FREE!(dom) Write Friday

See this link above for the FWF(S?) prompt…

Oh Kellie you seem to have a way of reading my mind these past few weeks! Because all your prompts have related to something I was immediately dealing with. Past participle, no editing…dammit.

So here goes…there are of course things that have been holding me back that I don’t wish to discuss with the general public. But I can discuss them here in general terms, and of course move forward, blah blah, see the light at the end of the tunnel, love and empower myself. Yeehah.

Right now there are so many things holding me back I don’t know where to start freeing myself. This is so odd because a few months ago I felt perfect freedom and the capacity to do anything. A lot of that is based on employment. I have been extremely fortunate in the roles I have taken previously. A great question for me might be “What work HAVEN’T you done?”

So of course a few months back I was employed as a seasonal park ranger, with all the assurances that I would be laid off for a couple months, then be back at the same job. THEN came what has become a phrase more powerful than Lord Voldemort in my life: government sequestration.

I went back to working in parks as a passion. After Mom died a couple years ago, I revamped my life and decided to start focusing on what made me tick. As stated, I’ve held a variety of positions, but park ranger has always been my favorite. Given me steam. Never a boring day or day I dreaded getting up to go to work. Permanent positions are hard to come by in government work, so I joined the cadre of seasonal employees who work seasonally, and by gum, run the visitor centers, etc. so parks don’t have to be closed during the summer season. There is now limited access to certain parks, and that’s because, you guessed it, there are fewer park staff to run these places this year.

That will, and should be, my entire rant on this point. If I want to work in government service again, I must be careful about what I post. That being said, it has led to my current uncertain state. I was recently offered the chance to take my job back, and after being delayed and delayed, my “season” would be chiseled down to just over a month. Really not worth it. I’ve decided to look for more permanent work. But where to start?

Non-profits. Oh, I’ve walked down that road before. I’ve worked for bad ones, I’ve worked for good ones. Ultimately, and I hate to sound selfish, at the point I am in my life, I need to make more money. Student loans. Yeay. So glad I’m applying that Master’s degree.

For-profits. I’ve worked as a catastrophe analyst in the past, and it is not too terrifically difficult. It is steady work. People always need insurance. It is corporate. There is the possibility of meeting interesting people. I think the major drawback is just not having the freedom of being in open air that my current position allows. May seem crazy to trade stability for open air. Financial freedom vs. soul freedom. Well, put that way, it seems like a no-brainer. But having stability and health insurance is definitely a pro.

You wouldn’t believe all the stuff I did to get through college. (No, no prostitution.) I worked as a drama instructor, event coordinator (I even coordinated events at celebrity houses), worked at Trader Joe’s, taught outdoor school. I took nearly every temporary position offered on my campus.

So what to do next? What to do…this one has to last a few years. There will be more on this subject but now I hafta dash.


So, what ultimately “traps” me? Keeps me from going on to whatever job or experience I want to do next. My husband in some ways. I don’t have kids so no obligations there (which is another sense of something I’d like to do, but can’t, if I don’t get some stability soon). So lack of stability gets me. And social expectations.

I know how a lot of people feel about universal health care, but I can tell you, I’ve had it, and it’s a damn sight better than what we have going on in the US these days. This definitely impacts the TYPE of job I will be looking for, and YES, the thought has crossed my mind that I could go back to Europe. But there are problems there too and with living somewhere it is like choosing a life partner–what are you willing to put up with, and what won’t you put up with?

My husband does not want to move “far” again. His particular concept of bliss is developing a little site out in the desert and being independently contracted. This would be nice, if it weren’t for bills and students loans, and health care. If we do have kids I sure as hell am not raising them as homeschool ragamuffins out in the desert. (There is nothing wrong with homeschool, but the school districts are so poor in the area in which he wants to live, that there would be no other option.)

Anyway, I feel trapped by many things these days. Many. Including the fact that if I go for more “stability” I’ll be living in a city again, when I really prefer nature. Trapped by “stability.” Now that’s a funny one. But so true. And very pertinent to the social structure these days. If I’m “stable” I’m not living life on my own terms, but if I’m “independent” I don’t have enough income and that’s limiting on its own as well.

Well this is the end of my rant, for now. There are still many changes ahead and many things to consider. I will consider the rest in my head, or possibly write them out, but may not share all publicly. Any feedback is welcome. Constructive, of course. πŸ˜‰


14 thoughts on “FREE!(dom) Write Friday

  1. What a great read. Your dilemma sounds difficult and not one anyone but you can find the way through. I wish you well in your job search and hope you find something that really satisfies your needs.

  2. I understand completely! Stability or lack thereof I should say is such a hinderance to many but sometimes its about the unsteady, its harder that way but maybe more rewarding perhaps. Who knows.

  3. Thanks all. When I was in-between rangering gigs last year, I started writing every day and it kept me going. It is good therapy. And I am finding, good group therapy. πŸ˜‰

  4. Compelling stuff. I totally get it too. Follow your passion or bring in a pay cheque? A question that dogged me for years. … I once read a book called “Do what you love; the money will follow.” Can’t remember the author but a good read. For years I was stuck doing the “accepted” stable thing. Almost killed my spirit. With the support of my new husband I’ve been able to leave all that behind and finally pursue my passion as creator. Still a ways to go til the money flows, but life unfolds as it should and I’ve learned patience in the process, … I wish you well on this journey. Listen to your heart, and be well … Dorothy πŸ™‚

  5. For years I’ve been doing the unexpected “independent” thing and it too has its downfalls. Although my husband supports my dreams there is not a steady income from him at this point so it’s all me. So I’ve contacted a headhunter, getting back into the game. Will see where this leads but I have the advantage of being old enough to know what I want and still pursue that while working full-time, rather in my passion or in another field. (And young enough, I hope, to get back in the game).Thanks for all the encouragement. It definitely helps.

  6. I really appreciate the fact that you wrote this raw. And how I felt as though we were sitting across the table from each other with a cup of coffee and talking. Thank you.

    As for the content, I relate to so much of what you are saying. And so closely that it is almost scary. I too will not go into public detail, but I understand the questioning and the inner fight well. I wish you the very best. Overall, no matter what, choose you.

  7. I understand the want to do what you’re passion is and not having it financially possible. I would love to sit and write and make that work, but as it is with two kids in college that is not possible. Then I have the problem of being out of the mainstream for so long my skills are mostly obsolete. So what to do? I feel your pain. You’ll figure it out, and even if you have to compromise now so finically you survive it does not mean it will last forever. There is always tomorrow, just make sure that at some point tomorrow comes. πŸ™‚

  8. Since you’ve all been so supportive…just talked to my boss and HR today and they are guaranteeing me 3 months of work, even with the delayed start. That will transition me to the next thing, whatever that will be…but at least there’s a start. If your travels take you to the Eastern Sierra this year be extra nice to all the rangers…they’ll pay it back.

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