Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Walking into the dark

Looking for work is a lot like dating. After enough rejection, you start to wonder what's wrong with you.

For those of you who don't know, I have been looking for work for seven months. I applied for dozens of jobs, researched newspapers and areas and organizations, written countless cover letters, redid my resume, researched open government issues in New Mexico, health issues in Oregon, University of Utah Health Care and BYU's honor code and wore eyeliner on a weekday. Girl Scout's honor, I was trying as hard as I could.

It all led to me sitting in the library, reading the "thanks, but no" email from the final job for which I'd interviewed -- a job that I thought I'd be quite good at and might even enjoy.

So there it was. No job prospects. Still unsure where I wanted to go. I was supposed to be moving somewhere to look for a job, but at that moment I couldn't think of a single place I wanted to be. I don't believe in crying in public, so I stared at my screen, hoping I was projecting a look of concentration instead of despair. I have a plan B, but I never actually thought I'd use it. Plan A was supposed to work. I am a Plan A person.

But Plan A failed me. Or I failed it. Nothing I did was working. Between my last six months at a job that went from great to miserable almost overnight and the constant, futile searching for a replacement, I haven't been truly happy in months. The blankness of the future scared me.

What do you do when something stops working? As every good electronophobe knows, you turn it off, wait a little while and turn it back on. All you need is a reset.

So tomorrow it's on to Plan B. I'm leaving to spend almost six weeks in Europe. Since I missed my chance to study abroad in college (if you're thinking about it, go!) I wasn't sure I'd ever be able to spend weeks at a time traveling. However, the time, the inclination and the finances (this is what comes from choosing to quit several months before quitting) all converged to make right now a perfect time to forget everything else and go. I planned furiously for two weeks. Maybe with this refresher I can regain the joy I used to get from working in the best industry in the world. Or maybe I'll find a job in a little bakery in Berlin or go back to school at Trinity College in Dublin or be a river guide on the Danube. But for right now, I'll settle for being happy to get up in the morning.

So follow my adventures! I'll be blogging, but I'm also on Twitter (@heidi_toth) and Instagram (heiditoth). (For anyone who was following me @leftinutah, you're still good.) The first eight months to the contrary, 2013 is going down in the annals of Heidi as a good year.

“When you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, you must believe that one of two things will happen. There will be something solid for you to stand upon or you will be taught to fly.”  Patrick Overton


  1. God Speed Heidi. I am proud of you for following your heart. However, we miss you more than you can know. . . .we need a good democrat to keep us balanced at the paper. If you become a river guide on the Danube I want photos. . . Often! Have fun, live the dream, and rejuvenate!

  2. Boo to the first part, but hurray on the second! Despite the suckage that led up to it, traveling for 6 weeks will never be a regret. Have a great time!

  3. You won't regret it. By the way, there's a good market over there for native English speakers. Who knows?