God Of Nothing

Life, The Universe, and Everything…

And So It Begins…

The Escape by Kev Stanton

Change; whether good or bad, it’s happening. Two years into the second decade of the 21st Century and massive change is all I’ve seen.  By the end of the first decade, I was finally coming into my own.  My dreams were coming true; my life was falling into place.  I had met and married the woman of my dreams, a beautiful vibrant woman whose beliefs, morals, and values mixed well with mine. And, did I mention, she was unbelievably beautiful? In 2007, this woman I loved so much gave me an equally beautiful daughter of whom I am completely enamored with. Being a parent has to be the most awesome thing a person can be. She is a gift.  Additionally, I was working in the field I was trained and went to college for.  If I could have lived across the street, it would have completely been a dream job.  I enjoyed it and it was fun.

Then 2010 came along.  Up until then, I had been safe from the housing bubble burst, the financial crisis, and the economy dropping through the floor but I wasn’t safe anymore.  I was informed that my position was under consideration for layoffs and by mid-2010, I was collecting state unemployment.  Figuring this was only a temporary thing, this joblessness, I began searching for another job.  I made looking for a job my job.  I worked long hours searching job sites, sending out resumes, and applying online for any and every job I could find that would fit into my skill set. My wife went back to work and I became a stay-at-home dad.  Change was having its way with us all.

Little did I know I was falling apart inside and out.  Inside, I was sinking fast and losing it. I was growing more angry and hateful of my situation and I let it show, especially to my lovely wife. I didn’t even realize until it was too late.  Outside, I had no idea what was going on but I wasn’t feeling very well at all.  So in 2010 it started, my marriage, which had always been tenuous as all relationships are, began to falter.  My joblessness was taking its toll.  My health was leaving me and I was becoming way too familiar with my doctor.  By October 2011, she was gone; I was living 50 miles from home, and still no job, I’m now on a first name basis with my doctor and in general, running out of options.

They say a man without options is capable of anything.  Usually, that means he is capable of very bad things.  It’s not in my nature to do bad things. However, being out of options does make you see things quite differently.  No options can bring about change, change deep within a person.  And while this change in me won’t save my marriage or bring me a job, it will make me a better person. I’ve always known I have been capable of anything, but have never exercised it. It’s time to do so, time to make changes for a better future.

This morning I read a post by Julianna Shapiro where she eloquently writes on the expectations of the holiday season and how to simplify them, especially for the Chronically Awesome, of which I seem to be becoming a member of lately.  By the way, she is a true inspiration, so stop by to see her. She brings me smiles daily. Taking Jules’ list of things to change for next holiday season one step further, I am applying it to life in general, a list of the people and things that are toxic to me and a list of people and things that greatly enhance my life. I’ve never really had a problem removing things and people that are toxic, but toxicity is sometimes harder to recognize when you are living in your own toxic wasteland.  Lately, however, I’ve experienced some hardship in keeping those things that enhance my life, in my life. It’s time to change that.

I’ve always believed we make our own destiny. It’s what my parents taught me and what I’ve always tried to live by.  Right now is a great time to recreate myself.  It’s actually been something I’ve been working on for a while now, even if I didn’t see it for myself. I use to be a technology guy with a writing background, now I’m a writer (of sorts) with a technology background.  I still spend hours looking for gainful employment in my field but I am also spending more time writing and enjoying it again.  I use to be a husband and father, now I am just a father.  Broken hearts will mend, but I will always be a father to my daughter and that alone is worth being better for. I use to be healthier, now I am not.  Maybe I can get that back, maybe not.  Time will tell.  Whatever the future brings, I will be the one making it happen.

Things change, we move forward. I’ve met so many wonderful people in the last year, both in the real world and the virtual world of social media, people that are living with far worse issues than mine. They inspire me by their actions to move forward, to get through the day, every day. They deal with the change and move on. Even my daughter picks herself up and keeps on going when she falls.

And so it begins…I have in essence, hit the reset button, starting over a new self, a new person, and a new life.  Within each of us is the ability to change and I’m exercising that ability to the fullest. This decade started off with great expectation and delivered something quite less than, well “shit,” but there is still eight more years left.  All things new.

Let’s write some stories…

Escape by Kev Stanton Follow his art and become a fan.

December 31, 2011 Posted by | Life | , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

A Day in the Life of the Unemployed Dad in San Diego

It is March 21, 2011, a Monday. I have spent the better part of the day searching the job boards for postings that apply to my technical background, sending out resumes, and applying for jobs online. In return, I see a few read receipts and a couple of automated emails that confirm my applications have been received. This is a common day for me. On average I send out five to seven resumes and apply for anywhere from two to seven jobs every weekday. If I’m lucky, I get a phone call from a prospective employer.

I am a 44 year old father of one and married, luckily to a working wife. At the time of this writing, I have been unemployed for 270 days or since June 24 which was my last day of employment, with the exception of the few side jobs I’ve worked fixing friends computers. I worked for a local city municipality in the Information Technologies Department. It was a good job that paid very well, almost $80,000.00 a year. Unfortunately, the economy, the State of California’s budget, and just bad financial administrator on the part of the city, kicked the city hard. I was among several permanent employees, some with 20 plus years on the job, who were laid off, in two separate lay-offs. Now, I make $900.00 every two weeks from my unemployment benefits. I’m not complaining, that’s still more than a lot of people make.

Since I was laid off, I have treated unemployment as my job. I wake up in the morning and get ready for work; I shower, get dressed, and grab my coffee. Then I make the long walk to work, my computer which is about 15 feet from the kitchen. I start my day. Of course, there are the distractions of my 3 year old daughter, who also needs to get dressed, go potty, and have breakfast. After she is setup for the morning, I get to work, the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse playing in the background. First it’s Craigslist, then Monster, TheLadders, USAJobs, CalJobs, Indeed, and several others, looking for the latest jobs that meet my search criteria and skill-set. I try to find the jobs I haven’t already applied for and frequently check my list of jobs applied for neatly kept track of in an excel document.

After several hours of job search, my daughter and I take a break. We go for a walk around our neighborhood, pick some dandelions, and enjoy the beautiful vistas Southern California has to offer. From my house, I can see the expensive and expansive estates of Rancho Santa Fe, a quite affluent area in north San Diego County. Back at the house, we eat lunch, and then it’s back to the grindstone. More job hunting for me and more play-time for my daughter. Often, I wish she could have more time in preschool to be with other children, but it’s just simply not affordable on my wife’s income and my unemployment benefits, so she gets to spend the days with me.

I check the job boards again, making sure I haven’t missed anything. I check my LinkedIn account, send out a few Twitter updates, check my email for the umpteenth time, and end my job search for the day. I read a few articles to try to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of the Information Technology field. I take a deep breath. It’s around 4:00 PM, time to go to the park. I pack up my daughter, and off we go. For an hour or so, I wipe my mind of the worries of being unemployed and play with my daughter, talk to the other parents about being a parent, and watch her interact with other children.

Home again, its dinner, Momma is home, and the evening is upon us. Soon it will be a new day, and it will all start over again. More resumes to send out, more applications to submit, more waiting for that phone call that promises hope for a new job and a new beginning.

After 270 days of being unemployed, I am still hopeful and in good spirits. I know that it is only a matter of time before I am hired by a great employer, but in the meantime, it sure would be nice to feel that security and purpose of being employed again.

How are you doing?

May 15, 2011 Posted by | Life | , , , , | 1 Comment


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