Posts Tagged ‘future’

Dream Big, Dig Deep: A 6 Month Journey To Redemption

February 14, 2012

Time is a funny old thing. A lot can happen in 6 months, and at the same time, nothing at all can happen in 6 months.


6 Months ago, I quit my job for a variety of reasons. The salary just wasn’t enough, the people were beginning to drive me crazy, I wanted to focus more on my writing, and perhaps most importantly, I felt there was something “better“ out there for me.

This drew the ire of a lot of people. I heard a lot of similar questions/statements.
– Have you got something else?
– Don’t quit till you have another job waiting!
– What about your mother, how are you going to take care of her?
– Stick it out, it’s not easy to find a job?
– How can you make money out of writing?
– Etc. etc. etc

I did have good enough answers for any of these. All I knew as I needed change.

The money I got paid out should have been enough for 6months max, that gave me enough time take a break, refocus and then move on.

Unfortunately I didn’t get paid out what I thought I would, so the pressure was immediately on, and the stress was taking its toll.

After all, I had real world problems to deal with, I had a mother, her house, groceries and monthly expenses to take care of.

The first thing to suffer was my writing. However, I realized I will never have the luxury of solely being able to do what I love. I don’t live my life for just me. That’s the sad truth. If I did, I would have been writing a long time ago. In order for me to write, I need to be where I am motivated, and that’s not here. Not in this house, not in this country. That was a situation I couldn’t change.

My mom by nature is a very negative person, and sees no bright side to any situation. The world she lives in is doom and gloom, and there is no chance of anyone making it in the world. She has a skewed idea of what reality is. This is just one of the ways we are completely opposite. I have such big dreams and ambitions which she believes will be my downfall.

This is hard for a child, no matter what age, to deal with. As the support of a parent is ultimately the only support you ever want. So this whole journey for me was very much a path I’ve walked alone.

As I began job hunting (which went as far back as September), I thought to myself, “Wow, there are tons of jobs out there”- and there were! What I didn’t count on was people just not coming back to me.

I applied for no less than 63 jobs in the last six months. I had 5 people come back to me for an interview. Those are shocking stats. And even worse odds. This was a real reality check, because I have a pretty awesome CV, but the nature of the beast is that people just don’t respond.

A lot of people did the clichéd “send me you CV I’ll forward it on and see what I can do”, this, whilst meant in kind and caring way, was the most fruitless of all things; because it was just the thing people say to seem supportive. I’ve also said that to people in the past, so I know how it works.

I had people telling me what jobs to apply for, even though they had no clue what I’ve actually being doing for the last 7yrs. For some reason, people still think I’m interested in computers?

Let me say it this way, finding jobs to apply for was NEVER the problem! I applied for 63 appropriate jobs folks…I wasn’t applying for stuff I wasn’t suited for.

As the months past, tensions at home grew worse, I had taken my mom to register for Pension, which started paying out last month. Of course R900 doesn’t go far, but she didn’t want to spend it none the less.

If I went for an interview, and didn’t come back with an “I got the job!”, my mom’s first words were “Do you think they felt you couldn’t do the job? What are we going to do now!”

Out of the 6 interviews I went for (2 for the same job), my mom never once felt like I got the job, she was just concerned about how we were going to pay the electricity bill this month.

Come the start of February, we were down to one meal a day. So with no breakfast or lunch, my energy levels were so low, that I could hardly even muster the energy to get off the couch. Thankfully, one can apply for jobs through a smartphone.

The last interview I had lined up was last week Tuesday, and it was a callback for a job that I really fell in love with. For round two, I had present a plan to the company on how to move them forward online. I would be presenting to a group of 5 decision makers.

I prepped the presentation in the early hours of the morning, as I do my best work at the 11th hour, and went and absolutely KILLED the interview.

However, they said they had a few people they still had to see and would only let me know by today if I got the job. I felt I had a real chance with this one, but of course the doubt creeps into you and you lose all faith in yourself. My mom certainly piled on the heat with her negativity, and said there was no way they would wait a week to let me know, and that if they were seeing someone else after me they clearly didn’t want me. She will never grasp the concept of their being a procedure to something.

