When I left teaching, I supported myself with my retirement money, but didn’t save and didn’t plan well for what to do when it was gone. It was the first time I had ever had MONEY and NO RESPONSIBILITIES. I learned who I was and what I liked to do, for the first time. I made lists of things I thought I liked and explored them and learned if I did or if I didn’t. I flew to New York. I got a new tattoo, I paid for acting classes, I bought clothes that felt like ~me~, I ate at cafes on weekday afternoons, I paid off two credit cards. For a little less than a year, I only lived and dreamed. I loved it and I needed it. I figured that when I was done living and dreaming, I’d just get any part time job while I pursued documentary filmmaking. Easy.
I live alone, my apt is a studio in Glendale. Conceptually, it is not too much to handle.
I am an educated, experienced, capable woman. Conceptually, getting a new job that allows me to support my small life is not too much to handle.
But life is literal, not conceptual.
My life is small, but without my career, I literally cannot afford it.
I am extremely capable, but without real-world job experience in fields applicable to Los Angeles, I am literally unqualified to make a decent living.
I have asked for so much advice during this career-change process. The resounding feedback was that I shouldn’t give up what I have. Everyone that loves me was like, “Don’t downsize! Believe in yourself and make it work! EXPAND, in fact!” And I was like, “Okay, of course, that sounds right, I do believe in myself. I am expanding. I can do this. I can expand.” And I have tried and tried. I’ve done production work and nannying and babysitting and copywriting and filled out dozens of applications and redone my cover letter countless times. I’ve interviewed and been turned down. I’m on every job-finding website and I try to network and offer myself. I finally turned to serving so I could make tips, the only lucrative part time option in my reach right now, but I am not even qualified to do that. I do not have that experience. Maybe in six more months I will have that experience, but I do not have it now.
It’s all so much harder than I thought it would be. I think I thought I could break the rules of the world because I’ve been known to do that but the rules of the world broke me instead. Or are breaking me. Or are trying to break me.
This month, I got it through my dumb head that it’s time to sell most of what I own and fine SOMEWHERE else, that’s cheaper and with roommates and I feel GOOD about this. I can’t wait to be rid of this financial struggle. I’ll trade it for almost anything. I’ll give up all my stuff to be rid of it. Poverty colors everything, and it’s a color that I do not want to see anymore.
I just now, in my apartment surrounded by scattered remnants of things that lived in the drawers I no longer have, read an article by Lacy Phillips that says, “If you’re going through a career change, step 1 is to DOWNSIZE! Make life easy on yourself financially right away!”
I’m like, jesus christ, why didn’t I read this a year ago. Where was my head a year ago. I only dreamed a year ago, and now it’s time to wake up.
Things happen in the perfect time, or whatever, I guess.
I honesty haven’t been more excited about many things than I am about selling my stuff in favor of continuing to pursue my new life with strength and clarity. Lack of money is an excellent teacher, but I’ve learned its lessons now and I’m ready to graduate. I have been too scared to leave my apartment for so many reasons, but I’m not scared anymore. I’m honestly thrilled. The only thing that scares me now is not being able to hold my life up. I’ll work up the strength to carry more again later, but right now I’m lightening the load <3