I've decided to create a blog page on my website. I'm not sure if I intend to make this public ever, but maybe I will.
This time last year I was doing... pretty much the same thing I'm doing now. Worrying about the future. I got handed an opportunity to work full time for good pay doing a project at the library, where I've worked part time for the last four years. I took it, because I had no money and my debts would come due in half a year. Now my debts have come due, and I'm not exactly swimming in cash but I've been working full time for good pay all year. My job is ending, and I'm not scared about the future.
In January I started my frantic job search process again, something I'm convinced that other people have a preternatural ability for that I don't. It takes me nearly four hours to work up the nerve to send in a job application, as well as writing cover letters and tweaking my resume. It's hard to do while I'm already working. I think the people who designed the game of applying for jobs made it so that you had to be unemployed to win.
In April I moved from a terrible apartment in the middle of the city to a much nicer one in the suburbs. The nicer apartment is cheaper, though it will definitely cost more to heat in the winter. It will be worth it. We are still unpacking (the process takes longer if you have a room to hide all your boxes in, I've discovered) but we will be settled in soon enough. I had been considering applying to jobs that would require me to relocate, and I realized I would be deeply unhappy to leave this nice apartment and my girlfriend and venture off into a city where I don't know anyone. That realization made me think about things in my life that seem more important than working full time at a dream job.
I started thinking about the shape of my life, where I've been and where I'd like to be going. I realized that I haven't had a break longer than two weeks in five years. I worked through college, part time hours during the year and full time hours (sometimes between multiple jobs) over the summer. I realized that my happiest moments were spent on projects that I chose to do in those few weeks off, and at conferences where I got to present on work I was proud of. I thought of the work of people I admire, and a common thread appeared. Those people were doing work they were proud of. They weren't always doing that work full time, but they were still doing it. It struck me that I had the power to be doing work I'm proud of.
I stopped trying to send out a job application a week (I know, not a very impressive rate). I stopped being scared about the future. I made some calculations, and then I made some lists in my head. Now I'm making a leap. I'm going to take a break. Of course I'll still keep an eye out for opportunities, and I'll be ready to catch them as they come, and I will likely snag a part time job so that I don't just rot in my nice new apartment. But I have a safety net of my own design, and I have skills I want to learn and art I want to make and health insurance and the sudden realization that I also have all the time in the world.
Luck has been kind to me, and it's time I take advantage of that and make something I'm proud of.