I had originally begun writing this post a few weeks ago…but two tries later, it just wasn’t working.
Last night, I began another post about a different subject…but that didn’t work either.
But while trying to write last night’s post, as research I went back and re-read this post about when I began working in Canberra last year.
Although I still recall most of my time in Canberra quite vividly, reading that post made me smile.
It also made me want to re-attempt a post on this subject for the third time, so here goes.
A few weeks ago, I was startled to realise something important.
21 September, then a few days away, would mark an important anniversary – a year since I began my first contracting job in Canberra.
Realising that presented a lot of mixed emotions.
Some of those emotions were very pleasant.
As I wrote in the last few parts of my series ‘2015: A Life Odyssey’, I had a great time in Canberra. I worked in a great environment; I met some great people; and I thoroughly enjoyed staying at Quest Canberra in the CBD.
Some days, I found myself walking around with a grin on my face.
Before last year, Canberra was already one of my favourite places on Earth – and now, I’m even more fond of it.
But what happened during the first half of this year led to the other emotions I also felt a few weeks ago.
Two weeks into 2016, I was relieved to land my next contract, and it was only 30 minutes’ walk from home in the Sydney CBD. Unfortunately, by the end of the first week I began to dislike it – and a week later I hated it, thanks to my employer’s rotten client.
Fortunately, it was only a month-long contract – and although I was offered another month’s extension, I declined.
Instead, I decided to take a risk. I still had some of my redundancy money left, there was a lot of promising job-hunting activity happening – and most of all, my former manager in Canberra contacted me about my former position perhaps being reinstated.
So there was hope, I thought.
But during the next three months that followed, that hope dimmed.
Despite entering my busiest job-hunting period since redundancy, I got nowhere from mid-February until mid-May – which was very frustrating.
The last of my redundancy money lasted throughout that time, and I also received unemployment benefits – but as those three months passed and my funds dwindled to a final $500 or so, I became increasingly bitter.
And then there was another very unpleasant emotion I experienced.
And to add insult to that injury, it happened during a return to Canberra.
As I briefly recounted in my previous post, back in March I risked a short trip to Canberra for a job interview that ultimately failed – but thanks to a mistake by the interviewer that sent me to the wrong address, and meant that the interview couldn’t be rescheduled until four days later after the Easter long weekend, that trip’s expenses increased and thus consumed a large chunk of my remaining redundancy money.
I returned to stay at Quest Canberra, partly because I had thought the interview would be taking place less than five minutes’ walk away – but despite now having to stay longer than planned and at greater expense, I thought that at least staying there again would be pleasant enough.
But very early on Easter Sunday morning, I suddenly awoke.
A few seconds later, my mind began racing with fear.
And it would take me the next two hours of reading myself into exhaustion before I got back to sleep.
I hadn’t woken up in the middle of the night like that for a long time.
And I HATED it – especially as this had taken place in a favourite hotel in a favourite city where barely three months before I had had such a great time.
The rest of my trip passed under a cloud.
Finally, in mid-May I got a new job. Like that rotten job back in January-February, it was only 30 minutes’ walk from home (in a neighbouring suburb, not the Sydney CBD) – but unlike that rotten job, it was a good one.
Initially, my new contract was only until the end of June – but shortly before then, it was extended to mid-August.
And in early August, my contract was extended again until mid-December.
And recently, I’ve also been able to work from home – which has made my current job even better.
I’ve also been able to rebuild my savings.
And back in early June, I was also able to do something that was very important to me.
Ever since I began my current contract, I have continued job-hunting.
In early June, that included getting an interview for another opportunity in Canberra that was also very close to Quest Canberra.
So back I went to Quest Canberra – to find that I would even be staying in the same room that I had during my failed March visit.
But although I would also be unsuccessful with this interview, my return visit to Quest Canberra was successful. I had an income again, and I could relax.
And most of all, I didn’t wake up in terror during the middle of the night.
Until next time, stay well and take care 🙂