Tag Archives: unemployment

The Holy Grail & Lessons from Teeth

The Holy grail cup placed on a rock in a cave, with a beam of light shining on it from above.

I’ve been chasing an ever-elusive thing my entire adult life, and it’s beginning to feel like a lost cause.

My Holy Grail? A fulfilling life where I’m healed, not struggling in poverty, with love, and meaning. I’ve failed at all of these quests. I’m tired of just surviving.

“The Holy Grail (French: Saint Graal, Breton: Graal Santel, Welsh: Greal Sanctaidd, Cornish: Gral) is a treasure that serves as an important motif in Arthurian literature. Various traditions describe the Holy Grail as a cup, dish, or stone with miraculous healing powers, sometimes providing eternal youth or sustenance in infinite abundance, often guarded in the custody of the Fisher King and located in the hidden Grail castle. By analogy, any elusive object or goal of great significance may be perceived as a “holy grail” by those seeking such.”

Source: Wikipedia

My previous job was very close meeting all my needs. It was work I could do, and I was good at it. The hours were reasonable, I eventually had harmonious work relationships, I was able to grow by making mistakes and learning from them, I was able to heal part of my attachment issues, and I was modeled mature communication. Having a free source of weed was a nice perk, too, then. Having fun work relationships was nice. But it’s over. I can’t physically handle the work, and I’m not that person anymore.

I want a lot more out of work.

I have to take what I learned and use it going forward to the next thing.

Whatever that ends up being.

The math assessment.

Yesterday I took a Math assessment test as required for college class requirements. I got a score of 14 out of 51, which placed me in Math 081 classes, well below the level I would need to register for Math 116, the class I would take in my first quarter in college. I do have two more free attempts, but doing this test brought up resistance.

There is no worse feeling than realizing that you are going to fail because you aren’t skilled enough at something. I felt so embarrassed that I didn’t remember how to do basic math. I completely forgot the formulas and abilities of how to solve geometry, fractions, some algebra, and addition/subtraction/multiplication/division without a calculator. I once knew and was good at all of these basic math subjects. Now, I look at them and draw a blank.

I don’t like math. I had decent grades until I stopped at precalculus because I was going to culinary school. But, since I went to college for the first time, and the previous time I went back briefly, I’ve loathed doing math. I don’t remember how to do a lot of the math I did growing up. It was useless for my time working in the restaurant industry. For any of the work after that, all I needed was basic math and a calculator.

I hate taking math classes in college because:

  • 1) I have to pay for it, or it takes up previous student grant money
  • 2) I feel it’s taking hostage classes I’m actually interested in
  • 3) I don’t see how it’s relevant in the psychology career path I’m going to college for.
  • 4) I don’t want to relearn stuff I will not be using again.

Such as fractions. Fuck fractions… The only time they’re somewhat useful is for measuring cups, but even then, once you know the metric weight or general ounce amount, they become annoying.

I understand the importance of math in society, needing to learn it growing up and be well-rounded once you enter the work world. I acknowledge that it plays an important part in science and many careers. There never has been a time when it would be great if many people had critical thinking skills and could analyze the information they are presented with on the news.

The point of college is finding work with a higher salary than not going to college.

Taking the math test isn’t about math. It’s about me facing failure and my inadequacies in the subject.

I’m sensitive to rejection because of ADHD.

Inadvertent gold from my long-time dentist, Dr. Phi.

Today, I went to the dentist after taking the math placement test. Going in, I assumed that it would be a regular cleaning or possibly something terrible as I spotted a dark spot on the top of the second to last tooth in the back right of my mouth. In my immediate family’s history and dental history, it equals DOOM.

Not the fun classic PC game where you slay demons on Mars with various sci-fi guns.

Surprise Pc GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Doom, as in drills, pulled teeth, root canals, and tooth crowns. While I had not had any dental problems before, it’s become a source of fear because my mother has had an awful history with her teeth. This is because she used to crack hazelnuts to eat the nuts as a kid. As a result, she’s had problems because of that. Which has become a lifetime worth of fear of the dentist. She has taken care of her teeth since then, but the root canals, crowns, and other unfortunate teeth-related things she and my brother have faced created a deep fear in me regarding the dentist. Even when our family dentist is incredibly skilled, kind, funny, and a good dude.

