Hey hey, I'm still unemployed! I haven't had a problem paying my rent, thanks to a 3-way combination of severance, unemployment benefits, and help from my parents. The first one ran out quickly. The last two make me feel like a leech, but I don't feel bad enough to not take it... or even bad enough to move into a more affordable neighborhood. If they want me in the suburbs they'll have to DRAG me, and then change the locks.
After I got over the initial hurt feelings of losing my job and not immediately being offered my OLD old job back, I was surprised how okay I actually was with the concept of not working. My apartment has never looked cleaner and I have become a more attentive and optimistic friend, daughter, sister, etc. I think I could be an awesome stay-at-home mom one day, if I had a spouse who could support me on a single income. But again, I like living in the city, so the likelihood of that is pretty low. Also I'm a little too old and fat to be a trophy wife. ;-)
The local career center offers free classes in things like networking, LinkedIn, negotiation, etc, so I've been taking those. I've also been applying places like museums, labs, and universities, trying to find positions that have more to do with my major and what I thought I'd be qualified to do when I got my college degree. I joined the Massachusetts Historical Society as well as a History Club meetup group, and when I can afford it I plan on also joining the Archaeological Institute of America and attending some of their seminars.
I stopped applying to customer service positions, but if I run out of jobs I might actually like and don't hear anything else back, I might have to go back to applying for those. I've noticed a stupid trend where employment placement centers will poach my resume off of a job search website that I've joined, and then call me to offer me temp work three towns over in an industry that has nothing to do with my work experience. Then I tell them I don't have a car and they're like, "Oh, nevermind!" Yeah no shit, that's why I didn't apply for that job.
I've also been thinking about volunteering to join another archaeological dig, like I did in college, but the problem with that is 1) it's not a job, 2) you pay your own travel expenses. So even though I'd have archaeological experience on the other end of it, it still horrible for my short-term situation of needing a job and money. Then again, it would also be horrible for a long-term situation of having a full time job, since that job probably wouldn't be okay with me taking off for two months at a time to work in the mud in Norway or the Isle of Man.
My birthday was super fun! 31 is nowhere near as scary as 30 was. Also, I am great at finding cheap or free things to do almost any night of the week. Another bonus of living in Boston.
Two weekends ago I saw a burlesque tribute to Labyrinth. Last weekend I went to The Donkey Show, which was a disco performance-art version of A Midsummer Night's Dream, then Tuesday I attended Paint Nite with my parents and sister. I drank a lot and painted a sunflower next to a stormy sea. This past Friday, I want to XMortis, an industrial goth dance night, which was almost worth the fact that it was 6F outside and I was freezing my chapped black lips off.
Today, I have chocolates, flowers, and a bottle of pink Mascato. Pretty much everything but a date. Oh, and it is now one degree out. ONE. F%^*ing February.
I had my gall bladder out last month. LOVE IT. Wish I'd done it years ago.
My recovery, thankfully, could not have gone more smoothly. I can eat and drink pretty much anything now (although I shouldn't, if I don't want to lose my liver next) without discomfort. I have also gotten the green light to start exercising again.
Back in college, I used to take Kung Fu classes. I have been thinking of starting over at another school ever since. Unfortunately, there are no branches of my old school anywhere near me, so I would have to start over. Also unfortunately, I was about 25 lbs lighter and eight years younger when I started as a white belt in college, and I was self-conscious about being too fat and old even then. Once since moving in Massachusetts I tried a new kung fu school and it didn't work out, which I think was an indication that I chose the wrong school, but when I stopped going it still made me feel like a quitter. I haven't tried again. In my head, I tell myself that I'll sign up with this OTHER school I've picked out, right after I finish doing the Couch to 5k program.
