Monday, April 7, 2014

So Maybe I Should Have Added A Few More Details...

Well, I initially started writing this post as an update to previous blog postings, but after I spent the weekend cringing every time my phone would alert me to a new blog comment on the posting "I didn't win the battle," I'm going to go back and explain some things that probably should have been explained in the original posting. This is sort of going to be a straight forward blog, not our usual sarcasm picture filled funfest, because really, how fun can I make a posting like this? So, if you are new here, I'd suggest starting somewhere else because this posting is going to be boring to you.

Before I even tackle that though, I'd like to welcome all the new readers that followed me over here from my recent article on Skepchick. I'm glad that you are here!!

Alright, lets go back to the posting "I didn't win the battle." I can see from the comments that a lot of you didn't agree with my choice to leave my cleaning job and work on the not-for-profit. Initially I was replying to the comments but when people started throwing rocks at each other I decided to step out. I have enough drama in my life, I don't really want to get in an Internet war with people. With that being said, I do appreciate the constructive criticisms that you guys brought up and I am taking them all into consideration.

I do however want to go back and touch on a few things that I probably should have included in the original posting. What you guys need to understand is that you are reading an extremely condensed version of my life that I have consolidated down into a five minute read that you can tackle while on the train or sitting in a school pick-up line. You can't see the back story, you don't get to view the details, you only get the surface story. I know that a lot of you are invested in my life and I walk a fine line between trying not to bore you to death with the details and yet keep you updated.

So now I will go back and bore you with some of the details.

Before I scaled down my cleaning clients, I was still not making enough to cover my monthly expenses. I am not abandoning a dependable job to chase a dream. I was falling $500 short every month and now I'm falling $750 short. Yes, I'm coming up shorter than I was before, but the difference is not massive.

My kids have one mother, no father, and no grandparents. I intend to be around for them for a really long time and am unwilling to risk the longevity of my life to do it by working my body raw and immersing myself in chemicals hour upon hour, day after day, for a job that is not even allowing me to cover my family's expenses.

As much as I have tried to evade the truth, the truth is that without an education there is a good chance that I will never get a job that can adequately provide for us. With that being said, I cannot get an education while making enough money for us to live on.

This was not a rash decision. This choice was made after months and months of meetings with the deacons at my church, my financial planner, my mentor, and my friends parents. This decision was made after meeting with many, many, not-for-profit founders to get a realistic idea of what I was getting myself into and confirming that the service I intend to offer is not only needed, but that other nonprofits would like to work hand-in-hand with us. This decision was made after a solid plan for the not-for-profit was formed. This plan was made after I had a tax attorney incorporate the not-for-profit, file the 501c3 paperwork, and the bylaws. This plan was made after I established a solid not-for-profit board consisting of Mr. Attorney Man, a doctor, and a financial director. I am not blindly jumping into a business that I have no idea how to run. Sure, even the most well laid plans have hiccups, that is to be expected, but I am not living in lala land. Will the funding come in, I can't say for sure, but I am optimistic based on past conversations with donors. (I also cannot stress enough that the not-for-profit is not to solely benefit me, I'm willing to be poor as long as my kids needs are met if I can also help women at the same time)

I know you guys don't know me in real life, but I don't make rash decisions. Everything I do is very calculated. This is my absolute best chance, I am sure of it. If I can't pull in enough funding before I am forced to move out of my home, then I will be moving into transitional living with the kids and renting out my house. It would be near impossible to sell my house in this market without coming to the closing with a large amount of cash. Because my mortgage payment is so ridiculously low due to my crisis modification, I'd be able to rent it with enough of a profit to put my belongings in storage and start building a savings account. I would most likely be unable to rent a place myself since I would have no job to put down on an application and with no family to take us in, my only real option is a transitional living facility. Cohabiting with another family or a renter is not an option for me because of some ongoing stalking issues with my ex.

I've already made my back up plan. I made sure to get approved for transitional housing and for educational scholarships before I let my cleaning clients go.

I took particular offense to the commenter that said she would not support a nonprofit where the president was living in transitional housing because it showed a lack of organization and care of my finances. Does that mean that everyone who loses their home is a disorganized financial mess? I am doing the very best that I can with the very little that I have been given. I have absolutely no debt with the exception of my mortgage, a mortgage that I fought the bank for, and won. No amount of financial organization is going to make money appear that isn't there. The fact that I choose to set basic needs aside instead of living off of credit cards is proof that I am not a financial disaster and I have a very realistic view of money. The fact that I am able to realize when my financial life is about to drown me and am willing to leave behind a home that I love very much in order to secure a better future for myself is also proof of that. Not to mention that its the treasurers job to handle the money, not mine.

