Monthly Archives: March 2010

when you find a fork in the road, take it

today i understand clearly, perhaps for the first time, that i will likely never again hold the type of job that is coveted by most job-seekers: the full-time position with medical benefits, paid vacay, paid sick days, and all those other little perks that come along with being a wage slave. it just isn’t going to happen for me. part of that is simply a function of the current economic climate. there are people in my town with masters and doctoral degrees competing with one another for retail and service-oriented jobs. (my degrees are in art and religious studies; seriously, other than teaching, what other job would i qualify for but retail?) to even get an interview at the local university is considered to be a major coup (a coup that i managed to achieve once but didn’t make it past the interview). so it seems that i have no choice in the matter.

yet, because of the lifestyle i ultimately want to live, it is a choice i’m making, a choice to end the futility but also a choice to consciously live a life more aligned with my values. and yeah, it’s obviously also a choice born of necessity. if i still held my last position at kcpl, i would hold onto it indefinitely, especially knowing what i know now, but you know what they say about hindsight. still, as i planned for library school and my eventual career as a professional librarian, part of the plan was that i’d also do this urban farm woman thing. i’d work a few years as a full-time librarian in an academic library to save up for a little fixer-upper bungalow. once i got the homestead into decent shape, i’d slip into part-time work (in this fantasy, i’m not alone; i have a significant other) and raise veggies and chickens and knit and preserve food and teach other people about these things and live happily ever after. well, i think we’re gonna have to skip over the full-time librarian part. therefore it’s gonna take a little longer than planned for the fixer-upper bungalow, but that’s okay for now. i don’t necessarily need to own a place to start growing veggies, etc. i just need the will and a few seeds and some dirt and a windowsill, and i’m in business.

what i do need immediately is a place to keep myself warm, dry, and fed, and yesterday i may have gotten some good news toward that end. i don’t want to jinx it so i won’t go into details just yet. however, if it works out i should be able to afford to volunteer at the integral theory conference in late july, plus save up enough money for a fresh start in the fall. i’ll either go back to kc, or who knows, i could end up in the big easy. meanwhile, this summer i’ll work my ass off and will work towards getting a freelance writing/editing gig set up via elance.com.

for the first time in days, i see a light at the end of the tunnel. i just hope that light isn’t a train coming at me!

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the next move

tomorrow i’m having a moving sale and i have quite mixed feelings about it all. most of the stuff i’m selling was in storage even in kc, so it’ll be nice to get rid of shit and not have to tote it around from place to place. but, it has been so hard for me to get used to the idea of moving this time because i don’t have a real job or any money to speak of, so here i am, forced to sell my stuff so i can make enough money hopefully to pay for a p.o. box and storage unit for one month. i don’t even know where i’ll be staying after the 28th. maybe i’ll change the subject of this whole blog to what it’s like to be a homeless 45-year-old woman of color. like there’s never been such a thing before…

anyway. this sale is tomorrow and then after that who knows. i try to maintain hope that i will find a job and will once again be able to pursue my dreams (although admittedly part of the dream involves my not having a ‘job’ per se). at the same time there are certainly no guarantees, especially in this economy. and i don’t like at all the direction this country is headed, especially if congress does what i think it’s gonna do this coming sunday. so, in my head i’ve toyed with personal alternatives to the status quo and one alternative that keeps rearing its ugly head is suicide. no, i don’t *really* think i could do it, but i still think i have the right to do it and i think it should be a viable alternative for someone who has given up hope. i won’t do it because i haven’t completely given up. the worst case scenario would be for me to do it, and succeed the day before something positive was meant to happen. besides, i’m too chicken to physically harm myself. however, the fact that i’m writing even this little bit about suicide does suggest that it has been heavily on my mind, that i think my circumstances warrant considering it. so i need to change my circumstances. and i need a little help from the universe in doing so. i’m trying to do what i can, what i know, to change things around, and to control those things i can control. but i need some help here. as i said in my post the other day, is there anyone out there?

the amazing damien rice

i have been obsessed with this man’s music over the last couple of weeks. i found these two incredible unreleased tracks on youtube. it’d be nice if he decided to put out a new cd; after all, it was 2006 when 9 came out and there’s been nothing new since. and it’d be okay if he put some of this great older stuff on the new cd. it wouldn’t be the first time he’s done that.

will work for dignity

i’m feeling somewhat (but only somewhat) better today than from my posting a couple of nights ago. admittedly, that was a bit morose, but that’s honestly how i’ve been feeling lately. i feel quite discouraged about my inability to find a decent full-time (or even part-time) library job and about the mistakes i feel were made in my moving back to columbia. i keep thinking back on what i should have done differently (like not have left my perfectly fine job at kcpl, duh!) and how things might be now as a result. however, i do understand that there are no do-overs, so now i have to continue to figure out how best to move forward.

having caught up on some zzzz’s, i spent much of today, as i do many afternoons, searching for and applying for jobs on the internet, library positions and otherwise. that too was discouraging: i spent nearly an hour on sears’ website applying for a merchandiser position. k-mart is a subsidiary of sears these days, and i worked at k-mart for nearly five years as a model employee. i also have experience in merchandising and doing layouts and plan-o-grams with k-mart, as well as with lechters housewares and lemstone books back in the 1990s. but it’s as though sears’ computer decided, for whatever reason, i didn’t meet the initial screening criteria. maybe it’s all that library experience i listed in the app, who knows? i thought might at least get my foot in the door for an interview because of my years with k-mart and for actually having done the job applied for, but i was shot down before i barely even walked up to the door. this is so prototypical of what this whole underemployment thing has been like for me over the past few months.

