A Year of Unemployment

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.

Daily Prompt: Year





9 comments on “A Year of Unemployment

  1. Bonsai says:

    I feel for you here! Work can be the most unsatisfying thing. Even when I’m making a difference I think this. Mostly because I’ve always worked for “the man.” I once read a book called the “The Death of Nature.” It was a philosophy text I stumbled upon. I talked about how the further removed you are from the creation and transaction of selling your creation that more detached one is. I feel this strongly. If I were to grow a tomato and sell it as is or create some wonderful sauce and barter for a homemade candle I believe I’d feel pretty wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • MrJohnson says:

      My last ditch effort to motivate myself at jobs was to rationalize that I was making a difference. In the end I could never convince myself that I was important. You can call it low self-esteem or realism. I can deal with job dissatisfaction to an extent but I wish companies could be less rigid in regards to maximum efficiency. This is why people are getting replaced with computers…machines are the perfect slaves.

      Yes, I believe there is a huge disconnect in many aspects of life. I like homemade stuff too and giving away home grown vegetables. The whole process of putting on a vinyl record makes the music more enjoyable except maybe the part when you have to get up to flip it over.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I feel you here too. I cant understand work at all – giving up most of my time to make someone else a lot of money. I have worked 6 jobs now in the past 7 years and i eventually hated them all. It’s only now that i don’t care anymore I am starting to relaise what i want to do. Or perhaps you have to kiss a lot of toads before finding a prince – i never knew what i liked or didn’t like in my early twenties. But now that i know myself more i can work more towards something i would like to do.


    • MrJohnson says:

      Yes, giving up so much of your time and energy to something that sucks is a drag. I could probably endure part-time shittiness but full-time depresses me. It’s good that you didn’t stick around those jobs for too long. I’ve always had trouble moving on. I tend to hang on until the bitter end. Being able to hold down a job is sometimes overrated. I hope that you continue to be motivated by your film work. Thanks for turning me on to Black Mirror. I’ve been enjoying them all.


  3. Terry Lewis says:

    Yes, but how do you pay your bills? Is someone else paying them (eg the government, your parents, your friends)? Or are you living in a self sustaining way (growing your own crops, bartering goods, generating your own electricity etc)? Most of us work because we have to, though admittedly if we dialled down our wants and demands we could probably get by a lot more frugally, and work less. But not work at all (I mean paid work, that is) – how do you do that, and eat?


    • MrJohnson says:

      Hi Terry. I pay my bills with the money I saved from working. Some people give me the impression that being able to save money is a fantasy. I’m living at my mother’s house as well but it’s only saving me $300 a month compared to when I was living on my own. The extra $3600 a year would not affect me much. To give full disclosure, I get a free dinner on Sundays.

      In the beginning of the post I mentioned I was in a better financial position than when I was employed. To be more specific, what I meant was is that I have more money now because of my new venture. If I feel I need some extra cash I go purse snatching. I’m a pretty fast runner.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Terry Lewis says:

        Cheeky! But hey good answer – thanks for that. I’m not a real big fan of people knocking work and then living off those who do. And I’m sure you wash the dishes after Sunday dinner anyway 😉


  4. Naomi Byrnes says:

    Inspired me to not be held back by fear of criticism.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. lightpuma says:

    Wow. I’m impressed you took up volunteering. That’s pretty awesome–most people would just sit at home and rot away. Being unemployed is considered bad, but I think it’s worse to force yourself to work a job when it’s destroying your mental health.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s