This is not what I want. Moving out of my home, uprooting my children's lives, leaving the one place where we all truly feel happy, this is not what I want, but I've been fighting the inevitable for nearly two years now on an ever sinking life raft. Without an education I will most likely never be able to provide our family with a stable future, but before I abandon all I'm willing to risk it with the not-for-profit.

If that doesn't work out, I'm really no worse off than I am now.

Where am I now? I am falling $750 a month short of making our monthly bills. For all the people that said "Just get a solid 40 hour a week $10 an hour job," that's easier said than done. Where are those jobs? If they were so easy to come by, don't you think that all single moms would be a lot better off? Don't you think the economy would be in better shape with significantly less unemployed people? Also, most minimum wage jobs have weekend and evening hours outside of normal daycare hours. When you have a job like that, all of your profits are eaten up by babysitting costs. If you are lucky enough to find a 40 hour a week job, they don't look kindly on the fact that I have two small children and no family to watch them on the multiple sick days that my kids will inevitably have. Single moms all over the country lose their jobs for that exact reason all the time.

I refuse to be the ever struggling single mom who works low paying jobs while never really getting ahead for the rest of my life. If you are looking for that mom, you are on the wrong blog. I want better for my family. I deserve better and so do my kids, and if things need to get worse for a few years before they get better, then so be it.

I will come out of this. I'm not throwing in the towel on "real work" and chasing a dream. I'm throwing in the towel on a dead end life and I'm chasing a future, maybe not in the way that most would have done it, but in my way. My way has taken me a lot farther than where I should be. I shouldn't be anywhere near where or what I am today. The only things I have ever had to rely on in my entire life, the ONLY things, have been my perseverance, my faith, and my unbreakable spirit. I may not have much, but I have that going for me.

In the meantime, I would like to ask all of you a favor. I know that a lot of you have stepped up and donated, giving my soul a great big hug by showing me that people do care. I know from the comments and the emails that a lot of you want me to reach out to my readers and tell them I need help. Well, guess what, I need help. I’m not here to ask you for money though. I don’t want to live off of the work of others; I want to live off of my own work, my own hard earned paycheck.

I want to ask you for help in getting a job that will fill in the financial gaps that I seem to be unable to close on my own. I need a job with evening hours that doesn't require a need for childcare and that I can work around sick kids, teaching strip classes, and non-profit work. I think that job could be somewhere in the writing world. Yes, I know that writing jobs are unpredictable, but unpredictable is better than nonexistent.

I’d like to ask each of you to go back through the blog and “share” your favorite posts with some sort of heading that points out that a struggling single mom needs a job freelancing or as a columist or something. Anything. (I have too much pride to beg for money, but not enough to stop me from begging for a job). Maybe your favorite post was where I told you about my "dates where I was on my worst behavior"  or my original story when I talked about overcoming my rape and my abusive childhood. Either way, please pick your favorite and share it via Facebook, Google+, twitter, email, share the link on reddit, I don’t care if you stake a sign on your front lawn with my strip picture, this girl needs a job.

Writing comes so easily to me and is the one way I can supplement my income without over burdening my life beyond being reasonable. You may not know anyone, but someone, somewhere does. Please share my blog and help spread my name. Hopefully someone, somewhere, notices me.

I know that a lot of you read this blog via email from your phone, so you might have to get onto an actual computer! You are smart people, give me a little exposure. Share the blog and title it with something eye catching like "Struggling single mom needs freelance job," or "check out this totally crazy chick and spread the word, she needs a writing job!!" and then attach my email. Please dear readers, I try and make a point (with the exception of the argumentitive thread from the i didnt win the battle blog) to respond back to each and every comment, and every single email you guys send me, because I know what its like to not feel important. You guys are all important to me! Please make me a little bit important today and do this for me (and not just assume everyone else will)?

I've helped myself all that I can and now I need all of you to come along side me and pick me up when I'm falling down. 

Please help a girl out.


If you happen to know anyone who works in the writing world, you can email me at notmyshametobear@gmail.com



77 comments:

  1. A bit confused here, how can you get a job through your readers if nobody knows where or who you actually are? (Not saying you should broadcast either of those, certainly not, you are in fact very smart and very cautious NOT to, just wondering how anybody could find or offer you a real job under such ambiguous conditions.)