Enter yesterday. To start, my long-time dentist, Dr. Phi, is amazing. This is a man who went to dental school in Vietnam, immigrated to the US, went back to dental school again to be able to practice here, and has been doing this work for over 20 years. There can’t be many dentists like him with this much experience and training in the world. It’s nice to know I’m in good hands. Plus, he’s kind and funny. I need to remember the latter to laugh and breathe through my nose when he’s cleaning my mouth.

I say at least 20 years because he told me today that I’ve been going to see him since 2001. Wow, I feel old. I haven’t had many conversations with him, one because it’s not possible at the dentist, and two because it’s his vibe– he and his staff are friendly, and I feel comfortable, but it’s small talk. How are you doing? What are you coming in for? How’s your family? Why haven’t you been in in a while? Kinda thing.– To be frank, I’m not great at scheduling regular teeth cleanings. I care for my teeth well and do not need extra dental care. For once, it’s nice not to worry about a health issue.

The results of the dental visit?

Cat with cartoon eyes and mouth with human teeth, mouth wide open.

The teeth assessment.

My teeth are great, and the one concern I had going in was nothing to worry about. He said something that was exactly what I needed to hear:

He said, playfully: “You came in all worried about a bunch of things that you had nothing to worry about.”

He then explained to me what to look for in unhealthy teeth. You don’t want the teeth or dark spot to sink in. What I had was a scar from a baby tooth that broke to give way to the adult tooth. I had a stain on top of the scarred tooth.

While waiting to see if I had to pay, he opened my file, held the x-rays of my lower right jaw, and nodded. It’s the same as it was 22 years ago. No cavities, no problems all this time. I’ve had clean, healthy teeth for many years in a row.

All of this is because I have been consistent with dental hygiene. I don’t have perfect teeth. They aren’t pearly white (which doesn’t mean they’re healthy and have to use chemicals to appear that way), My bottom row of teeth is not lined up, and I have uneven gaps on the top row, and I’m working on flossing regularly. I could get braces to make them perfect, but I don’t care about that.

The point is that this part of my life is successful and healthy because I have kept at it every day to ensure health. I control what I can and keep at it. When I saw a potential problem, I scheduled an appointment with an expert, someone I trust to see what was up.


I was reminded that sometimes your worries aren’t founded. My anxiety has gotten worse in the past 16 months because of Long Covid. It is natural to be stressed out and anxious to be worried about a new health condition that is barely understood and in the process of being studied by science. Adjusting to this new normal has been challenging. It’s why I had to change careers.

I resigned from a job where I had worked the longest I ever had at any one place.

I realized I needed a different career path and wanted to find it in college. I’ve only been to community college and not to a university before. I am pretty sure this path is psychology, and I want to become a therapist. At the same time, I have not had the opportunity to explore what I want. College is the one place where you have many paths available to you and can easily change it.

What was my point again? Oh yeah.

I’ve been stressed out these past months because there have been massive changes that I initiated.

So, I need to stop stressing about what could happen and the negative outcomes and instead just do it. If I fail, then start over. Even if I don’t know everything and why I need to do something, have some faith and trust in those who know what they are doing. Have faith in yourself that you will be okay whatever happens. Success is small progress every day over a long period. Sometimes it may come quicker, and sometimes you may fail fast.

I must become comfortable with the unknown and become comfortable with failure again. Once I do, I’ll get where I want. A successful man is comfortable with failing because he knows he can handle it and move forward.

I’m anxious and stressed because it appears my future is unknown and I don’t know what I want to do for work in the short term or long term.

Failing at math or other subjects in college is far better than failing at a minimum-wage job.

A Series of Changes

Siamese cat laying on a bench next to a partially opened window. It's bright and sunny May day outside.

I am unemployed and going through an Existential Crisis

Once again, I am going through a transformation period in my life. I feel unknown to myself, and the future feels murky. Some of these choices are my own. Some were not, and I had to decide what to do.

The upside to this is that I can receive unemployment again. Unlike the last time I received it, during the Pandemic Shutdown of 2020 and into early 2021 with the extensions, I have to apply for work every week. I really don’t want to look for work right now. I acknowledge that I can’t live this way forever and have to get work because that is the world’s cruel reality. Like most of my fellow millennials, I feel that I will not ever be able to retire. If I somehow do, it sure looks like the rising sea levels from the ice caps melting from climate change will ruin the future. Unemployment is the only vacation I’ll get. Which, as anyone unemployed for an extended period will tell you, is not a vacation. It’s stressful and not relaxing. I haven’t been able to enjoy any of the time to myself because I have been so stressed about the future. Yes, I will have some money for the future, at the cost of applying to 3 jobs a week that I don’t want. I hate working. This last job was the closest of meeting my needs until it didn’t.

