At the end of part 1 I was freaking out because I had been called to do a show (my first in a year) and I was freaking out because I was depressed, fat, and hadn’t done any real movement since, oh more than a year prior. I just realized as I was writing it that I hadn’t run seriously since April of 2008.
That’s ridiculous. My personal motto through my second year of college was “if you can stand, you can run” and when I was depressed, angry, anxious, bored, tired, drained, or on my day off from a show I went running. The treadmill was my best friend (other than Miranda W. , Shaina N. , Sarah D. , Katee N. , and Sean P.) and I spent hours running with no destination in mind. Why I got out of this I don’t know (I think it was Weight Watchers and their promise that you can lose weight without exercising, and I convinced myself I didn’t like running. Whatever it was it was powerful and I still haven’t fully embraced running again, but I plan to go for a quick run when I get off work tonight so we’ll see how that works out).
I guess I should go in to some detail about why I quit doing the one thing I loved most in my life. Anyone who remembers my early blogs knows that I was completely one hundred percent devoted to being a stagehand, it was my number one dream to be involved in production at some level and I thought being a stagehand would be the best job ever. I still do, and I’ve decided to grow up and pursue it as my career but that comes later in the story.
In December of 2007 my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. Anyone who reads this blog knows that and knows that it was a hard time for my family. She was unable to work shows as a result and the stagehand’s union was having trouble finding people to work shows. I volunteered and started working a lot of shows. From December to June of that year I worked probably fifty shows (that counts load ins load outs and shows). I made quite a bit of money and was happy to get to be doing the work I liked (I also lost a lot of weight…geez, physical work is great for that, if you don’t load back up with calories.)
Anyway, I worked and worked and worked and eventually was asked if I would ever be interested in joining the union. I saw this as a great opportunity and waited for the conversation that would lead to me being asked to join. That conversation never happened but I kept going because it was good money, and I was sure that I was going to be asked any day. My parents were both members, I had proved myself to be a good worker, I had indicated I was interested in joining and I felt like for the first time in my life I was certain about my career path.
Also anyone who remembers my previous blogs knows that I was also completely in love with and dedicated to a summer program that I started working for when I was 18. The time for that rolled around so I withdrew from shows to work at the summer program. Toward the middle of the summer program I was offered a job at another summer program for the following year so I was faced with a tough decision. Did I want to continue down the path I was going or did I want to abandon production in favor of a real job?
I’m sure you can guess the answer.
So I basically told everyone I was leaving at the end of the summer program. Who works their job they had in college after they graduate? Yeah….
During this time I found out that me joining the union was no longer a possibility. To this day I don’t really understand why that happened, whether it was my fault or whether it was beyond my control. I don’t dwell on it too much because its depressing and I don’t want to revisit the thoughts I was feeling at the time. I kept working some shows throughout the school year but not as many as I was and certainly not at the levels I was working.
I started my last year of college, started dating the man, and decided that production was not for me. I was tired of getting hurt, both physically and emotionally and I was tired of the silly drama that accompanied my tenure in production, specifically with the union. I bowed out of both the union and shows in general and studied hard to pass and graduate college.
I loaded myself up with work to fill the void in my life but it was hard to get excited about school and I had trouble focusing on anything but stuff I wanted to do. It was at this time that I started gaining weight and spending money out of control. I wish I could say I got my life under control but to this day my life still isn’t under control. I’m not in the business of blaming other people for my problems but I really believe that losing the element of being loved, appreciated, and needed really didn’t help.
Anyway, flash forward to the present day (March 1, 2010). I’m unemployed, pretty miserable and walking in to one of the houses to work a show. I was in wardrobe so my day would be spent upstairs, hardly on stage, the day would mostly be quick and painless. It would be a good day.
It was a GREAT day. I knew what I was doing, I worked quickly and efficiently and basically kicked ass. It was what I needed, a good kick in the rear to get me moving again. The next day I woke up deliriously happy and headed over to The Man’s apartment when he woke up to tell him I was going to do it, I was going to be a stagehand now and forever. It was my career.
As I put my hand on the door to walk out I got a phone call.
A job that I applied for when I first quit the paper wanted to hire me. The lady calling me said they had an employee that was about to quit and they wanted to hire me to replace her. It was a management position and it paid well, had benefits, all the stuff my job at the paper was supposed to have but didn’t. It would be about a month before this lady quit so she said she’d call me back in a month.
I got all excited about it, told the man who told his parents, told my parents, and was all geared up about working for them.
The call never came.
I was upset about it, who wouldn’t be? I was tired of being promised things that would never happen and I was tired of being disappointed again and again. I decided I needed to start being more proactive in my job search. I basically didn’t apply for anything because I was waiting on this call so I decided I would apply for more jobs and someone would hire me. I was a college graduate, I had skills, and I would surely get hired by SOMEONE.
Not even an interview for a whole month.
Now, I could have used this month to work on myself, to confront my sickness and maybe exercise a little and eat better.
Yeah, you see the pattern.
I did a lot of volunteer work in March, I did church activities, traveled with my dad and sister, and set myself up on a little more of a routine. I did a little more exercise and woke up in the morning, went to sleep at night, and took my medicine in between. Life was easy, and despite the fact I couldn’t seem to get a job everything was happy and positive (oh, and the weather was getting warmer).
Fast forward to April, I still hadn’t found a job and noticed in the Up-From-Nowhere (my hometown) newspaper (I don’t read the newspaper I used to work for, no one really does…) that a TJ Maxx was opening up in May and they were having a hiring fair. I went to the hiring fair because I figured I needed interview practice. I didn’t think it went well so I went home.
I got called to do another show and I did it, the day before The Man and I were to leave for Michigan to visit his family. This show was more difficult but it didn’t do anything but convince me this was what I wanted to do.
We went to Michigan and were having a great time partying with my in-laws (who are awesome). We traveled to a craft outlet the first day we were there (where I got a lamp shaped like a teapot!) and headed to a HUGE wal-mart for supplies when I got a phone call from a West Virginia number.
I finally got a job, working at TJ Maxx.
Working at TJ Maxx was okay. We built the store from scratch so it was a lot of work, but it was fine. To tell the truth I liked it and I would do it again, but I didn’t make enough money to live. The truth is I needed that job. I needed to know I was still normal, that I could still get up and go to work and come home and I could still deal with people and could still control myself. I worked hard, I made friends, and I realized really quickly that there was no future for me there.
I started to look for jobs, but I focused my search on another location…
Where did I look? Did I find a job? Did I ever get tired of answering questions?
The answers to all of these questions and more will be found in Part 3!