    And, if they did, could you even trust that and not have to worry that it was just a ploy to find out those things about you? (Since, at some point, to those offering jobs, or purporting to, you would more or less have to divulge such data.) ??

    Have you thought about getting an advertiser/sponsor for your blog? That might bring in some income, many bloggers do quite well that way, I've heard (not sure exactly how that works but I'm sure you could find out.)

    Speaking of your strip photo, have you considered doing a step-by-step "how to" dvd? You could do it without any actual nudity and only get down to a bikini, or even a leotard (the object is to show the moves and gestures, not your bod) and you could wear some sort of cool and striking mask to protect your privacy, but you could share your talent and your skills, and help (enrich!) women outside your geographic area who are not lucky enough to live in your town, to learn this art... you could offer it for sale on line. (!)

    (You've got the PP set up to block your personal info now and let folks donate, you could continue that idea and allow purchase of an instructional dvd through the same method.)

    What is being proposed here is strictly the idea of your putting together a straightforward instructional presentation of what you teach your students, not something to be titillating and/or suggestive. Like the old Jane Fonda exercise videos, sort of. The idea is that the focus is on the movements rather than the instructor. (Skills, not thrills!)

    And have you considered a book proposal? There are people out there publishing (and selling!) e-books, you could collect your blog posts and present them as an actual book. It could work!

    And then too, sometimes something unexpected shows up entirely out of left field, you just have to have hope and determination. (And be able to recognize the opportunity when it presents itself. It might be something completely off your radar, but once it appears you would say Of Course!)

    Best of luck with everything - and hopefully something helpful will happen for you (the door may close but a window will open, etc.) ?!?!

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    1. Ha, I had not thought of making a DVD. I like the idea! Unfortunately I'm not sure how I would hide my identity with that one! It might be kind of creepy if I wore a mask....

      As for writing, I've always written under a pen name, I just have my attorney play middle man and sign on my behalf. Checks run through his office and then to me.

      I love the ebook idea, I'm more than halfway through the book I'm writing. I should have been finished by now, but my life had gotten so out of hand I just simply ran out of time lately :(

      Trust me, at this point, I'm not turning down a lot opportunity wise!!

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    2. I'll chime in here to address your first paragraph.

      Eden mentioned writing. It'd be pretty easy for readers here to look around for online writing positions. I know I've come across a few in my job searches over the years. I don't have links to any right at this second, but we could easily link her to something like that. We'd never have to know who she is or where she lives. Just send her a link to paid writing gigs.

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    3. Yay, send me links!! Thank you!!

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  2. One important thing to consider, if in the end it turns out that you do have to rent out your home and get some storage for a while, please only keep what you simply couldn't replace sentiment-wise.

    Minimize your storage bill and size of unit by hanging onto only the truly valuable items, which really are the personal ones... (i.e., what you would grab and carry to save from a disaster; photos, keepsakes, heirlooms, grandma's quilt, etc.)

    (And maybe the occasional rare find you feel is so perfect for you that you simply can't part with it or it is irreplaceable. We all have those too..."favorite frying pan in the entire world," type thing.)

    But if something is valuable from an appraiser's standpoint yet you have no serious personal investment or deep attachment to it? Sell it, don't store it. (Same thing even if it isn't worth very much. In fact, ESPECIALLY if that's the case.) !!!

    Bottom line, if you can always get another one of whatever it is, then do that later when you need it again (and let it go now.)

    Storing generic and readily available items for any length of time is financially unwise and completely impractical.

    So many people waste a lot of money (and pay for a lot of unnecessary square footage) storing easily replaced and completely average items like old tv sets, battered dining room tables, basic lamps, plain linens, weary towels, worn out beds, etc.

    (And when the sum is added up that they spent storing them, they could've bought the latest greatest versions instead and still had cash to spare.) !!!

    Now if your household stuff is all greatly loved and deeply cherished and handpicked after much consideration, then by all means keep it all. (Of course!)

    But most people just don't think enough about replacement value vs storage expenditure when they stuff everything they own into a unit and pay on it for long periods of time (and so they do dumb things like store unimportant things and pay storage fees far in excess of worth either sentimentally or financially.)

    The best way to divest yourself of such items and get some $ for them to boot is to leave them behind in the otherwise empty house when you move all the important things to storage, and then call an estate sale outfit in your area to come in and appraise it all (and either stage the sale for you and/or make you an offer on all of it as a lot.)

