I left New York behind at the very end of April and couldn’t have been happier. My finances weren’t great, however. I had invested way too much in the stock market and was deep in the red with an extension of unemployment benefits still pending. I couldn’t imagine Congress would allow over 3.1 million people, 300,000 of which were veterans, to suddenly have their only source of income taken away. Not only would it be immoral, but it didn’t make financial sense. When people have money they spend money which in turn generates tax revenue. Economists have already proven that it’s more beneficial to the larger economy to continue providing unemployment benefits than to not do so. Otherwise people begin to lose their homes, cars, etc. and wind up homeless. And the homeless don’t generate tax revenue, do they?
It’s pretty basic math, really.
So while I knew my stocks might not rebound in the short term, I thought the unemployment benefits at least would work out. And if BOTH worked out, then even better! But I didn’t count on John Boehner, Speaker of the House, blocking a vote on the bill. The House voted on getting rid of Obamacare 50 times with no hope of the law ever passing. But unemployment benefits? Not a single up-or-down vote.
I stayed at my cousin’s in Texas for just over a week, a fun stop but also a practical one since I had some belongings to pick up too. Then I went up to Colorado to visit another cousin and look for temporary work. I figured a couple months of working my ass off at 2-3 jobs would be enough income to keep my moving plans afloat, plus it would be enough taxable income to qualify for a new unemployment claim so I’d have some kind of buffer. I needed to bank at least 5k more to carry out my plans of securing a lease in California.
It didn’t happen.
I recognized the job market in Houston was a better bet and my cousin’s friend offered up his couch… so while I vastly prefer CO over TX any day, I had to be practical and follow the opportunity.
Two months later I had worked only about 50 hours between part-time tutoring and instructing a summer art camp for a week. I’d applied for nearly 150 jobs while in Houston and the employers there were either discriminatory due to technically being a convicted felon (appeal decision is pending, but looks promising) OR they were simply assholes. Take your pick. I was over-qualified for most of those jobs, if anything, so I was stunned when I was even shot down for an overnight stocking gig at a grocery store.
That was especially a major blow because it cemented just how challenging the job search would be.
What few funds I had began to dry up, along with my hopes and dreams of returning to Los Angeles. Right on cue, my future-roommate for L.A. abruptly changed his mind about moving there, making my climb even steeper.
Finally, I decided to return to Colorado to focus on Plan B. This involves shenanigans that I would be unwise to divulge, so I won’t be getting into details… but let’s just say it involves profitable, non-taxable work. Desperate times call for desperate measures and I’m not the type to hesitate when it comes to crossing a few lines to do what needs to be done. I briefly stayed with a friend in Pueblo, but it became far too frustrating. The dogs would shit all over the house and weren’t cleaned up, the internet wasn’t working (kind of important when applying for jobs and such, right??), and there was no AC or fan-action going on so the place was a goddamn sweat lodge.
Then things have gotten even worse. My paycheck from the art camp job that I’d cashed at the bank was stopped by the employer which erased 25% of my savings (which were insanely low already).
What next? With financial problems this severe, Plan A is off the table. Continuing along the path of Plan B could pay off, but there’s hefty risk involved. That leaves Plan C.
Nobody wants Plan C.