On Feeling Desperate

I was recently talking to an old friend about how awful the time period is after you graduate college and you have to find a job.  No one really prepares you for the long haul of it.  We graduate college expecting to be more or less handed our dream job.  After all isn’t that why we went to college?  Isn’t that why we studied and starved ourselves for four years?

That angst jealous that pokes its hands at our fragile ego as we watch everyone else in our class get jobs before us.  Our egos take a hit with each rejection letter that we get from jobs we thought we were perfect for.

I was working in a coffee shop at the time during and after college.  It was a good place to work, and we had a great manager.  He made people’s lives better everyday.  He was 80% of the reason I still worked there.  So while I was looking for adult jobs constantly,  I wasn’t really desperate for one.  Until our manager announced that he had put in his two weeks.  He was leaving.  It hit me like a bowling ball.  All of us shift supervisors agreed that there was no way we would want to keep working here without him.

Suddenly I was desperate.  I didn’t just want a different job, I needed one.  Luckily for me that is when I started getting a lot of interviews.  Also luckily for me that is when the right job came along.  I pulled out all of my stops for this job.  I practically begged them to give it to me.  Luckily for me they did.  But I wonder, if I hadn’t been desperate would I still have ended up here?  Maybe, maybe not.

I decided to dive into this feeling a bit more, because I always thought of desperation as being a bad thing.  Now I am not so sure it is. So I brought it close and studied it.  I found that desperation can be both a good thing and a bad thing.  The difference lies in how you react to feeling desperate.

If you let it, desperation will be the small voice in your head that tells you it is time to move, it is time to change. 

Desperation can be driving.  Desperation pushes us forward.  It pushes us to do all sorts of things we wouldn’t dare do otherwise.  Because we know all to well that often it is not the things we want to do that we end up doing, it is the things we have to do.  Desperation drives the want to in us to the have to.

Desperation can be readiness.  It forces us  to acknowledge that we need to change.  Unfortunately most of us don’t change unless we have to.  Desperation brings that push we need to take the first step into a better life.  Desperation corners us to admit we have mistakes to fix.

Desperate has a very negative connotation in our society. We think of desperate people as those who settle because they don’t think they can do better, or the people who lie and cheat to get what they want.  It is true that side of desperation exists.   But there is also a very different side that we do not give enough credit it.

The side of desperate that creates the moment when we decide to pull our future dreams into our present reality. 

I like that feeling of desperate.  I want to hold it close.  I want to be able to hear the small voice in my head that says: now, this moment, take it, grab it, and go.

Mask PC-Caitlin WorthingtonPhoto Credit: Catilin Worthington

“Desperation is the raw material of drastic change. Only those who can leave behind everything they have ever believed in can hope to escape.” – William Burroughs.

“Desperation is sometimes as powerful an inspirer as genius.” –  Benjamin Disraeli

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