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When You're Latina, Educated, Jobless…and Clueless

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The Single Life

When You're Latina, Educated, Jobless…and Clueless

At 34 I lost my job, apartment and health insurance. So I moved in with my parents.

Life really has a way of kicking you in the ass, especially when the powers that be know that your potential outweighs the level of comfortable mediocrity that is you are living. And my life has been pretty standard.

During the last two years, while gaining experience in my field and earning a Master’s Degree, I did the same thing every day. I clocked into work where nothing ever changed, completed the same tasks, went home the same route, ate the same meals, gossiped with my two roommate’s and followed the same nightly routine – and did it all again the next day.

Plus, there were my doctor’s visits. I have health issues so my docs are my BFFs; I practically live at their office.  This last year was worse as I dealt with every health problem imaginable and visited every type of specialist. By the end of 2016, I ended up having not one but three surgeries, each leading me to take Family Medical Leave form work. During my recovery from my second surgery, which left me homebound, I still managed to pass my last class and graduate from graduate school with my Master’s of Science Degree. My third surgery was a doozy and put me out of work for three months. When I returned to work, although it is illegal for a company to punish anyone for taking sick leave, they decided to punish me in other ways.

My boss gave me terrible evaluations. My colleagues created a toxic work environment. Every day I became increasingly depressed.

Months later, I had enough. My work was seriously affecting my mental, emotional and physical health. I finally put in my two-week resignation – without a backup plan. The lease to my apartment would need to be renewed or terminated. All of a sudden I had no job, no place to live, no health insurance…what was I to do?

PLUS: And Just Like That…Everything Changed

Move in with my parents.

Off I went. My educated 34-year-old single and jobless ass went to live with my momma and poppa. I was going backwards in life. I cried the entire ride there. 

This is not where I am supposed to be. At 34, I should have a fulfilling and thriving career. I am supposed be married with children. I am supposed to be an independent woman, not a woman who’s shacking up with her parents nor need them like a toddler. I feel like I’m failing at life and adulting. I have let myself down in every aspect of my life.

But…I am here. Without a choice. I will just accept my mediocre life. Right? No, no. Not at all. Not anymore. There is a silver lining to all of this, I have found it. My mother has a few medical issues and needs me to care for her. I know that’s one of the reasons I needed to return home. I also know many people that are struggling, looking for work or hoping for a less miserable life. I kind of have the entire world at my fingertips.

Now, instead of feeling like a failure, I realize that I needed a breather. Oddly enough, this experience has not only restored my self-esteem, but also my belief in my talents, capabilities and, most of all, my faith is renewed. I know that no matter what I undergo, no matter how completely clueless I am about my next move, I am capable of success and growth. 

I may not know where I am headed, where I am residing, or my next career move, but…I am single, 34, and have no children. I can go anywhere and everywhere. I can accomplish all of the amazing goals I have set out for myself. And for that I am thankful to be young, Latina, educated…and clueless.

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Jeanine Cruz

Jeanine is a self-proclaimed dating mishap expert. This Pisces often dips her creative toes in arts and culture, and has a passion for spoken word, playwriting, creative writing, and lyrical writing. As a native New Yorker living in Orlando, FL, Jeanine has a unique perspective on city and beach life. Her extensive Sociology and Higher Education background allows her to see dating, love, and women’s empowerment issues from various viewpoints as she adds a twist of humor and lessons learned to her stories.

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