Katniss Everdeen is the fictional character from The Hunger Games trilogy who is not only witty, powerful, passionate, sensitive, scared and young but she is also strong, devious, extremely knowledgeable, helpful and genuine.
I know Jennifer Lawrence, an American actress born the same year as myself (1990, holla), plays this brilliant character in The Hunger Games movie. I couldn’t think of a better person to cast. Lawrence portrays an IDGAF (don’t pretend you don’t know what this stands for, people) attitude, even when she isn’t acting. She falls down in public. She admits to loving food (I love food too, girl. Rock on!) And, she’s quite hilarious in interviews.
I have yet to see the first movie in the trilogy because I’m still reading through the series (I started the books later than I wanted to. I’m reading them now. Being done school and everything has allowed me to get back to my books and, well, blogs)! However, I’m truly inspired by everything Katniss.
In this interesting and challenging new time in my life where I’m in between jobs, starting real life but still feeling like the girl Taylor Swift wrote about in her song, “Fifteen,” reading about a character who has to deal with death at such a young age but can still manage to find beauty in the sunset and strength in following her heart is quite comforting.
I’ve also been reading a lot of posts on Thought Catalog, a digital magazine founded in 2010 that provides fun, journalistic, literary content for its readers. One of my recent favourites is called, “Life Is A Highway, But You Shouldn’t Ride It.” Ted Winkworth, the author of the post, got tired of the 9-5 lifestyle so he quit his job and rode his motorcycle across the United States of America with a buddy. His dream of riding on all the back roads with no plan at all, just adventure as his goal, wasn’t achieved at first, but in the end, he got where he wanted to be: Happy. The last line in his biography on Thought Catalog is very inspiring: “He writes for a generation of indebted and over-educated 20-somethings who are looking for something more than a cubicle and a loan payment.” Is he writing for me?
All this reading has taught me that even though I’ve been encouraged all my life to achieve milestones like getting into university, graduating, pursuing postgraduate education, graduating, finding a job, keeping a job, getting married, having children, retiring…I should really enjoy the time I have now.
I’ve heard that so many times since I’ve been back from school. “Enjoy it, Leviana,” say my Dad, my Mom, the random man who came to look at my driveway because my parents are thinking of getting it power washed… I often think, “How the heck can I enjoy sitting at home and being everything a stereotypical postgrad postgrad is supposed to be at this point in time? I don’t want to be just like everyone else. I’ve worked hard to be where I am. I’ve tried to make a name for myself. I’ve tried to do everything I’ve ever been told when it comes to networking, finding a job, moving up in the industry…So why am I at home unloading the dishwasher at 1:00pm on a Tuesday?”
The answer to that question is something I remember learning in my postgraduate academic career, which ended not too long ago. I had thought it was really silly. The answer is that even though I might have a plan, there never really is any plan. Just like you don’t know the end of a book, you can’t predict what will happen tomorrow, or the next day, or five weeks from now. Remember to breathe.
What to Remember as a New Grad:
- You have worked hard! Just because you haven’t found the job of your dreams right now doesn’t mean you’re going to be an unsuccessful bum
- If you’re passionate and ambitious, don’t let anyone take those things away from you. Those qualities are what will make you stand out in an interview
- Speaking of interviews, don’t forget to be yourself. Sure, being professional is important, but so is showing your true colours
- During your time off, enjoy the little things. Do one thing a day that scares you and take up a hobby. It might sound silly, but if you find the time to do something you love, waiting for a call after submitting a job application could be less painful
- The times are different now than they were when your parents were looking for work
- People are going to comment. I was once told that my dreams of being a writer were silly because I wouldn’t “be able to put food on the table with that as a career.” Watch me
I’m writing this post to encourage me when I feel down, but also so you know you’re not alone. What are your tricks to staying happy and healthy when looking for a new gig?