Make A New Plan, Stan

by Susan Pogorzelski on July 31, 2008 · 0 comments

As I wrote in my previous post, I’m trying to put together a plan — a six month plan, to be exact. Three months is too few and a year is too long…much, much too long. So, while I need to be flexible, have patience, and appreciate what I have, I also need to have some kind of goal in mind — both personally and financially — if I want to move forward and try to achieve my dreams.

This past year I’ve been “going with the flow,” trying to let life guide me. That’s easier said than done and has resulted in a very slow-go. While that “ride the tide” mindset has been freeing in some regards, I also believe that it has contributed to the familiar, uneasy feeling of stagnation — kind of akin to walking on a treadmill: I could walk for miles, but I would still end up in the same exact spot.  Creating some kind of plan is the only course of action I can think of that will ease the restlessness and anxiety I’ve been harboring and get me off of that treadmill.

Here’s the lowdown of where I currently stand: I’m working a temporary job as I actively pursue a career in the publishing industry, which I’m eager to relocate for. My lease on my apartment is up in two months, and I can’t renew because a) I can’t afford another rent increase and b) it’ll put a hitch in that whole relocation thing. And, finally, most excitedly, I’m going to France for a month.

Taking all of this into consideration, it’s time to formulate a game plan.

First up: Identify the problems.

Problem 1: Let’s say that I’ll be staying in the area for the next six months…I’ll need to have a job that can support me financially while offering the flexibility I would require for opportunities that may arise. Problem #1 has been solved, thanks, in part, to my employers (see Solution #1).

Problem 2: Habitat. Residency. Domicile. Whatever word you choose (and trust me, I sat here with Roommate and a thesaurus for a good five minutes), the fact remains the same: my lease is up, and I need a place to live. While other problems play a role, this is by far the greater issue.

Problem 3: Financial stability. Right now, I have none. If I were to sign for a third year, I would really have none. Negative none. And I can’t go on like that for long.  If I do go to France, I will need money to finance it, and if when I relocate, I’ll need to have money saved up in the case that I relocate without a job.

Ok, so now that we’ve identified the problems, let’s talk possible solutions.  The good thing is that I have options; the bad, I’m still uncertain which one to take. 

Solution #1: I had a meeting with my supervisor yesterday; they want to extend my assignment throughout the rest of the year, possibly longer.  They are fully aware that I’m seeking a job in my field and that I have plans to relocate, and if I find my “dream job,” as they put it, they encourage me to pursue it.  In the meantime, I was told, they would love to have me continue, even acquiring more responsibility. I told them that I would be more than happy to stay for as long as they might need me, but that I also had the opportunity to go abroad for a month.  That’s an opportunity you can’t pass up, they said, and it wouldn’t be a problem — as long as I come back, they would have my job waiting for me. 

It feels good to have established myself as a valuable employee, even as a temp, and having the support of your employers makes a world of difference. I could be cynical and say that maybe they’re making promises that they can’t keep, but that’s why I’m suddenly grateful that I’m working at a temporary agency — because it offers me the flexibility I need to inspire dreams and pursue opportunities that may never have been possible before.  In short, one way or another, whether at this placement or a new one, upon my return I’ll still have a job.  And that’s pretty reassuring.

Solution 2 and 3: These go hand in hand because what I decide as far as living arrangements will directly impact how I stand financially.  I have two options:

a) Find a place where the rent is substantially cheaper and that will allow for a shorter, possibly month by month lease. 

b) Move back home.

You know those “bang head here” signs that you see taped to the back of doors and desks? That’s kind of  how I feel when I think about the situation.

I love home. In fact, lately I find myself spending more time there than at my own place. It’s absolutely a comfort thing, I’ll admit it. When everything else is so uncertain, it’s my one stability, the place that will never change.

With that being said, however, I really, really, really don’t want to move back home. I value my independence, I like feeling like an adult and having a place to call my own, and I can’t tell you how much I don’t want to be a part of the statistic. And yet, it’s the only thing that makes responsible sense right now.

  • I will be saving $500+ a month on rent and utilities. Saving. Meaning, whatever I earn will actually go into my bank account. And stay there! Imagine that!
  • It will provide me with the additional flexibility I need — if I go abroad for a month, I won’t have to pay for an apartment I won’t even be in, and if I find a job, I can easily move without any stipulations.
  • My parents are cool. I’m really lucky that they are so supportive, and I know that they will respect the fact that I’m an adult (or at least trying to be).
  • I won’t have to give up Riley (which I wasn’t really willing to do anyway, but this is an added bonus). The only negative is having to separate from Mikey for awhile,  as a cat in the house is a no-no because of their dog; however, Mike is head-over-heels for Roommate’s cat anyway, so her taking both is one possibility, and I have some other friends who may be willing to take him in for awhile as another option. 

Well, now that I’ve just sorted everything out, the answer is clear. I don’t exactly know how I feel about it all yet — relieved? depressed? I’m not entirely sure. 

I do know that I feel optimistic now, as there are suddenly possibilities. I may not know exactly where I’m going, I may not have it all mapped out, but that just means that there’s room for flexibility and change. My plans are temporary and tentative, but they are serving as something to aim for, a direction to guide me as I navigate the next few months and move onto a new phase of my life.

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