Life is an odd fruit basket, sometimes it’s hella good, other times it sucks.
A few months ago I made the decision to not continue my contract as a Sound Technician at a pretty rad Theatre Company, even though I hadn’t pursued any opportunities for when my contract was up. I made the decision because I was (and still am) unhappy with working in Theatre. I didn’t feel artistically or mentally fulfilled. My job mostly consisted of someone (a designer or my boss) handing me a piece of paper saying “Do this”. I enjoyed the job at first, but as time went on I wanted more. I wanted to pursue more. I didn’t want to just copy over what someone put down on a piece of paper. I had no say in how a sound system was set up, even if I knew of ways to make it better and more efficient.
I made the assumption that I would be able to find a job outside of the Theatre world with ease, despite not having any skills outside of Theatrical Sound Engineering and Design. I know this doesn’t disqualify me from jobs, it’s simply something I realized as I started job hunting. What skills I do have, mainly video editing and sound editing, are in markets that are overly saturated and I’m unsure of how to make myself stand out from the crowd. Though, I enjoy both a great deal.
Before you ask, pursing Sound Engineering and Design isn’t something I’m actually interested in (at least, not anymore). I mostly got into this line of work because the technology fascinated me. I wanted to see how it all worked. This unknown knowledge, for me at the time, is what drove me in college while getting my BA in Theatre with a focus in Playwriting… Now, I have to ask myself… Was it ever worth all that time and dedication? I’ve learned a great deal, and there is more I could learn, but my interests have moved on… I’ve moved on.
I’ve changed and grown.
For better or worse.
I still enjoy the technology; I just know it now. The unknown is known. So what’s next?
I’m a firm believer that you should love, or at least enjoy, what you do, otherwise your life is going to be hell… It started reaching that point for me. It drove me insane most days, to the point I started to retreat into myself and not socialize. I began to ignore friends who wanted to hang out in favor of drinking alone in my apartment. I quickly spiraled into a perpetually drunken state when not at work.
I’d get home from work and drink until I passed out.
Rinse and repeat.
I did this every day for about four or five months straight. I even stopped reading, writing, and playing video games… My only solace from my depression and unhappiness was drinking.
I don’t know if I am or was an alcoholic, but I do know my drinking habits were bad. They're easier to deal with now, thanks to my current living situation, but at the time I couldn’t help myself. I thought I needed it. It’s something that still eats at me. I often feel weak for allowing myself to fall down that rabbit hole.
A foolish notion, I know.
We all have demons; I guess this is mine.
Since my contract has been up, I was forced to move back in with my parents. A twenty-eight-year-old moving back into his parents. It’s embarrassing, to be honest. I don’t ever mention that I live with them, most of the time I say my roommates dog or cat if I happen to be talking about one of the myriad of animals living amongst us.
The money I had saved is running dry, thanks to student loans and credit card payments. My parents are letting me stay and are willing to support me for however long I need it, but I feel like I’m nothing but a burden to them. They've already done so much for me over the last twenty-eight years, its sucks to ask for more.
So, what am I doing about it? Besides writing a silly blog…
I am job hunting… But, it’s going bad. I get interviews, but never the job. In the two months since moving back in with my parents, I’ve had ten interviews (out of fifteen applications, so I guess that’s a plus) for a variety of different jobs, from video editor to retail management (and simple non-management retail jobs). I feel like the interviews go well, though I always try to stay positive on that front. Maybe I’m just not as personable as I like to think I am. I don’t know.
I’m just lost.
I know it’s a silly feeling. This lull in unemployment will pass, eventually… But, at the same time, it feels like it won’t. It feels like it will be lasting. I feel like I’ll be stuck here, a burden on those who love me.
I know I’m not alone in these feelings. I'm sure plenty of others have gone through this at one point or another.
But, damn, do these feelings suck.
Will it be worth it in the end, quitting a pretty solid job due to unhappiness? Yes. It will be. I know it. I would have continued into drunken void if I hadn’t left the job. I have to stay positive about my decision, as hard as that might.. Especially on days like this… When I’m sitting around with nothing but my thoughts.
To keep my mind occupied on most days, I’ve started learning Illustrator and Photoshop in an effort to gain new skills. I’ve even started my own YouTube channel that focuses on books (reviewing and talking about ‘em), to continue to develop my video editing skills (while also learning a thing or two about videography). Though, my channel was started a while ago (top of the year), I’m just now free to focus on producing content. I’ve also made a writing goal, though I’m not sure if I’ll be able to keep it… That is to finish writing a novel by the end of July. Just the first draft and nothing that will be published. I just want to do it for the challenge…
And, well, to get back to my first love.
These hobbies (and writing goal) help, quite a bit, to keep my mind focused on something other than my financial and job troubles. Those problems will always be there, casting a shadow I know I have to face but at least I have a few hobbies to keep me distracted. There’s always the chance I’ll get a job tomorrow or that somehow my silly little YouTube channel will magically take off (if that happens, I better double down on learning Photoshop and Illustrator... I’m bad at those)! Who knows what tomorrow will bring?
For now, I’ll do my best to stay positive and keep my head afloat.
Simply writing this has already eased my mind somewhat.
That’s one thing I do realize, as I write this, I haven’t talked about my feelings to anyone. I’ve been keeping this to myself. When friends ask me what I’m up to, I just say I’m enjoying the freedom of nothing… Though, I do hope they catch the sarcasm… I tell my parents job hunting is going well, when they ask, but still no bites. They never press further for information beyond that.
I should’ve been talking to them, friends and family… And, I will. Though, I admit, I've alienated myself from those who I call friends out of embarrassment and fear.
If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading. This was a release for me and I hope it didn’t come off as whiny or anything. I felt like I needed this. If anything, if no one reads this, at least I wrote this all down for the peace of mind.
Time to get back to the freedom of nothing…