Tag Archives: Jobs

Mid-winter unemployed person rant

I haven’t found a voice for this blog so I never know what to write, despite having lots to say. My sister can tell you. She’s my only friend right now, and so she hears a proportionate amount of my mind vomit, which would be all of it.

Maybe I just don’t like my voice, and so I don’t write. Or make friends. Or wash my hair every week.

Anyway, essentially, this is the news: I arrived in Toronto on the 19th of January, and my friend has been letting me sleep on her couch ever since (thank God). She lives downtown, so I’ve been spending a lot of my time walking around, handing out resumes. No bites, except for a couple corporate (blegh) interviews (you know that means they went really well), and today: I scored an uber part-time job. I should be happy, but should I really? With an earning potential of $330 a month after taxes?

I’m also soul-searching, as always. I tell myself that this is an admirable thing to be doing and that I’m one of the few who are “awake” and that is basically the only thing that gets me through the day. If I’m wrong about any of this, shhhh.

I did realize that I really have to focus my energy on what I want, if I ever want to get it. I’ve been paying attention to my jealousy, because it’s supposed to tell you important things about yourself. The problem is that I’m jealous of pretty much everyone.

I’m jealous of musicians, actors, novelists, comedy writers, stand-up comedians, improvisers, life coaches, entrepreneurs, and anyone at all who has their life together, which is confusing because then I’m tricked into thinking I want to be things like doctors and nurses.

… would that be so bad?

Anyway, I think I’ve narrowed down my field of career interests to things that are creative. I want a creative career, and I haven’t, up until now, been able to admit that to myself.

I want to sing. I want to play piano.

I want to write books, TV shows, films.

I want to make movies.

I want to paint or draw or something.

I want to be on stage. Doing what? Beats me. (Oooor maybe it doesn’t. Maybe I want to do comedy and improv, but to say that’s what I want is so scary because I’m so bad at it.)

When I get confused and overwhelmed by everything I want to do, I try to clear the table by asking myself what my passion is, and what I spend my time doing anyway.

Well, here’s the thing: I don’t have a passion. Okay, I’m sure I do, but I can’t answer this question as easily as it’s meant to be answered. I haven’t had an obsession with singing or acting or whatever since I was a toddler. I’ve come to have serious beef with people in interviews who say “Well, I’ve always been a ___. I couldn’t have imagined doing anything else. People always told me I would be doing ___. I love my life. I have been chosen.”

What did I do? I dabbled. A lot. And I was good at some things. But I wouldn’t say that dabbling itself is a passion of mine, because I’m extremely frustrated at my lack of skill at anything.

And what I spend my time doing isn’t a good indication of what I should be doing, because I hate that I spend all my time on the computer or on Facebook or wondering what I would love to be doing.

When I finally do carve out time to practise the things I think will make me happy, I get super anxious, especially when I sit down to write fiction. So much crap comes out, which is actually probably my 14-year-old self’s backlogged ideas rearing their crappy little heads.

Okay, so I know this is all common for people my age. While it can be soothing to hear that sometimes, it just mostly doesn’t help at all.

I also know that passion comes from passion, so it’s my job to make passion with what I have, not to find it in something external. But I alsoalso know that as a human being, I’m entitled to a couple crybaby moments in the face of something difficult I have to do.

Anyway. Progress? Maybe.

I still get tricked into thinking I want to be a real estate agent when I see one in a suit, buying a round of drinks for his friends, though.

So really, I don’t know what I’m doing.

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Becoming a Night Owl

I guess it isn’t as though I’m not already one. Ever since I was little, my sleep schedule has been fucked. When school ended and summer began and I had nothing to do with my days, I’d find myself going to sleep later and later, and consequently getting up later, too. Eventually, I’d stop seeing the light of day. I love the light, but I think I like the night better.

I’ve been trying to create a lifestyle that allows me to be productive and happy, but I haven’t really been successful yet. Yesterday I had the entire day to do whatever I wanted, had no real pressing obligations, so I decided make it a creative day: I’d write songs, poems, edit my photos, etc. I tried to write a song and got so frustrated that I picked up Bukowski and fell asleep. I woke up at 7:30pm and hadn’t gotten anything done. It was depressing.

After a couple glasses of sangria with a friend and a beer with a couple more, we went to get poutine. Watching the workers do their job at 1am, I got inspired to get a 1am-type job, too. Why not?

Lately, and maybe for longer than I realize, I’ve been overwhelmed by the day and all the possibilities it offers. The pressure to be productive makes me a vegetable; I spend so much time thinking about what I should do, how much I should do and how I should do it, who I should see, who I should meet, what I should learn, bla bla bla. I make plans, I make lists, and I’m scared shitless of accomplishing anything, because it will never be enough. I’m so tired of thinking about myself all the time — I’m not that interesting, especially in this immobilized state: it’s just me, petrified, thinking the same old thoughts, and not doing shit about it.

However, when everyone else is asleep, I feel like living is more natural. My mind is quiet. I can write, I can read, I can learn. My anxiety is significantly reduced. Why have I always wasted the hours during which I enjoy life the most? During which I really feel alive? I’ve always studied at night, I’ve always written at night, I’ve always spent all night watching movies. And I think stars are really cool.

I went to bed and didn’t sleep much. I decided to get up at 5:30am, and now I’m writing at a coffee shop. I’ll check my e-mail, go to the gym, and hopefully it’s nice out and Tam Tams will be going strong and I can get some sleep on the mountain.

I’m going to try to come up with a daily schedule that excites me. I really don’t enjoy the hours during which everyone is waking up (so maybe 7am to 11am — chipper morningers are annoying), and the hours during which everyone is hoping to get rowdy after their day jobs (so maybe 7pm to 11pm). Even if I don’t see or talk to anyone during those times, I can feel the excitement in the air, and I can’t handle it. So I’m thinking of a couple ways I might be able to deal with this:

There’s a 9-5 job I’m hoping to get, which kind of sucks and I don’t really like the idea but it will support me financially, and it will give me something to do during the hours of the day I enjoy the least. Maybe once I get home, I can go to sleep, and then wake up at midnight or something to do some creative work of whatever kind, read, or meet friends who are out on the town, go dancing, or whatever. And then maybe another nap before work.

If I don’t find a 9-5 job, maybe I can get a night one at a pub or somewhere that is open 24 hours. It could start at 7-9pm, end at around 3am. I would come home, do some writing/creative work, go to bed at around 6am, sleep until around 2pm. Do whatever I have to do, see friends, whatever, then go back to work. I’m actually pretty enthusiastic about an Irish pub job, because I think it would be fun to be around people and live music at work. Not sure how other activities will fit into either of these systems, but meh. A consideration for later days.

Every time I have an epiphany, it’s about something I’ve known/felt all along but was resisting. What makes you happiest? When are you happiest? Why do you think you’re resisting what you know (or at least have a hunch) is true for you?

It’s been easy to shed some societal conventions, but most want to stick around and they put up a fight. They also like to hide; I never even thought of playing with my sleeping schedule in order to be happier and more productive. The only thing I’m worried about is not seeing enough light, because the sun is one of my favourite things in the world. It’ll be weird and I’m not sure if it’ll work, but I’ll give it a try.

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