Another very long and tense week passed. Then this morning I got the call…I got the job! It was a unanimous decision by everyone who was in that interview. They loved me! A good job, with good people, and double the salary I got at my previous job.

For 6 months, I was constantly asked the question of do I regret leaving my job of 5 years. The answer even in trying times was no. I don’t . Not for a second.

I’m by no means out of the woods yet, as I only start this job next week, and as of right now, I don’t have much food left in the house, I have no petrol money, and our electricity is a heartbeat from being cut off. I only get a full salary the end of March, so I have no idea how I’m going to survive! But the thing is…I’ve been through worse. Come March, I will no longer just survive every month, for the first time ever, I will be able to live!

The rebirth begins next week, and the comeback of all comebacks has started. The reason I quit my job has now been fulfilled.

My writing will always be my first love, and thankfully I have a job that will allow me to incorporate it. I will be working in place where I will see new people every single day, and I’m in an industry that gives me hope that New York may once again be on the cards.

I thank all those that have supported me through trying times, even those that foolishly said “you will get this one!” to the 5 jobs I didn’t get…

The Truth Shall Set You Free

July 26, 2011

A few weeks ago I posted a picture of myself with my idol, Bret The Hitman Hart -one of the happiest moments of my life. However one person commented saying “you could’ve looked slightly more excited.” I was actually offended by the comment. I don’t really smile anymore, and I by no means have a big toothy Cheshire cat smile, however this was the happiest I’ve been in years. I don’t smile anymore. You won’t really find pictures of smiling.

I’ve mulled over that comment since it was said, and with the events of the last few weeks, the one question that I keep asking myself is, what makes me happy?

I’m not happy, I haven’t been for the longest time. I have fleeting moments where thing are tolerable. But nothing more than that.

My life has been a constant struggle and the truth of the matter is the sadness has engulfed me.

It’s very difficult to explain, and when I do try, I get copious amounts of advice about how things can’t be that bad, or how things will turn around, or that there’s something out there waiting for me. All words which people feel they should say to help “keep my chin up”.

Honesty has always been a very important part of my blog (and my life), and right now I’d life to address three aspects of my life namely Life, Love & Career.

Life

I’m tired…Of everything. I can’t do it anymore. Not the way I’m living it anyway. I get so many people making suggestions as to what to change in my life, but they don’t know the truth, and they don’t know the pressure I deal with while constantly having to keep my depression in check.

I can’t deal with the repetition. From coming home and having to hear the same stories about how the dog pee’d on the potplants or what the neighbours did, to hearing the same jokes from the same people.

I can’t deal with this country, the government, the strikes, the shortages, the service, the delivery, the lack of educated people.

I can’t travel on the roads anymore. I can’t deal with the complete arrogance and apathy towards the rules of the road. It’s bad. Real bad. It’s the wild wild west out there.

There are so many people that tell me that I must be thankful for what I’ve got, but the truth of the matter is I’m not. Their idea of happiness is a 9-5 job with an income, a house with 4 walls and a family. That’s not my idea of happiness. I believe there is more out there for me. Please don’t get me wrong, if this is what makes you happy, then good for you, you’ve found your element of happiness, but please don’t try and convince me your way is my way.

I can’t fake a smile, and laugh anymore. People have started to notice too. I fear I’m becoming bitter towards the world.

Love

I am so lonely. Unbelievably so. Being a 33yr old guy without a partner, lover, girlfriend is hard. (That’s what she said.). I’m so tired of people saying that “when the time is right”, “she’s out there”, “it’s better to be single” you know, all the clichéd comments. Most times they come from people who are trying to tell you they’re not interested in you so don’t even try, or they are somebody who is constantly moving from “The one” to “the next one”.

The truth is, there’s a very good chance I will be alone forever. It happens to people. You’re only trying to convince yourself when you keep telling me I’ll find someone. Stop.

There are people I’m interested in. They know it (some are probably trying their best to avoid it too). But I come with so much baggage that it’s over before it can go anywhere.

