A Quickie While We Do Some Math

In Opinion/Personal, Personal, Work Related on January 11, 2013 at 4:06 pm

No.  Not that kind of quickie.  Sorry…

I will not go into the fact that I’m a bad blog-mom again.  I know my posts have been minimal.  But I have an equation for you:

4 years + approximately 200 miles + approximately 150 credit hours = my Psychology degree

And now:

Psychology degree + extremely demanding job + general life expenses = (broke  + unhappy) x stressed the eff out.

So I’ve got all these numbers of time, distance, paychecks, bills, and so on, that all lead to the result of me being generally unhappy with the point I’ve reached in my life.  I worked my ass off to get my college degree, something that I thought I would be insanely happy doing, but then got a quick reality check upon graduation.

I’m sure everyone these days knows what I’m talking about.  I graduated, got a bachelor’s in my chosen area of study with big dreams of what my life was going to be like once I was a real adult with a higher education.  Then I graduated and realized that the one thing they didn’t teach in my psychology classes was how hard it actually is to get a job.  It’s impossible to get a job in general right now, let alone getting a job in the field of mental health without having any prior work experience.

Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful for my job.  I truly care about every client I have.  They are constantly teaching me new things about humans in general and all the things that a person can pleasantly surprise you with.  But the job is intense.  It is constantly changing, and not only within our organization but on a state-wide level.  There is always another mandatory training to go to in which they teach us about all the changes they are making to the same procedures that they just changed 3 months ago.  For all this work, the pay is minimal.  Not minimum wage, but in the state of Kentucky this has to be one of the lowest paying jobs in correlation with the amount of energy and time that has to go into the work.

I know you’re probably thinking I’m just a complainer, I just do paperwork so how’s that so bad.  Try this on for a second: my work days are from 8 am to 5 pm.  One week a month I am on call from 5 pm – 8 am Monday afternoon – Friday morning to respond to incidents, injuries, and emergencies, and one full weekend 1-2 times a month from 5pm Friday afternoon – 8 am Monday morning.  During my work day, I am responsible for maintaining all paperwork for each of my 22 clients: a report of every thing that happened to that person within every month, day by day notes of everything I do, every phone call, every everything, for each client, and monitoring all locations of service for each client (which can be residential, job, therapy, psychiatric care, etc.) each  month.  In addition, I also drive up to 2 hours away for meetings and paperwork because clients of the company I work for live across multiple surrounding counties.

More detail?  Okay, here’s an example:  this coming week my schedule is jam-packed.  Monday – 9:15 appointment with client, 10:30 meeting at another program for another client, downtime to cram in paperwork that is time sensitive and that I am already late on, 2 pm meeting with another client at residence. Tuesday – 10 am meeting for a client at another program, paperwork and lunch at the same time, 2 pm appointment for another client, 3:30 appointment approximately an hour away for another client.  Wednesday – 1 pm meeting at another program for client, meetings with clients and in-house psychiatrist throughout the day.  Thursday – 10 meeting for client approximately an hour away, packing more office move. Friday – moving to a new office.  By Friday, I will be even further behind on paperwork and basically brain-dead.

I won’t lie, I have been keeping ears and eyes open for new job offers.  I have been in this high stress, high demand, often times low reward position for almost 4 years.  There are days when I honestly feel like my brain can’t do any more.  I yearn for a lower stress job.  So I began looking online.  Posting my resume online after I graduated was what landed me the job I currently have, so I thought maybe it would be that easy again.  I heard about the job economy being in the crapper, but I didn’t realize how bad until I started looking again.  And I realized that even though I have days where I get in my car and just cry because I am so exhausted but I can’t take a break, I have a job with a steady income and some people don’t even have that.  Yes, I am still struggling with my money because I don’t get paid enough to cover the rising cost in everything, from gas to my rent to just a gallon of milk, but I can handle this.  I just need to find a balance in all of it.

Writing has been part of finding that balance.  I know that if I was living in my dream world, I would be a successful writer in one way or another with hundreds of people being able to read my writings and being able to support myself with my writings alone.  Like I said, dream world.  But because the internet has been so helpful to me in finding my current job and allowing people to gain exposure in ways that were never before possible, I turned to it yet again.  Somehow, between my job hours, my time spent working on this blog, and my time spent working on writings of which the end result is still yet to be determined, I have decided to attempt freelance writing.  I heard of it.  It sounded scary.  I moved along.  But it kept getting brought to my attention again, so I started doing some research.  As I decided a while ago, I will be forcing myself to go outside my comfort zone, and this would definitely be doing that.  What’s that saying… “the what-if’s and the should-have’s will eat your brain”(John O’Callaghan) …or was it “you are never too old to set another goal or to dream another dream” (C.S. Lewis)…or maybe it was “it takes courage to grow up and become who you really are” (E.E. Cummings).

I saw something a few days ago that said “fate loves the fearless” and it took me a second to fully understand.  Fate isn’t out of our hands.  We can mold it.  We just have to have the courage to put ourselves out there to give it that chance to take hold of us and take off.  If I keep giving up on possibilities because they sound scary, I will forever be in this same spot that I’m in.  Maybe it’s because we all survived the apocalypse, maybe its the rejuvenation of a new year, maybe it’s just because I’m finally in a position in my life where I feel I can be comfortable in being and doing what I want, but this spot just doesn’t seem to fit me anymore and I won’t let myself settle for less than what I want.

I have realized that what I want now is not what I wanted 6 years ago.  My passion is not what my degree is in. My goals for myself have dramatically changed since I’ve been in the “real world.”   But that is okay.  And if taking on frightening freelance projects is a step closer to my own personal achievement, I’m ready.

Preach it, random internet inspiration!


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