So, here is a little bit of a back story for those of you who don’t know me or know what’s going on in my life… (if you don’t feel like reading this part, the pertinent announcement/information is towards the bottom of the post. ^.~)
In 2007, I decided to leave a decently paying job that I enjoyed most days to go grad school and get a degree in teaching. Many part-time jobs, student loans, and hours staying up tweaking my thesis later, I graduated from The City College of New York in 2009 with a MA in Secondary English Education. And then the Department of Education called a hiring freeze on all new teachers and I spent an agonizing year and a half throwing my resume at Every. Single. Charter school. In. New. York. City.
In the meanwhile I went back to my part time jobs to pay the bills and stayed with a friend who was kind enough to offer me a home for as long as I needed it. I taught 11th and 12th grade English during a teacher’s maternity leave. I save up a lot of money and sent myself to Italy and California over the summer break of 2010 because I wasn’t going to put myself through the god-awful job search of the summer before. I came back, was hired almost immediately upon my return to New York (stroke of seriously good fortune, I thought), moved into my own (fabulous!) apartment, taught for four whole months, and realized that I hated where I was, what I was doing, and how I was being told to do it. I left the job in January with no backup plan and no idea what I was going to do next, because teaching seemed out of the question.
It is now the end of February and I still haven’t found a job to just “pay the bills,” which is neither here nor there. This sewing project of mine – which I plan to turn into a legitimate business – has completely taken over my brain. Whether or not it’s going to go anywhere is is irrelevant; I have a lot of time on my hands (because no matter how many interviews I go on no one seems to want to hire me) and a burning desire to CREATE something. And this feels like the right thing right now – a huge part of my decision-making process at the moment. For three years I fought the feeling that teaching in public schools was not my path. I fought it hard because I wanted a “career” and a “pension” and the financial safety net that the over-unionized profession of teaching could offer (and don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with unions in and of themselves, but the United Federation of Teachers has absolutely no interest in serving the children of New York City and I’m sorry, but that’s the only reason they exist at all).
But I’ve come to realize that any sort of conventional job is just not my speed; however financially secure I want to be, it is not going to come from doing things the way everyone else does them because it’s “supposed” to go that way. And I’ve been really scared to do the things I want to do because all my life certain members of my family have told me that I always need a “backup plan.” I should be doing this… I should be doing that… well, as I’ve come to realize, the only should I need to adhere to is this: I should be living my life how I see fit, because it is mine and no one else’s, and at the end of all things the only person I have to answer to or be responsible for is myself.
That being said, I’m trying to get funding for this project because I have no money to speak of to invest in it. A friend of mine indirectly pointed me to this excellent site called Kickstarter (www.kickstarter.com), which is a site that allows people to raise money for creative projects in several different fields. Similar to Donors Choose (for education), you describe your project in detail and offer rewards to potential donors (for example: for a $1 or more, you get a thank you; for $100 or more, you get a limited edition item from the project, etc.). If the project is fully funded within the time limit (usually 30 days), the money comes to you and the project begins! I am currently in the process of submitting my project on the site. It involves creating a video, which is completely new territory for me in a number of ways, and that’s where I’ve gotten stuck at the moment… but soon I will have that up and ready, and the project will launch.
Of course I will announce the launch of the project here, and will probably shamelessly plug for myself on Facebook… but I will depend on a lot of you to help spread the word. As soon as everything is up and running I will ask for your help… until then, I will go back to messing around with my crappy camera and Windows Movie Maker to try to produce a video that doesn’t make me look awkward as hell…!