Lauren has recently been candid about her battles with depression. It seemed so strange to me--she seems so happy; she's living a charmed life! But then I stopped myself because that's exactly who I am. I am a girl with the world at my feet and I have a lot going for me. I have a supportive family, boyfriend, and friends. I smile all the time. I'm positively goofy even. But there was a time in my life when all of that was just what people saw. At home, I was someone entirely different. I was the girl foregoing a shower for a week, watching TV all day in my bed, eating entire bags of salty snack mix. I didn't want to do my favorite things anymore. And it made me feel guilty and like a really bad person.
Growing up, I wasn't the most popular kid. In grade school, kids told me my dad was probably going to die in a plane crash. I almost developed an ulcer because I was constantly worrying about him. I also belonged to a group of friends who excluded me and made me feel inferior. One of my "best friends" told everyone my parents couldn't afford me a new lunch because I'd used the same one for years. Nobody would sit by me. I remember on the playground at daycare, the girls were being mean to me so when they were unaware, I took some gravel and let it fall through the grates on the playground equipment. They all ran away screaming and told on me. Again, they warned everyone not to play with me.
In middle school, I met an angel of a girl named Jessica. We instantly became best friends. After she moved, our mutual friends laughed at me for not being able to walk across the street by myself. My parents wouldn't let me because a little boy had been hit by a car riding his bike to school. I pretty much kept to myself and focused on my school work.
In high school, I moved to Illinois. It was worse than anything I could've ever imagined. I used to cry in the shower before school because no one could tell; it would just wash away. No one would talk to me. Luckily it got better and I made friends with Kelsey, who is still my best friend to this day. I couldn't have made it out without her, Ruth, and Julia.
The strange thing was--even though I was so sad, I was still such a happy person, always looking to find the good in everything. If no one would talk to me on the bus, that was okay because it gave me time to read. I dreamed that one day I would become something and it would all go away. I was able to manage my feelings. Until early this year.
After working at UPS for two years and taking 16 credit hours, I about lost it. I know I've talked about UPS in the past, but for those who are new to this concept let me explain again. I work in the air district portion of UPS. This means I am outside, rain, shine, blizzard, or monsoon unloading and loading airplanes. I'm constantly surrounded by the smell of jet fuel, de-ice fluid, and smoke. It kills my lungs. It gets so cold in the winter that I curl up in a little ball and cry praying for it all to be over soon. Why in the heck would I work here? Well, it pays the entirety of my tuition plus salary. It sucks but I always thought, 'I'll get through this and it will be one of those things I look back on and laugh at.' But this year was different. I couldn't control it. My grades were slipping no matter what I did to stay on course and the weather just seemed to be purposefully ruining me. I hate walking out of there with five layers of wet, mushy, cold clothing on, hearing my socks squeak against my boots dripping in water. The cold in just so numbing and when it rains, I completely shut down as a human being. I will not talk to anyone unless it is to yell at them.
The bright side of the story is that I went to my doctor to get help. It seemed to be working for awhile and I found out I was going to London for two weeks to study abroad and I had received a $5,000 scholarship contingent on the fact that I quit UPS. When I read the email confirming me I'd won, I cried tears of joy and thanked the Lord. I would be able to quit UPS September 30th, 2011.
Hey! That's really soon. Well, the bad thing is that I need another job to pay for my expenses before I can quit. I've applied 6 places over a month to no avail. I'm going to try to apply more this weekend but it's just been a really painful and arduous process for me. For one thing, I realize I will be giving up a good salary and part of my tuition will have to be covered by loans. And I'm just afraid that I'm going to get a job I hate more than UPS. And it will make me even more sad. But I can't even get an offer from ONE place. So it's not like I can be choosy. I'm desperate at this point and I know I'll be at UPS at least into October. It just keeps getting colder and wetter and my will to be happy is crumbling.
This has been heavy on my heart for awhile now but it came full-blast Thursday night. The boys and girls on my 'crew' are supposed to rotate amongst themselves each night who drives equipment. Ideally, each person only drives once. Well, as luck has it, I usually get stuck with most or all of the responsibility every night because one girl never shows up (and when she's there, she doesn't do her share) and the other has safety meetings and misses most of the night. It poured Thursday and it dropped to around 50 and was really windy making it feel like it was more like 40 outside. I shivered in my rain gear as the wind splashed water droplets onto my glasses. And the real kicker--it rained the hardest of the night when I was on my own operating the K-loader. Everyone else was dry within the safety of the plane. I couldn't feel my hands (or my soul). I was doing that whole crying-thing again and I didn't get out of bed until 4 the next day, skipping all of my classes. And let me tell you, it really frosts my cupcakes to have to miss class on account of something like this--which has happened multiple times.
See that yellow thing on the right? That's a K-loader. It's totally like this except we're in the dark. Oh right, because we work third shift.
I hate working here. Because I'm totally girly and look at those vests. And I hate not being able to sleep in my warm bed at night. And getting enough sleep.
To wrap this all up, I'm doing so much better than I was. I'm just struggling with this job search thing and I don't think I'll ever really feel better until I find one.