If you are just joining us, please check out part one of this story https://cmkline.wordpress.com/2013/09/23/facets-of-you-part-1/
When I finally decided that I was going back to college, it was kind of a pain in the ass to get all of the information that was required to do so. I had been a business major previously, and during all of the loss that my family had experienced in recent years, the online university that I attended was less than sympathetic of our situation. After jumping through all of the necessary hoops to get the necessary documents for financial aid, I paid in advance for the semester ahead which would be reimbursed by my grants. There was only one problem—since I had been a student previously (nearly a graduate) in another field, I could not receive any aid. Through the appeals process, we were forced to relive all of the sadness and loss that brought us to this point. The school required all of the documents that chronicled the events that almost cost me my wife.
It was not until the last week of the semester that I was informed that I would not be eligible for aid that semester, but there was still hope. Due to legislation passed that year, the maximum credit hours allotted for a degree had been raised, and I would be granted funds to complete my degree. This was a monumental day for us, it meant that we would be able to survive the next two years and the future would be bright.
It has been years since I was a student, but I always loved the act of going to class. I chose healthcare as my career path, and set out on the journey to become a registered nurse. Yeah, me and everyone else I talked to. As it turned out, this was the most popular program at the college I attended, and getting in was extremely difficult, but I am a smart guy so I gave it a go anyway.
After my last experience with college and work combined, this was a breeze! I spent my time taking care of my children during the day when I was not at school, and studying in the evening and when I could spend time in the library on campus. I was truly on the fast track to the American dream. It was not difficult for me to excel in school, and all of the subject matter was fascinating to me. This all seemed less like working toward a job than it actually was. It was more like working toward a real life.
By the time I finished my third semester, I was eligible for the certificate program that I desired, and without haste I applied for it. Something else was happening by this time. I made very little money from student loans and grants, and my unemployment insurance had run out. We were effectively drowning in our bills just trying to survive. The stress about losing all we had was maddening, and I did not want to be the cause of that for me or my wife, so as opportunities come, they must be seized.
I came upon another sales job for an even larger company than the one I left originally. The benefits seemed great, and I was convinced that the situation would be different than the previous, so after an extensive hiring process I was given the job and I happily took it. All roads seemed to point to success at this place. The staff was supportive, and the products were easily sold to retail; it was not what I had set out for but it would work.
For months, I was trained in their way of doing things, and sent all over the state for meetings and training events. I saw my family very little, which was a big problem but I was making money so I couldn’t complain. Everyone seemed to think I was doing a good job except for one—my direct supervisor. I figured I could win her over eventually but she had different plans. Any small incident that came up was a big deal for her, and due to a paperwork issue (not work related oddly enough) the final nail in my coffin was placed. Now, I am not insinuating that she was completely responsible for my losing this job, it was my fault after all that my personal paperwork was not properly handled, but when the chance arrived to get me out of the seat I was in, she did not hesitate to do all she could.
This was the first time I had ever been asked to resign from a job, and it was devastating. My confidence broken, I went home and tried to pick up the pieces of my professional life and start again. But almost as serendipity would have it, I received in the mail that day the acceptance letter from the program I had applied to earlier that year. It was a light at the end of a very dark tunnel and I was happy to accept.
Upon accepting this invitation I realized something that to this day I could not undo. I could no longer afford to be a full time student without a full time job and this program was an intensive two years of school. Those that I spoke to about it assured me there would be no way I could both be a student and work unless I didn’t require sleep. It was like a bomb had been dropped inside my heart. I was more broken by this realization than I had been in a long time.
Now I sit as the cusp of two different degrees, unable to do anything about it, unemployed again and no prospect of hope for my future. This is not what I signed up for. I have always done what I was told to do, and despite my efforts I could not seem to acclimate to the “real world” as I had heard it called so many times before. It was a dark time for us, and it stayed that way for some time.
For a while, I spent my time reading and pretending things would be alright as they were. That somehow the perfect job would fall into my lap and everything would be okay. I learned about the mystery traditions of the east, esoteric schools of thought, and the principles of oneness that govern the universe. These are fascinating subjects, but aside from my writing they did not help my situation. It was all just a means of distracting me from the real issue—we were drowning in our bills and I could do nothing about it. Car payments, house payments, all of it piling up and me without a job.
I took work wherever I could find it. I tried my hand at selling cars, but after all that I had been through I was simply no good at it. I did not have the confidence that I needed to work that way, so I moved on to the only industry that I could find work in.
Low paying labor jobs are pretty easy to get. All you need is an ability to work hard and do it all day. Well, I had both of those things, and after a few of these jobs in different industries, I found a job driving a septic truck. This was nowhere near my dream job, but it paid the bills and they left me alone, so I stuck it out all the while trying to find my place in the world. Now I know what you are thinking, “isn’t it gross?” Oddly enough, not really; television has done a good job of making it seem that way, but if you are careful it is pretty sanitary, and like I said I am left alone for the most part so for now I cannot complain.
I continue down this road, working long hours for less than desirable pay dreaming of the day when I do not have to play the money game any longer. You see, it is a game. We pay to go to school, so that we can get a job to pay for school, then fifteen years or so down the road we are so indoctrinated into this way of life that we think it is the only way. Well, as luck would have it I think that the system is beatable, and being that I am somewhat of a dreamer I have to at least try. The solution to my problem came in the most unlikely of ways—a part time business. The following is the story of whether or not this will work…