Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Oh, What A Year Can Change

It's amazing what can change in the course of a year, isn't it?

A year ago, the most turbulence I had to deal with was losing the AdSense feed I had on this blog. Not that big a deal, all things considered. The extra money certainly would have been nice, but it wasn't entirely necessary. I had my day job, after all, which was enough to pay for what I needed with enough left over to pay for a little fun every now and then.

Granted, it wasn't too terribly much more than that. That's why I was hoping the whole monetized blog thing would work out, after all. And much as I'd like to try again, the truth is that I don't really know where I messed up or what went wrong, so I don't really know what to change so I don't wind up making the same mistakes again.

Now? Well, now things are a little different. This new health care bill that was supposed to be such a good deal for everybody is set to kick in a little more than a month from now. One of the provisions is that employers had to get health insurance for any employees that work more than 30 hours a week on a regular basis.

With that in mind, I guess I can't blame my employer for cutting regular employee hours to less than 30 hours a week. After all, food service, especially the kind of food service I work in, is not the kind of work people typically do for as long as I have. Most people do it just long enough to fund getting into some other line of work. Initially, that was my plan as well, but as we all have to learn, oftentimes the hard way, things don't always go according to plan.

I'm hardly going to sit here and try to play helpless victim, though. The most immediate thing I need to do is start getting job applications in at other places so I can make up some of the hours I'm losing at the job I've still got, hopefully.

I also need to get back into figuring out what I'm going to do with myself once I finally “grow up”, as some might put it. I've got a few options available to me, I do know that. A big area of confusion for me is deciding which one to go for.

Some people have suggested that I go back to school for something. It's not that it's a bad idea, in and of itself. The only flaw in that, from my perspective, is at this point, at least for me, it would just be going back to school for the sake of going back to school, and that really wouldn't do me any good at this point. And that assumes I can afford it. I'm not sure I could, even if I had some goal in mind when I went in.

I've had it suggested to me that I got to cooking or some other sort of restaurant school, something related to the service industry, since I've spent so much of my life in that sort of work. Maybe those people are right. That may be the thing for me to do. Thing is, though, I'd at least like to try doing something else with my life for longer than the brief periods that I have.

I did a little factory work for a few months, back when there was still a computer factory in my home town. Sadly, that didn't work out so well for me, and it wasn't entirely my own fault. I'll admit, I did make my mistakes while I was there, that was part of it. But at that same time, the tech industry was in a state of flux, which meant that some companies were bound to go under, and I was also a temp worker there, and that also had a hand in my being amongst the first to go.

I was a custodian for a couple summers while I was in college. I worked at Mt. Rushmore, and enjoyed it. There were people who wanted me to stick with that, and some days, I wish I'd listened to them. As has been said, though, at the time, I was young and foolish, and thought I was going to be doing other things with my life.

Those other things were quite a lot along the lines of what I'm doing right now, writing about things. Only it was going to be professionally, for money. I think part of the reason that didn't work out is that I'm not quite as good as I've been told on occasion. Granted, I do have an aptitude for it, and because I like doing it, I get a lot of practice in. But I'm still not quite good enough to do it on a very professional level. Of course, it doesn't help that I kind of suck at job interviews, too. I suppose I do alright at them, but there are still plenty of people who do it better than me, and that fact comes back to bite me all the time.

Another thing I'd kind of like to get into more than I am at present is video work. Most of the people I've listened to who do that say they've learned to do what they do the way I learned how to write: by simply sitting down at their computers, opening up their camera and video editing software, and working with it until they came up with something they thought was good enough to post online, and learned from there.

That may be the way for me to do it, too, but I still need to have enough income to pay my bills, and what it looks like I'll have for paying work for the foreseeable future isn't enough to do that.

I suppose I can learn these things while working two jobs if I put my mind to it, but I'm not sure how well I'd hold up to that. Of course, the only real way for me to find out would be to try, and it looks like I may have to if I want to survive from here on out.

I have had people suggest to me that I try my hand as a paid artist, as in what I put on DeviantART. Perhaps not a bad idea, in theory, but in reality, there's good reason to say that it's too far-fetched an idea to work. The biggest reason for that is that I just don't have any eye for that kind of artistry. I never have, really, and it would take longer than I want to put into it to change that.

I could also say that learning the software for that is beyond me, but really, it's not. Not if I'm considering learning how to shoot and edit my own video. It's more that I'd rather write and/or act on camera than do pictorial work. It's like I said before, I haven't really got much of an eye for that kind of artistry.

My main concern right now is how I'm going to keep my income at a level on which I can live, because if things stay the way they are this week for more than one or two more weeks, I'm in for trouble. I do have some money saved up to last me a little while, but it won't last me very long.

The long and the short here is that I need to do something, and I'm not entirely sure what that something is supposed to be. All I know for sure is that I need to figure it out quickly, because things will almost certainly go badly if I don't.

Wish me luck, folks.

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