“Congrats on graduating, what’s next? Do you have a job lined up?”
For the first time in my life, I’m not completely sure what is coming next.
Throughout school, I always knew what was coming next. Elementary school, then middle school, high school, college, and then graduate school. Now that I’m done with graduate school, I don’t know what is coming next. I’ve always been a high achiever, so to be currently unemployed and waiting on a license that may take another few months to come through feels awkward. No one is telling me how to spend my time, but I still feel the need to answer for it. I find myself making lists of all the productive things I’ve accomplished. I feel the need to prove my worth through how productive I was in a day, but I’ve found that no one really cares. It’s all in my mind. Productivity does not equal worth.
I’ve been reading the book Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist. She talks about a disconnectedness from her soul and from the people and God that she loves. If you’ve been around me at all over my past three years in grad school, I’m sure you could see the same thing happening in my life. To go from the extreme pressure of grad school to unemployment is confusing, freeing, but confusing. Niequist writes, “I was addicted to this chaos, but like any addiction, it was damaging to me. Here’s what I know: I thought the doing and the busyness would keep me safe. They keep me numb.”
Being busy meant that I thought I could escape the question, “Where is my worth coming from?” It’s a scary question. But now that I’m out of school and unemployed, I can’t use work and busyness as means for giving myself worth, and I now have to deal with the fact I have often equated worth with productivity.
God does not view us as worthy because of what we do. The Bible says:
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:13-14
We are His, and He created us to be unique.