Unemployment and I are no strangers to each other. The only difference is that I get older but unemployment remains ageless. I’m still unemployed, in the classical sense anyway. What’s not so typical is that I’ve somehow managed to be in a better financial position than when I was employed. If it continues to work out I’ll let you know. If it doesn’t I’ll also let you know.
The idea of grinding it out 5 days a week is horrifying to me now. I see people working their jobs and if it wasn’t for previous experience I wouldn’t be able to understand how they do it. There’s a different set of reasons on why people work their jobs but 2 of the main ones are to not be homeless and to maintain a certain degree of status within society. Being part of society usually translates into doing what most people do.
My previous job was neither stressful or difficult. It was a comfortable gig but one can often become comfortably miserable. It can be easier to play in the pit of fire if you’re used to the burns than to jump out to the unknown.
The periods of unemployment during my 20s always had the hope that a better job would come along which I guess it did but it always left me with the same eventual feeling of wanting to quit. The jobs were only better because they were either less shitty or paid more money, both of which will always lose their luster.
Having learned the hard way which will tend to happen when you don’t grow up having inspiring and supportive people around you, I knew I had to do something vastly different. Sometimes you only learn when you’ve exhausted all other options.
I gave in to advice that many people preach but never practice. “Do what you want.” I wanted to help people who needed help so I signed up to volunteer to help old people buy groceries and to also get them to their medical appointments. It’s been an exceptional experience and between that and taking care of the dog I believe I have improved immensely as a person. I have new appreciation for the line, “do what you would do if you didn’t need the money.”
Another adage that finally burned into my consciousness is, “no risk, no reward.” If you take the route that offers security it’s almost guaranteed to show you mediocrity at best. Mediocre is subjective but if you’re not feeling proud about what you’re doing then it’s probably mediocre and it’ll probably lead to misery.
“Who cares what other people think.” I care because it pisses me off sometimes but I just don’t care as much. Every big decision that I have made in the last 5 years has been met with immense criticism from people and conventional wisdom. Amazingly they’ve been appearing to be the best decisions I could have made. If hardly anyone is criticizing your life decisions then you’re probably doing something wrong unless if your main goal is acceptance. However, if everyone is telling you that the person you are about to marry is a bad idea then you might have to reconsider.
It’s not all roses around here. It’s more like a garden that has potential to bloom. But it’s still better than a garden waiting to die. All of this could still end up blowing up in my face. At least this time I’m trying. All the other times I just surrendered. We’ll see what happens.