Monday, April 23, 2012

Whatever it Takes

There may be lots of settling and falling short on the way to where you
want to be.

In this new game, this new economic landscape, you may have to
take any and all opportunities that present themselves, no matter how
far from the ideal they fall short.

I have had yard sales, done temp work, done seasonal work that
was definitely outside my comfort zone, have worked under the table
3 hours a day, have worked one day jobs, and have been used as a taxi
in order to make money since losing regular employment.

I signed up and jumped through hoops to substitute teach, drove an
hour-and-a-half round trip in an unreliable vehicle to make it to a
minimum wage job (multiple times breaking down en route,) borrowed
money for gas, got work clothes from a charitable agency, and played
politics to get my ass asked back.

I have started more businesses than I can count, making blogs and
business cards and fliers to advertise them; pimping myself out as yard
man, jack-of-some-trades, babysitter, elder sitter, tutor, cook, writer,
and whatever else I can.

I have helped write papers for college students, consulted on a web
comic, appeared in films, done stand-up comedy, submitted my scripts
and poetry and articles, and done everything I can possibly imagine
to make ends meet.

In short, I have thrown everything I have at the wall to see what will
stick. It's an ongoing effort and struggle to keep my spirit up and not
just lie down and give in.

You never know when the next effort will be the one that sustains you
for a little while longer. Which one may lead to something better in the
future. It's not easy to find long-lasting or ideal; we may have to change
the outlook and adjust the expectations and standards. Tough as it is,
you can do it.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

'Hocus-Pocus' is another word for Bullshit

It's not magic...but there
are plenty of illusions!

On the road to success (or the road to staying afloat, or the road
to making a comeback, etc) there are always problems.

When you get to the bottom of the heap, the problems can be a
bit more constant and a bit more difficult to overcome, but that's
where ingenuity and stamina come in.

When we're going through tough times, it makes other people
uncomfortable, and they do what they can to avoid facing that
discomfort. Which means that people are going to blow smoke
up your ass more so now that you're on a job hunt than they ever
did when they were trying to impress you.

I guess there's about the same taboo associated with joblessness
and/or poverty that has always been associated with homelessness
or mental illness. People are really afraid that dealing with us may
lead to their having caught some or all of our problems. Social
Cooties, I suppose.

The difference is also felt by 'professionals,' who plaster on their
fakest smiles to bum-rush you out the door as quickly as possible...
preferably without having to call 9-11 on our unstable asses.

So, we are stuck with grinning and bearing it, not able to speak
our mind (and burn any remotely possible bridges) making
their predictions come true. We generally know, from body
language or intonation, that someone is insincere about returning
a call, whether we have a shot at the job, whether someone has
any interest, or if they are really going to put in a good word for us.

But you find out really quickly that most people talk a lot of shit,
and you can't depend on anyone (even more so when you have
'nothing to offer' in the eyes of other people,)
I know the Georgia Department of Labor, a government operation
specifically designated to helping me in my job hunt, has been
lacking in the extreme, taking over 11 months on my case and
has as yet not finished my paperwork processing.  This is due
fully to their feet-dragging and endless demands of hoop-jumping,
which I have obliged, while continuing to call them regularly and
diplomatically inquire as to the progress on my case. Bureaucracy,
yes. But when you have pull, things go faster.

Have patience, and yet don't depend on anyone or anything but
yourself...but still go through the motions of trying every possible
lead and every possible opportunity. You never know when it may
pan out. It could always leave a contact that could be good informa-
tion or a lead later.

Do all the above board stuff, and also follow all the extraordinary
ideas and measures. You have to attack this thing from all angles.
Do not put all your interest in the say-so of anyone in authority who
says they're looking out for you. Prepare for a worst case scenario.

Don't stop trying. Frustration is a part of the game, but you are not
the sum of your experiences; you are the sum of what your choices
are in this present moment. Don't let circumstances dictate despair.

Keep on trucking.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Start Small

Some days are tougher than others--
there's no denying that.

When reality hits after waking from a
troubled sleep, and everything hurts....
when nothing seems to be going right, and
there seems to be no control you have over

Think Small.

Instead of getting overloaded and whelmed by
all that seems insurmountable, focus on what
you can do.

I pull myself out of my despair, and start by
making my bed. That's one task accomplished.
Screw how 'simple' that is; I did it.

Then I take care of the animals, clean up,
bathe, eat properly, pick out clothes, and
all the other things I am capable of doing and
I move through it. I check off the achievement
in my head and feel a sense of success.

I make a point to get out of the house with
at least a handful of tasks in mind.


It may not be solving the big problems, but it's
better than sitting and dwelling on a sense of
hopelessness about the things that I can't seem
to effect.

When I feel better about the little victories, I'm
in a much better position to take on the more
daunting tasks, and the frustration that seems
inherent in them!