there was a bit of good news, perhaps. that job i mentioned with the kc employer in my last post, well, just yesterday they reposted the position. i guess they weren’t able to find anyone to fill the position and so i’ve applied for it again. hopefully that fact, and the fact that i did call on friday to check on it after i finding the voicemail will give me a second chance and they will call for another interview. and this time i will answer the phone before it goes to some voicemail netherland again!

so, still i’m doing the job hunt thing, but i know in my heart of hearts that working for someone else is not where it’s at. my current position at b&n is obvious evidence of that. i’m a fairly smart person who is a decent enough writer and has analytical skills and various talents, blah blah blah, and yet the only kinds of jobs i can get on my own, jobs that require me to kiss ass and/or jump through some crazy-ass hoop held by control freaks, at 45 years of age, are in retail or in libraries. for this i went to college, with thousands of dollars in student loan debt as the only thing to show for it? i don’t know. i kinda have this fantasy of doing my own freelance writing/editing/indexing thing as a primary means of self-support while i go to library school. however, the thing is that self-promotion is definitely not my thing. but, perhaps it needs to ‘become my thing’ if i’m going to be able to do the things i want to do with my life. i have signed up with elance.com, although i haven’t fully developed my profile or taken the initial admission test yet (will do those over the next couple of days). it’s a start, and maybe something that can develop while i continue to look for a part-time employment situation that isn’t so humiliating and stressful. unless i get guidance to the contrary, it’s all that i know to do, and keep doing…

is there anyone out there?

yeah i know i’ve been away for awhile. it seems that ever since i left kc, things have gone downhill. things haven’t turned out like i planned and nothing is as i thought it was. right now i’m working 20 hours a week at barnes & noble (although for the next couple of weeks my hours have been cut to 15 a week because of low sales), while continuing to look for employment, either something full-time to replace b&n or part-time as a supplement. there is nothing here in columbia, so i expanded the search to sedalia and back to kc, and that’s not working out so well either. or maybe it would work out better if i were paying attention to what i’m doing: going through my voicemail today, i discovered a message that had been left by an employer in kc wanting to schedule an interview. that voicemail was dated march 1. i called the number back, and of course, that ship has sailed.

and, i have to move out of my current place of residence by the end of the month. the lease is up and my roommate is getting a place by herself, which is just as well. her dog and my cat do not get along at all, to the point where the cat’s home base is my bedroom, with a baby gate at the door to keep them separated. the thing is that i don’t really have the money to get a new place here in town, nor the inclination to sign a lease, since i’m trying to leave, but i have nowhere to go because i have no secure job offers, or even leads really. so i have to find a room to rent, or someplace to stay, someplace that will allow miss sofia to come along. i had planned to give her away, but really, she has been one of the rare rays of sunshine for me over the last few months. i would like to bring her along wherever life happens to take me.

i really feel helpless and alone these days. i don’t feel as though there is anyone i can really talk to, because everyone is involved in their own lives, which i suppose is as it should be. but really, i don’t even feel as though i can talk to my supposed closest friends, which is why i’m typing this out to you, dear anonymous reader. i thought my roommate was one of my best friends, and maybe in our own way we are still close, but she doesn’t have time for me. i’m not a past or potential piece of ass for her. if we do spend time together, i’m either invited along with her other friends, or she invites them along, or she asks me to do something with her and then doesn’t tell me she changed her mind because she found someone better to do. another person i thought was one of my best friends, i haven’t heard from him in months. he never forgets a date, but this year did not even call to wish me a happy birthday, so i guess that ship has also sailed. another close friend, well, there was some sort of farmville snafu on facebook, and she basically dropped me as a fb friend with no warning because i joined some anti-farmville group, as a joke. after being friends more than 20 years, it seems she took her relationship with her fellow gamers more seriously than our friendship. i don’t know. i don’t think i’m a clingy, needy person, and most of the time i keep things to myself, but i’m feeling let down right now. i just need someone i can really sit down and pour my heart out to, without them being on a schedule, without them being paid to listen to me (because i don’t have the money to pay regardless), without judgment or even telling me what they think i should do, but just listen. but that is a luxury i apparently don’t have these days.

so, things will get done eventually. i’ll find another library job that i actually care about in a place i care about and am cared about and it’ll all be fine. but, in the meantime, i have slept like 3 hours in the last two days and i have to get up in 2-1/2 hours to go back to that b&n hellhole (who would have ever thought i would hate working in a bookstore?!). my mind is racing; i can’t even form coherent sentences in my thoughts (which is one reason i’m writing this out, to help with that). i can’t pray and even if i could, i wouldn’t know what to ask for. so hopefully one of you out there reading this (if there is anyone), you can pray for me, pray that whatever i need will be provided for me. funny, because my needs have always been provided for and probably will continue to be taken care of. but right now, i’m not sure how that’s gonna happen.