It's hard to talk about celebrating one's 5th month of unemployment. You don't get badges for this sort of thing.
And yet, I've been able to do so many things over the past few months; art shows, and etsy shop, and a startup business, and my latest adventure: learning from a Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef and cooking instructor. I assist for 5 hours, wash a million dishes, eat a sublime meal, take out the trash, and go home with my head buzzing with terms like "chiffon" (basil) and "tang" (knives) and "bain-marie" (custard).
The hard thing is that all of these wonderful adventuresome things I'm trying don't pay in traditional currency. I'm still looking for work, and any leads or references would be most appreciated.
I'm so grateful for this time, and for the friends who have gifted me in everything (not even kidding about any of these) from garden-fresh vegetables to uncountable cups of coffee, dinners and drinks, gas money, firewood and kindling, pickled beets, coffee beans, bottles of wine, art supplies, many, many job leads, recommendations, and resume consultation and even (from one incredible and mostly-anonymous group,) a whole month's rent payment, and in another case the extended loan of a computer when mine had to be returned to my former employers. It's not been easy to learn to humbly ask and accept when I usually love to be the one giving.
I am running, as might be expected, a gauntlet of emotions on this whole situation--sad, frustrated, fearful, yes, but grateful, too. There's peace under this mystery.