So, first off, I admit that I’ve been guilty of a lot of whinging and whatnot on here over the past few months. To be perfectly honest, life has been full of challenges for me over the past couple of years, and while I’d like to think I handled them all with a certain amount of grace and style, it hasn’t been easy.
But now I’m reaching one of those thresholds that nobody ever wants to reach: having to choose between staying in the city I love and living on the streets, or moving in with a good friend 1,000 miles away and completely starting over from square one.
It’s not like I haven’t tried desperately to find work here. There just isn’t any work for me. Even my attempt to find a pizza delivery driver job near my home has proven to be a challenge. I’ve heard “I’m overqualified” so many times.. I just want to scream “if I’m so damn overqualified why am I literally starving?” I’ve had employers string me along for months, only to hire somebody else (or to have the job disappear in a puff of smoke). I’ve sent out hundreds of copies of my resume, and more often than not I don’t hear anything in reply.
If that wasn’t enough, the contract work I’ve been doing for a few close friends’ companies has largely dried up. Some of that is seasonal: not a lot of projects get started this time of year because of the holidays or what-not. I thought I could make the little money I earned this year that way last, but that money has finally run out.
The point is, I have no more choices. The time for me to find work was a month ago: that hasn’t happened, so now I’m left with no other choice but to put anything I care about into a storage unit and go whereever I can find a roof to cover my head this winter.
As a result of this uncertainty, I’m letting people know in various circles that you likely won’t see a lot of me for the next few months, or maybe years, who knows. I’m going to have to withdraw from most of my “extra-curricular activities”. I need to focus on simply getting a job, whatever that job is.. and saving enough money at that job so that I have some financial solvency. I also need to figure out how to resolve some of the issues I have with my teeth and my overall health, and that’s going to take either a job with passable health insurance (good luck in today’s job market) or a significant investment of what little money I can scratch out.
For many of you, this might seem sudden. I’ve not been very vocal about my financial challenges, mostly because I know that many of you are one step away from where I’m at: having to pick up bottles and cans on the street to buy food for your pet (which I literally have been doing the past month) and scrounging small change for transit when you need to get around (or begging close friends for gas money).
For others among you, you’ve been generous with supporting me the past few months. I am in debt to many of you for getting me by. But as we approach winter, I’m reminded of the True Meaning of Christmas (hurr): that the gifts we exchange and the merriment of the holidays are here to remind each other that we can make it through the winter by sharing what we have.. and that in reality, the Winter of 2009 really has never quite ended for me. Summer of 2010 provided a small reprieve, in that I was able to scrape enough money out of the sale of my house to survive for a year on my own and pay many back debts.. but since that time, it’s been very lean.
So, in short, the only way I’m going to survive this Winter is to hibernate.
Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be talking to many of you privately about what this means for the particular group you are in. I’m in a position of trust for more than one group, and I’ll need somebody to take over my responsibilities while I figure out what all of this means. Please have a little patience with me while I work out some of these details: consider that I am also going to be moving during this time with scant little resources, and I’m focusing on taking care of my immediate personal needs (like food and shelter) before I worry about other activities. But I will get to everybody before I disappear into the wilds of Montana.
And this is also a final call to action. If ANYBODY has a job I can do.. regardless of how menial and petty, now is the time to come forward and talk to me about it, regardless of how “overqualified” you might think I am. I am pretty desperate right now, and would be happy to do any job that I can physically do and will put food on my table reliably and consistently and pay my rent. I just recently rewrote my resume, if you’d like a copy of it please ask me (I haven’t posted it to the website yet because of formatting issues with the HTML version I’m still resolving).
I know a couple of you will ask me if there IS anything you can do. Yes, I will be posting something in the next couple of days that will outline what needs to happen over the next 30 days and ways people can help. Very few things will likely involve much capital outlay.
I love all of you, and thank you. And it does literally break my heart to have to do this. But I’m out of options.