I've come to a crossroads in my life where I need to make a decision - do I keep playing the victim in life, or do I take charge of myself and be responsible for my actions? I believe that it's time to stand up and take what life has to offer. The more I keep setting up situations where I am safe, the worse off I'll be.
Somehow, I've always managed to make it financially. Whether it be a special arrangement for my rent, or having a substantial amount of money in my bank account. Granted, there were times when it seemed like I didn't know where my next meal was coming from, but things worked out somehow. There always seemed to be a safety net. This time, such is not the case.
I have to admit; my job history is very transient. I don't stay in any one job too long - either it's due to anxiety or stress issues, or of my inability to do what is required. The last job I had was a combination of both. I felt like I had to get out, regardless of the consequences. To me, the money doesn't mean much, not usually. This time it does - it means having a roof over my head and having good meals to eat. I will admit, from a financial standpoint, it was rather foolish to leave my former place of employment. However, I feel that they would have let me go eventually. I was having an extremely difficult time with the job, and the pressure was mounting. I was literally getting scared, and when I get scared, I have to find a way out. It becomes a life-and-death issue for me, so I end up making choices that I will most likely regret later. I guess that you could say that I live my life on the run.
So what am I going to do? Well, the first thing that I'm going to do is auction off some stuff and just start saving the cash. That should hold me over until I can get a new job, or find another source of income. I am going to actively start looking for work. Honestly, I have really had no desire to for the past month, even though I knew that this moment was coming. "Just wait til tomorrow..." Tomorrow comes, then another; next thing you know, it's been a month already, and still nothing to show for it. I'm practiced in the art of procrastination.
I would like to work again, but it is imperative that it does not interfere with my musical lifestyle. I will make it a point to prospective employers that I play in a band, and that is my primary source of income, and will be treated as such. The gigs will always come first - that means no scheduling me the day of a gig, or the day after either. It seems that the 5-day workweek would be best financially, but honestly I don't think that I could handle that right now. I'd be fine with 2 or 3 days a week, so that I can live and do things. Sure, I won't get benefits or 401k, but I don't care. I'll be damned if I'm going to be stuck in another factory being a mindless robot, making the same thing over and over again. I'll also be damned if I ever work in retail again. I am not customer-service oriented by any means. Oh, and don't even use the words "mandatory" and "overtime" in the same sentence. I'll only laugh at you and tell you to run along.
Is this wise? Probably not - but damnit, I'm not going to be one of those people who makes lots of money, but has no time to spend it or hates his job. What's the point of having it if you can't find the time to do the things that you like to do? I suppose that if you do find the time to do things that you enjoy, it makes things a lot easier to deal with. I know that it's simply impossible to be able to always do what you would like to do, but there most certainly should be more time for that. I mean, come on! ONE week out of 52 is NOT a very generous ratio. In countries like Australia, they get vacations every 6 months, and they get FOUR weeks if they so desire. so - eight weeks out of the year, they get to do the things that they want to. Here in this damn country you only get ONE to start with. Give me a break. I've said it many times and I'm going to say it again. I'm not going to be one of the sheep in the herd. I absolutely refuse to. Plain and simple. I guess that will make me pretty poor in a monetary sense, but somehow I'll manage.
The Road Ahead
What lies ahead? Well, things are definitely looking up for me in the music world. More and more people are taking notice of me and my abilities. This makes me feel needed and important. I've never really had that feeling before in my life. I guess you could say that I'm on my way to finding my 'niche' in life. This could lead to a profitable career someday. Sure, it's a hard road - life isn't easy by any means. But if you like what you are doing, it makes all the difference in the world. My only fear is that I could lose that passion, especially during a time of need. Then I would need to seek other avenues for income.
Money Is The Root of All Evil!
...To paraphrase an O'Jays Song (For The Love of Money,) they really hit the nail on the head! It all began when someone had the bright idea of using currency instead of bartering for goods and services. It seemed that the barter system worked better, and that it was much more honest. I'm sure that there were some dishonest folks during that time period, but the "honor system" was very much intact. People were honest in bartering for their goods and services. "I'll give you this for that..." It seems simple enough.
In my opinion,simply too much emphasis is placed on how much money we make. Society makes us feel inferior if we don't "measure up." Some think that they are better than others, and flaunt what they have in front of the "have-nots." If that's not enough, the media have picked up on this, and have learned ways to entice and trick people into purchasing things that make them to appear cooler, boost their self-confidence, and just make you (or famiy members) happy. Don't you love those commercials about hair loss? Boy, they sure make you feel worthless if you don't have a full head of hair. They create a scenario to give the illusion that unless you have a full head of hair, you're a loser of sorts.
My Travails With Hair Loss
I will admit, that for a long time I bought into this theory. When I was a teenager, I had a full head of long hair. As I started getting older, it began to fall out. The jokes ensued, and it made me feel inferior to everyone else. Pretty soon, I would refuse to go anywhere without a hat perched atop my head. Out of habit today, I still do this. I guess that you could say that I still feel a little inferior and envious of others who haven't lost theirs. I found a secret weapon that works though. I found that if I keep my head shaved, then it isn't so readily obvious - plus it gives the illusion that I'm younger than I am! Fortunately, I am able to pretty much take any comment about my hair and come back with a snappy one-liner that puts the person in their place. If it's not worth my time to respond, I'll just brush it off. It's so nice to be able to do this now!
It definitely seems that there are more changes in store for me. One of them may involve a change in living arrangements, monetary situation, or other things that I am unable to think of at this moment. They may be good, or they may be bad. Whatever the case, I have to be ready and take it as it comes. It's easier said than done - when times are hard, your mind tends to focus on the pain and inconvenience (why is this happening to ME?) rather than on coping strategies and plans that you have laid out. The key is to not let your emotions rule your world. It can be done. I will go into this in more detail in my next post. For now, it's off to bed.