I really would like to have work that meets my needs. I know it’s impossible to not work, so I’d rather do something that is meaningful, pays decently, and doesn’t drain me. I’m tired of numbing myself and avoiding reality because life sucks. Because I’m not living in alignment with my values and not living a life that makes me want to escape reality.

Black text on painted wood: May you have the courage to break the patterns in your life that no longer serve you. From Reddit.

I am very different than I was the last time on unemployment.

The difference? Long Covid. It’s going on for 15 months, and I’m still dealing with this. This is the main reason I quit my previous job. While there were other reasons, all of them I could handle while working or finding similar work in the field. But, my body gave out. Chronic fatigue is a bitch. No matter how much I tried to make it work and how much work tried to accommodate, it didn’t work out. More on why in the posts below:

On the positive side, I have changed in the two years since I was unemployed. I’ve done a bunch of healing and inner work from the books I read while working and from going to therapy. I healed through osmosis at my previous job by going through tough situations and being around good people. I have to give credit for the good too. That workplace became a complex relationship.

Another positive is that I haven’t consumed pot in over three months and only had one cocktail during that time. I made a margarita last week. While delicious, the hangover and depression the following days were awful. I may have to face the reality that I can’t drink again. This isn’t the first time I’ve felt awful after drinking. Now, because of my health conditions, I’m even more sensitive to it. I chose to stop both for health reasons and was told by my doctor that I’d recover. Now that I’ve recovered from Serotonin Syndrome (I think), and been sober, I feel much better despite the lows.

During those lows, I was on the edge of existence but held on and turned to help.

So, I am stressed out and frustrated because I likely can’t work in my previous fields of work. I can’t physically handle working full time anymore, and I don’t want to commit to a job because I plan on going back to school for the Fall college quarter in September.

The plan for the future… For now.

I am not 100% sure that I want to become a therapist by going back to school. While I have had a special interest in psychology, how relationships work, masculinity, and self-help topics to understand myself and heal myself, doing it for work to help others is a different thing.

I do like helping others who are struggling. I do like the idea of contributing to a healing industry. I like that I could be a small part of guiding people and healing societal problems. Maybe contributing to current psychological research.

I dunno. This kinda feels like I’m going through the motions because I have to make money at something. Yeah, while going to school I could change majors if it doesn’t work out, but that is an expensive gamble. At the same time, I do not want to do any more blue-collar work or “boot camps” because those are tied to heavy corporate or business-related careers. Work has been a chore I have to do to survive. Occasionally it has been fun because of coworkers, but not because of the work itself. I liked what I could do alongside the work, such as listening to music, audiobooks, or watching videos.

I could simply be biased by recent feelings and my existential-colored glasses.

Maybe I’m tired of betting on career potential.

Well, doing something is still better than staying the same. 😮‍💨 🤷

On a separate note, it feels like the traffic on the blog is dying. I haven’t made this easier as my post times have become inconsistent. I’ve also questioned lately whether I am still interested in continuing to do this as I don’t want to play the SEO game or do the other little things that are required to make this blog relevant in the eyes of search engines or others. I don’t know why I’m doing this anymore, as it is a lot of work to write this to the quality I prefer, and it is disappointing that this blog isn’t growing. Maybe this is the best I can expect for a personal blog with random topics that don’t consider the audience or me following the rules a blogger needs to do for success. Maybe this is just me externalizing my feelings of feeling lost and pressured to find the next thing that pays the bills. Or my drive to feel like I have accomplished something in life and produced something of note. I don’t like feeling like a failure or a loser in life. But it sure looks like I am one at 37 in my life. The one thing that I have complete control over, I fail.

I guess I could continue with this random post schedule without doing SEO stuff (and it’s not worth it to hire someone for a tiny blog with a limited audience such as this blog) and doing the little advertising I do. A big reason I started blogging is to connect with others. It’s very frustrating to work hard on a post after blogging for three years, and nobody comments or likes it. I know that I can’t force y’all to do it, but I’d really appreciate it. I’m way too isolated as is.

Single and Unemployed on the same day

Throwing a paper plane to the moon, wishing for a better life
Photo by Rakicevic Nenad on Pexels.com


Oh man, I didn’t want to go to work today. Didn’t get enough sleep, felt hungover, and all I could manage to eat my usual morning almond milk-coffee, and a mason jar of water. I feel like I could have used another 3 hours of sleep all day.

