I’ve taken a lot of risks in my life… Some worked out for the better, and some for the worse.
For example, I ran away from home as a teen, to get away from my toxic abusive step father. I didn’t know where I was going to go, or what I was going to do, but I knew that my survival, and my freedom counted on leaving. Survival may have been more emotional and psychological, but freedom was a whole other ball of wax. I was at a point where I was actively considering assault, and I don’t know if I would have been able to stop once I started hurting him.
So, I took a bag with a pen, I.D., a writing pad, an extra set of clothes and walked out the door with the intent to never return. I trembled for the hours, not knowing what I would do, walking around and looking for answers.
There were none. I ended up hitchhiking and living on the streets and couch surfing for over a year. I slept in burned out building and held company with people ranging from drug dealers and hookers to sociopaths and random weirdos. Life was hard, and for some reason, living on the streets does some strange things to your head.
What I will give street life though, is that it’s simple. Wake up in the morning and survive. That’s it.
But back to risk taking. I’ve gone completely the other direction and many years after I got off of the streets, I had an opportunity to attempt to become a professional artist. I saved up three months worth of rent, food, and money for bills, and quit my shitty job, to see if I could hack it.
I treated my art like my job and worked ten to twelve hours a day, and in the first three months pulled in $10,000 for my troubles. I didn’t work shows, there was no commission work, I just made what I wanted, and people either bought it or didn’t, and either way it was cool.
I got pulled into the scene, and honestly, it didn’t seem to do me any good in regards to exposure or making money. I started doing commissions, and having deadlines and outside influences disrupting my flow, and eventually it reached a point where I wasn’t making any money and had to go back to work. (Unfortunately it’s taken almost a decade for me to realize what went wrong)
My jobs since then have been incredibly high pressure, stressful, chaotic, and generally have destroyed my ability to think clearly let alone have creative or critical thought. But, you do what you have to do to survive.
My spouse wants me to get back into I.T. and the thought actually makes me want to put a bullet into my head. It is a worse dead end job than being in retail or a barista. It burns me out in a way that I literally have no gumption to live. Which is the last thing I need right now.
But after boring you with little tidbits of my back story, I’m confident that you may be able to understand where I’m sitting in regards to my current predicament.
So, in July of 2014 I took on a job to try to turn around a little company that was failing, and was told at the beginning that if I couldn’t turn it around, that it was going to get shut down. At that point, I had no work, and it was a challenge.. so, I threw my hat over the fence.
There were two employees, that were working there and putting in time at the sister company when things were slow. One employee was a programmer, and the gig didn’t fit his aptitude. So within a week of me getting hired, he left to go back to something more suitable to his strengths.
Then my Grandmother who had an aggressive type of ovarian cancer took a turn for the worse. The other employee was a troublemaker and had angered almost everyone he had worked with in the sister company, and was unwelcome, so he was losing hours. Then he decided that when he was working with me he was going to get aggressive and pushy, with no skills or knowledge to back him up.
All the while I’m working in the office and on the field with no training and a little bully that didn’t like to work, and my grandmother was dying, bringing along with it, all the usual family stuff. By the end of August, she was dead, and I had brought in money that was outstanding for the company, and things were starting to look better.
September 12th, my little bully got let go. Now regardless of his attitude, I needed more than just me to work a company (it’s in the construction end of things) and so I’m in the office and on the field and borrowing staff from our sister company.
By October, our sister company was so busy I couldn’t borrow anyone, and I was getting borrowed. To the extent of working six days a week, and still trying to juggle the little company that I was trying to save, with no help, no training, no resources, and now no time.
I barely remember Christmas, but really we didn’t do anything for the holidays because everyone was so emotionally and physically spent that it would have just been a burden. Back to work we went, and I had to keep working for the sister company. With no help on the other one, even though there were big job offers and opportunities happening.
I failed. And as of Thursday of last week, I was told that my little failure was going to get shut down. That being said, the hardest part of it all, is that I’m over 15 weeks pregnant with twins. And if I lose my job, I don’t get maternity leave… with twins.
I’m upset, stressed out, and at a loss as to what to do anymore. Nobody hires pregnant women, and I have to consider welfare. With twins on the way.
I took a gamble and lost, and there are some poor innocent souls that are going to pay the consequences of my stupid wish to try to make something more of my life than just working a nine to fiver.
I’m tired of the stress, I’m tired of nothing working right, no stability and no option to get out. I’m fed up with people that don’t take responsibility for their actions and everything else that goes with it. I usually can think my way out of predicaments, but I’m burnt out and have nothing left to give.
I just want a job where I walk in do what I’m supposed to do and walk out at the end of the day. No extra projects, no glory, no respect, just work. I haven’t done any of my hobbies or done anything I consider a pleasure or had a mental break in over a year from my life, and now I’m suffering all around for it.
I want to come home and have the energy to make stuff, enjoy cooking, do a little dance in my shower before I get too big to do it safely. I want to have the time to actually think about and be excited about becoming a parent. I want less stress, not more. Because things are already upside down backwards sideways.
I can’t do construction for the duration of my pregnancy, as it’s really uncomfortable already. I just want to work in an office filing stuff, and maybe answering phones etc. But, who would be willing to take me on, and wasting money training me for their particular system, to lose me by late August?
I wish I had some sort of wisdom gained from all of this, other than when you take risks, sometimes it works, and other times it doesn’t. And when you fail, it hurts.
And when it comes to being a “strong person” people are there to listen to you, but will most likely never have answers to your crazy predicaments.