I’m not saying I’m looking for my soul mate, not by a long shot. I just wish I had someone to share my dreams and desires with. Someone I can spend time with, someone who makes me feel like a human being physically. Yes, I said it, I would like to knock boots with someone. I need to feel something in my life. And feeling wanted and desired is a massive hole (that’s what she said) in my life.

I’m so tired of serving my time in this world alone. There are so few people who truly understand how lonely and alone I am. I wish someone would show interest in me, realistically. I can’t be anything other than what I am.

It’s just that i think fighting this battle and chasing the dream would be that much easier and more believable with someone by my side.

Career

I’ve been working non stop since the month left High School in 1996. My movement from one vocation to the next has been well documented. I’d never spent more than a year and a half at a particular job, and constantly found myself wanting to move on to the next challenge. It’s those facts that make my 5 year term at my current job such an anomaly. I love what I do, always have, but the time has come to move on. I won’t go into detail for obvious reasons.

I’ve been dealt a hand that has forced me to play the role of husband, home owner, and provider. This saddens me every day that my life is slipping away without ever having the opportunity to make selfish decisions.

Being the sole bread winner taking care of a parent, a house, replace things that break, need to be fixed and debts that aren’t mine is a task I’ve been doing for the longest time. I just can’t do it anymore. When I tell people how much I earn, their first words are “how do you survive??”

Surviving is easy. I’ve done it my whole life. But I need to live.

I always felt my job would be my key to getting out. Out of this life, this country, this personal hell that saddens me a little more every day. I’ve given everything I have to it. The truth is, its not going to give back.

I get it. I’m just a spoke in the wheel. I will never be the wheel itself.

Sometimes I feel live I’ve given up on what make’s me ME. I’m a creative soul who needs to be inspired, and for a while now I feel like I’ve locked that part of me away.

These are the realities of my life. I know a lot of what I said above will anger people. There will be those who once again dispense advice and attempt to get me to stop feeling sorry for myself. They will say they understand. They will mean it.

All I know is I’m the loneliest and saddest I’ve ever been in my life. I’m making hard decisions every day of my life.

We all know what my dream is, but I fear I won’t survive long enough. So until then…the idea of finding a cabin in the woods to be alone in, you know to grow my beard and write my books, is a pretty decent second choice.

Dear New York…

November 22, 2010

Dear New York

Can you believe its been almost 13 years since we last saw each other?

So much has happened that I don’t even know where to start.

I wasn’t sure if I should write you again because at times I doubted you would even remember me.

I’m still in South Africa. Which is killing me (almost literally some days!), but I’m trying to work my way outta here. It’s proving difficult though, and there are more days of doubt than days of promise. I’d say I cry myself to sleep some nights, but I haven’t had a decent night of sleep in almost 8 years – I kid you not.

The last time I was over there, I visited you with my cousin Andre. Do you remember him? He unexpectedly took his own life several years ago. That crushed me. Andre was the one guy (other than myself), who like to share my accomplishments. He always praised me to family and friends. I miss his support and guidance so much. Especially after my dad and brother’s death so many years ago, Andre became the closest thing I had to a male role model. I don’t have that anymore, and there are days I feel completely lost with out it.

Work is tough at the moment. I’ve been at my current job for almost 5 years now – a lifetime I know! I’m not happy there anymore. I’ve lost faith in the people, and worst of all in my future there. I’ve done so much for them, and am still not taken seriously nor given the credit or recognition I deserve. I feel like they still see me as “the new guy” and forever will. My ambitions are so much greater than the company allows. They all see that place as a job, whereas I view it as a career. I always felt they would be my way to a greater future overseas, but it’s clear they will never help me get transferred to an overseas branch. Plus I just can’t survive on the salary they are paying me anymore.

Things are home are always tense. I still live with my mom. Most people laugh at that, and they don’t understand why I’m still here. Neither do I at times. The reality is she lost her job back in 2004 when I lost my job, and has since refused to work. I get angry with the continual burden I have to carry. I’ve spent the last six years here taking care of her, paying off debts, fixing the house (which seems to be never ending…) and feeding two people.

We play the hands we are dealt I guess…but it crushes my spirit. My life should have been so different at this point.

