Brigid Downey

April 30, 2020

How to be a Hot Mess (Gracefully)

Good Afternoon from dreary, rainy Wisconsin. I struggled with what to write this week as I try to pick back up blogging weekly. My numbers have been rising steadily which is honestly unexpected during quarantine when (let’s be honest) we just want to mindlessly binge Netflix. I struggled to think of what would be relevant, but not out of touch. What would bring the best SEO, but also entertain the bored masses.

As I was sitting here on my couch screaming at the ceiling (and whining to my fiancee) I realized something.

I don’t have to be perfect.

This post doesn’t have to be perfect, either. It just has to be real.

So Let’s be Real

I’ve always been hard on myself and a perfectionist. I’m the type of person that makes lists and color codes her work spreadsheets. I like planning and order and knowing what’s going to happen. The last two years– have been the opposite of that if I’m being honest.

When I moved to Wisconsin two years ago after graduation I had my life plan set in stone. I was going to find a job in digital marketing and write my novel. Josie and I were going to get married and I would go get my master’s degree at some point.

Life went like this instead: I had surgery. Then I was unemployed for six months before finding a temp job that doesn’t challenge me or pay nearly enough to pay my student loans. Whether my contract at that job is going to end or not is still up in the air.

I’m applying for permanent things like crazy, but with no network in Wisconsin as an entry-level applicant, I have virtually no leg to stand on. I had one opportunity a few months ago that they interviewed me five times for, sang my praises for a month, then picked someone else. I’m still really bitter.

Little Victories

A lot of companies are on a hiring freeze right now. I know I’m lucky to have a job right now, but I’ve been applying for jobs in my field for two years. I’m scared there will be less jobs, I’m also feeling inadequate.

So, what have I been doing?

Learning to code. Getting certifications. Keeping busy.

In the last three weeks, I’ve started doing #100DaysofCode and gotten back into learning how to code. (I’ve been learning on if anyone wants to join me.) I’ve also been taking HubSpot Certification Classes so I can keep my brain sharp for that dream job! I signed up for Duolingo again and I’m refreshing my French. You might have noticed my cleaned up portfolio and the new blog design! Yeah, I’m obsessed, too. ?

My YouTube Channel should also be getting more content soon.

Oh, and I’m pitching for freelancing jobs!

Not Letting Fear Control Me

I’ve gotten back into The Bold Type this week. I feel like Jane when she’s unemployed in Season 2 and Jacquline tells her she’s scared and she needs to get over it. (Side note: I want Jacquline pep talks!) I’ve been scared for two years. I’ve been undermining my own abilities because I didn’t have instant success.

I realized last night I’ve been trying to fit myself into a box. Or rather boxes. The “perfect Employee” box. The “Perfect Fiancee” Box. The “Successful GirlBoss” Box. I’ve been scared to talk about “taboo” topics like mental health, women’s health, LGBT issues, body positive things, all important parts of me that I’m afraid to voice too often because it’s like admitting I have flaws.

I was compiling a PDF portfolio for a job application yesterday and skipped over one of my best Her Campus articles because it was about the #MeToo movement and briefly talked about my own sexual assault. It’s one of the best pieces I’ve ever written, but I didn’t include it. Later that night, I kept thinking about the quote “Well behaved women rarely make istory.”

So, I’m taking a phage out of Kat Edison’s book and I want to #BeReal.

I’m a Hot Mess.

I’ll be okay. I’m going to be okay. The job will figure itself out and in the meantime I just need to be a little more fearless. I recognize that I’m preaching first world problems and that I’m lucky in a lot of ways, but I also know this is still important.

There are people with full time, good jobs who feel guilty for having anxiety. The class of 2020 is going to be graduating into a crushed economy and job market. And then there’s just being a twenty something right now. I’m still figuring out how to adult normally never-mind getting thrown into a pandemic when I’m 1000 miles from my family. I’m homesick, and floundering, and that’s okay.

I want you to know, you’re not alone if you’re in this dark place with me. It’s okay to be a hot mess right now. It’s okay to not be 100%, to not be the best homeschool parent, to be having anxiety, to have nightmares, to be scared or feel alone. You’re human and that’s okay.

It’s 100% okay to be a hot mess.

This week in the comments I want you to vent to me. Tell me what’s stressing you out and we can build a community of people who feel a little less alone. Also, tell me what content will be helpful because I’m a hot mess with no ideas! ?

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One Comment on “How to be a Hot Mess (Gracefully)

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