On paper this makes sense, because that way my endurance will be built up when I get to the school, and I won't instantly have shortness of breath and have my face turn purple while the other martial artists are doing jumping squats like little crickets. But really? It's a convenient way for me to avoid signing up. The Couch to 5k program takes 9 weeks to complete if you run 3 times a week. And I don't run 3 times a week. More like twice a month. Hence, I'll never finish and never have to put myself out there in a new class.
My little sister is pregnant again.
On the one hand: Yay! Babies! I'm a double-aunt!
On the other hand: Seriously? You work part-time, your boyfriend is only employed in the summer, and you are struggling just to take care of yourselves and the 1-year-old you already have. SERIOUSLY? *throws up hands* Okay.
This is pretty much how I felt when she got pregnant the first time (they were both unemployed and living for free with my dad then), but the thing is, there's nothing to be done once it's officially on the way. So there is no sense in expending any energy judging her or worrying about how she's going to live. Nothing I do has any effect on how this turns out, so I might as well just be excited about the new baby. And if the second one is anything like the first one, it's going to be an awesome, happy, gorgeous kid.
I have no romantic interests as of late. Maybe that's because I'm not working so I'm not regularly seeing as many people. Maybe I don't feel so pretty lately between the surgery scars, the weight gain, and my haircut growing out awkwardly. Maybe I'm a little gun-shy after the last guy I asked out dropped off the face of the earth and lied about moving to California (he's totally in the same town I am, just not on social media), and the first/last girl I expressed interest in immediately got into a serious, exclusive relationship with her best friend AFTER I made my feelings known.
I really don't want to make the first move anymore, at least not for a while. But I think I may put out some vibe that suggests I don't want other people to put the moves on me, either. So now nobody's asking anybody out, and I'm bored as hell.
My apartment is now where I spend the majority of my time. The crabs are doing alright with the bad weather. I got them a new heater for Christmas and now the challenge lies in keeping their tank humid enough. As it is the air in my bedroom is so dry that I had a spontaneous nosebleed the other night. My roommate has cracks in her hands like illuminations on the Book of Kells.
I did not get a surprise kitten. Neither for Christmas, nor for my birthday. Harrumph. I know I don't have a job so the last thing I need is another living thing to rely on me, but come on, if my sister's broke ass can have a litter of humans then I should at least get to have one kitten.
I am definitely no closer to moving to New York City. I don't even have a plan. Right now the plan is to find a job and try to publish some writing.
I am writing up a storm! Might as well, since I'm not doing much else. I have cleaned off my desk of all distractions, and hung a dark red sheet from the ceiling to act as a curtain, so now it's like a have a little writer's nook separate from the rest of my bedroom. I can't see the TV or my books or magazines from there. I just light an old glass lamp and a candle and a stick of incense, put a couple of flowers in a small vase, flip up the laptop (or notebook) and go to town.
What's really great this year that wasn't there before last year, is that I'm working WITH people, I have deadlines, and I have a reason to write every day besides escapism.
I belong to a small writer's group that meets once a month in Harvard Square. I'm also exchanging writing with a friend of mine who has recently moved to Boston and is also a fantasy writer. She is extremely enthusiastic and prolific, so she manages to keep me motivated to keep up with her better than the writing group does. She is also planning on self-publishing a fantasy anthology on Amazon and wants me to be part of it.
An ex-coworker artist friend of mine is currently working with me to turn one of my finished short stories in to a comic book. It's a horror story and she has a very cutesy art style, so I think the juxtaposition works pretty effectively. We'll see when it's done, though. She is still waiting on my for the second half of the script. It is more time consuming than I thought it would be!
Finally, I have been submitting short stories independently to various publications. So far I've gotten all rejections (some personalized!) except for one "maybe" that basically stated I had been short-listed for an anthology by Word Weaver Press. A maybe is pretty exciting to me at this point, so I'll take it!
I'm going to start taking another beginner's drawing class in the next couple of months. Obviously money is a concern, but I really want to get back into drawing practice and leaving it to my own devices just isn't cutting it.
And that's your WanderBust update! Happy Valentine's Day everybody!