Not dancing around it, anymore

Well, the job interview I was supposed to have today didn’t pan out. The company went with someone who was asking for less money and had more specific skills, even though they probably had less overall experience than I. Oh, well. Back to square one, I guess.

I’m getting a bit downtrodden about the job search thing. I have put myself out there in the market, but I haven’t gotten the kinds of responses I need — and what’s more, I feel like I’d have to really “shoehorn” myself into some of the positions to make them work. I am not finding the kinds of direct hits, I’d been hoping for.

Well, the economy is challenging, so that’s to be expected. At least I have a good job already. It’s stable and it gives me predictability so I can build up my skills — which I’m doing right now. The more people I talk to, the more inquiries I get for specific skills that I sorta kinda have, and that I can get up to speed with on my own time. It’s abundantly clear, what I need to do with my free time. Now I just need to do it, instead of dancing around it and trying to figure out something new and different to do with my life.

I’ve been shying away from technical work, because I’m not up to speed with a lot of new technologies. But that can change with time. The thing that’s stopped me, has been my trouble with reading and understanding and retaining information. I also run out of steam and get discouraged, because this is much harder than it used to be. It’s a combination of things — age and TBI and being out of the technical market for a few years.

Also, the last time I was in a highly technical job, I was really struggling and faking my way through a lot of what I did, and I just couldn’t do it, anymore. But now I have reason to think I’m going to do better than I did before.

One of the huge benefits of seeing all my old friends and family this past weekend, was realizing how well I’m doing — and how much better I’m doing than I was before. I literally did not recognize some of the folks, the last time I saw them. I had grown up with them, but seven years ago, just a couple of years after my TBI in 2004, I had no idea who they were. Their faces didn’t look familiar, and they had to introduce themselves to me.

That was pretty embarrassing, and it left a mark on my spirit. It was just one more thing that held me down.

But this past weekend, when I saw them again, I could recognize them up front and I knew exactly who they were. I was amazed at the difference — I actually recognized them. What a relief.

And if I can remember them, and my brain is working so much better than it was before, then I can certainly get back in the swing of things with working on my technical skills and making some progress there.

Surely.

The incentive is pretty big – all the jobs I keep getting contacted about, which are in my desired rate range, are technical ones for skills that I can — and should — have in my portfolio. And these are things I can learn myself. I’ve been doing this type of work for close to 20 years, so why the heck am I holding back on learning these things?

Here’s why —

  1. I have sorely struggled with things that I used to know how to do, which now give me trouble — things like reading and remembering. It’s demoralizing and exhausting.
  2. Fatigue knocks the stuffing out of me on a regular basis, so I can’t even begin to sit down to work on things I need to work on, after the day is done.
  3. I get started on one thing, then I get distracted and I end up doing something completely different.
  4. I lose track of time and forget what I’m doing, and that keeps me from moving forward.
  5. I had it in my head that the old way of making a living was cut off – I had to find a new and “better” way to do things. The only problem is, those new ways don’t pay as well as the old things, and that’s demoralizing, in itself.

So, all these are excellent reasons for my not moving ahead, but they’re no excuse. I know what the problems are, and I know how to address them. I’ve been meaning to… but I’ve been scattered and at cross-purposes with what I want to do with myself. Now I can do something about that, and just settle down and work on what I need to work on. Sharpen my skills. Showcase my talents. And get that job I have been wanting to get.

The other thing I’ve been dancing around, is the commute thing. If I’m willing to take the train to a nearby city, I can make a lot more money. And I’ll be in a city, which is energizing. But the monthly commuting costs — over and above everything else — will be close to $400/month, which means I need to make A LOT more money. That ups the ante, with the type of work I can/should do. It means I can’t settle for a lower-paying job. I need to go for the best I can get.

And I need to just apply myself wherever I can. Not spread myself too thin. Take things one at a time and do them in order. I have easy access to books and instruction materials and a computer, so there is nothing to prevent me from just settling in to do this work. And come out on top.

The only thing stopping me, is me. And that’s enough of that.

Onward.

 

Author: brokenbrilliant

I am a long-term multiple (mild) Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI or TBI) survivor who experienced assaults, falls, car accidents, sports-related injuries in the 1960s, '70s, '80s, and '90s. My last mild TBI was in 2004, but it was definitely the worst of the lot. I never received medical treatment for my injuries, some of which were sports injuries (and you have to get back in the game!), but I have been living very successfully with cognitive/behavioral (social, emotional, functional) symptoms and complications since I was a young kid. I’ve done it so well, in fact, that virtually nobody knows that I sustained those injuries… and the folks who do know, haven’t fully realized just how it’s impacted my life. It has impacted my life, however. In serious and debilitating ways. I’m coming out from behind the shields I’ve put up, in hopes of successfully addressing my own (invisible) challenges and helping others to see that sustaining a TBI is not the end of the world, and they can, in fact, live happy, fulfilled, productive lives in spite of it all.

2 thoughts on “Not dancing around it, anymore”

  1. If you go forward with training, make sure to talk to the college about the TBI. Most have programs to help with disabilities. I noticed that learning anything new takes so much more time for me now. Take the time you need.

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