I’ve been watching everyone else live there lives. I see them falling in love, getting married, having children…and perhaps worst of all I see them visiting you. It seems like everyone else is living a life while I’m living a lie.

Gosh, this letter has been all about me…I’m sorry about that. How have YOU been?

I was sorry to year about your loss in 2001. I cried so much that day.
I wanted to write you, but didn’t know what to say…

Anyways, I know you’re busy, so I wont take up anymore of your time…Do you mind if I write you again soon?

Please know that I love you, and have thought about you every single day. I can still close my eyes and picture you, smell your perfume, and feel you against me.
Is that weird? Probably.

I’m so lonely here, and I know you’re the only one who gets that.

Love Always

Burg.

You Are Here -x-

November 24, 2009

What year eh?

Next week is December, and for the first time in my life I actually want a holiday.
Not that i’m going on one, I’ll still be working till the 24th December.

But the fact that I want leave shows growth.
And that is exactly how I would define this year for myself.
A year of growth.
In both my career and as a person.

Yet…I find myself at the dead center of a very bizarre paradox.
I’m very distinctly split into two people at the moment.

One stands in the reality of my life. The other walks in the dream.

The tricky part now is trying to get these two to meet, make love and produce a child in a brave new world. (If you are now having disturbing images of me as a twin having relations with myself, you are a sick and twisted individual – but you’re not wrong).

The Reality:

My greatest fear has always been waking up an old man and wondering where my life went. Ok. It’s my second greatest fear next to waking up with someone else’s testicles attached to my groin. But I digress.
Lately I’ve been waking up every morning and thinking, this is it?seriously?

I’ve never been as in love with my job as I’ve been lately, I have a sense of importance about myself and the role I play in my company, and I can honestly see myself staying within the company for the rest of my life, of course a decent remuneration would be nice…but im working on that.

Now aged 31, my life has become the most mundane of routines.

I get up in the morning. Listen to my mom complain. Come to work, work till 8.30/9pm (I don’t really have anywhere else to go, so I’m not in a hurry to wrap things up). Drive home. Listen to my mom complain about the same things. Kill time till 3/4am. Sleep – if i’m lucky, then it all starts again.

My weekends are about taking my mom to the shops (and made to feel guilty if I don’t take her out, because she’s been in the house the whole week you know.)
Fixing things around the house – Now the fridge has broken, and I have to get a new one. The bathroom needs repairs, I have to get them fixed.
I have to make sure there is food on the table every day (thankfully we only eat once a day).

WHEN DID THIS BECOME MY LIFE?
I’m serving the role of provider, man of the house and the responsible one.
I’ve been doing this since I was 11 years old!

In January my dad has been dead 20 years (and a few months later my older brother would have been dead 19 years).

I always thought it was just a case of waiting things out until things got better and it was my turn to live my life. This is my life – boy did I get the short end of the stick or what.

I sleep on a mattress on the floor because my bed broke many years ago, and now I’m at the age where sleeping on the floor actually isn’t enjoyable anymore (imagine if I brought a girl home….ok…I can’t picture that either).

I can hardly walk anymore. I’m in constant pain and after driving home at night it takes me a few minutes to get out the car just so I can suck it up and pretend the pain doesn’t exist.

You’d swear I’m 80 years old.

I can’t be around people anymore. There is no sense of responsibility or accountability anymore in people anymore. (Or am I just jealous that they are living a carefree existence? Naaaa, they’re just idiots.)

I don’t have a friend my age who I hang out with. I don’t have that “buddy” I can call up and go out and do something with on a whim. I go to movies alone (the late show of course). My best friend is my dog. And he’s more interested in licking his balls than hanging out with me anyways.

So where’s the growth you ask?
Well, a year ago I’d be suicidal, depressed and miserable 24/7.
But I’m not like that anymore, and I believe that’s thanks mainly to the other me.


The Dream:

I’ve always known what the dream is. I’ve always believed it’s possible. My life is not in this country. It’s not with these people. In fact, my life hasn’t even begun yet.

I lost focus of my dream for a while, but over the last 8 months it’s grown increasingly real.

