A Soundtrack For Hard Times

Jean-Michel Bernard – Mr. Fletcher’s Song

I’ve recently gotten over a bout of unemployment, and although my stint into the land of the jobless was comparatively short by many respects, even a few months without making an income can be nerve-wracking and life-changing.  No matter how hard you look for a job you are going to be left with time to spare.  I sent out so many applications, sometimes fifty a day, and I still had enough time to create this blog, write a few scripts, record a few songs, work out, clean my house and then apply for more jobs.  And after all of this I would still have two or so hours of free time, during which I have to focus to keep myself from hellish introspection and complete insanity.

Johnny Cash – I Won’t Back Down

Sam Cooke – A Change Is Gonna Come

During these times, a person can also feel so utterly alone and isolated (because, you know, all your friends are working and shit, so you have no one to talk to during those hours) that staving off depression becomes a full time job.  A shitty, non-paying, ineffective job.  Because you’re going to get depressed, you can’t help it.  I know I did, and there was nothing I was going to be able to do to keep it away.  The only thing I could do is to make sure that I didn’t let the depression keep me from applying, blogging, writing, or whatever it was I chose to fill my time with.  I never just sat back, turned on the television and waited for something to happen.  It’s an odd feeling to continue to work while depressed, to have my optimistic side that looks to the future and my realistic side based in the present fighting over which way I am screwed more.

Brett Dennen – Ain’t No Reason

Des’ree – You Gotta Be

Peter Gabriel – Don’t Give Up

But you get through it (or you don’t and you spiral down into obscurity, liquor and homelessness) and you realize that the hardest part about it all is the lack of control.  You are, more or less, at the mercy of the companies and the economy, and talk about shitty things to be waiting on.  I don’t trust either of those as far as I can throw them, and I don’t even know how one could throw the concepts of business and financial stability. You can’t hang your daily morale on those fuckers.  During the hard times, you have to live for the small victories: a sale on beef, your car insurance dropping $10, a phone interview, a short contract job taking dictation for a week.  When you live for the small things, it’s amazing how the tiniest improvement makes you incredibly happy.

Baz Luhrmann – Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)

Modest Mouse – Float On

Mumford & Sons – After the Storm

And any one who gives you advice other than, “Keep your head up,” needs to find the nearest catapult and send themselves hence, forthwith.  While I’m sure there are some people who need a reality check, I believe the larger populace understand that when you’re in a hard place you may need to take a job you hate just to survive for the day when things do work out.  “You may not get the job you want, Nic.”  No shit.  The job I just left wasn’t the one I wanted, so I get it.  “Maybe you should get three jobs.”  Maybe you should suck my dick, because even if I got three minimum wage jobs and worked 24/7, I still wouldn’t be able to pay all my expenses.  “Are you applying to all you can?”  NO, I’M SITTING ON MY ASS, HITTING THE FLOOR WITH A HAMMER, EATING MUSTARD PACKETS AND STALE BREAD.  I get they’re just trying to help, but do these people really understand how much time there is to think about all of this, how much a person tries to get into anything, anything at all?

The New Radicals – You’re Gonna Get What You Give

OK Go – This Too Shall Pass

Seal – Don’t Cry

So if you’re going through unemployment, keep your head up.  I can’t ensure that it’s going to get better anytime soon, but just know that you’re not alone.  Live for the tiny victories, always stay busy and don’t listen to anyone that’s trying to poo on your party.  As long as you’re putting your all into and you don’t give up, your luck will change.  Hope is free.

Bob Sinclar – Give A Lil’ Love