspiring and super exciting.
When in reality, it's super messy, full of self-doubt and so damned frustrating. I feel like I'm learning how to walk all over again. And I feel like the rug got yanked out from under me and post graduation life is way harder then anyone let on. 
But I'm totally ok. We're totally ok. We are all going to make it to the other side of this crazy steep hill and be totally fine. Especially if we build each other up, help each other out and know that no matter what, we are not in this alone. 
We got this, babes. I know we do.