Wednesday, 30 September 2015

September 2015


Falling Apart

I'm going to forgo the typical format and just get straight to the bullshit that has made this entire month perhaps the most unbearable one thus far. For starters, you may have noticed the blog hasn't been updated since the last monthly checkup, that's just how much free time I've been afforded. I have no energy to do anything, most days I just want to lie in bed and rot. The idea that we die a little each day has never felt more true to me and I have come to take a bizarre comfort in knowing that. My health is failing. We haven't been able to determine why, but my doctor is awfully fucking incompetent so I will be visiting another one in hopes to achieve a proper diagnosis and possibly treatment. My hair is falling out in clumps, it's thinning all over; I no longer eat, I have no appetite; I don't sleep without waking up each and every hour on the hour, so I've had no choice but to resort to sleep aids. I have lost all motivation, my sense of humor, my passion for just about anything; quite basically I could give a flying fuck about anything any more. (For more profanity and complaining, read on ☺)

Things weren't always this bad. Last month I complained I was going to lose my job, this month it's all I wish would happen because I'm so fed up with it. I'm guaranteed to be there until it ends in November. Sadly, I got a taste of a possible job that could have catapulted me into a better life, a career even, but I was shot down. I gave the interview this odd half-assed attempt to portray myself as a down to earth, hard working, social type of chick whose artistic and computer skills outshone the others, but apparently being a stiff, lack lustre, personality-less suit was a far better choice over me. This job has been the only position I have ever seen come up that is even remotely close to what I do as an artist, and a fucking pussy graphic design/social media grad, who has no artistic sensibility, got the job over me. Now that's just disgusting, but more importantly it was an internship that was created for people who were lacking adequate job skills (i.e. me). Two candidates had just graduated from their certificate programs and not even experimented in the job market, so how could they know they were failing before they even tried? The others had worked stable jobs and had more experience than me and the new graduates combined. They all had far more applicable job skills than I did, so from a charitable point, I WAS THE RIGHT DECISION. But for reasons beyond me they did not choose me. 

They even had the audacity to write me a letter saying just how much they liked me, found my skill set attractive and impressive, only to say the position has been filled and they "know I'll have a successful career as an artist". Those words are fucking poison to me. Not only because these people have no idea what it's like to be a starving art grad, but because they don't even understand the total lack of opportunity for any artist at any level. Saying this kind of thing to an artist is just plain disrespectful - so if you happen to read this and be an employer please refrain from making these kind of shitty comments to people you decline, it only pisses them off tremendously. The recruiter ended his email encouraging me to apply for a part time job in recreation which has nothing to do with what I want as a career, and it's part time. Not the full time position I had applied for, it pays minimum wage and not the very hefty salary I would've been receiving had I gotten the intern job. That's like telling a lawyer, "Sorry you didn't get into the law firm, we have an opening for a part time janitor though." Because I was so close to telling this guy to go fuck himself I just deleted the email. I wasted a full day of my work to go to that interview, I'll never get that $88 back. Christ.

I've been going around wanting nothing more than to break shit and set things on fire. But more prominently thoughts of suicide have been abound. I'm embarrassed that a job that was basically created for me was given to someone younger and so fucking uncool and non-artistic. I'm pissed that yet again I'm poor as hell and have no hope for a future. Money is everything to us, it guarantees us a roof over our head, food, coverage and a retirement plan. Without it we crumble, which is exactly what I'm doing. It's been almost two years exactly since I graduated and I am not moving up the chain, I'm only falling further behind. This irritates me because I'm aging, and they will always go for the younger applicants - I don't know why, employers are just cunts. They also tend to dislike university graduates... I guess because we're smarter than they are? Whose to say we are or not? We never get the chance to find out for sure! It's not just my city either, it's the whole god damn province... fuck that, it's the country! I've looked for work everywhere, there's nothing I can do. I was never taught anything useful, my school did not impart useful job skills or anything of worth, it was all a sham. And all the "job skills" I've acquired in my shitty part time jobs count for nothing because they don't happen to take place under the "exact same employment circumstances". So office work has become some kind of impenetrable fortress that one needs five degrees and ten years experience just to get into.

Let me tell you about Canada. It's a joke. There's no reason to come here, we have fish and terrible musicians, and we have no programs in place to assist the hordes of unemployed and underemployed graduates who are struggling to pay off their debts, make ends meet, and trying to enrich their lives. Dreams of home ownership are slipping further and further away, rent is being jacked up the asshole and swallows up well over half if not almost all of your income, combined with your life insurance policy, any additional medical care you require and your life necessities. If you dreamt in your old age you would be cared for and safe, you will instead be destitute and probably on the streets. Sure, Canada likes to give the impression we have our shit together, but we're really just terribly fucked up. Our priorities are nowhere where they're supposed to be.

