February 8, 2008

Responsive Ramblings

That whole post about me being laid off from work really caught fire (pun certainly intended), and brought up quite a few more thoughts than those related to my work and financial situation.

I thought I should adress some of these questions and ponderings in a post today - since I'm way too tired to do anything really creative. I've been working my butt off the last couple of day... wondering why I even bother. But, lets not get ahead of ourselves. Lets divide this into a couple of sub-categories, to keep me from rambling incoherently, and leaving you all frustrated with little to no understanding of what you've been reading... Yeah, I'm that tired today!

The whole Sweden thing:
One thing that really (surprisingly enough) caught on in the comments on that post was the fact that I reside in that small European country called Sweden. I thought Y'all knew about that by now.

Initially - when I started this blog - I had no intention of letting people know where I lived. That has proven to be difficult to hide. It all started when I was writing the Introduction to Rubicon Heart, where I realized I needed to tell of how we moved to another country when my mother and father got divorced. It was even long before that that I sometimes felt it was difficult to write what I wanted to say. One example would be the story of when I groped that chick on an airplane. Well, now that you know I was living way over here - it makes it easier to understand why a 16 year old kid would take an eight hour flight to visit his father... right?

Anyway. Another reason I've decided to let you all in on this little "secret", is because I feel it will be easier with that out there, and of course, make me feel like I am fully honest with you all, as I've always intended to be.

But, lets clarify some more.

I was born and raised American. At six, my mother divorced my father, and moved back to her home country - Sweden - bringing me along. I didn't see my father for seven years after that. I barely heard from him. But, as I hit my pre-teen years we started to get in touch again, as he had gotten his life back on track. I've been going back and forth between Sweden and the US ever since.

It is quite possible I may return to America in the not so distant future.

The Relief:
Having had some time to reflect upon losing my job, after the initial shock, I've come to the conclusion that it really is for the best. I mean, you have all heard me complaining about the Hell Hole I work at.

Another reason to feel relieved at being laid off presented itself the day after I received the news. This coming week is my "slow" week. Always has been - the week when I work Tuesday, Thursday and the weekend only. So, I decided to look on the schedule to see which time I needed to come in on Tuesday... the time I start varies from 8AM to 10PM. Much to my surprise I notice that I am scheduled to work on Monday.

What the hell? I haven't worked a monday in a year at the place. Monday's are my day off! Now, apparently, I'm due in at 1PM til 7:30PM - what kind of idiot hours to work are those? On Tuesday I work 2PM til 7:30PM, and it goes on. Now that slow week leaves only Wednesday off, and instead I start working afternoons til closing every fucking day. Hell no! I'm not doing those hours... the whole day is ruined working those hours. I need my days off!

Maybe they are just trying to piss me off the last couple of months. Well, I've got news for them - I was pissed off long before they started messing with my schedule!

The financial side of things:
This is what worries me. I've got to pay rent - and I've got payments on my brand new car. Add to that regular living costs, such as phone, television, my internet connection, food, drink (BEER!) and the occasional hooker... oh, sorry (!!!) - I mean; martini for the pretty lady at the bar, so she will agree to come home with me and let me... STOP IT!

Really. As it is, I barely make ends meet every month. Too often I am forced to dip into my savings account, and there is nothing worse than watching my savings decrease. I simply need to find a job that will prevent me from falling into poverty.

That is not as easy as it sounds... not over here. Unemployment is one of the biggest problems in this country. And, to pour salt into my gaping wound, as I listened to the radio the morning after I was laid off, the news predict a higher unemployment rate during 2008. Could they not have waited a couple of days before bringing me that information?

The Future:
This is the thing that I will probably be thinking really hard about for the next few weeks or months.

If it was all up to me. If I didn't have to take other people into account, I know exactly what I would do. I would go back to the States and persue that career in the movies that I've wanted since I was a little kid.

I mentioned it to one of my co-workers today.

"I've been thinking maybe I should just move back to the States and take a shot at Hollywood."

"That's what you HAVE to do!", she says. "I don't understand why you haven't done so a long time ago. You clearly don't belong here."

"Yeah, I know. It's not easy... you know - it's not like were 20 any longer"

"What? You don't have a wife and kids or anything. You can just go. If I wasn't married and didn't have kids I would be gone tomorrow!"

"There really isn't anything keeping me here, is there?"

And, while I pondered that. Yes - there is the thing about my mother. I know that life for her would be so much worse without me around. She's not a young gal, and she needs help with a lot of things... She also suffers from massive depression, and anxiety attacks. It would be horrible for her if I decided to move that far away.

But, I need to think about my own happiness too. I don't feel like I DO belong here. Not only do I not belong in a furniture store... I don't really belong in this country. Never really have - not in my heart.

