In the spring of 2012, I just purchased my first home. I had a good job. A job I had been at for thirteen years. And, most importantly, the Los Angeles Kings won the Stanley Cup. Everything was going great.
Then, in 2013, everything changed.
My job, which began as an analyst position, had slowly morphed into an administrative assistant position. Instead of designing and creating analytics reports and providing suggestions for improvement, I was now answering phone calls, making copies, and sending out mail. I was a team player and did what I needed to help, but, it was at this time, after all these years, I begin to wonder if this is what I wanted to do. I enjoyed most of my time at the company. However, the last couple years, in the sales and marketing department, were not the greatest. The company had changed hands many times, over the past few years and it was beginning to show.
In June 2013, my boss invited me into his office and told me that they decided to let me go. At first, I was shocked. But once the initial shock wore off, I begin to become excited about an opportunity. I’ve always wanted to direct films and work in video. This was my opportunity. When I was finally let go, a month and a half later, I decided to start a business creating commercial videos. I did have a background in wedding videos, and I studied the art of video production. So I felt I could accomplish what I was trying to sell.
Unfortunately, without the working background or video reel to show potential clients, it was tough to bring in new customers. In order to lure the customers to sign on the dotted line, I had to lower my prices so low, that I barely made a profit, if any. Which would’ve been expected and appropriate, for a while anyway, so that I could create some commercial videos for a reel to show future clients. But, in this day and age, where everyone can create a video with their smartphones; people think they can achieve for free, what you are trying to sell. I began to realize that it would take, approximately, five years to make a profit and that was three years longer than I had. I saved up enough money to survive two years without a steady income. Most of the potential sales I received wanted the video done at such a low price that I couldn’t take the job, as it would have been a waste of my energy. Or, I would have a potential large paying job, but just couldn’t close the deal without any other videos to show. The customers I did work with, seemed to enjoy my work, as most of them rehired me at a later date. But it just wasn’t enough.
I was, also, denied unemployment because I started my own business and wasn’t actively seeking employment. Once I did seek employment, after my business wasn’t paying the bills, I was told my unemployment benefits had run out. In other words: Shit out of luck.
In the summer of 2015, things became pretty difficult, as I predicted, exactly two years from when I was laid off. I began selling my DVDs, books, and electronics on eBay. I had a roommate who was helping with the mortgage and the utilities. But I knew I would probably have to sell the house.
There it was. The end all, be all, of my life. I was going to sell my house and… what? I had no job. The video business was a disaster. What was I to do?
In August, I was cleaning my garage, going through boxes; deciding what to keep, what to sell and what to throw out, when I came across an old manila (I always called it vanilla) envelope. It said, “Do not open until 2009.” It was already open. But, I forgot what was inside. It was a bunch of stories, questions, and answers about my life, written by my sixth-grade self.
A time capsule:
With questions like, “What annoys you the most?”
And answers like “Sisters.”
But one question caught my eye, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
Hmm. I had no idea what I answered. “A Basketball player…” This made me laugh. Not gonna happen. Did I not see how short my parents were?
“Or a writer.”
A writer? Of course.
I had all these stories, but no way to express them. Multiple screenplays with nowhere to go with them. I can do this. I was going to be a writer. An author. Write fiction. It will be awesome. I will take a year off. Take the profit from the sale of the house. Pay off all my debt. Move into my parent’s basement and write. This will work. It won’t be that hard.
To quote, Forrest Gump, “I may not be a smart man…”
Read Part II Here