From those of you who read my random posts know that I fear very little. It is apparent with the way that I voice my opinion and stick to my guns, but only a select few know my real fears.
Last April I was laid off. I figured I would take it easy while searching for a job, but then things got REAL and QUICK. by month 4 I was going crazy trying to find work and what I wanted to be as an adult. This was the first time I was left with days/weeks/months to ponder what I have done with my life as of yet.
Thanks to the advice of a fellow blogger, and a good friend, I decided to go back to school while I was desperately looking for a job. Finishing school has always been a dream for me. Finishing with a degree in the Culinary Arts is what I ultimately want, but realistically I stuck with the basics that will get me a job to pay the bills.
I should have been shitting bricks my first semester. After all, I am 37 and have not seen the inside of a classroom since I was on the campus of UIC back in 1995. Instead, I decided that this was going to be my goal. I was going to be the first of the immediate Wall family around me to finish a college degree.
My father received his GED after going back to school in the 80's because he chose a military career with the Marines during to Vietnam, and my mother attended one year at a small all girls college before meeting and marrying my father. My sister has a great job, but did not finish her college degree either. I was always the book oriented one that thrived on learning and proving I was smart.
So after applying for, being accepted, and then registering for classes in a span of 3 days, I thought I was all set. I could attend school while I was looking for a job to feel like a productive American. Shortly after I started my first semester, my back was thrown against the wall and boy did I get a jolt. I received my first letter about my unemployment being cut.
Nothing throws your face in the swirls of toilet water like getting a letter that your benefits are going to be cut. By the time November rolled around I thought I was going to be saved, having been on a few interviews and receiving calls about my resume. Little did I know I was going to be thrown into the depths of depression I never thought I got rid of in 1999.
In December I was faced with a realty I thought was never going to come, I was going to be homeless. With all this talk about unemployment benefits being cut, extensions being exhausted, and those on long term benefits were about to be dumped into the world and fend for themselves.
My first realization was when I got the letter from the State of Illinois, the second slap was when I was at my sister's kitchen table being interviewed over the phone for a spot on live TV regarding people in my situation, losing their long term benefits. As I started to talk to the woman, I started to realize I was going to be flat out on my ass broke. I started to explain to the woman about my bills, how I learned to work the system to keep myself afloat, how I was able to change little things at home to make meals last longer, and how I was trying to work on my bachelors degree so I could apply for those jobs that require one.
since 1993 I have been doing the work as an administrative assistant, that was when I was 17 and a senior in high school. I have a work record of a dedicated employee with only three jobs since, which you would think any employer in their right mind would love. One would think this would trump the need of a degree, after all, that is 21 years experience, but after having appeared live on Al Jazeera I realized that this is what I have to fight for.
That night I cried myself to sleep wondering how I was going to pay my rent, who was going to be able to take in my fur babies while I try to get back on my feet, how was I going to pack everything up in a short amount of time to move, and lastly, was I going to be able to make it home before the sheriffs came calling to haul my shit out on the front lawn like I have seen so many times before.
This is real fear to me people. This is real life. I am still living the fear daily until I can find a full-time job. Welcome to adult fear. The moment you realize that you no longer have any control over your life and any moment that life could be put out on the street and picked over by the neighbors. Losing everything that makes you who you are, but also reminds you of where you came from.
Hopefully a full-time job comes soon so that I am not living my life in fear of losing everything, until then please do not ask if anything is wrong because everything is wrong and will be until I am back on my feet.
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