The thing about the unemployed-becoming-self-employed-or-something lifestyle is, it’s fight-or-flight, feast-or-famine for a while.
It’s a reactionary life. “What’s out there? Jump! Get it! There it is! Don’t let it escape!”
When it’s about job-hunting, other pursuits in life tend to get dropped while opportunity gets pursued.
At the moment, that’s where I’m at. I have to work as much as I can RIGHT NOW because I don’t know what’s coming tomorrow. I could sit around and collect unemployment insurance and do nothing, but I’d rather be working. I’m thrilled to have the chance.
When it comes to taking jobs, I’m old enough to know that not just anything will do. When it’s 25% of your weekly life, including sleep, you better fucking like what you do, or at least who you’re doing it for and with.
There comes a point in one’s life when one should realize a job interview isn’t just about them interviewing you, it’s about them being good enough for your commitment. This is the first time I’ve ever been patient enough to see it that way and I’ve come close with some amazing opportunities, some of which aren’t yet played through.
Unemployment is a hard, hard road. I don’t care who you are or what you’ve been through, if you don’t learn new things about yourself during unemployment, dude, yer doin’ it wrong. Most of us, it’s probably one of the toughest tests, and most educational passages, of our lives.
I’ve been that person in the past who gets laid off, then the next day has a new resume, and nine days later has a shiny new job. I’ve done that. And it was one of the worst six months of my life. Including my mother’s death. Seriously. Bad choices equal bad results.
Getting A job, ANY job, is easy. They have books on it, you know. It’s a method. Look pretty, smile, be funny and warm and engaging, do stuff during your life that looks good on a resume, learn the answers, know how to talk, and really give a shit. It ain’t for everyone to master, no, but it can be learned.
The right job? Whew. They’re like blue moons and honest politicians, they’re out there — it’s just real damn hard to come across one.
Me, I’m in an era of transition. Whatever happens in the coming days will shape my year(s) to come. And it’s totally up in the air.
How often do we get to enjoy THIS? Uncertainty, hope, possibility, unpredictability, the unknown, variety? Most of us, we find a groove in life and off we go. That’s the path we tread for months, years, and even decades: Routine.
I called a dear friend on the weekend and told him a situation I had to decide about. Do I press forward despite the personal risk? He took a deep breath and sighed, we batted the idea around for a while. At the end, he commented, “I’m jealous: The unknown. I don’t envy the choice, but I’m jealous of the possibility.”
For years, he’s gotten up, worked at the same store, same people, same routine. For years, I had, too.
There’s a comfort in such a routine. It’s not exciting, but you know your bank account empties and refills, ebbing and flowing like any river of life.
This fluttery what-will-I-get confusion and possibility I’m living under these days, it’s driving me sort of insane, but it’s also something I know I might not experience again for 5 or 10 years. If ever.
All that being said… I’m glad I’m getting closer to resolution. I’m ready for a new chapter. I’m ready to work on other areas of my life. I want my financial picture clear and reliable so I can move back to feeling, and being, creative — with abandon.
The long things drag on, the more I feel like I should censor my creative efforts. @Smuttysteff who writes The Cunting Linguist? Sure, that says “hire me.” Well, actually, unbeknownst to some, it does say just that. Still, I’m not a fan of this creative apprehension.
A year ago, the Olympics were rolling into Vancouver. Since then, I’ve grown a lot through taking chances, confronting fears, and believing in myself in a quietly persistent way through some trying times. I’ve had refreshers about what’s important in life — and who. A year ago, I didn’t know I was about to lose my job. I never would’ve predicted the year that followed, but there you have it.
Even now, I’ve no idea what’s around the corner, except that it’s hurry-up-and-wait time.
But what I can tell you is, I hope I never forget some of the lessons I’ve learned this year, or the old ones I’ve been reminded of.
Adversity’s your friend. Suck it up, buttercup. Become better. Find your weaknesses and replace them with strength. Unemployment is a relentless opportunity to discover who you really are and what you really need.
Unless, you know, you actually enjoy the living-and-operating-from-a-place-of-fear approach to unemployment.
It can be a long ride, man. Best advice is, buckle up and see where the hell it goes. It might just be an end destination you never woulda seen coming.
With that, it’s on with my unpredictable-yet-not week. Oy vey.