    You will generally do much better that way ($$!), even having to share profits with the estate folks, than you will trying to hold your own yard sale. (Really.) Plus it is also less stressful too.

    Overall you sound like somebody who already knows how to hold onto the important things and let the rest go, so this is probably all just "preaching to the choir" here, but just in case you didn't think of it, there's some input for you to consider, for what it's worth. :)

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    1. Completely agree. I was just talking to a friend about this the other day, she has a TON of stuff in storage. I'm like "Girl, you have essentially just paid $5000 for your couch because its been in storage for 3 years!!" Its like people dont do the math on how much it costs to store everything that they dont realize what ridiculous value they are placing on items not worth nearly as much.

      Now would be a great time to have a family who would store stuff in their basement for me. I couldn't care less what happens to my furniture and what not, but I have things like the kids keepsake boxes and things that I'd obviously want to save.

      I think what will get me is watching all their toys go :( Things that they love, things that mean the world to them. Thats gonna kill me.

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    2. Do you have friends who could store the odd box of stuff for you? I know if I had a friend in a similar situation I could find room in my attic for sentimental items if not furniture.

      I don't live in The States, so I don't always understand the practicalities of how the system works, but if you move into transitory housing will you have private space for you and your children, so that at least some of the toys etc, can go with you?

      I would agree that having something online to sell would be a good idea in the long term. Though the trouble with something like a dvd is that you'd need a lot of money just to get a dvd made in the first place, the cost of shooting it, pressing the discs, designing and printing the covers and so on. How about something that doesn't have physical form, like an ebook?

      Btw, while I've only just started reading your blog I think you're right to strike out and follow your ambitions, and not settle for the cleaning job. As you point out the cleaning job isn't meeting your financial needs and at best it will only allow to tread water indefinitely, which is no way to build a life for yourself.

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    3. Not that I know of. Everyone has finished basements these days and unusable attics. I'll definitely ask around before renting a storage space, but to be honest I'm not sure.

      Yea, I didn't even think about the cost of the DVD's. but its not a bad future idea!

      Ebook is the way to go for sure these days and I'm definitely doing it, it just wouldnt be done before I'd need to move out.

      No, I wouldn't have any personal space in transitional housing, just a dresser, but we would all sleep in a common room. Makes me teary eyed even thinking about it. :(

      Im glad you made it to the blog! So glad to have you on this journey with me hun :)

      ((hugs))

      Eden

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    4. Thanks :) Good to have found your blog (via a friend's blog who reads Skepchick).

      Having read some more of your posts, I think developing the strip classes is a good idea. While I'm not exactly a sex positive feminist, I think your approach is highly original, you're teaching women to be sexy for themselves as opposed to stripping's usual connotations of providing sexual services for other people, and I think there's a lot of value in that. Does the money you make from one class come close to how much you make from a day's cleaning?

      Anyway, stay strong. :)

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    5. Oh no, don't let (all of) the toys go... you should be able to save their most favorite ones of all time anyway (forget most of the transitory plastic junk, but TEDDY and/or DOLLY you must keep!)

      You did plan on having SOME storage, right? For the essentials and the keepsakes and such? You could fit a box or two of the "bestest" toys and games in there, their top picks (that still have all the pieces and aren't broken or bald, ha ha...)

      They will outgrow a lot of toys, of course, and never miss others, but do select some to hang onto, especially ones that you think they might still want to keep later on, many of us still have our pet stuffed critter or raggedy ann from toddlerhood sitting on a shelf or chair, after all (unless they can still replace them then, like you and your baby blanket!) ;-)

      (And do NOT give anything away or donate it, SELL everything you decide to get rid of, charity begins at home and even 50 cents is 50 cents!)

      And don't listen to the folks who are all cutting and snippy about government assistance re: your house... you are not abusing the help, you are making it work for you, and that is what it is for. To help people keep from losing their homes and prevent them from being totally homeless and completely bankrupt.

      You would cost "the system" MUCH more if you let it all go, the government is relieved when people can work out a solution to keep on eating and living without sliding into Skid Row, as it were.

      Yes, there is such a thing as abuse of government help and funding, and if you want to see an example, just think of all the fat cat bankers who got a HUGE bailout back in the day when the housing market collapsed, that was supposedly to help folks like yourself save their homes and help the banks not have to foreclose, etc., and instead they used the govt handout to give themselves all large raises and bonuses and vacations instead, and then went right ahead and foreclosed on all those poor people ANYWAY (remember the indignant hue and cry over THAT?)

