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Three weeks ago I get a WhatsApp message from my brother. We've never been close even though we've lived together all our lives up until he got married and moved out in September. Brother-Sister relationships don't tend to revel in closeness and unfortunately, as much as I ached for a sister growing up, my parents didn't want to have any more kids because they thought one of each was enough.
My brother's message turned out to be a job posting added by one of two Pastors of the church we started going to back in May. He's become friends with them and has hung out with them outside of church. Fine, not my business. I've never been a huge social person and I don't believe in fake friendships and I don't believe you need to hang out with everyone you come across in life just because they're there. I prefer to have a small circle of intimate friends that I can share an important bond with because I've chosen to, but my younger brother is always open to having a lot of people around in his life. Good for him, but that's just not my jam. I also don't feel like you need to socialize and form relationships with everyone in a 200+ member church. Again, it would be fake of me. Cordial and Kind is more my vibe. I can and always will be kind to others but like I said, I don't want or need to form relationships with all of them.
My brother sent me two screenshots of that posting which I scanned quickly. From that quick scan, I knew I wasn't qualified for the job. I appreciated that he tried to give me a lead, but what I didn't appreciate was that sending me this, would only be trouble and stress for me. The reason being, he can't keep things private between us. This is why I don't like people close to me to send me any leads-- And the only reason why that is, is because you're backed up against the corner when they follow up with you. You feel like you owe them when you never asked for anything from them in the first place. I didn't answer anything back but because we see each other at least once a week and knowing him the way I do, I was willing to bet anything he'd bring it up. A few days later, he did bring it up-- only not to me. He brought it up to our parents and because they are both pushy people in general, they didn't question anything about it. Never mind that the job posting had many bullet points with requirements I didn't have except for the one I did have- Being Bilingual. Apparently that's all any of them thought would qualify me.
I did absolutely nothing about it. I didn't look at the post and I made no effort to apply. I didn't want to waste my time and I also didn't want to waste theirs. Simple. And it also irked me that my brother had such an effect on my parents that every time he had a thought or idea or pushed on something, everyone just had to follow it. I mean, thanks for sending me a lead but I have no obligation to follow up with you or blindly apply just because you thought it was a good idea. I never asked for the help and even though the thought was appreciated, no response is a response and that should be respected. If I had wanted to apply, I would've mentioned it. A few more days went by and my brother's courthouse wedding happened. My folks and I went as guests since witnesses weren't required but after it ended, we all came home to hang out. I changed out of my clothes and when I was still in my bedroom, I could hear my brother mention the fact that one of the pastor guys had mentioned the job to him again and still needed that Administrative Assistant. The question is: If they needed an Administrative Assistant so damn bad, why were they still mentioning it to my brother again? Once wasn't enough or...? Didn't they have anyone in their circle that was qualified? This was beginning to feel like a major burden brought on to me when I didn't even ask for it. The part that angered me the most about the conversation he was having while I was changing was how my mother just answered for me and said that I was definitely going to get in touch with Pastor X. I wanted to scream. I shook my head no and resolved right then and there that I wasn't going to do this because it didn't feel right and I wasn't going to be forced into it even though I was gradually being backed into a corner with no way out. I told myself that if any of them put me on the spot with Pastor X or Y about the job, that I was going to talk to either one privately and tell them that I was being pressured to take a job I didn't want and was clearly not qualified for.
