Limbo 2

Have you ever felt like you were in limbo? I rarely have. But I am feeling like that right now. I hate it!

I’ve always been one to have a goal. To have something, at least in the back of my mind, to work towards.

Up until fairly recently, that goal was to become ‘a ships captain and sail around the world (and get paid for it)’. I FINALLY achieved that goal in December of 2011. I earned my Master AGT (any gross tons) from the US Coast Guard. I was so happy, so thrilled, so stunned, to have FINALLY earned what I had worked so long and so hard for.

But, since then, I have been a little bit lost. I had been trying so long and so hard to reach that goal, that I hadn’t really figured out ‘what next?’

I’m still in that phase. Trying to figure out ‘what now?’. I was OK with that until I got laid off. Having work always kept me occupied. I never had to think about what was next. Working, and then busy as hell when I was home. I was able to travel, take courses, work on projects, etc. All because I knew I only had a month or so at home to get everything done that I needed to do.

Now, I am out of work (with no access to unemployment pay due to foreign employment over the last year). There is NO work in my field. I doubt there will be any until the price of oil goes back up to at least $70-80 per barrel. Hundreds of thousands of people have been laid off already in the oilfield and there are still more layoffs in the news every day. 😦

According to the people who think they know about this kind of thing, it could take another 2-3 years for the price to go back up to the point companies start hiring again. Some ‘experts’ think oil could go back up to $100 next year. Some people think it never will due to alternative energy increasing in efficiency and affordability (I think it will be decades before that happens).

So, I am in limbo. I am HOPING to get some work over the holidays (one trip now would give me 2-4 months leeway to find something else). All of my usual sources have dried up. I have ONE recruiter still telling me he’s got something coming up, but nothing definite yet. Christmas is less than a week away. I’m losing hope, but still not ready to throw in the towel yet.

So….. what am I going to do?

I WISH I could just say the hell with it all and ‘retire’! I WISH. But, if I plan to live more than 10 years, then I just can’t see how I could possibly survive for any time past that. Those 10 years would have to be spent living somewhere with a MUCH lower cost of living then the USA. I’m not objecting to that at all, in fact I would LOVE to move NOW to one of those places. The problem with that is that they won’t let me until I’m retired and/or have a ton of money!

Since I don’t know how long I might live, and hopefully it’ll be more than 10 years, I need to figure out some OTHER way to earn a living. I have all kinds of ideas. I’ve already tried a few: vending machines, rental property, investing in the stock market, painting, writing, photography, blogging. Not one of them has made anywhere near enough money for me to consider concentrating on just that one. The rental property comes close, but I’m still at the point where I need to subsidize them with regular work. 😦

I found a temporary job ashore through an old friend. It pays about 1/5 of what I normally make. It’s not every day. It won’t start up again til the end of January. It won’t pay the bills. But it pays 2-3 times more than any OTHER job I’m likely to find here. It helps.

I’m considering taking the TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) course. No, it won’t be enough to pay the bills either, but at least it will allow me to move somewhere less expensive to live. I think I might actually enjoy teaching and it might turn into something really interesting. The biggest problem with that is my fear/expectation that I would have to dress/act in a ‘professional manner’. UGH! I hate the thought of that!

So, while I sit around the house, hoping to get a call for a ‘real’ job, I try to work on my other (hopefully someday money-earning) projects. My writing, photography, blogging. Problem with that is I’m getting so depressed with the situation around here that I don’t feel like doing ANYTHING.

All the things I’d normally be doing in my time off, like sailing, going out to see friends, going to the zoo, going to do things in Houston, traveling, are either too expensive or I put them off cause I just don’t feel like getting out of the house. I’m getting super lazy, doing less and less every day. I didn’t even take my daily walk yesterday (I did today).

I really hate being in this situation, this limbo. If I knew for sure I could get regular work, and when, I could make some kind of decision. Knowing I would be leaving soon would motivate me to get off my ass and get some of these projects around the house done.

If I knew for sure there was no work (not still hoping to get some), I might decide to take the enforced time off to take the TEFL course. Or just take the time to concentrate on fixing this blog (the total disaster of moving it still needs to be fixed). Or work on photography. Or writing. Or painting.

Or, I might look harder at some of those sailboats looking for crew. That would be a cool adventure! I only wish they paid something, but there are always so many people out there willing to go for just the experience, or even to pay themselves! I know I would make a good crew on any passage. Too bad I don’t have the money now to put in for costs, or pay for transportation. 😦

So, limbo. I wish I knew something to do to motivate myself (other than having a job pop up).

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