The last few months have been a roller coaster in my life. Not so much as drama or horrible events. There have been a lot of changes that have happened and some were long overdue. Others have been necessities that needed to happen.
I left my job of 14 years in April in the hopes of focusing on my writing, reclaiming my self esteem as an individual, and creating a life outside of the company that had dominated my life for no reason. Companies have a strange philosophy of owning their employees. If the employee puts anything above the priority of the company that thinking either needs to change or they can find a new job. For years I picked up overtime to make the bills. Vacations rarely ever happened and if I did ask for a vacation I was lucky to have it approved.
I’m turning 36 years old on Friday and I spent almost half of my life working for a company that didn’t even notice when I left. I saw people come and go over the years. I had it drilled into my head that this was the greatest place to work for and one would be a fool to leave. What is interesting is a conversation I had with my girlfriend the other day. Some of the words coming from her were things I said a few weeks before I left.
One of her coworkers was written up for doing her homework at the desk. On that statement one might think ‘well she is at work.’ Throw in the fact that the company is requiring her to get her BSN degree in a limited amount of time with a husband and kids at home, you might see why the book was at work. These people have lives outside of their job. When the job requires people to do something outside of work to keep their job maybe the employer should be thankful they are working towards that goal instead of punishing them for it.
During the conversation my girlfriend started to say things like, ‘I have to watch my back,’ and ‘I don’t feel safe a work.’ There were a few other comments that reminded me of how I felt just before I left. She talked about looking for a new job and I agreed it was a good idea.
Soon I will be starting a new job. New hours, new co-workers, and a new place of employment. The pay is a little less. But the stress with be less than my old job. I’ll be responsible for my own area which is a huge bonus. I rarely ever had a complaint in my old job if I was working by myself, the few times I did it was the days I had off and the person covering wasn’t doing their job. I don’t know what will come of this job but I’ll have a steady paycheck again and some security that goes along with that.
In the last three months I released four books, a novella, and submitted two short stories to sci-fi magazines. Ronin, Samurai, Remnants of the Day, and Requiem for the Day have been making the rounds with sales steadily going up. The sales haven’t been like my first two books but I have hopes they will pick up. Top Ramen I have some hopes for with the action adventure format that is something different from my other books.
I purged my library last week and donated almost thirty boxes of books. It was sad to think about the money I spent over time on items that I would never read or use. Just because something might be a good deal doesn’t mean the money should leave your wallet. This is a habit I grew up learning and I’m still trying to unlearn.
I started seeing a counselor a few weeks ago. Looking back I know it is long overdue. If I had not left my job and put myself into a position of examining my life and choices I made I don’t think I ever would have gotten to that spot. The moment I decided to do that everyone in my life was in a crisis situation. There was nobody else to talk to about my own personal shit and there was a lot of shit to go over. Already things have changed for the better because of it. After my first meeting I wrote two short stories, and my novella Top Ramen in three days. Some of the advice I received ended up with me being offered a job with the county. My food blog was revised after I had abandoned it a year ago with some positive results.
Some of the goals I had set for the year I have already surpassed and there are only two that I might not reach. I’m ahead of schedule for my book releases on Amazon and things are looking good for that.
My life is still changing. It’s scary, stability is something I am working towards again but with some positive surroundings that will enhance my life. These changes have made me examine what I have around in my life. It will be interesting to see how things are going a year from now. The summer is just starting and so are many more aspects of my life.
Matthew Gilman can be contacted on his author Facebook page and found on Twitter.