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Can't sleep.

1. scottsnyde22 March 2010, 7:00 GMT +01:00

Well, it's another one of those nights. My beautiful wife is asleep beside me, there is an extremely fat cat laying over my feet making me hot, and I just can't find the peace necessary to sleep comfortably.

Sometimes I wonder if I am normal or not. You see, you could say I am self-employed... And that causes me unrest from time to time. Not that I can't earn an income, I've been blessed with opportunities and a father who taught me many useful skills.... I've always been able to earn an income and pay my bills, avoiding debt. I'm no where near wealth, but I'm not looking at bills I can't pay and that's enough to say that I'm doing ok there.

My stress comes from a lack of any identity. I am self-employed as a Jack-of-all-trades. I might be photographing infants and toddlers at a daycare on Monday and tuesday (I sell prints to parents), then wednesday I might be laying tile in a house, or installing copper plumbing in a wall somewhere. Thursday I might be designing a website, Friday I might be painting an apartment complex exterior, or maybe I'm sitting at a coffee shop creating a new brochure for a commercial realtor.

In a given month, I will wear as many as 20 hats. Carpenter, photographer, painter, designer, electrician, plumber, roofer, masonry worker.... The list just goes on. I've even been a dance instructor, and a childcare worker.

But the question that keeps me from sleeping is, "what am I doing?". I feel like I don't know where my place is in this world. I wish I had a regular 8-5, m-f job... But I just never seem to find myself there.

I have a college degree in graphic design, but don't feel that that is where I belong. I have another degree in education, and am certified to teach any level of art or technical applications (any computer class). But I've not been able to find a school that was hiring in the past two years. (a product of the fact that my fields of certification are so specialized and are often cut back on to conserve school budgets.)

in two weeks I take a test to become certified to teach 4-8 grade math and science. I'm praying it goes well, if so, that could open up a door. I feel I could be happy as a teacher, as it is a profession I respect, has a regular monthly paycheck, and I love kids.

My only fear there is the way America has set up the schools and given all the power to the kids. It is hard to be a teacher now, especially as a man. Very dangerous. A 4th grader can literally destroy your job, and your reputation, with something as little as a fib, and they won't even understand the repercussions of their actions. It's really scary.

Sorry to go on and on, but sometimes you just need to share things with at least some animosity.

Thanks for allowing me to vent,

2. weirdvis22 March 2010, 7:29 GMT +01:00

Look at it this way, Scott. You'll ever die of boredom and repetition. Every day will be different. No same old same old. If one opportunity dies another one will open because you have so many diverse skills. And you are about to add a major skill to those you already have.

What an interesting life you lead. :0)

3. ciscopa22 March 2010, 8:09 GMT +01:00

I agree with Lynne. If you have troubles or get bored with a job, you have much more chances than me, for example, to change and do different things.
And I wish you can do what you want and enjoy it.

Good night (morning for me).

4. Zela22 March 2010, 9:50 GMT +01:00

Your story reminds me of a circus artist with a lot of balls up in the air or the guy that has to keep all his plates spinning on those tall wobbly rods.
I can imagine it makes you worried sometimes especially when you have to earn your living this way.

It seems that your wife and cat have great confidence in you. You will be fine. You have so many interests and skills. I hope your test goes well. Another big achievement on the list. Let us know how you did. Success!!

5. crisderaud22 March 2010, 9:53 GMT +01:00

You express yourself really well and I find your story to be interesting.I can empathize with you except I have never been married. I've done my gamut of things and went back to school at UC Davis so I could get a good job. I graduated but I didn't get the good job I hoped for and went back to punching the clock.

I have a friend here in Fresno CA who came from a rough background and had a good mentor to help him get his degree in kinesiology and now he teaches physical education to kids in those grade brackets. He has been granted tenure and is finishing his masters. He owns two houses, never been married (although he could pick and choose from any number of girls). He has two roommates to help pay the mortgage and one of them is a school principal from a school different from the one he works at.

My brother's wife recently got her teaching credentials (in her mid 50s), had some temp teaching and a full time fill-in but missed the cut at the end of last summer as school budgets tightened. She specializes in kids with special needs. The schools need her but the budgets wouldn't allow her a position. She used to teach years ago and had to renew certification.

You inevitably will do what you can when you can do it. Thta's all a guy really can do, combine ability with opportunity. Twenty years from now you will look back in amazement at what a gifted life you had.

6. xymonau22 March 2010, 10:21 GMT +01:00

I think you're looking in the wrong areas for satisfaction. All jobs can give you that if you've done them well. It's inner peace you need.

