It’s been a crazy last couple months. There’s been a lot of good and a whole lot of crazy. Short Story month was a success. Adulting has been hard and the wheel of time never stops turning. This is the intro and now we’ll dive into the nitty gritty.
Short Story Month
The first “official” short story month was successful. I was able to publish two short stories and the second story I was especially happy with. While the stories did lean more towards horror this year, I’m glad I made the series open ended; the main goal is writing practice and to that end I achieved my goal. With it’s success, I’ll solidify it into the series rotation.
When Burnout Hits
So it has finally happened, I have reached a point of burnout with work. I’ve been working at a nonprofit for the last year now and it’s been an interesting experience to say the least. I have hit the maximum of part time hours I can work (about 30) and I have become well established in multiple departments. I work the front desk, teach rock climbing, and assist with events currently. Over the summer, I was a camp counselor and still assist with childcare from time to time. Teaching, Event Planning, and the right type of customer service. Here’s where it gets tricky; the pay. I did the math and I’m only bringing in $19000 a year (rounded-up). Short-term, this is ok. Long-term, not so much. Compared to previous years of income, this is the least I’ve made since entering the workforce. It is a rate that has not kept up with inflation and it is a rate that doesn’t sit well with me personally. Now that I have the experience, I can once again look at the factors that make for a satisfying life. While I have work that I find enjoyable I just cannot justify everything else I would be sacrificing.
This Month (and a little of last month)
I’ve been running around the last couple months. September I had a wedding to attend, my bike got a flat, and I was coasting along. Come October, I got my bike fixed, my student debt relief application sent in, and braced for another busy month. Now, my two main goals are health insurance (through the affordable care act) and my New Zealand application. I cannot believe how fast time has gone by. The health care application is nearly complete and I’m just waited to be fully approved for coverage. New Zealand is going to be a lot more work. Everything goes well, I’m still waiting four to six months for the application. Afterwards, I’ll need to renew my passport and get a RealID for domestic travel before the deadline. In the meantime, I will also be ramping up my job search as a backup. December might be the first month where I can truly relax this year. And yet, I’m still swinging a miss on one of my new year’s resolutions. And that is… Learning the piano. So, it is time to practice. If I can put 10 hours into deciding a vote, I can put time aside every week to learn the piano. I’ve been cooking, coding, walking, biking, and learning French. So it’d almost be criminal if I didn’t at least try again with piano.
The Drum Beats On
It’s a bit of a fever dream right now. I am in a weird limbo where things are going well but my heart craves more. I am pushing my personal goals forward but it all moves slowly, then quickly. The blog is exactly where I want it and no major changes will happen (unless I live in New Zealand, then you bet I’ll do another travel series). Poetry, Short Stories, Mental Health, and Sustainability all make writing incredibly fun for me. It took many years to get here, but we’re here. My posts get plenty of likes and there is not a whole lot of heavy lifting. I write what I want when I want and keep on schedule (mostly). With short story month behind us, November really could be anything in terms of content. A poem? A short story? An article? Hard to say.
As of right now, it’s just a lot of planning. Believe it or not, I’ve begun longing for the days of the call center. Full benefits and a work environment that in hindsight wasn’t all too bad with a large organization that gave me access to resources. That’s not to say what I’m doing now is bad, it just is very limited as far as what I can do career wise. Since I’ve achieved my work experience goals, it is a simple matter of moving on out. It’s been a year of personal growth and I’m proud of what I’ve done, I just hate how there always seems to be extra steps to get what I want out of life.
Quite recently, I voted. I have been voting since I turned 18 and this election I really dug in to understand my values and who would best represent those. For my entire life I have seen Oregon on the decline under the leadership of Kate Brown and I simply said enough was enough. Being a moderate my views run a spectrum so I sought to provide balance in our legislature. I watched a couple debates and found information on each candidate. Each ballot measure I looked over and thought about how it would affect me as well as the larger implications as a whole. I feel I struck a nice balance and all the choices I made I’m happy with. That said, long term I think I will end up relocating. Oregon is not as it was and I want a fun city in a fun state where I can live. The job prospects here have not been great and I’m wondering if I can use my alumni network to make a smooth transition elsewhere. So basically it’s a “we’ll see” sort of year.
Doing the Math
So I’ve done the math [my favorite phrase today, apparently]. Career wise, I cannot stay any longer than the end of the year. Early 2023 is fine but any more and I’d be doing a disservice to myself. I also cannot outright quit as it is still nice to have a source of revenue (and the work is enjoyable). The schedule and hours all work with my current plans so I can simply build on what I’m doing. The weekends are typically pretty quiet, so I simply work on my blog and get my coding goals done. It also affords me time to read books and just really sit back a take a breather after the last couple of years. However, if I were not doing these things, I’d be bored out of my mind. And that is not ideal for a workplace environment. Overall, I think it’s good to have this type of experience during my 20s. I’m jumping around and just figuring out this thing we call life.
This will be a month of doing. Ramping up my coding, finishing a few books, and getting the foundation laid for next year. It’ll be a time to learn piano and make sure all personal milestones have been achieved. I’ll be looking towards the future in what will be another busy month. As always, thanks for reading!