I didn’t expect to be where I am today a year ago. In fact, it’s been almost a year and two weeks since I’ve been laid off and I’ve felt more creatively fulfilled than when I was working in an office. The major difference between now and then is the lack of income. I made good money in my office job. Truth be told, I was bored, stifled and everyone knew it.
As unexpected as being let go was, it was emancipating. I went back to school, started a radio show/podcast with a growing fan base, worked on a movie set, and started my own business. Creatively I’m in a better place.
Financially, it’s a struggle. I don’t like settling on the idea that I’m part of millions of Americans that are going through the same strife. It’s a crutch of sympathy. Don’t get me wrong, I sympathize with the unemployed due to these hard economic hard times (which is a phrase I’m sick of hearing, by the way). But I refuse to let the economy determine my destiny. My fate rests in my hands, and my hands are in God’s hands.
Say what you will about religion or spirituality, but my faith is what got me thus far, so I’m not going to turn away from it now. On occasion, I forget to rely on that in my harshest times of struggle. But I remind myself of obstacles I’ve overcome with God’s help and promises I’ve made myself and (as outlandish as it might sound to some) prophecies to be fulfilled.
An evangelist once visited my church and asked if there were any millionaires in the congregation. No one raised their hand. He replied that someday there will be, and he will continue to ask that question until there is one. I want to be that person.
Since I was young and first noticed my parents struggling with bills or to keep the lights on (and on occasion get them turned back on), I had made it one of my goals in life to never see them struggle like that again. Better yet, to never worry again. As I get older, it seems that we as a family have been surviving vs living. It was a surprise to my parents that there was such a thing as “lower middle class”, where I feel we fall under. Once in a while, we seem to be just making it, but then life strikes and we are back in the hole we just dug ourselves out of.
Over the past year, I’ve watched the Occupy movement from Wall Street to Oakland and I honestly haven’t seen much change happen yet. For a while, I kinda forgot what they were protesting about. Perhaps they thought the rest of the middle class, the working class, which is the majority of the nation, would rise up and make this movement a revolution? I was hopeful for them, but I’m relying on my own talents to change my own circumstances. And if all goes according to plan, I’ll make the switch from the 99% to the evil 1%. I don’t know how, but once I get over there, I’d like to bring enough people with me to make that a 2%.
I know that’s pretty ambitious, but I’m not comfortable with seeing my family struggling and I’ve always wanted to offer a helping hand to those that need it. I’ve always wanted to take care of my own–my family, my church, my friends. When times were good for me (working at the office), I even started sponsoring a child. I’m at the point now I’m struggling to keep that up.
While this has also been a personal motto for me, I really need to stick to it: don’t just talk about it, but really be about it. Ideas are great to talk about, but it means nothing if there’s no action behind it. That’s what I really dislike about congress and the government: lots of talk. But rather than complain, I’m more interested in overcoming. I can’t wait for a handout that I may not ever get.
I have a few get-rich-quick schemes in play that are neither quick nor guaranteed to make me rich, but they are schemes nonetheless, and I only need one of them to work in order to win. And I’m not about to lose.