Tag Archives: underemployed

Money, physical activity, and gold diggers

3 Oct

8:39 pm

These days, I’ve become so used to such a parade of thoughts and feelings cycling in and out of my head (and heart) that I typically don’t know where to begin on these posts.

Write about what you know, someone smart once said.

I know about money. Well, I know about looking for it…maybe a little bit TOO MUCH. All my life, I’ve been avoiding my creativity with the excuse, But I need to make money. And well, I actually did, and I still do (need to make money). Lately, earning money–looking for work, to be exact–has become my number one stressor! I don’t have enough of it, money. I won’t have enough of it, literally. Yes, that would be me, staring back at you with my “Wachu talkin’ ’bout, Willis?” expression frozen onto my face whenever I hear about someone ELSE starting their own business, writing or otherwise. REALLY? WHY? What I wouldn’t fucking GIVE for a 9-to-5 job these days, somewhere to go where ya tell me what to do, and I do what ya tell me, and then ya pay me. Every two weeks.

Earning money has become my single biggest focus, and stressor. These days, it’s hard for me to even stay motivated for what seems like a neverending job search let alone remain jazzed enough about all the subject matter to ingest and write about it! Not only do I need money, but I need structure. I mean, how do others do it? I wake up anxious, frustrated, and sort of pissed off every morning; I’m so tired of looking for projects, fretting about finding them, pitching stories into black hole-email accounts! Others do it, and do it happily. Or, is that AFTER all the initial startup angst? To wit: it is October 3 and I have approximately 30 days to not only find, but EARN (that means, checks in the mail and/or deposited) $2800. While that doesn’t seem like much, it is. The publication cycle can take months, sometimes YEARS. I know I might be fooling myself and should have found a full-time job a long time ago, but it’s like, if others can do it, why shouldn’t I be able to?

There are so many things going through my head that wouldn’t otherwise be doing so if I wasn’t living here, too. It’s eye-opening to see just how many people are unemployed, or underemployed (ahem). It’s also disheartening to realize that NO ONE gives fuck about us! I mean, it’s easy to ignore the unemployment problem (nationwide, it’s still at about 7.5%) when YOU’RE EMPLOYED. This gets at the heart of a much larger problem which is that people aren’t raised to cooperate, they’re raised to compete. Even on this island–I should say, especially–there are so few jobs relative the the number of people who need and want jobs. I’m not local, and I’m white, so…yeah, it’s more difficult for me for various historical (lingering socioeconomic effects of the slave trade and colonization, to be blunt), social (my qualifications and work ethic might intimidate current employees), and cultural (I don’t have family here, so I don’t have an inside hookup) reasons.

All this should make me want to drink, and it did. It does. Today, it did a little bit.

However, here’s where physical activity comes in! Instead of thinking about drinking, I said, I’m out of here, and went to the beach. I hiked, and swam, and floated, and almost fell asleep in my beach chair. And by the end of it all, four hours later, I felt changed. Cleansed. A shift had occurred and a lot of the negativity had been washed away.

I also met a gold digger on the beach. Kind of literally. A guy who works in gold mining (I’m sure he’s got beaucoup bucks, but he didn’t want to talk much about his “work”). We chatted for a while and after, I realized I was glad. Glad for the connection. Glad for the human contact. Glad he reached out (of course, he did; my bad, but I still shy away from making “the first move” in initiating conversation these days). He’s not “from here,” and he’s new, so he’s able to see all the bad stuff and remind me that no, I’m not imagining things.

And then, I got to come home to an island house, walk two happy dogs, and make my go-to comfort foods du jour: mac and cheese and chana masala (still getting it right, but I figured out that food processing the tomatoes instead of dicing them makes for a much richer sauce).

And then, I wrote this. I feel like I can exhale now. Continue on. If I keep working, everything will turn out OK, worry or not. At least I’m sober, right? YES. All of this would be so much more dramatic and difficult if I was drinking. Do I want to drink? A part of my mind says yes, and that part is irrational and not worth acknowledging, at least tonight.

Happy almost-Friday!

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