Fear and uncertainty

Today is a bad day.

I want to be completely myself here, and lately most of my posts have been very positive and forward-looking.

Today. .  .I’m just not feeling that way.

I put my gym membership on a 6 month hold today, and that’s a huge bummer.

But I had to.

Because if the $30.89 automatic payment went through next week, it would bounce.

I may have to have C pay for her own phone bill next week, too. Because I can’t afford $25.

I hate being here.

I’ve been here before. (My friends from That Other Place know too well how often I’ve been here, and have helped me again and again.)

And it’s back.

That knot in my stomach that never goes away.

The fear that interferes with everything I do.

It seeps away enjoyment of everything.

It creates an endless loop of negative thoughts, and takes away all my energy.

Just a few weeks ago, I wasn’t all that worried that I wasn’t working. I thought by the time I did hit this point, I’d be working. Or at least have a couple more tutoring clients.

Tutoring

And one of the reasons I can’t pay the $25 phone bill is because yesterday I paid for a tutoring lead.

There’s this service that gives me leads from time to time. And I had been paying a low monthly subscription to respond to as many of the leads as I get. I didn’t mind because one hour with one client more than made up for the cost.

Last month they changed the business model. And now, I have to buy “credits” and use the credits to respond to the leads. Again, it’s cheap enough where one hour with one client is enough to make up for the expense.

I responded to a few leads, but got no response.

I think I know why, but it’s disheartening.

My rates are more than most of the other independent tutors. But I know I’m worth it, and I’ve had people pay those rates.

Over the years, I raised my rates slowly. I increased them when my qualifications increased, or when I was so busy I couldn’t keep up with all the clients. I grandfathered old clients into old rates, but had new clients pay new rates.

But, now I’m not getting any new clients.

I *hate* that I’ve got one client paying the current rate, but if I want another client, I may have to lower it. I don’t want to lower it.

And I’m tired.

The last year or so, I’ve been tired of tutoring.

I love my kids. I love working with them.

But I hate the driving, the nervousness about knowing if a client cancels, I’ll be scrambling for money, the selling myself.

Dear gods, I hate selling myself.

I’ve ignored my tutoring blog.

I’ve stopped researching techniques to help my kids see math in a different way.

I stopped aggressively advertising for clients.

Looking for work

There are things I need to do to increase my chances of getting a job.

Actually applying would help a lot. 😛 (I did put in applications today for jobs at tutoring centers).

I still need to go and talk to my mentor teachers and get letters of recommendation from them, so I can finish my applications for subbing.

I need to revamp my resumé. I had a resumé writer create one for me last year, after asking her if she could do education resumés. She assured me she could.

Except it’s not right.

A business resumé is expected to be one page, and only contains certain things, yada yada. 

Education resumés are different. For one thing, I’ve been told at least two pages.

On a business resumé it would be ridiculous to put that I used to teach CPR classes in the Navy. On an education resumé, looking for my first teaching job, I need to include it.

Silly little things like that. 

And I’ve been avoiding doing it. Because. . . 

I’m scared.


I am so fucking scared right now.

Scared to talk to my mentor teachers about letters of recommendation because I feel like I screwed up so badly in student teaching. (And I owe one of them $50). 

Scared to apply for teaching jobs because I’m not sure I can handle it. Scared even to start subbing.

What if. . . 

What if I’ve done all this work, and I can’t do the job? What if I’ve done all this and no one will hire me, because all the time I’ve been not working or doing something other than education in the last 10 years makes “them” think I’m not serious about teaching? 

What if I have an emotional breakdown on the job? In front of teenagers?

What if.  . . .. what if my therapist was right in 2004, and I really should be on disability instead of working? [That’s the scariest thought of all, and I haven’t actually vocalized (or written) it until now.]

Distractions

I’ve been distracting myself with the idea of starting a self-help business. I want to, but I also know it will take time to establish. 
For one thing, there are currently only about 25 people reading my blog routinely, and almost all of them are personal friends who aren’t likely to buy this stuff, especially since they are my emotional support. I haven’t been promoting it well enough. Like, I’ll only promote posts I’m really proud of instead of all of them, or I’m not consistent in posting.
I’ve gotten great ideas from listening to the summit stuff, and getting some support in that circle. Trouble is, it’s easy to find rabbit holes to jump down. There’s a total of 33 speakers in the summit. They each have mp3 talks and meditations, free booklets, blogs, email lists, lots of info and inspiration. I’m now getting like 50 emails a day, just from speakers from the summit. And of course, each one of those leads to more and more.  . . . distractions.
And then. .  . there’s M.
He’s been an absolutely delicious distraction. I am still enjoying talking to him every night. And lately there’s also been early morning emails before he goes to work that make me smile.
But I’m thinking about him too much when we’re not talking, and it’s taking up too much of my energy. I know it. I know that I can be obsessive. And I am being obsessive.
It’s certainly not his fault or intention; this is my own pattern, my own brain doing this.
And I also know I can be an all or nothing kind of person (part of the whole bipolar thing). 
So, the temptation is to say, “This is too distracting; I can’t do it any more.” 
I don’t want to do that.
I want to find a way to continue talking without obsessing.
I want to find a middle ground. . . . . . . (I’m really no good at middle of the road.)
photo by Cosmic Dustbunny 🙂
Because, really, if I don’t get working pretty much immediately, the plans we’ve been making to see each other won’t ever happen. If I can’t afford a $25 phone bill, I certainly can’t afford a trip to Vegas (or Portland or wherever else we end up talking about). And I want to meet up with him.
I need to get moving on finding a job.
So I need to stop letting “ooooh, shiny!” distract me (. . .  squirrel!. . . ) from the shit I need to do.
Writing this has helped me focus a bit, for now. 
Going to stare at a pretty picture for a few minutes, and then, off to rework my resumé.


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Posted in fear
4 comments on “Fear and uncertainty
  1. Cosmos says:

    I know what you mean about distractions. Hang in there, focus, and you'll get out of this place and into a better one.

  2. Everyone has these times. <3

    I'll keep you in my thoughts Ishtar.

  3. Thank you!

    I do feel slightly better today.

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