7. Berenika22 March 2010, 11:00 GMT +01:00

thank you for your post, you don't know how much it mean to me....
I'm also self employed, i'm running very small advertising agency in Poland - this is not economically stable country so I also have to struggle with life and bills to pay... I can cleary understand your situation - you are doing your best, and life is still asking for more - sometimes you meet very high expectactions...
I'm also married, with a ingenieur - who is working form 8-5, so it's brings to our lives some stabilisation... some, because in Poland we were not able to get financial satisfaction - so now we live in Norway , my husband is working there, i'm still running my business abroad spending time home using internet to communicate with my customers, suppliers and workers - trying to learn new language, culture and find my place in norwegian society ... But I have spent so many nights wondering in the same way that you do - what I'm doing there????
I'm teacher, but I choose to be copywriter, I was working for medical company, also in the bank - then I established my own - so a lot of changes....and no education in graphics design, photography...
to aswer your question - you are MASTER OF LIFE . you have a lot of skills, a lot of abilities and will to survive - that's placing you in this position. world nowadays is changing each single day - everything is fluent, and we are like fishes in ocean - we have to move, to change, to swim, to follow the change in ocean....You can not compare your life with life even 10-20 ears ago... now we have to be flexible - you can not expect just simple description of yourself - Scott is a teacher.... more possible occupations, more skills - that's better!!!, that is the price of freedom - you are really free man... sometimes I'm asking my self if I'm able to come back to company life, work as employee - I think answer is NOT, definietly not... I prefer to change something one more time - to sell potates instead of printing leaflets but to keep my freedom...
I recomend you one thing - maybe you already know it, but this help me a lot in fight with deppresive thoughts and alienantion feeling ( i'm normall? - that's the question which also occurs in my head :-) and give me a new energy to make same order in my life - I just buy a book -because I like the title - Jack Canfield, the Succes Principles, How to get from where you are to where you want to be - and it really, really works - that's graet source for inspiration and methods to find targets and place in life, in society, in businnes presented in this book made me more calm and remove many sleepless nights from my life
thank you one more time for this message - I do not feel so alone with my doubts now, that is very very important for me.
and sorry for spellling mistakes
I wish you tofind your own way and get to where you want to be as soon as possible!

8. scottsnyde22 March 2010, 13:17 GMT +01:00

Thanks everyone,

Thanks Patrycja, nice to know there is someone somewhere in the world who is experiencing something similar to myself..

How early were you up Chris? Pretty early.

9. crisderaud22 March 2010, 14:54 GMT +01:00

I don't have to work anymore Scott and just collect disability.

I don't have a set schedule but usually get up between 1am - 4am to be able to post in the forum around mid-morning to past noon GMT time. I sleep when I feel like it and don't have any responsibilities and rarely go anywhere because I am too blind to drive.

I used to fix cars for a living and now I haven't driven one in 7 years this Easter. That's when I wrecked my last car because I didn't see someone stopped to turn in the lane in front of me and ran right into their back end. No one was hurt. My van was totalled. I gave it to my old employer for parts. I decided to quit driving before I hurt someone or myself. Bus, bike and walk is all I have now.

I was pretty secluded for a long time until I bought a computer, then a digital camera and then broadband internet. So that's what I do now. Much more fun than just TV.

10. Zela22 March 2010, 16:27 GMT +01:00

Don't be modest Cris. You are one of the RGB pillars and you do so much for the site. We have a real community here now with everybody so open and honest.

It is great to see we are on track of what we hoped to reach with this site.
Thank you all.

Is it time for a group hug already? ;-)

11. krayker22 March 2010, 16:31 GMT +01:00

@ 10. absolutely. You guys are Inspiration.

12. ciscopa22 March 2010, 17:03 GMT +01:00

A simple beginner like me can say that... you all are an inspiration.
And if I could manage better with english, I'd write more in the forum, but I read you...

13. fishmonk22 March 2010, 21:12 GMT +01:00

Be proud of what you can do, Scott - there's a lot of us who can't do half those things.

Good luck with the teaching thing, I work with children & there's no two days the same - but in a good way. Other stuff gets you down, of course - no job is perfect (?) but it is a great job.
It is worrying being a male in this profession - I can agree with you there, but what is the answer? I think the more of us & the more common sense used by everyone, the easier it will become.

All the best

14. krayker23 March 2010, 4:28 GMT +01:00

@ ciscopa,
this board is truly international, with people from all over the world, and not everyone can speak/ read/ write good english. but, the good thing is that, people communicate regardless of their ability to be good at the language - the fundamental thing about RGBstock is sharing & caring about each other - that's how we came together anyways!

it'd be nice to see everyone chip in their opinion, we have so much to learn from each other ....and, language, is no barrier!

15. xymonau23 March 2010, 5:44 GMT +01:00

Well, it would be if I had to write in Spanish! I can only grasp the vaguest idea of things written in French. Other languages remain a mystery to me. It's such a shame they waste our young years teaching us things we will never use. I know the world is changing, but it would have been nice to learn a second language when I was little. It stays with you longer that way. I did one year of high school French, with a teacher who couldn't speak it herself.

16. krayker23 March 2010, 6:56 GMT +01:00

Google translate comes in handy - I frequently use it when I have to read any foreign language!

17. ciscopa23 March 2010, 8:42 GMT +01:00

@14 I prefer the dictionary better than google translation..., but well, dictionary, google, or memory of my english classes long ago, I will try to continue writing here and knowing you all.

@15 Dez, if you want, you can try in Catalan, my other first language (I have two). And it is a little bit nearer to French ;)

18. decar6623 March 2010, 17:35 GMT +01:00

Such a creative person Scott, yeah, you should be proud of all the things you are able to do, what's wrong with that?. Don't be so sure the reason is lack of identity, search deeper. I usually get a very interesting and different aproach to problems when I am traveling and it helps me making solid decissions, being away from home some days, funny but truth, it works for me.

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