It all started after High School, I don’t exactly know why I did it (got a job), but I guess it’s because getting a job was just something that people “did”. My mentality was that everyone just “got jobs” so I had to do it too, it was just another necessary part of life. I also knew money was involved but really that wasn’t my main focus. I think I just wanted to have the thing that everyone said we needed, the thing that people said would help you sustain yourself and be able to get income.
It’s sort of like college. We were programmed in HS to think we needed to go to college to step up to the next level in society and upgrade, so for the most part, that’s what everybody did. It was almost like a trend for people who don’t think too far outside the box and follow whats “best” and what “works”, so they dive into it without exactly knowing why.
So anyhow, I got hooked up to a job by a friend and began working. I was nervous because it was my first time joining a professional company of anything, and I was very anxious to get everything done right. So I did, and I did my job, I learned and I focused.
And then the paycheck came in. I was mind boggled, completely flabbergasted. Like wow! Several hundred dollars! My mind immediately flooded with possibilities of what I could do with such money. I immediately became hooked to the job (which paid minimum wage at the time) and kept going with the ambition of getting my next paycheck.
After a while it got old of course. Work work paycheck paycheck, but it never really dragged at me. Work never seemed like the biggest burden, although of course there’d be some boring groaning days, but it never bugged me all that much.
A problem was however, that as my income came in so did my expenses rise. Many of them were necessities but I also felt more free to waste more money, and seeing that I had just a minimum wage job, it definitely didn’t allow my job to give me the full potential of saving money as I could have let it.
Meanwhile I was doing the whole college routine, taking classes, paying for tuition, trying to get this so called “AA degree” that everyone kept putting on the pedestal. I personally didn’t see the value to it but I understood why they would think it was so necessary.
So I did the whole college counseling thing and tried to find my goals and it all took lots of time but so does everything worth it in life right?
After a while though of school, work, and focusing on trying to “better my position” at my one job which practically became my world, I was pushed to get a second job, since mine was starting to cut hours due to competition amongst employees.
So I got a second job. Now I was getting two small paychecks from two places and was going to college.
I have to admit, I was pretty darned proud of myself. I felt like a professional hard working man who had things made for him due to his own hard determination and work ethic.
I eventually left one job to get a much better one, and life was looking pretty good. I paid off a $20,000 car in one year bragging about it constantly, and always had a comfortable sum in my bank account.
I’d witness other people making far more money of course, like some nurse who complained of making “only $80/hour”, of lawyers charging $100/hour and people making hundreds of grand a year.
But that didn’t concern me all too much, although I did see that as my hopeful next step at some point in life. I was nearing the point where I could start looking for a place of my own to invest in and leave my families house, to be truly independent.
But then I caught a felony case being stupid with a firearm.
My world suddenly flipped upside down in ways you can’t imagine.
I lost literally everything.
My car was sold, my possessions taken, my savings drained, and my golden slate of a reputation tainted completely. I spent over three years incarcerated.
Three and a half years of just sitting in a room, not working for anything, and simply have food handed to you.
I studied hard, I worked out a lot and stayed fit and healthy, I learned many skills…
But I didn’t have to work for my food. I didn’t have to work for my living…I didn’t have to work for anything. All I did, was rot.
Upon release, after so many years…as determined as I was to go out and work, and strike the dreams of my life as quickly as I could…
My body was just no longer used to it.
I had one thing though, I had talent. And I did as much as I could with it, desperately hopping from one skill to another trying to find my niche. I bounced from writing, to photography, videography, music, blogging, vlogging, book publishing, I was trying it all. I tried designing clothes, I tried selling things online, even performed on the streets with instruments. But none of these provided a steady income like I once had before.
And when I finally got a job…
I simply couldn’t handle the hours.
Well no that’s not true, I handled them and pushed through, but it really messed me up bad. I wasn’t used to it and had a hard time adjusting. I’d have mood swings, temperament issues, anxiety and stress.
But I also had a ton of debt and the dream of being able to make my own steady income outside of a “job”, a word of which I no longer took pride in, after living with so many walks of life inside the jail.
Gangsters, pimps, business CEO’s, con-artists, drug lords, homeless bums, I lived with and met them all. Had deep several day long conversations about their life, what worked and what didn’t.
And the one thing that never held up to being the best thing ever, was a minimum wage job, or even a full time job.
It simply doesn’t cut it. The stress kills and the pay is barely enough to sustain you.
I know I need to upgrade…even with a part time job working 20-40 hours a week, I needed something that paid almost 3-4x more. But with a felony on my record, how on earth was I to accomplish that?
To be continued…(going to work)