~ Phantom F. Harlock
January 6, 2002
Welcome to Wyndspirit Dreams! This is my first attempt at a regular essay column, which I hope to upload by Sunday night. (Or early Monday morning, as I tend to keep rather late nightsÖ) There will be no specific theme for this column, just a journal of whatever I feel like rambling about. The object of this column is to keep my hand in at writing while life throws things topsy-turvy, and to maybe amuse a few people along the way. (Like my few Themestream fans who were disappointed when themestream.com went under.)
Right now my life is in the middle of a major upheaval. I work for a technology outsourcer, providing phone tech support for a large ISP account. After New Yearís, we were abruptly informed that the company was downsizing, and the ISP account (our biggest client) would be moving to the competition. By the end of January, we are all to be retrained and transitioned to the companyís other major account, a big name computer manufacturer, to provide hardware support! This will be the third of our four major accounts to leave in the two years Iíve been with the company. Everybody is wondering, what if the last one pulls out?
But I will no doubt talk more about that another time. Right now Iíd like to talk about the quote at the beginning of this essay. This has been my theme ever since I ran across it. You see, I am a professional writer wannabe. From the time I learned to put words together to form a sentence, all I have ever wanted to do was write. Amazingly, I never considered writing as a career choice while I was growing up. Writing was just something I did for fun, like reading.
Then I went out into the real world and, for the first time, began to realize that writing could actually be a career. I took two writing courses, was told I was "almost good enough," and got so burned out trying to become "good enough" that I completely lost the joy of writing and didnít recover it for years. I made my living working with my hands in factories, something I would have never imagined myself doing. The dream of being a writer would resurface now and then, but it promptly got stomped down by life. Then I began an ongoing battle with clinical depression, and I stopped dreaming at all. Then I decided it was time to get my act together and settle on a "real" career working with computers.
I spent two years in heaven at a vo-tech learning all about hardware and software and just enjoying being in a challenging intellectual environment. And I started writing again! Yes, the dream came back, full force. Then I rejoined the work force with big plans of dual careers working with computers and writing.
Again, life knocked me flat. The training that had seemed so promising could not find me a job anywhere. And so, I ended up working for this outsourcer, who, I had been assured, would hire anybody. It has been both good and bad. It has been good in that I work nights and frequently have idle time, and I have used some of it to write. But it has been bad in that, not only is the job totally against my nature and stressful even for those who enjoy that kind of work, but my self-esteem has taken a beating at this company.
Right before I learned that my account was closing, I had been given an advertisement for a clerical-type job opening. It paid considerably more, but was only part time. I dreamed over it for a day or so. Imagine, only three days a week, and doing nice, quiet, file clerk type stuff! No stress, all kinds of time to write. Heaven! But this is the real world, so I shoved it to the back of my mind. Then I went to work and heard the news. It got me thinking again, and I decided to apply for the other job after all. If that account goes, I donít want to be competing for jobs with 800 other newly-unemployed techs in our not-so-large town!
So I am taking a chance.
Will I make it? Will I get the job in the first place, and how will I deal
with it if I donít? If I do get the job, will I be able to make ends meet,
or will I end up crawling back to my old company begging for them to take
me back? Well, I won't be hearing about the job for a few days, and until
thenÖ I can dream!