Despite everything, I didn’t raise enough to save my belongings in storage. They were auctioned off Thursday. I fought to save it all while I was homeless, but in the end, I couldn’t save it.
So, now I need help rebuilding my resources. I’ve been sleeping on some blankets on the floor since mid-October. I’ve picked out two mattresses as options and they’re both on my Amazon Wishlist. My back is all kinds of borked right now.
Serger and Embroidery Machine
DVD/blu-ray players, TV.
Audio receiver & speakers
This will go on my Amazon wishlist, in case anyone wants to just get them for me.
There are other things such as AV: audio receiver, speakers, dvd/bluray players, TV.
I want to maximize my small space with IKEA furniture. I’ve made a registry on IKEA, in case folks wanted to order stuff for me. Also, one can purchase a gift card and apply it to my registry. All the little things I added on there are things I had in storage and are now gone.
I’ve lost all of my music, movies, books and such. Those can be replaced over time. It’s the big stuff that I worry over. I create costumes and the characters that live within those costumes and they’re all gone. I need to be able to sew again. Besides, my Pinterest is chock full of ideas and I can’t DO any of them. My fursuit and costumes are all gone. Patterns gone, everything gone. I have a fraction of my fabric and a handful of costume bits. Compared to the bulk of my inventory, it’s barely anything.
Fabric is all gone as well. I have a little of it in the bins that weren’t in storage, but all my costume fabric is gone. My Kai Opaka WiP is gone.
I did leave a note with the manager to give to the buyer asking for a chance to buy some stuff back. The vast majority of what’s in there has little to no resale value. Not of any note, at least.
So, I seek help in rebuilding what has always been so closely connected to my identity. The things in that storage weren’t JUST stuff. They were ME.
IKEA and Amazon Wishlists have just about everything. They’re linked at the sidebar. Anything helps.
[Yes, still need help covering storage past due. I want to get it taken care of tomorrow, so I can start getting stuff out and/or moved into a smaller unit. Need roughly $600 still. Anything helps.]
I’ve blogged recently about my difficulties finding work. I’ve struggled finding my niche in society. And after watching videos and reading books, I do know WHY, at least in part, I’m having so many issues.
I’m a Scanner (Barbara Sher’s term) or what has been coined more recently, a Multipotentialite (see video below). I have a couple of Barbara’s books, and man, they make sense to me. Then I found the video below and it still clicks.
The problem is that society doesn’t see us as valuable in traditional environments. As the video mentions, our society thrives and focuses on people being “specialists.” But us Scanners are anything BUT specialists. We know a bit more than enough to be competent in several things, but never hone in on ONE thing.
I have my BA in English, creative writing as my focus. But I’m not writing all the time. I go through phases where I can work on my fiction for a few months, and then that winds down and I focus on another thing. I’m the type of Scanner Barbara refers to as a Cyclical Scanner.
When it comes to my core passions, I have four. And I shift, mostly circular in nature, between those four things. Writing, Photography, Web Design, and Sewing/Design.
And then there are the “others.” My storage unit is full of supplies for the “others.” Oh, I need to paint some shoes to match this costume… Other. Make a mask? Other. Design a book cover? Other. Make a piece of jewelry for something? Other. And soooo many more. My home, and by extension my storage unit, is a place of variety and creativity. I do many, MANY things, but am no expert in any one of them. Pretty decent at several of them, but no expert. It doesn’t mean I love any of them more or less. My “Big Four” are the ones I’m “pretty fucking good” at.
So, how does this tie in to job hunting?
Our society has become entranced with Specialists. Look at job listings sometime. In accounting, you have listings for Payroll Specialists and so on. In tech, well, don’t get me started. All the various programming languages and certifications and …. yeah. In medicine, engineering, the trades (spot welder versus sheet welding) and most areas of employment, you’ll find a call for specialists.
But for a decent chunk of human history, it was balanced out between generalists and specialists. One person who fits Scanner types well? Leonardo da Vinci. Most know who he was because of his paintings. But he was also an inventor and so much more. What we call now a “Renaissance Man.”
Scanners and Multipotentialites are Renaissance People. We have a lot to offer society, but society doesn’t see what we can do for them. We are pushed to the outer edges of society and, in many cases, not really taken seriously.
I have a slew of skills I can offer an employer, not just creative stuff. But finding a company that potentially SEES those skills as a package deal worth the time is difficult.
Do I have other issues that are making my employability difficult? Yes. And I acknowledge them completely.
I do tell people that the best environment for me to work in is where I have a variety of things I can work on and switch back and forth between. And, because of my back, where I can get up and move around as needed.
Who knows where I’ll end up. I certainly don’t. I want to be able to love my job. Or at least like it enough that I don’t fall asleep halfway through the morning. Granted, that would require me to actually get decent sleep at night. I’m working on it.
Yes, still need help with less than a week left to keep storage and get it caught up. My finances have gone sideways and I just don’t have much of anything right now. I need $700-ish to finish catching it up.
MUSINGS: I look at how my week has gone and I realize that I definitely haven’t emotionally healed from being homeless and living in the shelter. I’m still angry, still off-kilter. Still frustrated. Still lost.
