Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash

2020 has been a shitshow for many of us. I’ve yet to encounter anyone who hasn’t, in some way, been affected by the global pandemic. From lost wages to caring for family members with COVID-19 to collective downward spirals in mental health, the novel coronavirus has packed a punch on some level for everyone.

But 2020 isn’t content to stop there. No, because navigating an unprecedented world courtesy of a deadly virus isn’t enough, we’re also forced to endure the incessant rantings of the constantly-tweeting toddler in the White House, tensions that run higher than ever along political lines, indefensible…


Photo by Liv Bruce on Unsplash

Becoming a parent for the first time involves a whirlwind of emotions and reality checks. You’ll be adjusting to your “new normal” for quite some time, but recognizing these seven truths can help you adapt.

  1. You’re going to be exhausted — probably for a very long time. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make time for self-care. In fact, you NEED to carve out me-time. It may no longer look like pre-baby weekends filled with road trips to local wineries or all-day Netflix and Taco Bell binges on the couch. Still, you absolutely can — and should — rely on…


Photo by Natalia Figueredo on Unsplash

In March of 2019, after treating my team to lunch, my boss asked me to meet with him in a conference room. He informed me that despite my excellent performance, the company was in financial trouble, and they needed to eliminate my position — effective immediately.

I wasn’t allowed to retrieve my company-issued laptop from my desk (reason #7,895 why personal photos and documents shouldn’t be stored solely on a work device.) I was asked not to say goodbye to my team. I was told that I’d receive three weeks of severance pay. …


LIFE IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS

A 46-year-old woman is self-quarantining with her husband one month after he asked for a divorce

Photo illustration. Photo sources: Peter Dazeley/Getty Images, 4x-Images/Getty Images

Life in the Time of Coronavirus is a new GEN series where we are interviewing people across the country who have had their lives upended or are experiencing the stress of the unknown.

Jennifer Anderson-Henry, 46, is facing a divorce that she doesn’t want. Her soon-to-be-ex-husband, referred to here as X to protect his privacy, asked for a divorce just one month before Indiana implemented its shelter-in-place order. They are now living in isolation together as he works on home improvement projects so they can eventually put their house on the market.

On February 16, three days before my birthday…


Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

I haven’t written anything for almost four months, never mind been published.

Around Christmastime, the long months of searching in vain for full-time work caught up with me. My anxiety and depression, which have been lifetime constant companions, went into overdrive. I became crippled by negative self-talk — and if I’m honest, I started experiencing thoughts of self-harm.

Then, in February, three days before my birthday, my husband of 13 years announced that he didn’t want to be married anymore.

For a couple of weeks now, I’ve tried to work up the courage to write about this — about the…


Photo by Gabriel on Unsplash

It happened again.

I’d applied for a marketing job with a global property management group headquartered in my city. I didn’t expect a response — after all, I’ve been unable to land a full-time job in my field since being laid off nine months ago. Why would anything be different this time?

This time, though, I received a call from the contract HR recruiter just hours after submitting my resume.

“The hiring manager reviewed your resume, and she thinks your experience would be a great fit for this role,” the recruiter enthused. “They need to hire someone quickly — maybe…


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I began my career straight out of college as an event specialist with a tiny sports marketing startup. The salary wasn’t nearly enough to help pay down my student loans, so I started applying for temp jobs in marketing offices around the city.

I was scooped up almost immediately by an architecture firm and hired on permanently three months later. For the next 22 years, except for six months’ unemployment courtesy of a corporate restructure, I progressed up the proverbial ladder in my industry.

Until I was forced to embark upon the job hunt again earlier this year.

It didn’t…


All my life, when the going got tough, I literally got going

Photo: Seb Oliver/Getty Images

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a quitter.

When I was five, my parents put me in gymnastics. I was supposed to move from station to station in the large gym, honing my skills on the various pieces of equipment. But I quickly discovered that the pommel horse chafed my thighs and the balance beam aggravated my fear of heights. (The uneven bars were acceptable—mostly because I got to lay in a pit full of soft cushions upon dismount.) After the first few classes, I asked my parents if I could start taking tap-dance lessons instead.

In…


Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

If you’ve ever had to navigate involuntary unemployment, you know that it’s one of the most challenging experiences you’ll ever have.

There are so many emotions attached to wanting to utilize your skills when it seems like no one wants to hire you. One of the feelings I’ve been ruminating on quite a bit lately? The loss of financial freedom. That sudden absence of monetary normalcy.

For some people, being suddenly downsized doesn’t mean much, financially speaking. Maybe they’ve saved chunks of their salary over the years to accumulate a decent nest egg or even a rainy day fund. Perhaps…


Photo by Kyle Johnson on Unsplash

I did something way outside of my comfort zone today.

For 7 straight months, I’ve been slogging through job board after job board. I’ve given my “elevator speech” to more recruiters than I can count. I’ve spent hours prepping for interviews that would ultimately result in a dead-end. This week, I decided to try something new.

I decided to humble up.

I happen to live in a community that’s surrounded by distribution warehouses. After being unemployed for several months, a close friend gently suggested that maybe I should check out gaining employment at one of those warehouses for awhile. …

Jennifer Anderson

I’m a freelance writer specializing in relationships, personal growth, and mental health content. I also provide marketing and copywriting services.

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