      That was reprehensible, but that is NOT the sort of thing you are doing at ALL. Your actions are understandable. You are not playing the system for personal gain (no fancy car, no second home, no island trips,) you are not having additional kids as meal tickets or cash cows, you are just trying to use the available assistance to get sufficient help to stay out of a cardboard box in an alley.

      Putting yourself on the street would be stupid. Any government aid you get right now will be made up to them in taxes in future, when you are able to move back into your home again and be on your financial feet more.

      This is an investment in you staying solvent and functional, and eventually becoming successful and independent, and so in future able to pay bigger percentage taxes of your income back to the govt than some of the millionaires do... (ever read about how Warren Buffett pays less in taxes percentagewise than his secretary?)

      (http://money.cnn.com/2013/03/04/news/economy/buffett-secretary-taxes/)

      Do what you have to do, just don't do anything until (or unless) you really NEED to. Take your time, do it right, be careful and let the pros help you do it legally and practically.

      Good luck!

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    6. @Snork Maiden I'm glad you like the strip class idea. I still can't believe there isn't anything else like it! (at least not around here) It does make more than cleaning does after I pay the cleaning insurance premiums. Ideally I'd like to expand on it, it just depends if I have a place to live. If I have to rent studio space then thats a huge cost. If I can grow the business out of my home then I think it would work out great. It all comes down to my every tightening "abandon ship" deadline

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    7. @anonymous, I agree, I need to hang on to the keepsake items. I understand why they don't let you take it with, but it breaks my heart to think of my kids leaving things behind that are so important to them :( Not to mention all the things I would obviously just want to keep like photo albums, the kids keepsake boxes, things like that.

      Ugh, so many details to figure out. I hate this :(

      Thank you for your kind words and all of your insights. You made a lot of great points that make me feel a lot better. Thank you for taking the time to write all of that :)

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    8. About the dvd, it doesn't cost a lot to make one yourself any more, what with computers nowadays. You have a friend video you, like people do when they post on YouTube, you download it to your computer and edit it if you like (or leave it alone, it's supposed to be a straight tape of your regular class tutelage, after all,) you put as many blank dvds into your computer drive as you like (one at a time, of course,) you copy the video onto the dvd, and voila. You now have a hot-off-the-presses "Eden Strip" dvd. You can print as many or as few as you like (or as you pre-sell... people could place orders!) And you don't need to wear a mask actually, some lovely looking strategic face paint (imagine a big beautiful butterfly on your whole face with the wings around your eyes and down your cheeks and the body of it straight down your nose, just for example) would probably work just fine. And an exercise leotard or bathing suit would be as "strip" as you get (for filming purposes.) It's totally doable, and very low-budget, really! :)

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    9. THIS ^^^^^^^^^^^^ What wonderful ideas!!!!

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    10. Ooooo, the facial artwork idea is a good one!!!!! I'm going to need to think about this, I do believe you may be on to something my friend....

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    11. and just as a side note, I have like ten really funny and slightly innappropriate names bouncing around in my head for Miss Eden's stripping DVD....

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  3. New Anonymous here. It seems to me that renting your home (which is essentially subsidized housing) to go and live in transitional housing (again, subsidized housing) is pretty abusive of the system.

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    1. I had a pretty nice response written out for you, complete with a few choice words, but I thought better of myself and deleted it. I'm not sure how the home that I own with a 30yr mortgage would be considered subsidized housing. If you are referring to the fact that I was able to reduce the payment due to a crisis modification, maybe you should do a little research. The bank agreed to lower my interest rate to try and help me afford it. It is not a government backed loan, I don't owe any less on the house, I still have to pay interest, I don't get any financial assistance in making the payments, the interest rate itself was just lowered. If I can't afford to live here anymore, would you rather I foreclose on it and furthur tank the economy?

      It was the transitional housing directors idea for me to rent it out. They want me to get on top of my life, not lose it completely.

      Thank you for your opinion though, I'll let your stupidity speak for itself.

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    2. Wow, what a nice compassionate thing to say. What helpful suggestions do you have? Maybe she should build a time machine so she can go back and not marry an abusive partner who then leaves her high and dry?

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    3. Ha, thanks hun ;) Funny, I was just replying to your previous comment

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    4. I am thinking that if someone has to be an anonymous poster that they are too ashamed of who they are (and should be if they post crap like this!) to use their real name and should just be deleted...