In other news, my fiancé got the job he wanted, only he's stressing because he finds it difficult to adapt. I'm happy for him, I guess, but it kind of makes me resent him. He has no idea what it's like failing miserably in life. What's more, I get to be his burden. I literally am the reason we can't afford to get married, get a house, or even get my surgery. I bring in so little money it just goes into this meager little savings pile. I can't help but think he'd be much better off with someone who makes money, and I'd love for him to just leave and go do so, because the stress of being his wife is far too much for me to worry about. At least if I date a seriously poor guy we can qualify for welfare. 

And, yeah. To flaming hell with September.

19 comments:

  1. Hm...It's really hard to say anything to all this, because I know exactly how you feel; Two years ago, I was in the exact same situation and now - even tough we both work full time, we still struggle to set up some kind of future for ourselves. I hate money, I hate, that it's so important, that without it - without lots of it... - , people cannot even survive. But I've never actually cared about it; I try not to center my life around money, because in the end, it's still just a tool. I understand, that financial security is important, that a house, a car, a trip or nice clothes make people happy and you need money for that, but you're not any less valuable if you live in a sublet and take the bus. And what do you do with all that wealth if you're alone anyway? I'm sure, that if you and your boyfriend truly love each other, money won't separate you. Perhaps you should talk about your fears to him too.
    I know it's fucked up and it seems easier said to you now, but I guess you should just ease up on this a little.
    Global economy is fucked up right now, it's goddamn' hard to get steady jobs - especially art jobs - and make any kind of plans that involve money, so you shouldn't be too hard on yourself for that. :(

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    1. I'm glad to hear I'm not alone in this! The sad thing is, I've read countless stories of people struggling in the exact same way, not just for underemployment but unemployment too. People with PHDs or their Masters are failing to get hired at fast food restaurants. It's a horrendous combination of a poor economy, an overpriced education system (which is inadequate), and a bunch of biased employers. One of the biggest concerns economists have is that graduates will be taking all the low skill jobs which then displaces all the people who don't have a post-secondary education. So I guess now we have the poor and the really very poor, but welfare does help those people to some extent.

      My fiancé and I are currently looking for a new place to rent because our landlord is totally messed up, she hasn't filed for the rental license which was introduced in 2010. She's technically been renting this place illegally for years and this is not by accident, she's a scheming bitch. A few years ago when we were looking for a place to live we had a very tight budget, since my fiancé has gotten his new job we could afford a little extra, but rent has gone up dramatically in my city, so now it puts us in the same position we were in three years ago. It's a lot of one bedroom apartments and shared spaces for $1150 a month, five years ago that would've been $800. It's living hand to mouth.

      I hate money, I have no interest in it, if I could live off the grid in the woods somewhere and forage for my food I'd be happy. My fiancé has told me I'm not a burden, but he doesn't seem to get the disappointment I'm facing with my chronic failure as an artist. He's one of those people where if you tell him you're depressed he just doesn't know what to do. I'm thinking about seeing a career counselor but since we're all screwed I have my doubts that it'll make a difference. I'm just going to push on through this annoying factory job and sew for a month as soon as I'm free to. :/

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  2. I am so so sorry, for all of it. Reading your post was like a punch to the gut. I always appreciate raw honesty, in a world that constantly feeds us lies. It must have taken quite alot of energy out of you just sharing all of that, so thank you for doing so.

    There is no way for me to try to help you but I wish I could, so bad. I wish I lived nearby; I would drive over and pick you up, take you over to my place and cook you a steady meal, fill you up with sugary sweets and stiff drinks, put horror movies on repeat on the TV and wrap you up in all kinds of blankets.
    I would reassure you that your boyfriend loves you and would never "rather be" with anyone else. I would tell you that I know exactly that pressure and anxiety of feeling like you are a burden, that you can't live up to what a girlfriend/wife "should" be, but that there is no such mold, and that you are a wonderful person just as you are.

    I would tell you that life have its ups and downs, and that things will most likely get better for you. It might just take a while. And that in the meantime your health (physical and mental) is the most important thing, because you only get one body and one brain, and that you should walk away from every single thing in your life that is stressing you out to the point where you are just wasting away - right now! The job, the city, even maybe your relationship for a while. Is there a family member or a friend that can take care of you, for a while?

    Finally I would tell you; if your suicide fantasies are turning into plans - call a hotline, find a prevention chat, tell a friend, tell your family, walk into a doctor's office and tell the first employee you can find, tell the world. WHo cares about embarrassment when your life is on the line.

