Hope you are all doing well!
So term time is coming to an end, yay! However, for a lot of final year students, this means they about embark on the real world. Unemployment amongst graduates is not new news, however, it affects us all the same. Unemployment really does mess with you mentally, well that is what it did to me. What we forget in those low moments is that just because we don’t have it all together today does not mean we never will. I spoke to Mickael who shared his inspiring story, and I am so happy to share this with you guys because I KNOW someone will be blessed!
So tell us about yourself?
My Name is Mickael Bolenge. I am 24, but by the time this comes out, I will be 25. I am a manager of a company I will not reveal lol. I would say I am very energetic, easy going and laid back. My friends would probably describe me as very silly, chilled and “different”. Personally, I love being around different types of people, does not really matter who you are. I love my TV shows, I love watching my Anime, and I love writing. Writing is something I am very passionate about as I am an author. I have a blog and recently released my first book this year called “A String of Lies”. Make sure you get that on Amazon!
Have you ever been through a challenging phase in your life?
Yes, I have had multiple challenging times in my life, to be honest. Life as a whole is challenging anyway. I would say one of the most difficult phases I experienced was when I was unemployed. It started when I was in university, I was not working because I wanted to give myself time for studies and my dissertation. Then, coming out of university, I was looking for graduate jobs. I began to apply for jobs here and there and sending my CV to employers. I was not getting the responses I wanted, this put me in a real pickle. My mindset started to change, and I just had no idea what was going on. Is it just me? Then I began to look at other people around me, and it felt like I was the only one in this predicament. I thought, what am I doing wrong? This put me on a spiral, right into depression. I was not myself for months, months and months. I remember just looking at other people and just wishing I had what they had. I would lock myself away in my room, not really talk to anyone because I did not want to be a burden to anyone with my problems. I did not want to ask for help, I am the type of person that dislikes asking for help. I felt I could get through things on my own, even though I knew it was not healthy. My friends would ask me “what is up?” “are you alright?”, I just felt like the easiest thing to say is “yes, I’m fine”. Especially with a personality like mine, I am seen as the bubbly type, I am not easily triggered or rattled, so everyone sees me as that guy that is always smiling, so, for me to let them know that I’m going through something would be shocking.
How did this difficult period make you feel?
I was constantly going through a wave of emotions, it was actually crazy. One minute I was bubbly and happy, and the next minute I was just down. Sometimes I did not even know why I was down. Subconsciously I would know it was because of what I was going through, which was unemployment and therefore not being able to do certain things that I wanted to do, simple things like buying something to eat. Like I said, I don’t like asking people for help, even my parents because they have got their own things they need to take off. I remember friends asking me to go out and I would have to come up with an excuse as to why I can’t come and when you keep on doing that, over and over again it sinks in. I started to ask myself “what is actually going on?” “When is my situation going to change?”. At times I would just be angry, I could randomly lash out at people. Even coming to personal life, things like getting to know a girl and wanting to take her out on a date but not having the money to do it. It’s like what is the point of even trying? The way society is set up, there are just certain things you need to have money for. It was just hard, very hard.
Are you in a better space now? What has changed? How did you overcome those challenges?
100% in better space now. I am in the best shape of my life. Everything feels like it is coming together. The main thing that has changed is that I am working now, I have been for a while now. The money is good too, lol! I like the position/role I am in as well, it fits in with what I want to do in the future.
The first thing that helps me overcome my challenges is that I started praying more. I feel like that was really the catalyst for change. Alongside prayer, I started watching sermons online and I really got closer to God. A pastor called Steven Furtick, from Elevation church; his sermons spoke to me, I felt his messages were directed to me, for me. I feel like that was just God’s way of telling me that he has always been here, it just needed me putting in the effort to trust in him again. Once I started praying more and reading the Bible more everything started falling into place. I got happier, I was not watching what others are doing anymore. Watching what other people were doing was restricting me from being me, I was not able to be laid back, I was always stressing about something. Also, now I go to my friends when I’m down. I realised my friends are there for a reason they are not just there if I want to turn up or the occasional gossip. Even with me writing my book; when I was unhappy, stressed and depressed, I was not able to write I had constant writer’s block, but when things started to look up, I started writing more and I was able to release a book! I started going to the gym too, which is something I would recommend because it gives structure to your routine and improves your mental health.
What did you learn about yourself from these challenges?
A lot of good things came from my hardship. I realised I am a very independent person, once I put my mind to something I am able to accomplish it. I don’t feel the need to rely on people in the way I did before. Like if I wanted to go out somewhere, I would always rely on a friend to come with me but now its like I just go places myself and meet new people and just let my personality shine through! I realised I am strong minded and I like putting myself out there, I like exploring new things and getting out of my comfort zone! I don’t like playing it safe, safe is easy and when things are too easy I realised I lose interest.
What advice would you give to someone going through a similar situation?
- Hang in there – I know it easier said than done. Especially now that I am talking having been through it, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
- Keep at it – It may feel like things are not going your way, but don’t give up. Keep applying for jobs, update your CV and use different websites.
- Block out negativity
- Put yourself first
- Know your worth – don’t let anyone talk down to you, or settle for less than you deserve. Don’t let people undermine your craft.
Romans 8:18 is a bible verse that really did help me.
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. [Romans 8:18]
End Of Interview
Mickael’s Book: A String of Lies
Blog: Mickz House of Thoughts
Wattpad: Mickz Writes
Sis & Mickael x