For the past few months, I have been MIA from my blog. To be honest, I’m not sure that I will get back to regularly posting anytime in the near future. I hope my readers understand, but life has changed quite a bit. It’s weird, really . . . I never used to embrace change so freely, yet since my move from Virginia to Vegas in 2016, my life has been one change after another, especially when it comes to work.
First, there was the transition of teaching in an entirely new school district with different routines and policies. It also included a shift from high school to middle school. I thought a change in grade level would be good for me, but instead it was career-ending. I was not cut out for 6th graders . . . or the fact that academic and behavioral accountability was so lax. It felt like glorified babysitting. The educational system does little these days to push students to achieve. Having grown up in a time where you got the grades you earned, with a mom who stressed excellence and teachers who cracked your knuckles with a ruler as incentive, I simply felt I was no longer suited for the field of education.
Next, I tried my hand at self-employment offering my expertise as a freelance editor. As anyone who has ever attempted to build a business knows, getting the word out and luring in customers (especially repeat customers) takes tremendous time and effort. I did eventually see progress, but it was too little too late. I was killing myself by working around the clock with very little income to show for it. The rate of growth I did achieve unfortunately did not keep pace with my rapidly depleting savings, and it became obvious in August that it was time to throw in the towel unless I wanted to incur significant levels of debt. I actually hung in there longer than I probably should have, but I kept believing in the old adage that “it’s darkest before the dawn”. I kept thinking that the next month would produce some magical breakthrough. Could I have turned the business into a success? Possibly, but when and at what personal cost? I think I made the right choice.
In mid-August, I accepted a position with a local casino working as a Guest Service Ambassador. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever done. It’s fun and low-stress. One guest pointed out that the job parallels that of a bartender in that everyone confides in me, sharing health problems, loss of loved ones, family issues, gambling habits, etc. as I walk around making change and servicing slot machines. Many of the guests are regulars who seek me out and ask for me by name. Some consider me their good luck charm. The environment, the guests, and my friendly coworkers are helping this introvert to pull her head out of the sand and embrace interaction. Though the pay may not be what I earned in previous positions, it is enough to keep me out of debt, and I am no longer killing myself trying to make ends meet. This is the first job I’ve had in years where I don’t bring work home with me. My time is just that . . . my time. Now that I’ve had a few months to relish that fact, perhaps I’ll get back to working on my novel. Maybe the next change I’ll experience is that of a successful published author. Time will tell.