I forced myself to go out and run a couple of errands today. Even before heading out, I felt out of place today. It may be due partly to the whole being jobless and homeless thing. But I think there’s more to it.
On one of my FB statuses about all of this, even my brother, who doesn’t live here, pointed out that the job market here in PDX tends to be polarized. The extremes are dominant. We have a lot of low paying service jobs and a fair number of high paying tech-style industry jobs, but very little in between. Yes, there are “in between” jobs, but the numbers available are declining. Some months back, I was in one of my favorite music stores and one of the clerks and I were chatting. This very subject came up. He said that the people who come into the store or that he sees around town are either retail/service/restaurant or they work in one of the big tech/industry firms such as Intel or Nike. This is what the PDX job market boils down to.
The problem with this for me is that I can no longer physically DO the service jobs. And I don’t have enough paid background to even stand a chance in the high-end job market. The jobs that are in between are predominately admin assistants and such. You really don’t want me answering phones. My stumbling over words and Freudian slips would get me fired in a heartbeat. This is why I look at the slightly more unconventional jobs. why I love doing research or the reason I’m finishing up a degree in Archives/Library. I love data, research, history, sorting… oh yeah, and social media. Yes, I do have decent people skills as well. I’m just a teeny bit worn out with them right now. Chronic pain and years of abuse by customers will do that.
Then there’s the crowdfunding for survival. Right now, that’s more on keeping my stuff safe. I need to regain access to my belongings. I see a lot of people clicking on and reading my posts… and a few friends here and there share the YouCaring links… but I see little movement. Are people getting tired of me asking for help? Likely. If I had a decent job, which I’m trying to get, I wouldn’t have to ask. I’m just afraid of losing everything I own (save for a few things that aren’t in storage, which isn’t much, honestly). So I ask. Trust me, I’m tired of asking… probably even more than others are sick of me asking…
Earlier today, I made a post or two on FB about feeling out of place and how that goes with the lifelong feeling of being invisible. I sometimes feel like an afterthought…
I don’t know where I fit into society. I refuse to conform to the point of losing who I am for a job or for acceptance. I refuse to change who I am to suit what society thinks I should be. But I get told by some that fitting in is the only way. I don’t believe that. There is a place in this world -a sorely needed place- for the Creatives. Those of us who don’t perfectly fit into the jigsaw puzzle of society. We help bring color and life into a society that encourages conformity. If it weren’t for us, you wouldn’t have those paintings in museums, sculptures to examine, books to read, music to listen to, movies and TV shows to watch. We make the world a little more interesting.
But the disadvantage is that in so many aspects of what we offer the world, all that is ever acknowledged is the work produced, while those of us who create it are ignored, pushed aside. Yes, there are award shows and all, but to recognize us as part of society, not these bizarre outcasts. We still need to pay the bills and rent somehow as well. We bring our creations to you, but we are more than just those creations.