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    5. I thought about it, but the trend seems to be when you silence a screamer they just scream louder all over your page, so whatever, if they want to listen to themselves talk, so be it :)

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    6. While I don't think people should make snarky shitty comments anonymously, I think we should all keep in mind that "Eden Strong" is just as anonymous and in actuality, we know nothing about her life, save what we read here and while I've read *all* of it (and rarely the comments, or comment myself) it could all be fiction (though I personally don't think it is) or it could be ten times worse than it is.

      Anonymous comments on an anonymous blog are to be expected. It's the internet - people will be crap to other people behind an anonymous shield.

      Just don't forget that this entire blog was founded on anonymity

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  4. Your reduced mortgage is a government subsidy. To rent it out for profit while you go live in transitional housing boggles my mind.

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    1. I don't owe you the details of my loan, but lets just assume you are right (which you are not), would you rather my home be one of hundreds of thousands of forclosures on the market, because I can't afford to live here? Or would you rather I stay indefinitely broke and live off the system for longer? What about people who use subsidized daycare while they work, are they abusing the system? They are usiing government funds to aide them in making money. Im making the best of a bad situation. I can't afford to live here anymore, transitional housing told me to rent it out so that when I move out, after having been in school for a few years and not working, that I have enough to live off of while I secure permenent employment. Or I guess I could move out and get cash welfare, food stamps, daycare, medical.....which would cost the tax payers more than me renting out what you claim is subsidized housing...

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    2. someone who caresApril 8, 2014 at 8:07 AM

      you seem pretty heated up anonymous, maybe you should go pickit somewhere so everyone can hear what you really think. Eden obviously isn't feeling too great about where her life has ended up, and you feel the need to kick her when she's down? it sounds to me like she has a fairly solid plan, I'm pretty sure anything you came up with wouldn't be half as good.

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    3. Not sure you have a mind to boggle....

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    4. And another pearl-clutching Libertarian falls on to their fainting couch! Seriously, if it takes this little to boggle your mind, you must spend your life in a perpetual state of boggled-ness.

      My God, how tired I am of the conservative belief system where any assistance that someone ELSE gets is a "handout", while any assistance they receive THEMSELVES is simply what they are "owed" as an upstanding, taxpaying citizen!

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    5. Oh my gosh, you guys crack me up!!

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  5. Can you please have your mind boggled in silence then?

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  6. There are several jobs you can do from home including medical billing, I have several friends that are CPT coders and just work from home, their pay is ok about 40k a year or so. All the classes you can take online and you can complete everything in under 6 months.

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    1. This really is worth looking into (the suggestion about jobs from home on line)... And as he says, medical billing is just one of several options open to you.

      Another opportunity you really should investigate (asap!) is a great website called ELANCE which matches freelancers (writers, animators, coders, you name it) with those hiring for such jobs:

      https://www.elance.com/

      Give it a try!

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    2. I agree, not a bad idea! I wish I would have done it six months ago instead of scrambling on the time crunch I am in now, but its not a bad idea for a long term plan!

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    3. Thanks for the link anonymous, I am definitely going to head over there after I finish replying to comments :)

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  7. First and foremost, I just want to send you a really big hug, and a glass of a nice, fine wine. :)

    I see nothing wrong with rentiing your home. Just a question. Are you legally allowed to do that? I'm not too familiar with how the crisis management of mortgage loans works, so I'd hate for there to be legal ramifications of you doing this, because that is the last thing yo need. Hopefully, you can do that because it's a good idea.

    Someone also mentioned possibly allowing ads be placed on your blog here. That's not a bad idea. I've seen blogs online with ads and it's not like they suddenly pop up and interrupt your reading. They usually don't even blink or flash. They're just these unobtrusive boxes off to the side that are ridiculously easy to ignore. Maybe something to consider?

    I go on job searches every now and then because while my current job does pay the bills, it only just barely pays them and my field is dying a slow and painful death so I doubt my position will exist in five yeras. I'm trying to get out now while I can before I'm forced out but I just don't qualify for much. Back to the point though, I've occasinoally come across a paid online writing job. Have you considered those?

    Best of luck to you, Eden. Have faith that everything will work out. I've got my fingers and toes crossed and really, truly hope wonderrful things happen for you soon.

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    1. And this post proves why I should drink coffee BEFORE writing things on the internet. Sorry for all the typos. ;)

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    2. Yes! Wine! Please send! Stat!!!

