26 April 2012

Underemployment and Money Worries

Money Money Money Money Money Money Money Money Money

It's all I think about. Well, that and feeling heartbroken.

I've been financially struggling for the last few years, toggling between unemployed and underemployed. I took out tens of thousands of dollars in student loans (now that I am college educated, I understand why this was a bad idea, unfortunately) during a time when my annual salary was four times what it has been each of the last four years. As such, since I have graduated, I have never made enough to make monthly payments on my student loans.

I've been supplementing my income with my retirement and now that's run out. Including rent money from my roommate, I make just barely enough to pay bills and if I need anything extra, it goes on the credit card. I am buying a house people. This is tough.

Y.I.K.E.S.

I absolutely love my job at Food Fantasies, but I'm not making enough and I have no insurance. However, I have taken on different responsibilities and I LOVE being the Community Outreach person. It's a good reminder that I love marketing, attending events, creating events, communicating with people, connecting people and helping others find whatever it is they need. I love helping people and it's unbelievably rewarding when I am able to solve someone else's problem....probably because I seem to be incapable of bringing my own issues to resolve.

Made especially for me by MY mom! Technically she's my brother's mom, too, but MINE!

I talked to my dad about all this and he brought me down to earth with, "Your mom and I have been there. Imagine being unable to pay your bills and have two small children who depend on you." Yikes. I felt something I never imagined I would feel - thankful - that I was unable to conceive a child.

I'm in a similar financial position as countless other people all across the planet. Some have it a little better, others have it much worse. I try not to compare myself to others because that is a useless endeavor; I am not them, they are not me.

I have been steadily job hunting since 2008. Technically, I take off a few months each year because applying for literally hundreds of jobs and landing less than ten interviews is quite taxing on my psyche. I feel like a worthless loser and it sucks. I hate it. All of this is made harder by going through this breakup with my best friend. He's the one person I talk to who truly makes me feel better about even the worst situations, shows me the positives when all I can find are negatives and it sucks to feel like I can't go to him.

Break Time Cry Fest

I digress.

All of my financial and career struggles have impacted my writing. I am trying to get back into blogging, but it's hard when I feel overwhelmingly negative. Everyone has their own problems, so who wants to come here and read about mine? Even when I have fun and experience great moments, I have an incredibly difficult time writing about them. I sit down at my broken laptop and immediately feel negative. I have spent years at this laptop, using it as my primary source for an unsuccessful attempt at finding a career. This is not my happy place.

I wrote The Lowest Wage Legally Possible a year and a half ago and I sit here today, nowhere near finding a solution to my career woes and money scares.
I have to be more specific than "help people, be creative, make enough to make ends meet and have money left over to build savings and travel." That's a nice flowery statement, but too general.

I have to do, not think, and not think about doing; I have to identify and eliminate obstacles, move forward and accomplish what my mind imagines. But the only thing I imagine is making enough money to pay my bills, save, and save for travel. This thought is stifling my creativity and I need to be more imaginative than I am currently being. At the same time, it's my only thought. I have to stop thinking about money, focus on identifying my goals, and find my direction.

In the last few months I've noticed that the most appealing jobs seem to be with organizations like the American Cancer Society and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Working at Food Fantasies has really opened my eyes to the the chemically-laced and genetically-modified foods humans consume. The animals we eat are fed these foods. The raw fruits and vegetables we eat are treated with pesticides, herbicides and who knows what else. Not one person fully understands what happens inside the human body when we metabolize these substances. It can't be good. 

Food is our fuel and when we ingest foreign substances, our body has to figure out what to do with that stuff. I don't fully know the path, but there is a definite connection between diet and cancer. And it scares me.

Hopefully my fear turns to passion which fuels me to move in the right direction where I can do something meaningful with my life, HELP OTHERS and stop worrying about money during my every waking moment. I need to find a way to separate myself from the negative emotions swirling within me so that I may demonstrate that I am capable and willing to put others before myself. But just like "in the event of a plane crash," I have to put on my oxygen mask before I tend to others.

I need to find my oxygen mask.

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Listening to: Nobunny - Love Visions
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