But... if I do return. Where do I go? My father is no longer around, so there's really no reason to move back to Florida - except for the fact that I love it down there, and the fact there is a house available for me there. Having a place to live means a lot. Yeah - Florida would be my first choice if only considering where I want to spend my days.

Connecticut is where I still have family... but I'm not looking to move back there - I hate the winter, remember? Still, it would be nice to be close to family that I've not ever really had the chance to really get together with.

California... Hollywood. So... cliché! And, I've never set foot on the west coast in my life. But - still, that would be the place to go if I am really serious about giving a theatrical career a shot. And... imagine how this blog would change should I embark on that adventure. Honestly... that too sounds quite appealing to me ;) "Adventures of a Rambling Madman on Hollywood Boulevard".

There is yet another option. There is this baseball simulation that I've wanted to make. A computer game that has been neglected ever since I started blogging. Programming a game all alone is really hard work... but I believe I could make it a good one. What if I took time off from working and tried to finish that thing off? How much could I make from selling that? Enough to make it all worth while?

And, of course. I could write a novel or some movie scripts, and hope to sell or publish those.

So much going on in my head the last few days... and I still don't know what my decision will be. Still - I don't really need to make any decision just yet. I've got a couple of months still...

One thing is certain though... it's time for CHANGE!


Jay said...

You know, I did read that in Rubicon Heart about you moving to Europe with your mother. For some reason I thought you had moved back to the US though. I confuse easily. ;-)

Florida isn't the worst idea. No state income taxes and there is a movie industry there too.

Lots of tough decisions to make though dude. I'm not a great advice giver, but you'll have to just sit down and work it all out in your own mind. Can you move your mother to Florida too?

Beautifully Profound said...

I hate Florida. I used to say New Jersey is the asshole of America and Florida is the flusher handle. But hey, whatever works for you. Moving that far is a really hard decision that only you can make for yourself. I read in a book my friend just gave me about Americans living abroad that one key thing about living and working abroad is you have to have the ability to fail. Don't come back here and think everything is going to be hunky dory. The states is having it's own set of troubles as you may or may not know.

Don't get me wrong I have total faith in you. I wouldn't want you to move and be terribly disappointed. You have the drive, you're hard working, and practical. If anyone can make it happen I am sure you are the one to do it. Just weigh your options carefully.

Funny though, I am just about to leave the U.S. and you may just be coming back! I am makin room for yah REH.


Karen said...

I think I have to challenge Beautifuly Profound to throw-down! New Jersey is one of the most dynamic places to live in the US. We have mountains, beaches, 4 seasons, big cities and farm lands. We are one of wealthiest states in nation and we on the fringe of the most important city in the world. That is hardly the "asshole" of the US.

REH - I am sure I had something to say about your post also, but I got distracted. Sorry.

Sparkling Red said...

It really is a new beginning for you. The possibilities are exciting. Trust your intuition, and you'll end up where you're meant to be. :-)

Anonymous said...

Change is good!

I need to make a few changes in my life as well.

I guess time will tell what is in store...

Dana said...

I have no doubt that you will figure this out, and I look forward to reading about the process. You really are in a position where the possibilities are endless - take advantage of that and don't let fear hold you back!

Anndi said...

Wow... first time visiting and... wow.

I understand about your mother. I'm faced with a similar decision. Follow my heart and move very far away and (I'm assuming you are an only child) leave my Dad alone, or stay and be miserable. It's a tough decision.

I wish you enlightement.

Good luck

Knight said...

Please do think about your own happiness. You owe it to yourself. So, New York isn't even considered? Think of all the theatre!

Jay Cam said...

lol you could probably save a lot of cash by laying off the girls a little... or just find some cheaper ones!

hope you get a job soon! really!!

R.E.H. said...

Jay: Well, I did move back to the States... and then I moved back to Sweden again ;) I guess I just don't know where I belong ;)

Florida is great. It's not as cheap living there as it used to be though, from what I hear. My father's wife still lives down there and she keeps complaining about how expensive everything is now. But, it's still cheaper to live there than most places.

Beautifully Profound: How can you hate Florida? It's got the weather! It's got the beaches! It's got manatees (you ever seen those? Awesome animals!). Just don't go to Miami. Miami is not all it claims to be. Central Florida is where you should go.

Anyway. Yeah - you would know all about change. Speaking of which. Have you been to Australia before? Or did you two just meet in the States?

Karen: Gotta defend your home state, I can understand. (I had to defend Florida a little up there too).

Sparkling Red: I will trust my intuition... only it's a little bit confused right now ;)

Preposterous Ponderings: Change IS good. Change can also be a bit intimidating!

R.E.H. said...

