Being unemployed gives me a good chunk of time to look at myself and how I work, because in all technicality, it puts me in the situation I want to be in. Able to devote all my time to writing and other such endeavors, able to focus only on what I want to focus on, all the time in the best part of the day to go walking…
Of course, what it usually turns into is hours of me staring at Youtube, occasionally playing some video games, and then writing for about half an hour each night so that I don’t lose my streak on 4thewords. Not exactly productive.
So what exactly is it that puts me here, instead of where I want to be? Can I get better at it?
The answer to the second question is, of course, yes. I’ve already gotten better at it. The last time I was unemployed for an extended period of time, I was in the throes of massive depression, on meds that weren’t working, alone in an apartment I could no longer afford but couldn’t afford to leave, and without any real source of income. I had audiobooks to work on, but between my mental health and the working conditions of the apartment complex, they weren’t done in the kind of timely fashion I would have wanted them to–and that’s lost me further work, and with an author I adore working with. (If that’s not inspiration to get my game back up to par, I’m not sure what else is.)
This time around, I’m renting a house with two other people–who happen to be my parents. My father and I are (or in my case, were up until very recently) unemployed, so we as a family can’t really afford to be here and are living on credit cards. My meds are better but the depression still kicks me in the ass some days–as it’s likely always going to. I haven’t had a chance to connect with my local friends and I’ve spent most of my time recently not wanting to talk to anyone at all, online, in person, or otherwise. (Here’s hoping I can get past that before work proper begins.) Again, I’ve had audiobook work–but this time the conditions are a bit better, and I got everything done on time. I have two new audiobook contracts that I’m going to start working on immediately–and now with the new job, I have an even closer deadline than before. (Granted, I don’t HAVE to get anything done before I start work. I’d just like to have a head start, so that when I start working, I don’t also have to come home to another hour or two’s worth of work.) I’m getting blogs written in advance (for instance, it’s currently the 7th as I write this) and I’ve gotten all my Youtube videos done. I’ve abandoned (temporarily) the video games I was so desperate to get, because I know that I don’t have the time to play them right now. They’ll still be there.
I’m already doing better.
Once the paychecks start coming, I’m going to look into getting a gym membership again. As much as I love walking in the park for my exercise, with a proper 9-5 job, there’s not necessarily a guarantee that I’ll be able to walk outside in the sunlight. Now, that being said, with this coming week as the beginning of that, I’m going to start paying a lot more attention to sunset times and the like, so that I know exactly when I can go to the park, or when I have to walk around my neighborhood. But I need to start walking again. I need to start eating properly again. I need to. I need to. I need to.
And that’s where I fall down. I was doing well for a while, with my bullet journal guiding me. And November came, and for a myriad of reasons, I fell apart, and I never quite put myself back together.
Well it’s May now, and it’s about time that I got this shit on the road again. My bujo is set up, my plan of attack is in order, and for the first time in a while, I’m feeling optimistic about the future.
Each of these times of joblessness have taught me something about myself. The first time was that I can survive even when I don’t think I can.
The second is that I will persevere, no matter what anyone else says about me.
(Let’s hope there’s not a third any time soon, shall we?)