I nearly forgot to write a final entry about being unemployed, partially because I'd been so busy trying to make sense of suddenly being self-employed. As I begin my stint as freelance web designer, host, consultant, creative and news author, lesson maker, creativity director, trainer, and self-promoter, it's sometimes hard to remember that I lost all unemployment benefits as of a few weeks ago. It's freeing and free, as in no responsibility to look for jobs I don't want AND no money.
I suppose any true American HAS to try his or her hand at being self-employed, whether it's as a twelve year-old paper carrier or a ninety year-old smuggler of cigarettes into the nursing home. We all know we could do something better than the boss, and we all know there's some chance of becoming the next neighborhood millionaire or guest on the news. Maybe it's American, capitalist, Christian, or human. If I can do a few things better than most of my peers, why not give it a shot?
I recently met with a mentor, but I'd been talking to others about what I was going to do next, too. My main goal has been to find out if I can integrate what I'm good at into something in which I can achieve greatness. Maybe it will be one niche website I create, one story I write, the invention I market, or the sites I sell to others. I can't predict it, but I can say that I did not have a chance at greatness as an English teacher. Sure, I inspired a few students, and some of them have started their journeys towards greatness, but I would have been mired in my own mediocrity had I continued teaching. Now, I am either a rising star or a fallen mortal. I will either be talked about as one who made something of himself or spent his potential unwisely, but I will be talked about, no longer defined solely by the slavery of servitude.
I don't need to reinvent the wheel. While I have some pretty good ideas of my own, most of our heroes are thrust to the top on the shoulders of others whose ideas or labor was stolen. While I could truly be an innovator, I could also be a cunning thief--think that last consultant who presented at your place of work. I could write top ten, barely researched articles and post videos that show what happens next that will bring the masses to tears.
The point is that I will do it. One of the ethical dilemma questions I'd always ask my students was whether or not they'd steal to get medicine to save a family member's life. 100% said yes. Well, it's time for me to get some medicine, and the pharmacy isn't even locked.