No it’s not to own a fancy car – I can’t even tell the difference between Mercedes Benz and Mercedes Ruehl.

Earlier this year I got the worst case of Tick Bite fever (thanks to two bites from my friendly neighborhood ticks delivered courtesy of my cat). Nobody actually knows how sick I was, but I was as close to death’s door as I’ve ever been. I tried to wait it out as I always do when I get sick, but this time I just got worse and worse. Eventually I got treatment I need for it and made my way back to health, including coming back to work way before I was supposed to. What a hero.

Since that period though, I’ve been so focused on my work and making a name for myself, that everything seems possible.

The dream in question is and always will be New York City.
It’s been over 10 years since I was last there. But I think about it every single day. All day.
I believe my work is my way over there. I honestly do.
It may not be in the next year, or 5 years. But it WILL happen.
If I have to deal with all the crap in my life to get there, dagnabbit I will suck it all up like a man, be responsible, be accountable and earn my dream.

I will work for it – because I don’t take crap from anyone anymore. They don’t walk over me, and they certainly wont treat me less than I deserve anymore.

On the side, I’ve discovered my passions again. I love my writing, I know I am talented. Whether it be creative (as in my Lost Episodes blogs) or non fictional stuff like you’re reading right now. My talent will reward me down the line.

I am so driven at the moment, that the things that used to send me into a spiraling depression, and now simply – just things.

I’ve cut so many negative influences out my life, and not allowed myself to get distracted by silly little things like matters of the heart (chicks) or “friendships”.

I see all my old friends moving on with their lives, getting engaged, getting married, getting tough, getting going. And I am truly happy for them.
I no longer bare heartache, or grudges, or take things personally.
I may be lonely, but its for a greater good, and my loneliness does not define me any longer.

And the when all is said and down, there is only one question to ask myself –

Why have I used “I” so many times in this blog?
The answer is simple.
Because it’s about me now.
I am my own man…..who just happens to be carrying more baggage than most.

Write is Right

August 26, 2009

You’d think by 2am on a Wednesday I’d be fast asleep, getting some much needed rest for the work day ahead… but nooooo, here I am watching Angie Dickinson on dvd in the 70s cop show, Police Woman, and writing blog after blog.

I really could write all day long these days…in fact I could wax lyrical about certain topics, but I fear I may end up saying some stuff I really shouldn’t, so I’m trying to keep everything breezy. You know, like Monica’s answering machine message to Richard.

The more I write, the more I want this to be what I do all the time.
I got such a nice pick me up this evening when I stumbled onto a forum that was discussing one of my blogs at large (The Man Crush). Several people chipped in with “this guy is hilarious!”, which is the best thing a writer like me can see.

I pride myself on being able to bring out a laugh no matter how serious or sad my content is. If you’ve lived through the things I have, you tend to go one of two ways. (I’ll let you guess which ways they are).
I’ve always done that…and I’ve always felt I’m one of the best at doing it.

As any good writer, I’m ridiculously critical of my writing, and in order to stay focused on writing something, sometimes it takes hours of staring at a blank document before ….*holy cr@p…Angie Dickinson is going undercover in women’s prison in this episode! Sweet!!!*

…..dammit…now where was I?

.

…….
……….
Ah, now I remember, sometimes takes hours of staring at a blank document before inspiration strikes and the exact right topic comes to mind.

I occasionally write stuff I don’t publish. They can be about irritations in my life, family, or even love revelations that I don’t want people to see.

When something feels right to be shared, I share it. Sometimes I choose the wrong things to share and feel the “wrath” of those who take offense to it. I’m ok with that, because at the end of the day just like my words are my opinion…so too are theirs.

One day, and one day soon I’m going to have to make a big decision about my writing and where I take it.

Scriptwriting.
Travel Writing
Opinion pieces
Fictional writing.
Song writing (?)
Journalism
critic
Blogger for hire
Poet

Plus there’s still that Tell all autobiography that gets a little thicker every day…

Yeah… why not do all of those.

I’m so glad I’m a writer-slash-model and not the other way around.

Here’s a quick poll question….which of the above styles of writing do you enjoy most from me? And what would you like to see me try?