Autopsy of a Job Search

As summer sand dwindles in this post-grad hourglass,

And with it is the last of my calm.

Almost seventy job applications

Without an open door,

An option, possibility.

The thing they don’t tell you about the job search is how quickly you turn on yourself,

How maddeningly your mood swings.

My chest is a relentless moshpit.

I haven’t slept in six days,

Nails digging into my neck,

I wake in panic attacks,

Staccato breath and sweat is my new alarm.

My skin is red and raw from scratching it non-stop.

Perhaps my hands want my outsides to match my insides.

I cry on benches.

Air is a heavy, sour thing now.

I can’t tell what’s more exhausting: the lack of sleep or how I’ve become anxiety’s windup doll.

Pacing around a dissolving world is a painful feeling,

Watching everyone build as your trying your best not break.

With glue in one hand and scotch tape in the other, I can’t bring myself to behold a reflection I no longer recognize,

Assembling into a sum of shoulds.

You can read it in my eyes,

Count their creases in hours I did not sleep.

In my voice,

Hollow from where laugher used to live.

You see, I am the only certainty I have ever known.

Seventy jobs applications, countless “no”s, the worry of wondering if I turned down a job I should have taken.

I feel like I’m getting this all wrong.

Like the grains of sand in the hourglass,

My momentum is dwindling.

I worry I cannot save myself.

I worry I am sinking as I hurriedly try to tred water.

A job is not the answer,

It is only a life raft.

It is not life,

Just a way to make a living.

But the thing about my post grad life is that I’m drowning.

I do not need to swim at Olympic pace,

Answers fueling my breaststroke.

No, in the dusk of summer,

In the depth of uncertainty,

I just want to float.

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