I lost my internship. That was my first step to getting back on my feet for good. My health is part of what got in the way. I know I can’t let it control my life, but it does. When issues pop up and mess with your schedule because they’re messing with your ability to function, shit goes sideways fast. The other thing that was cause was that they didn’t have enough work for me to keep me busy. I tend to get into a zone when I’m working on any specific task, so I was basically too efficient for my own damn good.
That second one could be seen as a PLUS in most cases, but much of the work they had me doing at first was backlogged data entry. Once I got it caught up, there wasn’t much left.
But the first one. That’s the one I need to work on. It affects my reliability. Which affects my employability.
But that’s only part of what’s eating at me. It certainly leads into why I’m feeling off-kilter.
I’m frustrated. I feel stuck. I can’t do my old fall-back jobs (retail) anymore due to my disabilities. But the rigidity of the majority of offices is problematic as well.
So, here I am feeling like there truly is nowhere I belong. And that makes me angry. At myself. And at the world. We have a society that makes things so rigid in terms of employability that many people just don’t fit. Some do change themselves to make themselves fit that structure, but I’m not a kid anymore. I’m not as much of a chameleon as I used to be.
Some of the others who don’t fit have found a niche all to themselves. They have drive and focus and probably a means of financial backup. Things I don’t really have so much of.
If you asked me what my ideal job is, it would be along these lines:
Work independently with some team work.
Research (non-medical), data, etc
Social Media as part of the work.
Reasonable pay with benefits.
Now, if you asked me about my dream job, those things all still very much apply, but with these added things:
Live in Switzerland with my cat(s) in the different villages.
Translating and digitizing genealogical records held in the parishes.
A bit much? Maybe. But it’s something that kind of needs to be done. As a descendant of Swiss gr-grandparents, the older records just aren’t online and accessible for those of us whose ancestors emigrated away from home. So, I’d love to live a slightly nomadic life there working in the different villages to make the older records accessible to those who don’t live there.
But I’m still sitting here, frustrated and angry. No way to clearly make that happen. Any of it. And I feel very unemployable right now. But I have to find a way to BE employable because not becoming homeless again depends on it.
I don’t think it’s too much to ask for to have a stable job, home, cats, food in the fridge, bills paid, and enough left over to save up for other things.
I’m still angry at the world from living at the shelter. I’ve managed to suppress it enough that I don’t lash out at strangers. I see people now for what they tend to be, even if it isn’t what they think they are. I see the selfishness and ego. I see the good in some, whether by actions or words, but so many others who just seem to forget that they’re in a shared society. That we all need to pitch in and work WITH each other instead of against each other.
Last one for the night for crowdfunding. I’m exhausted from the emotional and physical havoc today was. Trying to not go into a full-on pity-party… so I’m going to take a cue from the image I chose and riff on that for the last of the night. Still sitting at $235 of $1467. Can anyone who sees this be part of a minor miracle and add to that low number?
I’ve always been kind of an “odd duck” well, rabbit. I’m still not entirely sure if identifying as Rabbit from Winnie-the-Pooh is a good thing or a bad one. But I’ve had several friends agree that I’m Rabbit. But I’ve always been different. Not so much in a neuro-atypical way, just different.
I was the kid who plucked dog and cat hairs from the family pets and looked at them under the 3x microscope. The one who “hunted the dragon” which was actually my dad working on the yard. The kid who was caught on film in rainbow striped tights and a slip (top, not skirt) and ballet shoes, using my dad’s drafting table after hours to doodle.
The teen who wore black leather lace up boots and a beret or real fedora -black with a grey band- and pink and blue shiny eye shadow. Drawing and dancing and singing and pretending I was famous. All while contemplating suicide because of emotional abuse.
I tried, in my 20’s, to go with the pack, to dress like others and fit in. But I realized as I inched closer to 30 that that wasn’t me. It wasn’t WHO or WHAT I was. Still not me now. I rejected the “American Dream” concept of a house in the ‘burbs with the white picket fence and all the other trappings.
My life has been filled with good and bad. The bad has had a tendency to overwhelm me and my life. From a sexually abusive relationship to almost dying at 35 from Cellulitis. To being homeless for most of the past two years. It hasn’t been easy, not by any means.
For labels: I’m an Androgynous Aromantic Asexual Furry Cosplayer who also happens to write SF/F… and, well, there probably are a few other things. I paint, I sew, I design floorplans of houses and costumes. I can draft my own patterns to some degree. I refer to myself as a Geek-of-all-Trades.
And just about everything that one with all those labels and hobbies (along with more I didn’t list) would have to help define who they are is locked away in the storage unit up for auction tomorrow at noon PST. My identity, my first fursuit, my costumes, my sewing machine, my music.
I’m not perfect or beautiful or famous like I had dreamed of as a kid. I’m just this one person who is trying to pick my life back up after being on temporary hold for almost two years. I’m a person who stumbles and falls on my own feet while walking along the path of life. I think a lot of us do that. I just choose not to hide the bruises from my falls.
My life is in that storage unit. I can’t lose it. Not now when I’m finally back in my own place again.