Dana: don't let fear hold you back! - I think that may be a key factor here. I keep going back and forth on a few ideas, and I keep hearing myself say "Yeah, but think about losing this and that"...

Anndi: Welcome!

So good to hear I'm not the only one faced with this decision. Not that I'm happy you're IN that situation, but I was beginning to think I was the only one ;)

I am an only child, but lost my sister many years ago. So for my mom that makes it even worse if I move away, because she's already lost her first born. I am everything she has left. Moving away would make me feel bad about that - I know that much. But, at the same time, I see happiness for myself making that move.

I wish you too the best of luck.

Knight: New York is definitely an option. I love the big N.Y. It's an amazing city. I once almost moved there, as I wanted to get into the Lee Strasberg Institute. I was even called in for an interview, but couldn't make it at the time.

Jay Cam: Lay off the girls? Did you just totally lose your marbles? Lay off the girls?!

I'd rather quit food! ;)

Beautifully Profound said...

I've lived in Florida. Fort Meyers. I hated every second of it. As for NJ I guess I would be referring to all the city spots. I donno I just don't like it. No offense to either one of you though. As far as ever living in Aus. Nope never been. As a matter of fact I've never been on a plane before! It's all quite exciting.

Jen said...

Only you will know what to do when the time comes. I have no doubt.

I love America, but I've never been outside of it in the European areas - ever. I've been around the Caribbean Islands, Mexico (touristy places) and when I was a wee little one, to Canada. I've traveled everywhere in the US & love it still.

I just appreciate what I have had my entire life here, but that isn't to say there aren't some "armpits of America".

Yeah, I know. I didn't say much of anything here. ***laughing*** But gpod luck with your decision. You'll do well.

R.E.H. said...

Beautifully Profound: Ok. So you lived in Florida - I will respect your opinion ;)

Never been on a plane before? Wow! Well, you're gonna love that part. It's a truly magnificent experience - one that I will never tire of. The take-off is the best part!

Jen: I love America too. I've never been further west than Florida though, and never further North than Connecticut ;)

I also went to Canada as a little kid, and I don't remember much of it.

Also traveled through most of Europe, and there are quite a few interesting places to visit there to.

Next - I want to see Asia and Africa... and Australia. I want to see the whole world! ;)

Anonymous said...

Come on back to the states and write a book, I would so buy it!! take your time with your decisions, but hey staying in a cabin somewhere for a couple of months you will have written about 2 books!!! I love your writing so I know you will do good!!


Tequila Mockingbird said...

a few things: a) if youre moving to the states, you need to come to minneapolis. hell, i'm about to go out drinking right now, and YOU could be joining me. it would be WAY more fun that making out with some chick on an airplane.

b) if youre going down to fla, make sure you visit the hooters i used to work at. the one in tampa bay... those chicks give oral way better than some martini-ed up prosty.

c)i should add, the swedish do really well here in minnesota. and you ARE half swedish...

liv said...

i hope that whatever you decide, you follow your heart. and, hey, florida's not so far away from where i am. maybe we'd be neighbors...well, sort of.

tt said...

Wow!! So much advice has been offered up to you that I don't think I can add anything original. It's all been said. And that's a good thing. What did strike me is that through your blog you have touched so many people. How amazing is that!! And if you were to decide to come to the U.S. think how you'd never have to pay for a Hotel...Surely there are enough of us spred out that where ever you travel, you'd have a place to lay your head for a few nights. What a nice warm blanket feeling that must be. :)
Go with your heart babe.
We'll always be here to cheer you on with whatever you decide.

Alli said...

Best wishes, too you, REH!!!

Maybe you should get a job in the good ol' U. S. of A. :)

R.E.H. said...

Single In The City: Thank you for commenting on my writing. I've been thinking about not working for a couple of months (trying to make do with benefits only), and doing some writing.

Tequila Mockingbird: A) I'd be very tempted indeed. You sure it would be even MORE fun than fondling strangers on an airplane?

B) You used to work at a Hooters? Well, I'll take your word on their oral abilities. Hotters, Tampa Bay. Noted - and will certainly go there some time.

C) I've noticed, when in the States, that telling of my Swedish heritage works wonders on the chicks. ;)

Liv: Anywhere I go in the US we'd be closer "neighbors" than right now, though. I will make sure to listen to my heart.

TT: Thank You! You sure know how to cheer a guy up, I must say. I love all of you readers of my blog, and all those encouraging and loving comments really helps. I wonder how I would be dealing with this situation today if it wasn't for all of you. I'm not saying I would be all depressed and stuff - because I wouldn't - but I would probably not have had the confidence and the desire to really make something different happen if I wasn't blogging, and having all you guys reading it.

Thank you. I really mean that!

