It’s only a couple more days until my retake of the Windows Server 2008 exam, which means I have to keep taking online tests to make sure I know how to pass. They’re exam dumps and thus a form of “cheating”, but as I said before, I no longer feel I have a duty of honesty when it comes to passing these damned exams. In any case, pass or fail, I’m done with this particular exam that’s been the one thing I’ve studied since May 2014.
Ah, May 2014, back when I still worked for Camden council, and had a steady job that I knew I could do… well, okay, at that point I’d already accepted voluntary redundancy, but rose-tinted spectacles and all that. I was certainly in a less precarious financial situation then than I am now, where I’m living hand-to-mouth as a contractor, but I was doing a job I didn’t enjoy, in an office where the people I liked were leaving one-by-one while the people I didn’t like were staying put, so I think I made the best choice in trying to get into IT.
It’s just a pity I feel like I “lost” a year between 2014 and 2015, thanks to that horrible job in November that meant I was unemployed for two months and filled with anxiety (the six-month admin job I did after that being a form of recovery therapy), as I’d like to have been in a permanent IT job by now, and thus able to make more firm commitments about the future.
I had my 38th birthday recently, and while it’s pretty cool to be told I look much younger, it pains me to feel like everyone I grew up with has left me behind, getting married and/or having kids, and much as I’ve enjoyed the “playboy lifestyle” I’ve had since finally coming out of my shell in mid-2013, I’m aware that age is more than “just a number”, and that I’ve got to make long-term plans instead of bumbling through life doing whatever feels good, as I have for too many years.
(Can you believe a manchild who plays video games and watches anime is somehow “living it up” like some kind of wild, irresponsible party animal?)
Thus it is that I’ve decided this will be the last year I rent my room here in Finchley; next year I’ll work with my mother to get a mortgage on a place somewhere, preferably close to a decent Tube line so I can commute to work (and all the other things I like in London). This of course depends on me getting a well-paid permanent job, which I reckon I’ll be able to do in the New Year with all this experience under my belt. I don’t enjoy changing jobs (I’ve already “started” as many as five jobs over the past 13 months), and I’m happy where I work now, even if it’s low-paid and insecure, so I want to make the most of what I have at least until the end of the year, making a name for myself in IT. And then, if they’ve not come to their senses and hired me permanently by 2016, I’ll get looking again (perhaps to cajole them into hiring me).
The only way to get enough money for a deposit on a house is to sell the flat in Worthing where my family’s lived since late 1994, and if I don’t want my folks to be homeless, it means having my mother as a flatmate. I’d much rather she and my grandmother (for whatever years the latter has remaining) remain my “safety net” in case I screw up and lose my chance to live in London, but my mother’s very unhappy living in Worthing and finding it hard to get a new job (thanks to employer ageism), and so, scary as it is, we might have to face the prospect of living together, with me paying the mortgage.
It would suck if I had to have my mother living with me like in Frasier, and I know I have to be responsible to myself primarily and not give up my own happiness for her, but it wouldn’t be forever: she would find a new job in a higher-paying area and thus be able to pay the mortgage herself (possibly through me), and I could then rent somewhere else and have a separate life (and thus a prospect of a girlfriend). There’s also the possibility she may be able to buy a small place outright, and I could visit her there occasionally (and continue to have her as my “safety net”) while continuing to rent somewhere else; this is something I’ll need to establish with her.
Obviously the best solution would be for my mother to win the lottery, buy a new place of her own somewhere and live out her days in luxury, writing novels and holidaying in Japan (and taking care of my grandmother until she passes on), while I sell the Worthing place and put the money down as a deposit somewhere I want to live, or possibly emigrating entirely… come on, Law of Attraction, help my Mumsy — you know it makes sense!
(Yes, all right, the best best solution would be for me to marry a rich American, and leave the country entirely… and of course, the best best BEST solution would be for me to somehow land that dream job massaging oil into bikini models in Hawaii, all expenses paid!)
In the meantime, I just need my mother to have faith that I’ll succeed, and the patience to hold on just a little bit longer, because this is a critical time and I really need a stable home to which I can retreat if the worst comes to the worst…