      Yes, I can legally rent the house, I checked :)

      I got accepted by the blogher network to have ads placed on my page, just got the email a few days ago :) Stay tuned blogland, paid programming is coming to this bloghouse...

      Im sorry to hear about your dying job field! What do you do?

      I'd love a paid online writing job, where are they hiding?

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    3. That's great you can legally rent out the house... at least you have the plan in place now. And here's some advice for after you move out....

      As far as storage goes, maybe you could keep just one favorite cleaning client (maybe once a week or something) so you can afford/pay for your storage? (Just a suggestion!) Because you NEED to keep your true keepsakes, you should fight your hardest to make that part of it work, no matter what. (And if you have to clean one house to do so, oh well... it won't be any more work than your own house would've been to clean each week, and now you won't be having to do that.) The special items you hang onto should fit in a fairly small space; they rent storage units the size of a shower stall (or closet, or powder room type bath size, not that you need that much room) you just have to look around and find one. And the small sizes are usually reasonable.

      Not sure if you are in an area with a military presence, but if so, there are usually "locker" type storages available (single guys with no families or real property usually store their dress uniforms and footlockers and other gear and keepsakes in them, as only very compact limited personal effects get taken when they go overseas. It all fits in a bag, basically.)

      And if he would (and why wouldn't he?) you really should ask your attorney to please store a big envelope or file folder for you, containing all your legal documents that would be a beast to replace if you had to (kids soc sec cards & birth certs, your own, your house deed, life insurance policy, divorce papers, restraining order, passport, you name it.) Because regular storage is not that safe or secure and neither is transitional housing. Any personal papers that don't actually fit in your wallet need to be kept safe for you (and you probably can't afford a safety deposit box, but your attorney's office should be just as secure.) And I'm sure he wouldn't mind storing THOSE, they don't really take up much room, maybe one file folder. But be warned, you need to do that, because they will disappear otherwise. If you lock them in your trunk and your car is stolen, that's that. If you leave them in your storage and it's broken into (or burns... and yes, that happens, alas!) they're gone. Believe me, you want to avoid that situation at all costs. (And that's what attorneys are for... legal documents. Such as your Will, etc., but he SHOULD help with the rest too, and keep them for you.)

      However, just in case (ALWAYS have a "Plan B"!) make copies of all of it first. (Get them notarized if you can afford it.) And keep THAT file (copies) in your storage or locked in your car trunk. Preferably under the mat or even underneath the spare tire (so nobody sees it even if they break into the trunk.) Another option is to scan them all and put them on a flash drive and put that someplace safe and hidden in your car or purse. Copies or scans are never ideal but they are a big help if you ever have to conjure up new originals. (Like if your attorney's office was burglarized or struck by lightning and the originals were lost after all... you never know!)

      And be sure and password your computer very well plus extra security on any/all files with personal data (or again, load it on a flash drive that fits in your wallet or purse.) Get a gaudy carrying bag for it that looks like a diaper bag (you can even put a small pkg of wet wipes and/or Kleenex in there, sticking out.) Nobody bothers to pop a car trunk to steal a diaper bag, but computers are another story.

      Sorry to sound cynical here and get you scared before you even start out, but again, it is better for you to learn from the misfortunes of others than to suffer it yourself unnecessarily. !!! (Trust me, this is all from either personal experience or direct observation of others experiences.) Just some advice, for what it's worth!

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    4. I lay out newspaper pages. Newspapers just aren't doing well these days.

      Hooray for the coming ads. That should bring you at least a little money. Every little bit helps and if people seriously stop reading and leave beause of the ads then they weren't really reading much anyway.

      That's awesome you can rent out your house. And I saw someone mentioned the Elance website. I don't have any personal experience with it but have heard good things about it.

      Wine is on its what. ;)

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    5. You know about fifteen minutes after I got off the computer I was brushing my teeth and I was like "Oh wait, she already told me she lays out newspaper pages." Duh. And yes, I was thinking about you while I was brushing my teeth. No, I don't know why. ;)

      Yay for ads!!

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    6. Anonymous, you sure are a wealth of information! I never even thought about military people needed storage places, I really need to start looking around and seeing what sizes and costs are so that I can start organizing what is being sold and what might need to go in storage.

      I love all your ideas about securing documents, making copies, and making back-up copies. How on earth did you come up with all of this!? Especially the part about having a package of wipes or something sticking out of the bag! Thats genius!

      I did laugh a little bit at your warnings of Mr. Attorney Man's office being struck by lightening. That is totally something that would happen to me. People around me to be beware!!

