The End of One Detour, Start of Another

Hometown USA 1992

One of the main problems with working in the film industry was the complete absence of a social life outside of the production. In short, it afforded my girlfriend way too much time to be unfaithful to me. Long story short, it ain't nice to be cuckolded at the age of 26 and dumped over the phone after 2 years.

By the end of 1991 I was mentally done with the production lifestyle but I had no other plans. I needed a change of career path, of social circle, and environment. When the TV series I was working on was cancelled right before Christmas, I did what everyone else in the industry does and filed to collect my unemployment benefit. I was entitled to the maximum benefit (US $960/month) for a period of four months. Instead of aggressively seeking gainful employment, I intended to collect the whole amount unless presented with an opportunity I couldn't refuse.

By the Spring of 1992, no such opportunity had appeared and President Clinton signed an unemployment extension for another four months. I took advantage of that to the fullest. I spent hours and hours at the pool. I was getting tan and meeting girls. The Summer of 1992 still ranks in the top 5 all time summers of mine halcyon.

Otherwise, I spent a lot of time in my own head trying to figure out what to do next. I read a lot and thought a lot. I highly recommend such a period. In fact, if I wasn't afraid (by afraid I mean I have a home mortgage, a rental property, a car payment, a wife, and two young kids), I would love to do it again right now.

I took the GRE, nailed it, applied to grad schools, and got accepted to a Master of Arts program to study literature. I also got an assistantship to teach English Comp 101 and 102 along with a nice stipend and an office (really a closet) on campus. Come Autumn 1992, I was full on into a new chapter of my life. It was not necessarily a chapter that would lead me on a road to immediate financial independence and wealth, but it certainly was a timely escape from the limbo of the early 1990's.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

interesting to hear what happened next. and did I hear that right? eight months of unemployment? I could use some of that...

but instead I'll take (and have took) some of that time to think. always a good thing.