Thursday, January 01, 2015

Moving Circumstances

I said a while ago that I'd post about the whys of moving out of Ontario at the end of October. New Year's seems to be a time for looking back at the previous year so I guess this is as good a time as any, right?

Anyway, back in the spring of 2013 my job mercifully came to an end. At the time I talked a bit about things I wanted to do with my unemployed time. Find a doctor, and a better place to live, and get into a mental state where I could find a new job. I made minor progress towards all three, but didn't actually accomplish any of it.

I signed up for a Health Care Connect thing that supposedly connects people who need a doctor with a doctor. Sara used it and said she got matched up in a month. I went a year and a half with no results. They kept sending me notices in the mail letting me know I was still registered for the service and they'd let me know when they found something, so it's not that I fell through some cracks or missed a phone call or something. They just couldn't/wouldn't work for me. Maybe it's because they try to work geographically and there's no place near Lawrence. Maybe it's because they use a priority queue to match people up and as a reasonably healthy single male I simply had no priority. I can't really say that I blame them, but it still sucked.

I did some searching for a new place to live and got pretty far along to getting one new place in particular. Robb and I were looking to get a place in downtownish Toronto and I found one that would work for us. I was upfront with the real estate lady that we were both currently unemployed but had plenty of money saved up to afford rent for more than the year a lease would be for. She said that wouldn't be a problem as long as we got all sorts of credit reports and bank statements and such and filled out their arcane forms. We finally got that all done and she then told us the property owner flat out refused to look at our application and would not take our calls. Because we were unemployed. You know, the very thing I'd told her about right at the start, because I didn't want to waste my time and hers if that was going to be a deal breaker. She clearly took it upon herself to make that call without talking to the owner, presumably because wasting my time isn't a big concern for her and there's no way she gets a commission by turning us away. I don't like dealing with people at the best of times and this experience really soured me even more on the whole process. Even still, I went and found a place in Waterloo and put Robb in charge of doing the application this time around. But it turned out they were out of 2 bedrooms (despite the website saying they had some). Robb ended up moving to Seattle within that year though so it's probably for the best that the whole thing went up in smoke.

And then there was the whole job thing. EI paid the bills for quite a while but eventually it ran out and I was stuck dipping into my savings. But I still didn't really want to get a job. That's not exactly true... I'd be fine with working. The real problem is with tricking someone into hiring me. I applied to a few places and even went to another city for interviews. For a job doing basically the same stuff I'd been doing for 6 years. For someone I knew from school. In a department looking to increase their headcount. This was a deck stacked about as much as it could be, and it didn't go anywhere. My resume is terrible and I wasn't really trained for my old job. I was still good at it, and I'm a really fast learner regardless, but since it was all self learned I don't know the fancy terminology for things. So I came across as a buffoon. Couple that with my limited ability to talk to strangers and my horrible resume and things don't look very good. Frankly, it was embarrassing for my friend to have vouched for someone as terrible as myself.

Don't get me wrong here... I know I would have done a great job in that role. Or in countless others. But I have no ability to convince the people who make decisions of that fact. Some people have money. And they have the ability to decide if I should have the privilege of doing things for them to 'earn' some of that money. They have decided I can't have it. Sometimes 'crazy' people make a lot of sense...

Anyway, I'm sure I could send out hundreds of resumes and job applications and do interviews and eventually get lucky enough to find someone desperate/stupid/brilliant enough to hire me. Except the stress and anxiety from one interview that I honestly thought was more of a formality than something to worry about made me physically ill for days. So while I 'could' do that in some senses, I really can't do it in others. And it turns out you need all the senses to really make it work out.

So... No job, no doctor, steadily dwindling numbers in my bank account... My plan, in so much as you can call it that, was to see how far my credit card would go to pay rent. And then become a hobo. Because what else is there to do?

A few years ago I had people over for board games on my birthday and then we went out for sushi. I have no idea how the topic came up but I remember Sky talking about how, in the right state of mind, it's super easy to go from being homeless to being reasonably well off. I remember agreeing with him at the time. I could go work at a grocery store or a car wash or something. Now, the key is the whole right state of mind thing. People who end up homeless don't rate to be in a very good state of mind I don't think, and they sure don't rate to have the ability to get better.

But then it was looking like it was going to happen to me... And I sure wasn't looking to work at a grocery store. Now, maybe that would have changed once I actually lost all my things and had to eat garbage and got really cold. But it wasn't going to happen before then. And if we're being honest, I wouldn't last long as a hobo. A 'fun' thing to joke about, but not a long term solution. So maybe trying to find any work while living on the streets would be an appealing thing. Or maybe I would just die. Only one way to find out, right?

Anyway... My mother and sister were visiting on Canada Day this year and caught wind of this 'plan'. Not really a plan, but more a series of logical steps that have an unfortunate ending. No job -> no money -> no place to live -> no reason to live. They decided to short circuit the whole thing near the start and came out to get my stuff and move me back in with my mother while I still had positive numbers at the bank instead of negative numbers.

Now, this solution felt a lot like giving up. Being independent and making 'progress' is a goal foisted on me by society and moving to Ontario was my way of working towards said goal. But really, when you look at things logically, a path that results in dying on the street is a lot more like giving up. And while I hate the idea of being a freeloader you either need to make money or take money. I can't make money. So I guess it's taking? And who knows... Maybe things would change and I'd be all happy to go make some more progress. In the short term I'd still get to play a bunch of games and that's always fun, right? Right.

So I gave notice at my apartment, and then my mother rented a Uhaul trailer and we somehow managed to move all my stuff out.

And now? After 2 months back here? Well, I've been to my childhood doctor and he put me on some antidepressants. On the plus side it turns out the reason my hands were going numb was likely anxiety since all my blood tests came back normal and going up a dosage level on the drugs made the numbness go away. On the minus side I've got some 'interesting' side effects, primarily some pretty hefty tinnitus. I can block it out by having sounds playing through headphones but going to sleep is not a good time. But it's better to have ringing in the ears than numb hands and feet!

I'm still in the same spot as far as trying to find work. I'm not employable. Progression is still on hold. Oh well, at least I'm not dead yet!

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