This was a tough month, week, year, weekend. Part of why its tough is that I’m finally starting to grow up and face realities I avoided facing well into my thirties through the rapid application of drugs and alcohol.
Realities like money, health insurance, and a full time job with bennies. Part of the problem is I decided to try settling down with a long term desk job right around the time the economy went sour, so for a year I’ve become more and more frantic as hundreds of resumes and cover letters go unanswered.
For the first time in my life I decided to really apply myself and try at something. I came home after long dull days of a button-pushing, entry-level contract and hit craigslist and dice, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon, all the local casual games companies, friends and family, trying to find a full time job. Over the year I’ve had high standards and I’ve had low standards. I’ve focused on jobs I really wanted, when that didn’t bring any results I applied for customer service jobs and tech support jobs. This year I couldn’t even achieve my sellout dreams.
Health wise, everything turned around. I went from a walking wound of eczema to it being better than its ever been after a lifetime affliction. Love wise, everything turned around. My sweetie and I have been dating around a year and 2 months, and he’s a wonderful, empathetic, kind, supportive partner. House wise, things have turned much more serene. I liked living with my brother in a chaotic home full of old wounds of my recovering alcoholism – the beer fridge, the door I ruined, the people dropping by expecting me to want to party. Now that I live alone no one drops by, and there’s never a beer anywhere near my house, thank god. It can be alienating but its never stressful. I’m glad I live where I do at this phase in my life, as much as I’d love a fireplace, a yard, a bbq, a dog, the works.
But do I dwell on these good things? Do these good things throw themselves in my face constantly? No. I fixate on why I am losing ground professionally. Why my career has been a mercurial arc of higher paying contracts for years, until I decided to take it seriously. Now I find myself getting paid less than ever, and this contract is drying up in 2 weeks, and the only thing I know is that I don’t want to do it again. I don’t have the stamina or the wherewithal to job hunt right now, when its more important than ever. I’m really hoping a couple weeks of not working will push the ‘reset’ button, I’ll find my old confidence and mojo, and get out there and take some names.
I’ve been contemplating meaningful careers and works. In my twenties all I wanted was to be a cartoonist, but after tirelessly drawing a graphic novel and a half I realized that I don’t really *like* to draw, certainly not 40 hours a week. I teach English to ESL students once a week and it fills me with meaning. Hanging out with friends and family gives things meaning. Playing with a dog, helping someone feel better, all these things turn my frown upside down. I know I don’t want to go back to school for long, if at all. So I seriously contemplated being a masseuse, but then realized, as far as I’ve come, I’m not touchy-feely enough, especially with people I don’t trust yet. Then I decided perhaps a DOG MASSEUSE would be a meaningful career to me, but perhaps I should start with some dog walking while unemployed next month. My boyfriend suggested the dog walking thing to me earlier today and it’s caught my fancy as a way to get at least a tiny bit of income while I find something that speaks to me on some level, some tiny level that isn’t just monetary. Or if I must work for purely monetary reasons, at least for a decent amount of money!