    I really really hope things get better for you soon.
    Hugs

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    1. Thank you, your support alone is very helpful. :)

      I broke down at work the other day and fled to my parents' house where my mother made me tea and we talked shit about rentals. My dad told me not to let things get me down, but it's hard, not only because of the unfulfillment and poverty thing, but when it's all that and being sick and having to deal with my fiancé's stress, I just felt like a time bomb ready to blow. I discussed this with my boss and she told me to put it aside and live in the moment, that it'll pass in time. But it's overwhelming working with people who are just like me; we're all living paycheck to paycheck, and strangely we're all artists. My co-worker, who's a mother and has a son around my age, also went to art school but is in twice the amount of debt I'm in. Sadly, she thinks she will find a job as an artist here and that we're "overqualified" for our factory work. I agree that we're overqualified, but I feel bad that she moved to our city thinking it had something to offer her. So not only am I feeling shitty for myself, I'm feeling shitty for my co-workers too. You want to see the people you like succeed in life and not be stressed or depressed, but everyone I know is hurting in some way. :(

      I talked to a few of my old acquaintances who graduated from the same university, one recommended I try a job agency, she said they'd eat half my paycheck but the work experience alone is worth it. I might do this. Like all my co-workers, I'll probably return to making work for myself, but for now I just want to waste time decorating for Halloween and sewing, because it's a lot more enjoyable than worrying about money.

      Thank you for reaching out to me. ♥
      *hugs*

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  3. Oh, I sense a lot of frustration. And understandably so, I would be more than annoyed if I had a horrible job but needed to keep it for food and housing. I am in the comfortable position that even if I lose my job I would recieve enough money to survive. And I ended the job I started to hate but with a new job at hand. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you that you will find another job and another flat!

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    1. Thank you! I'm hoping to find a new home soon and a job once my contract is up. I'm told I might qualify for employment insurance (EI), but I think that's only if I've worked 500 hours in the last year and been fired/let go. Our government has made it incredibly difficult to qualify for EI and that even if you do it takes months before you receive the money. I think the sad thing about this service is that we all put money into it, we're all taxed for it, even part time workers and part time workers *never* qualify for EI, so their money is just going to somebody else. :( It's a terribly flawed system.

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  4. My husband is a graphic designer in your situation (with bad dental problems... Surgery that we'd never be able to afford ever. He's losing his teeth, and of course that doesn't help him in interviews). He gets the whole "great work," but we went with someone else... Yeah, younger kids fresh from school. He's almost 40 years old. Hiring managers hire whoever they want for whatever reason. I asked every manager I had why they hired me and they all had the same answer..."I just liked you for some reason. " one of them liked my outfit and thought I looked the part (this was for the art book publisher). Nothing had anything to do with my skills... Though I suppose I wouldn't have been called in if I didn't have them. I tell my husband to try to get a freelance business going, but I also understand that it's hard to do that when you're working a bs job and can barely get out of bed in the morning. I wish there was an answer to this. Art is such a useful, valuable, marketable skill and its a shame how competitive it is. I wish you the best of luck and I hope you feel better.

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    1. Thank you!

      I feel conflicted about the future of art in my city. City hall has proposed some new community plan for our downtown core. They want to pave over one of our busiest roads and turn it into a pedestrian walkway. They hope that this will help uplift struggling businesses and bring more art and culture to our downtown core. The weird thing is that it's encouraging street vendors and buskers. So I suppose they want the downtown core to become like an active, 365 days a year street festival. I don't know if this is the same quality of art that they're aiming for, because our festival artists are anything from air brushing your name on a t-shirt to selling wooden furniture. It's really varied and a lot of it isn't really fine art. I'm not sure if it would improve our downtown core or make it look like a run down flea market, my fear is the flea market. However, if they do in fact manage to bring fine art back into popularity it could be good news for a lot the local artists (maybe even including me). It's hard to say, especially because people need money to buy art and since the economy is shit it seems unlikely that anyone can afford to.

      I've had friends at work wanting to do collaborative work with me doing small e-commerce stuff but I'm unsure it would be worth the time and investment. I'm truly struggling with the idea of just making money or being fulfilled, I don't know if it's possible to do both. The biggest problem though is finding work (of any sort) that pays well and secures my future. That alone is distressing, I feel like everyone should be entitled to some sort of job security and future planning. The jobs skills thing drives me crazy, unless you've never worked a day in your life, we all have job skills. I've read countless articles that claim job skills are the main reason why Gen Y kids aren't getting jobs, but really, I think it's a budgeting thing and a time issue. I feel that employers don't want to be bothered hiring someone who doesn't already know the company practices and methods inside and out. They don't want to train. There aren't any entry level jobs, so none of us can even get our foot in the door to move up to better positions. It's very frustrating. :/

      My hope is that by the new year there's some major economic shift and perhaps we might see more entry level job openings.

