I would hope that people who read this have also read this. mainly because I imagine everyone follows Neil Gaiman, because he’s awesome. It’s a little odd, because all around me, and indeed for me, October is making bold moves for everyone.
I’ll start externally, being as I am how I am. One big, bold move is happening to a friend, and I mean bold. He’s off for his second TEFL stint abroad, his first being a faith-affirming but otherwise rather disquieting time in Saudi Arabia. What makes it bold, is jaunt 2 is Libya, and Tripoli in particular.
I’m not going to say anything negative; there isn’t anything. It’s a great opportunity in a great country where great things have happened in recent history. And to be so close to that history, and indeed other places where similar events have taken place, to be so close to the source of such historic and newsworthy events, sounds amazing. I’m not linking to his blog, by the way, because he knows full well who he is, and because he has a level of detachment between Tumblr and personal life I’d like to help him keep. It’ll be a lot easier for him once he boards that plane, but til then - In sha’Allah, my friend, all will be well. Godspeed.
Big changes have come to another friend, too. Sure, technically they didn’t happen in October exclusively - but the biggest one really starts this month, just like my own. That’s starting a degree, an actual proper qualification, that hopefully leads to getting somewhere even bigger. His is at an actual university, though, and that presents unique challenges, especially in his situation. But, I expect it can do no harm, and great good can come of it. Oh, and he writes, a lot, too, and you should go read.
As for me… I’ve spent 2 years now in a position I’d never wish on anyone, near as damnit. It’s been a real war, with little victories and stinging defeats, and I would like to think that despite it looking like Ypres it’s starting to get towards an actual victory. There’s pathways to get out, and some decisions will have to be made that will make for discomfort, but the paths still are there. It’s the month of bold moves, yes - and like the most bold moves, the boldest moves aren’t in my hands.
Bold move one starts this Saturday, actually. My Open University degree in Politics Philosophy and Economics officially starts then. The course materials are sat under this desk, silently waiting. There’s a lot there. It’s dizzying, really. But, I’ve said for a long, long time, that I’d one day plot a course back to higher education, and now it’s sat in my house. I took a leap, and hoped. In 3 years, maybe we’ll see that pay off.
Bold move 2 is utterly out of my hands. I am waiting, impatient and mildly afraid, to hear back from a job interview. It’s not glamorous, it’s not high pay, but it’s a leap of faith the same. I know that sounds like a lot, but when you’ve been through my last 2 years phrasing it that way makes sense.
As I alluded to up there, I’m an odd bag of a person; very introverted until cornered, at which point it’s almost bizarre how easily extrovert I become. I’m of few words, and a quiet life, but if pressed to a situation where that’s just not cutting it I can be very talkative and with soul bared to the world. It feels weird, and I always feel oddly false doing it, but I really do just slide easily into this very social creature when I feel like there’s no other option.
And the job, sorry? It’s working in a bingo hall. Yeah, I know, weird I’d say all that just to lead into that. But, it’s not a job where you find a task and quietly beaver away, in your own little world. No, there’s a lot of social aspect to it, be it within the team or with the regulars who pour into the surprisingly massive hall. Honestly, I’ve seen a lot of bingo places, and I’d always wondered what the likes of Mecca and Gala looked like inside.
And now I know, because I’ve stood in that giant cavern, which at a conservative estimate holds 1000, and I’ve imagined it full and in need of staffing. It is pretty intimidating, really, to think that’s what it boils down to; that hall might be full, and you might be the person going around making sure they’re all happy. That is the reality of the job, and I am just hoping that I get it. It’s funny; I’ve applied for about 120 jobs I reckon since April, and this is one of the most scary to think about. It’s a big change for me, like pretty much all of my working career. It’ll be very odd, to say the least, to be in a situation like that.
The truth, the core of job hunting, is simple: you want to get paid. It’s never “my soul cannot rest until I have staffed that counter” or “I shall never be satisfied until I know that I have a cubicle to call my own”. You look for a job you can do that can pay you to do it, and you apply. It’s only when you think about what you applied for that it really dawns: success means you will be doing that job, for those hours, week in week out. It’s funny, it never really dawns what you have said you will do until someone sits you in an interview, and you see the place, and you have to discuss it. It can be quite odd to think about, it really can.
And so, here I am. My whole life could change this month; it could be the start of bigger things, and it could be the start of digging out of this financial trench. It’s a bold move, but I don’t feel somehow I can take credit…