Here are the facts:
- I have been actively seeking employment, namely in the field of higher education for approximately 18 months.
- My current job ($11/hr@25h/week) is ending soon and is 120 miles round trip from home.
- After a huge fight with my mom I moved in with a friend where rent is $300/mo
- I have not made a full and on time car payment since September 2018
- Yesterday our family found out my dad’s immunotherapy isn’t working and the cancer is spreading. We are now at lung, liver, lymphnodes, spine.
Before you conjure up words words of sympathy or sorrow, let me stop you. This is simply what’s on my plate this week. And if I put emotions into it, I get debilitated. So no, don’t feel just yet. Think.
The most pressing thing for me is I’m about to lose my car. The reality of my situation just doesn’t lend itself to any other outcome. With losing my car I also cannot stay at my job which as I stated is 60 miles away from my home. I also cannot stay in my current place of residence because I cannot afford rent.
I haven’t yet told my mom the details of my situation. I know some people won’t understand that, but I’m not interested in adding more stress to her plate. Whether it’s right or wrong, it’s absolutely combustible for me to be “failing” during this cancer battle. It’s also a very happy time in that my baby sister is graduating from high school and preparing to leave for college. Moving home is just the last possible option. There’s too many people in uncertain places with tension running high.
I feel the most clear professionally. I decided I am done applying for jobs in higher education. Maybe this is ego and if it is I’m okay with that; but I am done begging people to See me. I’m not interested in an audience who isn’t interested in me. I know education will come back around because they’re archaic and chase pop culture. So you know what? I’m looking towards pop culture.
In this time of flux I’ve had lots of time to reflect. I am an excellent communicator. I know how to tell a story, appeal to and engage an audience and I know how to incite action. Why do I need higher education? It’s them who needs me. So I’m redirecting my energy to my own creative efforts.
I asserted my desire to be a full time healer, health and wellness educator and advocate after I quit racist ass Agnes Scott. But I’ve been so distracted by trying to survive that I hadn’t gotten anywhere and it’s been almost a year. Since last July I feel like I’ve been caught in a rip current trying desperately to just get upright. I’m still trying.
I realize now that I have to just start in the midst of the mess. The universe has not afforded me the kind of security I thought I needed. So I’m trying to trust what I have.
- a place to stay without fiscally paying rent for a few months
- a job that allows me to work 8-5 with no responsibilities outside of work but will still provide enough income for me to buy food and meds to stay healthy. Think an administrative assistant.
- to commit to my creative process and trust it. Keeping in mind that this is now my true full time job.
I wrote lists of the projects. The wellness retreat in Jamaica. The book. The podcast. I started to note what I needed for each project. It got to be overwhelming so I stopped but I’ll go back when I can. And one bite at a time, I’ll get through it.
I don’t have the energy to keep fighting for things I’m bound to lose. All I can do is let them go. I can’t keep worrying about paying rent when I know i am not in a position to do so and trying to do so has only cost me in other ways. It’s time to pivot. It’s time to lean not into my own understanding. It’s time to ACCEPT that right now? I’m a broke ass charity case but that is not the end of my story. It’s just time to find peace in my right now so I can get on with the business of constructing a new reality. One that allows me to show up fully and without apology.
That said, keep sending love and light. Sharing. Donating. Reaching out. But—no more job links especially out of state unless you’re also providing a guest room and meals. In the blink of an eye I feel like I lost my career, a lot of my relationships, my family as I knew it, and all that has truly shaken me to my core. But if I have to start over, then I guess that’s what I have to do. It’s just a pivot a new direction. I still have everything I had before: same abilities same familial love. And the money and material things will return at some point maybe. Though, I don’t dream of fancy anymore. I simply long for days where I don’t have to choose between my car and my home or my dinner and my medicine. So when people ask me what type of jobs I’m looking for? Ones that pay because the only intention I have set right now is to survive the hell I’m living.
JESSICA WILLIAMS, PHD IS A STORYTELLER WITH A COMMITMENT TO INTERSECTIONAL SOCIAL JUSTICE, AUTHENTIC DEVELOPMENT, AND THE INCREASE OF LEADERSHIP CAPACITY. TO BOOK HER FOR WRITING, COACHING, FACILITATION OR SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS, VISIT: WWW.JESSICAJAMESE.COM
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