A is for Anxiety: what started the day you became unemployed and never entirely goes away.
B is for Bitter: what you don’t want to be but border on when you see someone doing a bad job and being paid well to do it.
C is for Comfort: what your good friends provide in a way that energizes and motivates you to keep on trying.
D is for Diversion: the tiny break in your high anxiety that comes from a friendly phone call, an invitation to go to lunch or a chance to do something unrelated to your job hunt.
E is for Everything: what gets to you sometimes when the situation is just too overwhelming to break into manageable pieces.
F is for Fear: what haunts you at night and sometimes paralyzes you during the day.
G is for Goodness: what you really try to find in every situation because it helps you hold it together.
H is for Hard: what every new conversation is that starts with “so what do you Want to do?”
I is for Industriousness: your ability to creatively engage and develop new skills to earn enough to keep you afloat.
J is for Jumpy: the constant feeling that something might happen; the anticipation of the phone ringing with good news or that you will wake up and find out this was simply a nightmare.
K is for Kindnesses: the thoughtful acts, large and small, that make you smile, help move your resume in front of the right person or simply give you a hand with a difficult task.
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L is for Lonely: the empty realization that you have to adjust to far more solitary time than you have ever had before.
M is for Mindless: the activities that you find yourself undertaking when you can’t take the pressure at the end of a long day of telephone calls, email, resume distribution and cover letter-writing.
N is for Nag: what you want to do when someone promises to help you and fails to follow through but instead you just feel disappointed.
O is for Old: how you feel when you see who is getting hired.
P is for Patience: what you never had enough of and what all this waiting is supposedly helping to develop.
Q is for Quit: what you want to do when things get really hard but you don’t do because you trust that it will get better.
R is for Resume: the two pages you have edited more frequently than any you have ever written and that still fail to adequately reflect all that you are.
S is for Stymied: how you feel when you can’t figure out how to make the right connection for a job you know should be yours.
T is for Talent: what you know you have, your resume reflects and the right person hasn’t noticed yet.
U is for Understanding: what your friends and family try to be but really can’t unless they have been there.
V is for Victorious: how you will feel when you get hired.
W is for Waiting: what you spend a lot of time doing that is supposedly developing all that patience you need.
X is for eXercise: the way to release tension and ensure you look your best – and the last thing you feel like doing when you are depressed and down on yourself.
Y is for Yawn: your reaction when one more person suggests a minor change in the resume that has been edited a thousand times already.
Z is for Zillions: the number of times you have focused on what you have to be thankful for rather than on what you aren’t.