In the past, I’ve mentioned the relationship my dad and I had before he passed away in 2014. One of the things that I found interesting while typing up the previous post with Disheveled is how I was and am seen compared to how I was back when I was heavily involved in my music.
I stopped playing piano in 2007 and singing in public in 1998. Piano because I had this fear instilled in me when I was little by my mother about playing where others could hear me. I was about 4 and figured out the melody to the Star Spangled Banner by myself. And I was damn proud of that. So, I played it every chance I got, which was a lot. My mother, who was trained herself, could have come over and taught me how to control my volume by how hard or soft I hit the keys. But she didn’t. I’d get about 4 or 5 notes in and from wherever she was in the house, she’d yell, “STOP PLAYING THAT SONG!!!”
Fear instilled. I had moments where I was specifically performing later on and I was fine, but over the years, I grew increasingly self-conscious about others hearing me play. In 1997, I stopped. A year later, I stepped away from choirs and what little solo singing I did because of a couple of factors: one was that same fear. The other was my health. I kept getting sick and couldn’t figure out why. Eventually, I did. We were dealing with an extensive roof leak at my parent’s house and black mold formed (although my dad and sister denied it was there. I’m hyper-sensitive to it) in the attic crawlspace. Living there while working on my BA down the street (quite literally, as we lived right behind CSUH/CSUEB) was wreaking havoc on my vocal chords. A few years ago, I was diagnosed with VCD (Vocal Chord Dysfunction). It took years and then visiting the house after dad died to get to that diagnosis.
Before he died, I got into a conversation with him about getting back into at least playing piano and wanting to save up for one. He was (quietly) over the moon. He was never one for showing much emotion. Somewhere in my blog posts, I tell the full story, but I ended up asking him why he was so excited that I wanted to get back to it. His words:
You were so positive and happy when you were involved in music. I want to see you that way again.
-My dad in 2014
And then I look at some of my really old poetry from while I was still singing and playing. I’ve always thought I wasn’t one for wearing a mask in society. That I always showed who I am, not what others wanted to see. But in a way, I did wear one. I re-read old poetry and stuff of mine and see some anger and depression, all during a time when I was seen as this happy, upbeat person.
Another recent thing involves a meme I posted recently on FB about the Greek words for different types of love. I was reminded of a nickname a friend of mine gave me when our church group was studying them in some setting. “Agape Amanda.” For Agape Love. Love of everyone.
And then I look at my poetry. Dude, what did people see that I didn’t? While Disheveled is a bit more recent than the early 90’s, I do have similar stuff where I was angry at the world for treating me differently for walking with a cane (and not in a good way). Depressed for similar reasons. I was dealing with a lot of different things back then. I still am. Some of them are different than the ones then, but the emotions are still the same. Maybe now I’m more true to who I am in what I show. I can’t hide behind the mask forever.
Crowdfunding: Got two more donations during the night. I’m over $100 now, but still a long way to go to reach $1141. If I can get this paid up before the first, I can deal with the January rent when it happens. I’ll have a little breathing room and can get stuff out and the rest moved to a smaller unit.
Becoming the Dragon: I have evolved, personality wise, to even more of a dragon. Hear me out.
Sure, all the other stuff I mentioned yesterday, like collecting “shiny” things and disliking humans, is part of it, but there’s more. See, in folklore around the world, dragons are fire-breathing people-eating monsters. No, I don’t think of myself as a monster. I’ve dated a few, though.
If anything, I was more like a super-mild version of Puff the Magic Dragon through much of my life. Puff was pretty cool, but super nice and loved everyone and everyone loved him, etc.
Me? I was (and still am to some degree) everyone’s doormat. The yes-girl. Needed someone to shlep you and/or your crap? Call me. Need someone to watch your kids? Call me. Need someone to do XYZ into infinity? Call me. To the point where it got to be manipulative and abusive by some. I spoiled friends, said yes to anything and everything, went to the ends of the earth and back. Then my father passed away in 2014 and things changed for me. My need for help shifted the equation. Most of those who asked me for help were nowhere to be found. Those who are still around in my life are unable to help as much as they’d like.
Enter being homeless. It wasn’t as bad in the first year, couchsurfing. It was when I got into the shelter when I began to change. If my contempt for humans was mild before (mild to moderate), then it tipped the scales (okay, pun kind of intended) into the VERY DRAGON levels. I withdrew more, seeing how some others at the shelter treated fellow residents. But the Angry Dragon side emerged quickly. When bullying of one woman escalated, I snapped at the bullies. Then I’d withdraw to my corner and watch. When they did it again, I lunged and snapped again. This happened a few times.
Now, I’m about as Pacifist as one can get without committing to some peaceful religion. Seriously. I do identify with Buddhism, but I’m not at a place where I can let go of parts of me that don’t ring true with it. My dad was very much a pacifist after he did his tour in WWII. So for this anger to be present doesn’t sit well with me. Eventually I need to separate the anger from the aspect of being strong and standing up for myself and others. To show my passion without anger. That will be the big challenge for me. It is, like everything else in life, a lesson to learn.