Wednesday, 4 June 2014
Change, Moving On, and Bricking It
They say that you should do something every day that scares you. That's a tad extreme if you ask me, but I do believe that we should try to push ourselves. I've been pretty rubbish at that over the past few months - partly due to health reasons and partly because I get so anxious and stressed when I have to face difficult decisions.
The decision I'm referring to is regarding my job. Before I was diagnosed, I had been working in a busy office at a college for about six or seven years. To be blunt, I hated it. I fell into it after uni and for whatever reason ended up staying there way longer than intended.
When I went off sick, my length of service allowed me a decent illness pay, so I didn't have to worry too much about money. But once that ran out, things got tough. I don't know how people manage to scam the system and receive hundreds of pounds a week in benefits, because I've had a legitimate, horrific disease and the only benefit I've been given is a measly £70 a week. Of course I'm thankful for any help at all, but seriously? That's barely even enough to do the weekly shop. Frankly, I think it's disgraceful that people who really need the help and have always worked, paid their taxes etc are left out on a limb when something terrible happens. Hannes has been supporting us both and we just about make ends meet, but it is starting to be a real struggle, not to mention how guilty it makes me feel.
The benefit I received is only payable for a year, so as of next week I am back to having zero income. This has been stressing me out big time, especially as I know that the college I'm still employed by needs someone to do my job and have been getting by with temps.
I could have resigned at any point, but for some reason I held off. Knowing there was a job for me, however much I hated it, gave me a sense of security, a guaranteed income. But I know that my ongoing health concerns mean that I cannot do that job any more - I would run myself into the ground and make myself miserable and ill. My energy levels are just not able to cope with a demanding full time job. But still, the temptation of knowing that in theory I could go back, that I could be earning £19k a year and could afford to buy all the pretty things I lust after...it almost made it seem worthwhile.
But you know what? Nothing is worth that. Nothing is worth feeling miserable every day for, or making yourself sick over. Cancer taught me just how fragile life is and that there are no guarantees for any of us. There is more to life than earning money in a soul destroying job and I intend to live mine the way I've always wanted to and the way I always should have.
So, yesterday, I took a deep breath and told my boss that I'm not going back.
I've always wanted to pursue my creative interests and now I feel that I can. It's now or never. And I am also now free to find a part time job, with hours that I can actually manage and leave me enough time to live my life. Whilst slaving away full time, I never thought I'd be able to survive on any less than I was being paid. Now I realise it's precisely that fear which is holding so many people back from doing what they really want. Not me. Not any more. I have to make a go of this, whilst I have the opportunity. There's no way I could do this without Hannes' support and for that I am eternally grateful.
So over the coming months I'll be working on my creative pursuits, which will include an online shop selling various bits and pieces of artwork, handmade items, vintage and whatever else I come up with. I'll be sharing snippets here and will no doubt need help and advice, so if anyone's a whizz with online/computer shenanigans...hello!
Sorry for the ramble - I felt like I just needed to get all that out. It's scary knowing I no longer have that job security, but also exciting. I don't generally like change, so I'm interested to see how I handle all this! Oh and, the photo at the top has nothing to do with the post - other than it's me, today, to mark the start of something.
I hope you'll stick around, folks and share this new chapter with me.
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