State of Unemployment

“It’s terrible to have one’s future obstructed, and to have always to resort to makeshift solutions.” Simone De Beauvoir

I watch with great sadness the protest against unemployment on Wall Street, and the long lineup in front of employment offices in different cities of the United States and Canada. Being unemployed myself, the desire to get hold of something definite again, to have a job, comes over me and I panic some days. Especially in the mornings when I watch people in my neighborhood get into their cars and drive away to their different jobs. From time to time fear grabs me, a dark and gloomy feeling engulfs me, and I become irritated and restless. To think that after today there will be another day just like it, and another, and maybe worse ones. I become angry because I feel like I am just trying to hang in there while in truth all I want to do is to live a modest and an appropriate life. I feel like I am alienated from the rest of society, from the world. Sometimes I even feel this rebellion rising up in me, against society, against religion, against all the norms that I was brought up on. I don’t want to give up on a world when it is still out there. I live in a kind of stupor with a strange system of beliefs, where my future is no longer part of reality. And what a void the present has created between me and my past. I feel frozen and overwrought inside. Just one false move and my frailty could turn suddenly into intolerable suffering. And this struggle, this deceit to reject my aggravation, to keep myself in check and to deny my desires depresses me and I find it stressful and hard to bear sometimes.

“I think I am not exactly sad or unhappy. I don’t feel the sorrow is within me; it’s the outside world that’s terrible.” Simone de Beauvoir

How I long to be settled again in my existence, to find myself living a structured life again. Something, some kind of ultimate plan, within which I can lose myself. I feel the need to maintain my sense of time and space, to not let go.

Then I look out the window again and I notice the leaves on the tree just outside, their color now changing. Sweet. I see the sun shining on them, and I think nothing could kill this sweetness.

“One can live through moments surrounded on all sides by danger and still experience great sweetness.” Jean Paul Sartre


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