Despite feeling off today, work was great. It was smooth as hell, and the full canning run went great. Only 2 cases were off from 4 massive pallets. I sprained my left wrist, but it’s no big deal. Should heal in a few days. This was likely my last day working at Cleen Craft, but who knows. Maybe misc on call warehouse work in the future. Maybe the last time I’ll see my coworker again. He was a cool dude, hard worker, and an effective trainer. By the end of the day, I was tired and sore but felt satisfied. It didn’t feel like the end, more a semicolon than a period. This hasn’t hit me until right now, as I write this three hours later, comfortable in typing this at my desktop pc.


About a day later, I can say I felt like coming. Contact wasn’t happening as much as it was even a week earlier. I thought she was just busy with work. There were other problems, but I don’t have the clarity of mind to talk about it today. We had a curt chat since yesterday was supposedly her birthday. I offered her well wishes, and she responded with 1 word answers. Which was a huge flag there. She wasn’t much of a talker before this, so I knew something was up. As I got home, and was about to take a shower, she sent me a text with this message:

I think we should break up.

I said: Why? No response. Sent: “I’m either all in or all out. What’s your thoughts on why we should end it?”

I took a shower and came back to my phone, waiting for a response. Nothing to anything I sent after 26 minutes. I wasn’t going to wait around for someone who started a a serious conversation over text to break up, then stonewall. Fuck that bullshit. 26 minutes is enough time to answer why it should end. Or say ANYTHING in response. That is disrespectful. I don’t play these games. Pfft. Don’t give me that.

First of all, its cowardly and immature to say “we should break up”. No this means that the person who says this wants to break up. No discussion before of problems she had. Honestly looking back, she was shady and I felt not as honest I was in this relationship. The state of the relationship made me uncomfortable and insecure. I felt she was constantly pressing my boundaries, and trying to change me into something I’m not, despite me saying I didn’t want to do x or y. Many times it felt like pulling teeth trying to get to know her. As time went on, the situation felt fishy, and something felt off.

It sucks, but I think I dodged a bullet. I feel like this a day later…

Like a Rolling Stone:

Well, some relationships are practice for the real thing. Honestly that shitty ending is making it easier to move on, but we will see. Grief has it’s own clock.

Maybe it wasn’t the right time for me to date yet. I need to figure out what to do for work, and a long term career. Well, I learned a bunch of important lessons in this short relationship. No text only relationships. I learned that my boundaries are much stronger than I’ve assumed, and that I can handle myself. Trust your gut. Love is not enough. You can’t change other people, you can only change yourself. (Well, I’ve known that last bit for years. It was important to have it reinforced.) If it feels too good to be true, it likely is. Nobody is worth your own peace of mind.

At the least, all my effort the past year to learn about relationships has paid off. I recommend anyone that wants to learn more about modern dating to watch this youtube channel, hosted by dating coach Susan Winter:


Thank you for reading this, if you enjoyed it, please give it a like, tell me what you think in the comments, and share on Facebook. Don’t forget to subscribe to my email list for updates! 

Please wear a mask outside that covers your mouth and nose, wash your hands, clean your cell phone, and keep your physical distance (6 feet) from others to fight Covid-19! 

© Reilly Anderson. 2020. All rights reserved.

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Oof, So no more work after next week…

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

So, the time is finally here and I only have work through next week. 1 more shift of canning sodas. I knew when I was hired that it would be seasonal to start. It’s a startup business launching their product in time for the xmas season. My boss had a deal with a major soda distributor and a large store, so hopes were high. I learned today that the distributor hasn’t sold any of our hemp infused sodas. 😦 Damn that sucks. I really like this job. It’s a very different feeling when the end is so close. I’ll still be on the payroll, so if there is work in the future, I could come in for work. That’s a big question mark though. Oh well.

Luckily I’ve been working with a career counselor for a couple weeks now, started to look for other work, and apply for jobs. With unemployment benefits through this month. I managed to keep some of it because this job was only part time. Also long term the counselor will help me find a suitable career path. So, things are happening slowly. This will be the second time I’ll be laid off this year. This time it isn’t a surprise. Still hurts to lose this job.

This too will pass, I guess.

Thank you for reading this, if you enjoyed it, please give it a like, tell me what you think in the comments, and share on Facebook. Don’t forget to subscribe to my email list for updates! 

Please wear a mask outside that covers your mouth and nose, wash your hands, clean your cell phone, and keep your physical distance (6 feet) from others to fight Covid-19! 

© Reilly Anderson. 2020. All rights reserved.