Alli: Thanks. Yeah, a change of scenery would probably do me good right now. No job - No The One... going someplace new would be an exciting thing right now.

HoosierGirl5 said...

Hey there...Sorry about your job. I know how stressful that can be.

Second, I am here to tell you that I did your birthday meme. Consider yourself notified.

Third, I think you should move to Louisville, Kentucky (the big city across the river from where I live). Florida is too hot, and NY is too weird. Here in Indiana/Kentucky, we're just rednecks! (ha, ha)

Seriously, good luck. I'm sure you will land on your feet no matter what.


Leighann said...

As usual you've gotten some great advice here. I think at the end of the day, your gut and your heart will lead you down the right path.

Enjoy it. You only live once.

Casdok said...

You sound a lot more positive which is great. The world is your oyster, and somehow things have a way of working out.

Tequila Mockingbird said...

indeed. when i was in college, i worked at hooters. great tips, but i still have friends who give me shit about it. i figured i would be objectified anyway, why not capitalize off of it?

anyway, i KNOW it would be a metric ass ton of more fun than fondling a stranger on a plane. just try and prove me wrong...

Dianne said...

forgive me if you answered this already, I looked and didn't notice. Can you bring Mom to the states with you?

I gotta tell you that, as a single Mom of a 34 yr old son, I have always wanted my son to be free and to be happy. I have often pushed him away when he felt obligated. Your Mom has some medical needs so I know it is more complicated for you.

I do feel that you will absolutely find your way.

Oh and your current schedule - that's the kind of crap hours I get at my 2nd job so I know how you feel!

R.E.H. said...

HoosierGirl5: Florida is only too hot if you don't like the heat... and I LOVE warm weather ;)

Redneckville, Louisville... there was a time when people thought I was a redneck, in fact.

I'll check out the Birthday Meme.

Leighann: You're so right. We only live once... gotta make the most of our time here.

Casdok: Thanks. Yeah, I do feel a little better about everything now that I've thought about it.

Tequila Mockingbird: What? Are the bimbos that work at Hooters objectified? ;)

I have no doubt you'd be more fun than airplane fondling!

Dianne: Nah, I couldn't take her along for several reasons. Her health wouldn't allow it. She would have no income what so ever, and I would probably have to sedate her to get her on an airplane. She has a serious phobia... I don't know how she managed to fly those times that she did... but it included lots of valium and vodka ;)

Since she doesn't drink anymore - the vodka is out of the picture...

Anonymous said...

OMG, I didn't know you got fired. Anyway; that is nothing to worry about-you can find an interesting job in the same field of interest of think of Hollywood :)
Hopefully,things will be fine

R.E.H. said...

Joel: Thanks. Yeah, it'll be hard to find a job as despicable as the one I'll be leaving. Hollywood does have its attractions! Well, see what I do next...

flutter said...

holy hell. Big changes, but you seem to roll with the punches pretty well. Perhaps now is the time to write a book?

Anonymous said...

If I were in your position I think I'd be both scared and excited. "The world is your oyster." Have fun figuring it out. Don't sweat the money stuff too much.


R.E.H. said...

Flutter: Yeah, I've been slapped around before ;) I may actually write one.

Emmeline: I am a little scared, actually. But, mostly I'm excited... and confused ;)

Jo said...

You have tough choices, REH, and I think you're absolutely the man to turn them into something wonderful, life-changing, worth the trip.

I sympathize with your feelings about your mom...that would be the heart-wrencher for me too. But as a mom, I can say what I want most for my son is that he chases down his best life.

The great thing about Hollywood is that you know in a very short amount of time if you can hack it here. It chews up a lot of people, but also makes life for others. And you'll already know at least one half-Swede when you arrive! Plus we have the best-looking hookers :P

R.E.H. said...

Jo: Oh, yeah! That's right - you were half Swedish too! Cool ;)

Yeah, the mom thing is actually a bummer. Now if she were healthy and all - I could go, and not feel guilty about it... but as it is... I don't know - yet.

I could make a break for it, and if Hollywood chews me up and spits me back out - I could always come back, right? There's a thought...

Guilty Secret said...

It's good to be properly in the picture about Sweden. I did wonder about that.

I like watching you go through this process of change, seeing what is ahead of you...

R.E.H. said...

Guilty Secret: Yeah, felt I should come clean about that ;)

There are probably interesting times ahead of us.

g-man said...

That is an awful lot to ponder. Take your time. Good luck with it, I'm sure you will come to a resolution.

R.E.H. said...

G-Man: Thanks. Yeah, it will certainly take a lot of serious thought, and I won't be making any rushed decisions. I'm very confused about the whole thing still...

Newt said...

New York baby, think New York!

R.E.H. said...

Newt: New York would be a good choice. Wonderful city!