Just Kvetching ’bout My So-called Life

<reinvention>I’m a little reluctant to blahg about this because it’s just almost a little too close to the nitty gritty, if y’all know what I mean. But it is life and maybe writing about it will help me sort it out. If you don’t feel like reading about it, go watch TV or process the dishes or eradicate some poison ivy or something.

The general gist is that multiple chapters ended for me in a very short space of time over the last year. I am sitting here flat on the ground without enough to do for the first time in forever, evaluating various potential income-earning activities, wondering which one (or two (or three)) to do and how the heck to get started again. To put it bluntly, how to get my butt off the ground.

In a lot of ways, I liked my job as a non-profit theatre guild administrator. The hours were about as flexible as it gets and I could work just about anywhere: home, rehearsal, beach, theatre, Houghton Lake, car, Cafe Zola. Many of the responsibilities were right up my alley. I am a natural for playing with spreadsheets and databases, creating forms and handouts and play programs, and handling and counting money, and just generally bopping around town keeping track of things. I taught myself html and dragged the organization onto the Internet way back when the world wide web was still the wild wild west. I worked with a lot of fun people that I loved and I was the glue, the person who remembered and kept track of all the little threads and details and people and how they all fit together to make the organization run. I have always ended up being the glue wherever I have worked. I like being the glue.

I resigned for a lot of complicated reasons but the short story is that I was working many, many hours more than I was getting paid for. A small, volunteer-run non-profit usually doesn’t have a lot of money to spend on employees and I never expected to get rich working for YAG. I did believe in the organization though and I still do. But it had just gotten out of hand. We were constantly running on almost no help and that meant I often felt like I had to do things that were largely not within my skill set, like get beat up on by cranky parents. Yes, in a youth theatre guild on a planet like Ann Arbor, you do encounter those. My self-esteem can sometimes be a bit, shall we say, tenuous? Being trampled by self-involved parents advocating for their “gifted” children just crushed me. I’d be backed up against the wall wanting to scream, “I don’t do the casting and there is only one Lady Macbeth in the play!”

So now what? I knew I was heading for a period of downtime after all of the last year’s activity. No job. No classes. Social activities I used to barely have time for seem few and far between. Moping around the landfill trying to figure out which shambling mound to attack first. Walking. Living from coffee date to coffee date. Walking. Writing long, boring blahg entries. I do not do well with unstructured time unless I have some pretty clear missions. And I need money. How to make some money without selling out to a stultifying 9-5 job with a cubicle and a 2-bit boss?

Web design? Yeah, I have enough experience to do small, simple web sites. 50 pages or less or thereabouts. I can do html, css, javascript, a little bit of perl, I’m not bad at image processing, I can write content if I have to and I am trying to teach myself how to handle audio and video. I’m not a graphic designer and my technical skills aren’t sophisticated enough (yet) to handle a content management system or much in the way of back-end processing. But really the stickiest question involves finding and dealing with clients. I am a shy person and I tend to focus on the things I canNOT do, rather than promote my talents.

Or maybe I could sell off my inventory of craft and fiber art items? I’m certainly not doing much else with it. So, I am slowly on sorting that stuff out, finishing what’s unfinished, photographing it and putting it out on Etsy. We’ll see what happens there. People are looking at my stuff but they’re not buying it. A good friend says photographs don’t do my bags and things justice, that people need to get up close and be able to touch them. I think she is right but I am too shy to walk into a store and ask if they want to sell my stuff. Y’all don’t anybody even think about buying anything. The object of this game is selling to the general public and that’s the only way to win. Right now, I’m still learning the rules.

Enough kvetching. I do feel marginally better. And, yes, I know that “shy” and “writing about yourself on the Internet” does not quite compute. I can’t figure it out either. Glue for hire. Not necessarily cheap.</reinvention>

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