I Want My Office Christmas Party

First thing, I am super tired. I don’t think I even did anything particularly out of the ordinary today. It was a laundry day. I heated up leftovers for dinner. I washed dishes. I cut up a pineapple. Nothing too taxing. And yet I feel WIPED!

I applied for a job, for the first time in a REALLY long time. I’ve been living off random artist fees and hoping for grants and sometimes things come in, but nothing that would give me a long period of time to not worry about money anymore. Like even just a part time job three days a week would be fine for me now. I don’t want a serious full time all day all week job at this moment, maybe in the future. But searching for a job can be pretty demoralizing. And it’s social media hell, because I have a lot of my ridiculous content hidden on FB, BUT I still have things like this artist website, etc, and anyone can look me up and discover I am a weirdo. A nice gentle weirdo I hope, but like people are conservative. And some people would be turned off by the pink hair. Or my last name, which is a real last name like it’s not some fake artist name.

Anyway. Artists are weird. So I’m just hoping to find some kind of employment that appreciates that weirdness. And I am a good person I think, and I try my best.

It’s been a long time since I was in the workforce though, and I’ve always been doing work, but not with a real boss and keeping track of hours. And I am also going to start applying for academic jobs again, and that makes me nervous because I feel like even with my Masters I don’t look so great as people who did PhD’s, or that since I haven’t been a sessional yet that I don’t have enough experience, even tho I’ve lost track of the times I’ve given talks in classes across Canada and have mentored youth and adults in video making. And I’ve kept on top of the technology, and I think I’ve tried to keep on top of contemporary video making. Indigenous and Queer video for sure. Like I’m aware I have some specialized interests based on my identity and communities. I dunno, I have to come up with some really good application materials for jobs and I haven’t worked through all those things in a year or so. It’s weird trying to sell myself, for any job really.

And yet I am kind of used to doing that in grants. Like I know how to write clear project descriptions and stuff. And I really do wish I could just do those the rest of my life. But there just aren’t enough grants in Canada, and those grants don’t have enough money, and you might have a year or two or three of getting no grants. And then what do you do? I’ve always made videos, even when I had no money. Because it’s just the thing I do. And I know how to make work with no grants. I really just want to be guaranteed some living allowance while I make work. But that’s not a long term thing even if you do get the grant.

And worse still is that a lot of juries don’t like when someone includes a large amount of living allowance in their grant. Like they say they want us to work full time on our art, but then also don’t want us to work full time on our art because they think we can take three months off of a job and then just miraculously start work again with no gaps and no struggle. It’s messed up.

So fine, I have to get a job again. And I could really like work, like I have had jobs in the past that were pretty fun and productive and I liked my co-workers. It’s not totally out of the question that I would find a job, even possibly unrelated to my field, and be pretty content.

BUT ALSO mostly I just don’t want to go back to Ontario Works. The workers themselves aren’t terrible people, like I used to think welfare was so brutal and people there were mean, but in reality they are quite nice. BUT STILL they want you to report any extra income, and send them bank statements, and they don’t even give enough to live on, and it’s just not great. And I don’t like the feeling of being surveilled. It’s kinda gross. Like they don’t need to know I got money from my Mom, or that I need a transit pass and someone gave me money for one, etc etc. I don’t like ANYONE knowing that much about my finances. The tax people know enough. So I really want to avoid going back there.

Student Loans is breathing down my neck. They were supposed to give me a decision about repayment assistance today, and they haven’t yet. I guess I have to wait until Monday. If it’s denied, AGAIN, I have to pay $175, and also I need to come up with rent money this week. So I hope student loans gives me a break.

The funny thing is things AREN’T so bad for me financially, I am getting some money next month, I’m not doomed. But yeah, a job would be ace. Especially if it meant I could go to an Office Christmas Party. I love those. I miss those.

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