I did have to be honest with my mother about my finances while we were having lunch days later and I opened my heart to her because the pressure was killing me and sending me deeper into depression. I was honest and forthcoming about my thought process the entire time and the outcome I was hoping for. I tend to never complain to anyone and keep things to myself, but I needed help. I have it, but in the end it's never free. Again, she kept encouraging me to apply to this church job not knowing anything about it except for the "Bilingual Part". My folks might as well be Boomers. They think you can walk into a place and people will hire you because you have one skill even though they ask for twenty. I spoke candidly to her about my wishes when it came to finding my next role and I thought she understood me when I was explaining it to her, but it's apparent she has a hard time trusting my judgement. Dad asked me what I was going to do. What I have been doing- searching and searching for the right fit for me, even if it wasn't perfect all around but I knew myself well enough to know where I could thrive and take care of my mental health, even if others didn't want to see it. He was also very pushy about that stupid job. Both of them mentioned that if the job hadn't been filled, there was a reason for it. I think that could be true in some cases, but not all. There are many reasons why jobs don't get filled but when it came to this one, I knew in my gut that it wasn't because I was the one meant to fill it. I knew from the very begging this wasn't where I wanted to be but because it was a church job, my folks thought that was a good enough reason to take it. It wasn't a good enough reason for me. I was adamant with them about not wanting to mix work with religion. To me it was the equivalent of going to work on your day off just to visit. They didn't get it... but then again, I wasn't particularly surprised about that. I told dad I'd check the job out just to get him to shut up. He said jobs don't just sit around and wait for us to come around- which in theory is true, but if this particular job hadn't been filled the whole time I had been ignoring it, I wasn't too worried about it getting filled any time soon. In fact, I hoped it would be filled because I was getting angrier by the day with no outlet to vent my frustration on.
I wasn't exactly sure what mom pictured would be my day-to-day. Again, she's no boomer but acts like one and in her mind, she was probably picturing me driving to the church Monday-Friday and coming home to have the weekend off. She didn't grill my brother, she didn't ask for details. She took his word as golden. Days later when Friday came, she was cleaning up a bit then asked me out of the blue if I had applied for the job. I said NO, plain and simple. When she asked me why, I said I was looking for other leads. She went on and on about how I needed to take this opportunity. That I would be in a safe work environment with good people. That my husband needed to support me and help me with some money because I was his responsibility as his wife even though I repeatedly told her and she fully knows that my husband lives paycheck to paycheck and has been paying for all of our USCIS fees and saving as much money as he can with immense responsibility while paying all the bills where he's living with my mother in law. This turned into about two hours of talking, of guilt tripping me, of hearing me but not understanding what I wanted to do. I had told her that I needed to find remote work because I didn't know where my husband and I would be settling once he got here and if I committed to a job, it couldn't be so far out because my commute would be too long. Remote work eliminates living somewhere undesirable and working from home gives you the freedom to choose where to make your home. She said I couldn't afford to be picky even though my intention of not wanting to job hop was made clear to her. I have no desire to endlessly interview and go through 3-4 rounds and assessments. I wanted job longevity, work-life balance and positive mental health.
I tried my best to avoid speaking to anyone except my husband. I never told him about what was going on, because I figured it wouldn't be worth it anyway. I was convinced this would not amount to anything in the end. A couple of days after that conversation with mom, I found that to be true.
I didn't feel like going to church that coming Sunday. I was having such bad anxiety because I imagined either my brother or my folks saying something embarrassing in front of Pastor X or Pastor Y. Church happened, and when it was over, my brother hung back with my sister-in-law to have a conversation inside the main gathering room while my folks and I hung back and sat on the couch in the lobby area just waiting. We all usually go out to eat lunch together after services are over. Lately, my brother hangs back to talk to either of them for 30-40 minutes and I hate waiting like a stupid idiot for him to finish so we cal all leave together. As soon as church is over, all I want to do is leave and come back home and go to bed. I usually don't sleep much the night before church and then I have to wake up extra early.
We did go out to eat together Sunday, as always. this particular food spot had a variety of stuff but my sister in law told me they had pickle pizza and because we both went crazy over the pickle pizza at the State Fair, I wanted to try this one. I did really like it, even though the one at the fair was cheesier and better in my opinion. As I was chatting with her about random stuff, I was also listening to the conversation my brother was having with dad about Pastor X and Pastor Y. I caught a few words here and there but among those I did hear well, was a revelation that pretty much validated my feelings on the infamous job posting that had me anxious and fuming for the past three weeks.
Get This: Apparently, ALL the people that work for the church, are only VOLUNTEERS.
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