February 8, 2014

The Alternate Mandy's

What Mandy Thinks: "Real Person Chronicles" post
(Please excuse my loopyness, it's kind of three in the morning as I type this which is currently the best and worst possible time to do this between Lyft-ing strangers places.  I just woke up from a nap and my shift is over at ten, so good luck one and all who finish this with any sense whatsoever because BABBLE ON, I shall.)

I've been thinking, what's my life really have in store for me?  I haven't been a fully employed designer in months with no real replies to my numerous job applications.  I gave myself SIX months of full-time Lyft-ing to find something to replace it.  I'm running out of time.  But is all this design-centric job hunting really worth it?  Will I end up dropping Lyft?  Dare I try freelancing only which scares me half to death or continue this focus for - realistically - another dead-end design job?  Will I find an opportunity to switch careers?  SHOULD I switch or continue with what my college degree says I am and should be?  Being in this limbo state for months and months is not good for my insides and causes my outsides to look drained if my insides show through.  What am I to DO?

These are what my three-am brain would consider possible "life forks" in the career road or whatever based on my main list of interests:

  • Mandy as a designer once again. In the fast-paced technology world, especially in web design, I'm far behind. My college graduation in 2011 was on the cusp of responsive design and functionality, and I have minimal mobile design experience so my chances are limited but still possible. Freelancing could work if I get crazy serious about it, but I'm more into taking on small projects around a main stable piece of my life than let it BE my life.
  • Mandy as a writer. I could take my novels more seriously and attempt to publish or find a writing job or some sort. All of that scares me though, especially the instability of MY hobby writing and process turning into money-making pressure. Stability is possible though so I'm putting more blogging, marketing, and content skills up just in case.
  • Mandy as an operations manager at a tattoo shop. Zero retail experience but a bunch of respect and interest in tattoos, I have. In order for this to be possible, I should get some more tattoos (HAHA that involves money, silly me) and make some friends in this industry to prove my worth.  Running a small business as a manager in front of it all sounds like fun, and in THIS type of business there will never be a dull moment.  (And my obsession with all things Jay Cornover and her Marked Men series makes me really really want to be Cora, the snarky manager of the tattoo shop at the center of the series' little family and universe.)
  • Mandy as a thrift store worker. I'm a thrift store stalker weekly anyways, might as well get paid to help out there so I can afford what I purchase. There's a story to every person working there and I want to know what those are. Also, dibs on the inventory before the customers can see it to want to buy it? Yes, please, no shame.
  • Mandy as a professional organizer. I LOVE to clean and organize, but I can't let myself touch anybody's stuff until I get the green light. It's a personal space bubble I hate poking, but I'll go nuts once it's opened up to me. I'm a bit of a pushover though so if somebody doesn't want something done that I suggest is best I'm not gonna push it. The satisfaction of a clutter-free house is a gift I can wrap up just nicely for the world, but I'd need a bit of a backbone first.
  • Mandy as a maid? Yeah yeah, they'll be plenty of gross-out potential moments with this job, but if my ongoing life purpose theme is "making stuff look pretty" this job fits that bill just as the personal organizer one. Those who wouldn't necessarily keep their lives around them looking or smelling nice will turn to the chick with the rubber gloves and strong stomach to clean up after them. That could be me.

Or dare I consider this not-so-preferable life fork:
  • Mandy as an "in-betweener." Commercial driving isn't paying the bills anymore. I'd have to continue driving and add something on like waitressing, delivering pizzas, babysitting (ew, children), house-sitting, dog-walking, whatever it may be to pay my rent and debt as slowly as possible to afford enough food. Although I'll be gaining skills and acquaintances I wouldn't have in any other way, I'd be stuck in an in-between stage of life for who knows how long dreaming of something better - what my next "career" job will be to get back to full adulthood. And going around doing all this with a niche degree that cost $100K? Ugh. Sticking to this in-between status for any longer than I already have makes me personally feel like a fat failure in reality against my dreams professionally.

Bleh.  I'm still not sure what to do.  With so much opportunity afoot, I'm overwhelming myself.  Maybe another nap later today will calm my racing brain a bit before I continue driving and applying.

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