Monday, April 29, 2019

Focus on My Mental Health - pt. 8 - The Search

     I was going to go onto a different topic this week but decided since this blog is also part of my focus on mental health that I would continue on.  This week is all about finding meaning.  Finding a direction.  Searching for something that feels rather out of my reach at the moment.
     I've been without a job now for a few days over two weeks.  As I said in my previous blogs, I used to have a bunch of ambitions (aka 'dreams') for what I wanted to do with my life.  I'll list them in some kind of order, starting with the earliest I can think of:

  • Writer
  • Artist
  • Photographer
  • Paleontologist
  • Geologist
  • Crafter
  • Custom Framer
  • Manga-ka/Comic Book Artist
  • Novelist
  • Gardener/Landscaper
  • Retail Manager
     I think there's probably some that I'm missing, but I'll add to the list as I go if for some reason there's something else I remember.  I'm sure in there that I also just assumed I'd be a "wife" at some point and possibly a "mother" because those are things that girls are told from the very beginning we are to become.  
     Which, honestly, is the biggest problem I have faced in my younger years.  When I was growing up in the 80's/90's, I just assumed that I'd finish school, go to college, get some sort of job until I could get a husband, and then I'd be like my mom; be a stay-at-home mom who took care of the house and kids. Once the 90's came and went and I was in college with very few prospects for a husband and even less for children while I was in my 20's, I started to realize I didn't really want children because I'd babysat for only a few and just didn't feel comfortable with children under, say 5 or 6 years' old.  I lost touch with a whole lot of friends at that point because all of the others had dropped out of college (or partied their way to being kicked out) and married, had kids, divorced, or moved away, and who knows, I lost touch with a lot of them.  And the few that I remained in touch with just didn't understand why I wasn't married which kids already like they were.  But I just didn't find anyone, and I had to go to plan B.

     Plan B was find a job and learn to support myself as a "spinster".  Well, thankfully I grew up in a time period where I wasn't really considered that, but I'd already started to realize that if I had to take care of myself then children wouldn't be involved, so what could I do?
     I had gone to college for writing, so at first I started working on novels and getting those submitted, but without an agent no one was taking me, and I quickly realized I'd need money to find an agent, so I put all of the novels to the side.  I'd also gone to college thinking I could become a Paleontologist, but that was soon to be an unrealized dream because I didn't have the money to move out of town to go to a college that actually had more than a few basic classes, and I had to finish my lesser degrees before I could go to graduate school, and then I looked at the cost of THOSE and realized that NOPE, not happening.  So... writing and science were out.
     So I started drawing because I'd gotten into anime, but I hadn't gone to school for art, so even though my friends all thought I was an awesome artist, I knew myself that it was something that I'd have to work so hard at, and if I was going to work hard at something, maybe I should go back to writing?  But by the time all of this was happening, I'd graduated with my Bachelor's degree and went into working in retail.

   Through the 90's and 2000's retail was one of those jobs that I thought would be around forever.  I guess it was fortunate that I started out in the framed art business when I did because at the time decorating your house with that extra money you had was a popular thing.  Then 9/11 hit and everyone went from spending money on vacations to spending on homes and d├ęcor.  So, I was lucky at that point in time because business was booming, but it wouldn't be too much longer before that business reached it's peak and then started to drop.  Thankfully the fine art business was fading but actual custom framing of art pieces was still going, so when I moved from the job of selling art to just framing it, things were still going okay.
     But all good things must come to an end sooner or later.  The custom framing business will most likely always be around because there are always graduation photos and wedding photos and artwork that needs to be framed, and I guess I thought maybe I'd stay in that line of business for a long time but I made the mistake of thinking I'd eventually go into management since everyone said that's where I was headed.
     I'm not devious or resentful or greedy enough for that line of business.

     Here I am, without a job in retail, with all of those things behind me and a whole life in front of me at just a bit under a month under the age of 40.  I really feel like this is kind of a 'mid-life crisis' that was forced on me.  Kind of like "your life has been good, let's make you miserable and give you a crisis so that we can feel better about ourselves".
     I received my "you got fired, so here's what's next" letter last night and it really suddenly punched me in the gut because it meant that it was final.  I'll say it, the store manger I worked for rode on me for a ton of things and made me do all of the paperwork for firing, so I kind of thought it wouldn't be official for awhile.  I had kind of hoped she'd put it off long enough so I could use my dental insurance and perhaps get some of my PTO I was due... but only if it waited until May, but NOPE!  I get this letter this weekend which meant she actually got off her butt and opened up the book on how to do it (or asked someone else to do it) or maybe because corporate was involved with the process that they finally did it, who knows.  But it got done and I got my letter.
     And because it was literally like three weeks away from finalizing the first quarter (I think I'm most mad at her because of that) I won't get any of my PTO payout except for a few hours that I'd saved from last year, and I really wished I'd saved the full 40 hours rather than around 20 or so.  And there's all of that sick time I didn't use because I didn't call off when I was sick because it always happened when she was on vacation so I couldn't...or thought I couldn't but I tell you what, I'm never NOT calling off when I'm sick ever again in the future.  It's not worth it to save it.  Sigh.

     I am rambling, but I'm not going to apologize because I want something better than this for my life.  I don't want to settle, but I also don't want to be a burden on my husband and my household either.  I don't want to be a bummer but I have to work through this whole thing in my mind because I feel like it's important to work through it too.

     So, now what?

     The letter basically said that they'll be sending out stuff in case I want to get COBRA insurance - and I have four months of birth control so I basically have that much time to get new health insurance so it kind of feels like a ticking clock.  However, I have stopped the Anti-Depressants completely and even though they're all sitting in pill bottles in the bathroom and if the doctor starts going 'hey, where are you?' I'm just going to move on because there is no way I can afford going to the doctor without insurance now.  I hate the state of the USA's healthcare system.  And I'm not asking the government for help either, because there are people out there far worse off than me (and I still have a husband making more than a good chunk of Americans, even if it's at the lower end).
     Secondly, I need to move my 401K.  That's something I'll probably work at this afternoon.
     Thirdly, I have to find a new job.  I have two-three applications out there and will probably put more out but I have no direction, so it's in all sorts of different fields right now because I have experience on stuff but have no idea what I need to do.
     Fourthly, I have an interview somewhere on Friday, but not sure if I'll go because I'd really rather not go into a business that I really wish wouldn't be needed (insurance) because it's kinda lousy that my whole basic reason for getting a job is to pay for health insurance in case I get sick or so I won't become pregnant and not for a roof over my head and food in my stomach.  How crappy is that?

     What else?  I have things I want to do around here and there are books I could sell off and things I could make for an art table this summer and other things like that and it's possible I could get into crafting...but I just don't know if I want to put the effort into that until I know I'm taken care of medically.  Why does this suck so much?  

     Well...I think I've worn out my rambling fingers now so I'll leave this here.  I'm searching.  And I haven't found the answer, so the search continues.


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