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25 March 2010 @ 09:35 am
Getting back on the path  
The ups and downs of my 32nd year ...

I spent 6 months trying to find a job, and eventually had to take a job from the one employer I hoped never to have to work for again because of the ceaseless stress the culture represents. It prevented me from being homeless, and I'm grateful for that, but my maintenance of hobbies and friendships has been a bare minimum, and I don't feel good about that. I did command a remarkable salary, and I was able to pay off the unexpected IRS debt from the 1099 contract fiasco of 2008, so that was good too. Debt-free, but not much savings, esp. given my salary. Still, better than many. I also know that having them on my resume is very impressive and gets me in a lot of doors that would otherwise be closed to me. I am very proud of the products that I was a part of - anything that makes access to literature around the world easier is very much in alignment with my values.

The recruiter from RHT contacted me about a Ruby/Java SDET contract last week. It wasn't quite what I have the professional experience to do, but he says the market for contract work is picking back up.

Between an IRS refund and work, I've managed to save up $5k which means I have a tiny bit of wiggle room for worst case scenarios. I won't leave my current job until I know I have a new one to go to.

I wonder if I can find a job here that will open doorways to Crete for me. Hm. I just signed a one year lease, and don't want to consider a job on Crete until I've at least visited once and developed an opinion about the modern island. And I suppose I should learn some Greek that's newer than 3000 years old before giving that more serious consideration.

Health BS
The apartment I planned to live in until I bought a house or committed to living with a significant other developed mold in the dry wall, and I unexpectedly had to move. The bill for cleaning attempts, an Urgent Care visit, failed western medicine prescriptions for theoretical asthma and lab work with my regular general practitioner: ~ $900. It would've been much worse, though, if i hadn't had health insurance through my company, so I got lucky there. Breathing problems resolved with the move, though, so that's a very big positive.

I spent 5 months with an IUD that caused me almost constant pain. 12% of women have them removed because of pain, and I'm one of them.

I slipped a disc during my move, which is causing me a lot of really fierce lower back pain. It was getting better bit by bit until this morning. Will follow advice from Chris, who has had to deal with a much worse version of this.

General malaise because of work-related lack of energy and not much time/energy to pursue the things that make me happy.

Amazing, happy, comfortable relationship with Ian. Which ended last night. Though he cares about me deeply, he doesn't love me. It happens. And no matter how much I want to argue about this and keep Ian, no matter how nice it was to date someone that all of my friends really liked, there's nothing I can do. Ok.

I guess on the upside, I can stop taking BCP for awhile after I finish this cycle. That'll be a nice break.

Work and lack of energy has prevented me from spending much quality time with all of the wonderful people in my life. Hoping to fix this by changing jobs in the next year.

Grateful to everyone who has stuck around in spite of this, and hopeful that I can make amends as I fix the things that are making me unhappy and get more time/energy for myself. I haven't been a very good or present friend in the last year. Yeah, I've had a few distractions, so I forgive myself, but I do most definitely want to change this back to the way it was a year ago.

Yeah. Not so much. I've wandered onto the path of most resistance because I was too scared to be moneyless and go live with Kris or my parents for awhile. I do think this was ultimately the right decision, but I've definitely sacrificed my joy for financial stability and housing security.

In conclusion, I'm not very happy with how my life is going right now. Which means it's time for me to see exactly how much of this I can fix. I really miss the happy me that takes photographs of quirky things, writes long sentimental letters to friends, cooks, dances on Thursdays and has time to comment on the wonderful stories people share on LiveJournal, in email, and elsewhere.

1. Update resume and start looking for a new job. My first day was 26 May 2009, so the earliest I can leave without having to pay back a signing bonus which I can't afford is around 1 June. I endure work for, at the very least, another 2.5 months. Ugh. But I can start lining up interviews and trying to find summer contract work in that time. Wish me luck. It's still not a great market.
2. Schedule daily time for my passion (Minoa!) because I get a lot of fulfillment and joy from this. Both Kris and Emily have sent me articles recently which remind me of something important: making time for your passion is critical to being happy and fulfilled in life. J.K. Rowling's amazing commencement speech at Harvard also reminded me that there are many things worth sacrificing for this.

I think everything else is still pretty much right on, I just need a different job. I had things right for 5 years, so hopefully I will be able to make it happen again.
indieindiefic on March 25th, 2010 04:48 pm (UTC)
I love you.

Congratulations on the recent anniversary of your independence.
Keep your fork there's pie!: Bathtub thinkingjennaxide on March 25th, 2010 07:15 pm (UTC)
Your writing stops me cold. For real. I'm reading along, surfing your groove, when your narrative drops the bottom out and carries me with it. You are an incredibly talented writer, K.

We make mistakes and learn from them (hopefully). You are both humble and clever about this one. It would be folly to beat yourself up for doing what you needed to do, just as it would be folly not to recognize (as you have) that it is not what you need to do anymore.

May your smarts and charm serve you well in the coming time, doll. And call me if you want to have tea :)
Kburgunder on March 25th, 2010 08:16 pm (UTC)
Thank you ... I don't really know what to say, but I hope you're right :>
Laurendj_stitch on March 26th, 2010 02:47 am (UTC)
I feel fierce towards Amazon. I wish it was a person so I could kick its shins, hard. I'm sosososo glad that you're starting the process of freeing yourself from it, and I am completely certain that the Universe is going to nudge you towards much more suitable opportunities.

When this semester is over, and I'm settled for the summer, I'm coming HOME for a nice long visit and we are gonna get drunk, speak bad spanish, flirt with counter people and bartenders, rampage through the city, and be awesome.

I love you. You're wonderful and passionate and smart and kind and introspective and stompy and generally my favorite person in the world. So there.
czochralskiczochalski on March 26th, 2010 04:37 am (UTC)
No worries about being a bad friend here because it's keeping you from noticing what a bad friend I'd be at the moment ;-). In all seriousness we've been very busy making some life changes of our own, and I'm excited and scared in equal measure.

I always enjoy reading your writing and hearing your perspective.
Cassandrakasiandra on March 26th, 2010 08:01 am (UTC)
HUGS!! I have nothing better to say. Wish I could give you one in person - have Kris do it on my behalf! :)
(Anonymous) on March 27th, 2010 04:12 am (UTC)
oh no, sorry about the break up :-(

"The apartment I planned to live in until I bought a house or committed to living with a significant other"

That's how I feel about the apartment I'm in now. I ran out of places to put addresses on the background check for my current job. :-S

good luck with your quest for happiness :-)
Beththepresident on March 27th, 2010 04:12 am (UTC)
Er, that was me.
Varnvarn_ix on April 4th, 2010 03:56 pm (UTC)
Impressed that you can put together an impartial(-sounding) report even though these appear to be stressful times for you. Great help to me at a time when I agonize over leaving a steady but peanut-paying job for a lucrative and exciting but uncertain life of a contractor. Thanks for the indirect support and best wishes for the future.