A Bird in the Hand

Is worth two in the bush.

I should have thought about that little rhyme a little bit more last week.

I had 2 prospective jobs last week. There’s the catch- “prospective’. Not actual. 🙁

I thought I was a shoe-in for both. I turned down one for the other that paid better. Lost out on both of them.

So, now I have nothing again.

I’m so disappointed.

I’m so frustrated

I’m so worried.

I’m so sad.

I’m so confused.

What should I do? What can I do? I want to just say the hell with it all and go away somewhere. I want to stop wasting my life here, hanging around trying to find work when there just isn’t any! I want to go spend some time somewhere where I can be happy, where I can do something useful, where I can have some fun, where I can learn new things, meet new people, try something different.

All I think of when I think of those things, is: how can I afford to leave? And to come back in time to renew everything I need to in order to keep my license? I need that license if I ever want to go back to sea again. If I don’t renew it in December, it’ll be like I’ve never stepped foot on a boat in my life, and I’d have just wasted 50 years of experience on the water! I DON’T want that to happen!

Actually, I’m starting to regret choosing this career. It’s mostly been good, it’s given me plenty of opportunities where I really enjoyed my job, plus plenty of time off and enough money to enjoy it. But, after all the years, after all the effort, after all the sacrifices I’ve made in order to keep working offshore- all it takes is the price of oil to drop and it’s over.

I’ve been out of work over 6 months already and there’s no telling when I’ll get back out there. IF I don’t manage to get enough sea time to renew next time, that’ll be it. It’s over! The way it’s going, the way the pundits are predicting, it might be years before the price of oil goes up, high enough for them to start hiring again.

There’s a lot more to it than just the price of oil. Mostly to do with the US Coast Guard and the IMO. That’s a whole other subject and enough for a book! All the things they’ve done to ruin this profession!

It’s an argument I’m having more and more often with myself. Keep trying, don’t give up til there is no hope of keeping that license? Knowing how much more time, effort, money and lost opportunities to LIVE LIFE? Or, give it up for good? Find some other way to support myself? Even the thought of that almost makes me cry. 🙁

And what else could I possibly do? I have no idea. I’ve been trying for over 3 years to earn some income from this blog. So far I haven’t earned even one cent. I’ve been trying to earn income from my art- painting and photography. In over 3 years, I’ve earned a grand total of $5.33. I’ve tried to earn income from writing. That’s been my big earner so far. I’ve earned $250!

So- what else is there?

I’ve invested in property. I have recently started to just about break even. That is only if there are no major repairs to be made. There’s always something that comes up so I lose money every year. Only ONE of my properties is worth selling. The rest of them will lose me a LOT of money if I try to sell them (due to major structural damage that has occurred since I bought them). I put that ONE property up for sale to help tide me over this period of unemployment, but haven’t had ONE offer since it was listed. Sure, I could lower the asking price, but then I would lose out on what I’ve spent on improving that one too! The rent from that house is all that’s keeping me above water, I’ve basically had NO other income this year!

So. What else is there? I’m trained to be a mariner. That’s it. I have no other papers (except a Math degree which has been totally useless so far). It seems pretty much all the decent jobs out there require some kind of certificate (at minimum) now. Do I have the time and money to spend to get one? NO. I will jump ship the 1st time they call me to go offshore!

Same goes for working a shore side job like McDonalds or Walmarts. I have applied there. I figured they must have a pretty high turnover, so I don’t feel bad about quitting if I get a call to go offshore. Problem is, even those jobs are not calling. They’ve all told me they won’t even start hiring til August.

I haven’t felt this bad in a long time.

What to do, what to do…

5 thoughts on “A Bird in the Hand

  1. It might be time for your book, “The Female Mariner,” or something like that. You have all those years to draw on and a unique perspective on the industry.

    • Yeah, it would be a good time for that IF I could get a computer here that worked without driving me up the walls!
      I can’t stand it that I’ve been home since March. I could have been getting all sorts of work done, writing, pitching stories, editing and uploading photos, but I’ve been struggling with my computer for HOURS every day just to get the bare minimum accomplished.
      It seems to be slightly better the last few days. Maybe I can start on some writing now?
      As for the book, I’ve been trying to think of what angle to come at it from. I don’t know if people really want to hear my whole life story, like a memoir or something like that? Make it a how to book? or more about what it’s really like out there? Make it more like a travelog? I’m just not sure how to go about it, who would my audience be? What would be the hook that grabbed their attention and made them want to read my book???
      I bought a book off Amazon not long ago. It was supposedly the #1 bestseller in that section (sailing). I couldn’t believe it! The guy was clueless! I thought ‘for sure, I could write a book better than that’! But then again, I’ve never bought a sailboat, I’ve never sailed one around the world or anywhere by myself (except my little sea snark when I was a kid). So, maybe not?

  2. Wish I had some useful suggestions for you. I hate to see you in this difficult and frustrating position after all you’ve been through and after all that hard work. Maybe it’s time to write that book. Hope that silver lining presents itself sooner rather than later. You are so deserving of a break!

    • Thanks Penny!
      I think about writing but never can get motivated to do much of anything now. I never realized how tied up in that job I’ve always been. It’s really hard mentally trying to make sense of what CAN I do?
      I’m still struggling with my blog, trying to find some way to make it work for me. Also with the photography. My computers and internet have been driving me nuts and so not able to get anything much accomplished for months now.
      I SHOULD be packing up my house, so I can rent it out and MOVE asap. To Panama, or Nicaragua, or Mexico, or pretty much anywhere other than here, where I can live on less and stop worrying so much about finances!
      I hope you’re doing great. It’s always so nice to hear from you. Sorry I haven’t kept up with your blog lately.

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