Thursday, July 24, 2008

What price breathing?

Ok. So we're down to it. Next week I'll be meeting with a headhunter. I've told her my bottom line. I'll put on my monkey suit and do a little dance for the big men in the big buildings in midtown, and I'll get me a Real Job.

It's been four months since I left my old Real Job, the one that left me feeling like I couldn't breathe. I would literally feel the weight of it pressing down on me so heavily and so often that in the morning I couldn't get out of bed, that in the evening I couldn't do anything at all, that at night I'd avoid going to sleep becasue I knew when I woke up I'd have to go there. So I left. And what have I been doing?

Well, a week after I left I started work at the coffee shop. Three days a week and not five, granted. But spending seven hours on your feet, wrapping up the "day" by sweeping and mopping at 1am is a little bit different than sitting in an office from 9 to 5, no matter how challenging that office job may be mentally. After the late night coffee shifts, there has been no springing into action the next morning. There has been slowly and stiffly and painfully dragging myself into something like action by about 1pm the next day. And if that day is a work day, well then I have four hours until I need to head back downtown to do it again.

And then a month or so ago I started the receptionist job, which is really a legal assistant job where I don't get paid enough and always have to answer the phone. It was supposed to be part time, and it was... for the first week, until the afternoon girl quit. Then I started staying, and I just kept on staying. So now I have two jobs and am working six days a week, something like 47 hours. So somehow I'm working (way) more hours but making half the money that I used to.

It's still not the stressful kind of situation that I used to be in; that place was insane and it's only gotten worse since I left. But I've gotten myself into a situation that isn't really better. It would be... if the money was close to the same, or even enough to live on. But it isn't. And it's not about just wanting more. It's about coming up $1200 short every month and no longer having savings to fall back on. That math just doesn't work.

Thus the meeting next week with the headhunter. And I don't know, maybe this is what I should have done from the beginning. Was it worthwhile, spending 4/5 of my last two years of savings in four months? What have I accomplished? I did do a lot of painting, and it is fairly likely that I wouldn't have done it if I hadn't had some days totally off in there. Granted, I'm not exactly doing anything with the paintings right now. But I cling to the idea that it's worthwhile to do them even if I don't manage to show them or sell them. Right?

I don't know. I probably haven't used my time as well as I could have. It's much harder than you'd think. And there was all that time-consuming wedding distraction in there for a while - god only knows how much of my energy that sucked up.

I'm afraid of what I'm plunging into. I'm afraid that I'll get a job and it'll be terrible, and I'll end up staying at it because I need the money. Maybe that's the advantage of going through an agency though; if it's terrible I have someone to call, right? Maybe? And there's always the possibility of it being great. As low stress/responsibility as this, but twice the pay. Hey, it happens.

Oh, what I wouldn't give at this point for an actual career... seems that may fall into the grand category I like to call, "Things For Other People".

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