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    2. That was part of the reason I moved... There were zero jobs in my field in my hometown. Fingers crossed for you

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    3. See, I would love to move but my fiancé is fiercely loyal to his new employers, he would have to find a better job elsewhere first, and I doubt he'd be willing to do that for at least a year. He's one of those weird people who doesn't want to inconvenience anyone, so he'd stay working a shittier job just because he feels like he has to. I've already asked if I could leave to pursue stuff in another city and he said no. I get that we have a relationship, but if this city has nothing to offer me, I pretty much have to go.

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  5. I think that hair loss, loosing your appetite and sleep problems, are mostly due to sadness and anxiety, and by feeling pressured to do a work you hate. If you just calm down a bit, in the knowledge that you are doing the best you can, your health will improve as well. I get how all this feels too much for you, but feeling shitty on top of it, is just making matters worse. You're not a posh girl who likes spending her fiance's money, you're a working girl, you search for a good job every day, you do a job you hate even though you're sick, so that you 'll be able to help. The fact that you care and you stress so much about it, proves that you aren't a burden, you're considerable and you want to help. Did you ever think of opening a small shop as a seamstress, since you like sewing?

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    1. I think stress has definitely exacerbated my health problems. I'm told losing my hair could be related to my hysterectomy, but it's too difficult for ordinary family doctors to tell, so I'm being sent to a specialist. It's difficult because my hair falling out is bad enough, but when it's compounded by all the other health and financial problems it seems too much to bear. I wish there was a way for people to get leave for stress but it's not possible, especially with my job being contract only (I don't get holidays). I have thought of sewing before but found the costs would be too hefty, which is why I tried opening an Etsy shop. I haven't had time to add items to it lately but I'd like to get back to it after my factory contract ends. :)

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    2. You have to try to keep your stess levels at bay

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  6. Ever since I started applying for jobs I got nothing but rejection, so I know what it's like. At least your boyfriend can help you in need one day... It'll get better :)

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    1. Thank you, I really hope next year is far better than this one was. Our unemployment rate has gone up quite a bit in the last few months. :/

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  7. I dont even know what to say to you :-O
    I mean, I do have an apprenticeship in a job where I can get a new one within a second - then again it is quite stressful, people look down on you for working in it, you can get in trouble with the law quite easy (ok, all of this sounds like i was talking about something criminal but im talking about geriatric nurses in germany) underpaid and yes, I also know that problem of not having enough money to eat when I have to pay a bill that was not planned.
    anyways, i dont want to rant on this but sending you my best wishes and faerie dust, hoping something will happen that will make your situation better!

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    1. Thank you for your support and kind words. <3 My mum was a Personal Support Worker, so I understand what you're saying. I'm happy that my fiancé and I are no longer in that transitional period where we weren't sure if we would have a home, or food, things are a lot more secure now than they were, however, money is still a pressing matter as far as future planning is concerned. It seems like for the last ten years I had it drilled into me that if I went to university I'd get a good job, get a benefits and coverage and be able to retire some day, this "north american dream" is becoming less obtainable and I know I'm not alone in this. I'm just dumbfounded by the complete lack of support and resources from my government. I know there's an election going down but most of candidates are talking smack about families with children and things that hardly apply to people like me. I really feel marginalized. I think one day I might have to move elsewhere, but for now, I just want to stop caring, even if just for awhile, ya know?

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  8. My condolences you didn't get the job, however I usually find when I didn't get a job it's because it wasn't the right time or it wasn't meant for me anyway.
    It sounds like you are feeling very depressed, please reach out to someone, as this can really help. I know it helped me when I was struggling to see a councillor and work through things.
    Please do not colour our whole country with the same brush though. Canada is not perfect but it is not all terrible either. We even have a much better Prime Minister now so things should look up.

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    1. Thanks for your encouraging words. I have talked with friends, and while I still don't feel much better about that lost job prospect, I am moving forward. Although the remarks about the music and fish were sarcastic, I still feel very marginalized by our Canadian government and take issue with the way things are conducted. I'm not sure how I feel about Trudeau, I was torn between the Liberals and the NDP party. I think legalizing pot might boost us economically, but whether there will be supports and resources brought forward for unemployed graduates is unclear. There's also the personal conflict I'm facing of choosing to work myself to death doing something that I don't enjoy but get money out of, or doing something I love while living in poverty. It really is being caught between a rock and a hard place. My hope is that at the very least, something comes into effect to alleviate student debts for the chronically underemployed, because even if I do secure some form of employment my loans will go into repayment and my paychecks/savings will inevitably begin to get eaten up.

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