      Thank you for taking the time to write all of that out to me, you have given me a wealth of very practical information that I plan on putting to good use :) Who needs parents when you have super smart anonymous internet friends?

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  8. Not sure where my comment went, but yes, HAMP mods are subsidized by the federal government.

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    1. Only done hamp loans are backed by the government, others, most, are just paid a small fee (around $1200) to close the loan to keep foreclosures off the market

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    2. *some* not done

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    3. Yep, my loan xompany received a small payment from the government to close on the crisis loan, but they do not pay any portion of the mortgage to the lender. The amount was small, under $1500

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  9. How about commentators should not worry about the decisions that Eden has made for herself and her family, and actually put their money where their mouth is and help her find a job?

    Eden, one of my favorite blogs is called budgetsaresexy.com. Jmoney does a great section on how different people around the world freelance to supplement their income. There's some really good insight on how to use your writing skills for income. I recommend checking it out! http://www.budgetsaresexy.com/category/side-hustle-series/

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    1. Girl, I love you.

      Thanks for the link, I am absolutely going to check it out. I knew you guys would have some great ideas!! Thanks!

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    2. Don't forget to check out the ELANCE website! :)

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    3. I signed up yesterday and submitted a few proposals! :) Hopefully something pans out :) Thanks!

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  10. Wow. People really don't have better things to do than criticise someone brave enough to try to better her life through taking a really brave step (or several)? Huh. The world (and the internet) is indeed a strange place. Anyway.

    I have absolutely no idea about writing jobs, so this might be a silly question (sorry, I genuinely don't know), but are there any decent (or even half-decent) websites advertising random freelance writing jobs or online writing jobs, or mailing lists etc you can sign up to for such things? Yeah, I know, probably a dumb question because I'm sure you've thought of this and tried this already - only asked because you didn't mention it. I know you've written articles for a few other websites - do those pay? (I genuinely have no clue!). Not sure if you can sign up to stuff through a pseudonym or whatever - although I'd think probably given that people write under a pseudonym all the time (sorry, now I'm just thinking out loud).

    In terms of writing jobs, don't know if there is stuff out there for not just writing but things like editing and proofreading or something? (Thinking out loud again, feel free to disregard anything unhelpful). I have a few friends who work from home doing translating/editing/proofreading stuff who have their own free/low-cost websites (not the super-intimidating kind, the fairly easy to learn how to write and manage kind. Not sure how else they advertise) and they make a decent income out of it. Might be worth thinking about alongside other stuff?

    I dunno...just a few thoughts. Although even if they're useless, at least I'm not tearing your choices apart ;)

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    1. Hi hun!! Thats what I'm hoping to find, an online writing job or freelance jobs. It seems that most of them you have to know someone, or have a big fancy degree, neither of which I have :( Thats a big reason why I was calling out my readers to say "Help!! Find me an "in" somewhere!" :)

      Thanks for calling me brave :) I don't know it I'm brave or just backed so far into a wall that I have no where else to go but forward, but either way that makes me pretty smiley inside. Thank you!

      And yes, you are helpful, as always :) There is no such thing as a stupid comment except the mean ones. Even just knowing that you are here, reading, and care enough to help means something to me, so thank you!!

      Hugs!!

      Eden

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  11. Speaking of the Skepchicks, which is how I originally found your blog, you should think about contacting them about this. There very well might be contacts there, or at their MadArtLab sister site, that could give you some promising writing job leads.

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    1. Oooooo, I like that idea :) You people rock my world. Thanks for caring!

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  12. Dude, you are awesome. I admire you SO MUCH for doing what makes your heart happy. Life is too short to be stuck in a job that's going nowhere because society says you're "supposed to" (or something equally silly). More people should be as brave as you are, to stand up and do what they feel is best. I'm actually gonna follow your example myself as I head out into the world to find a job :) No one has a right to tell you that what is making you happy is wrong. And if they try, they can suck my left pinky! No matter what, you'll always thank yourself for this decision, and I think you know that as well. Also, I'll keep my eyes peeled for writing gigs.. I may actually know a couple people who could help you out! Love ya, girl!

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    1. Also, I just posted about your blog on my Tumblr and asked people to share it. I hope you find a gig soon! :)

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    2. Dude, you make me feel awesome! I want to stick you in my pocket and whip you out when I'm feeling frustrated or blue and you can cheer me up like a pocket sized life coach.

      GET IN MY POCKET!

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    3. LOL! I keep trying to answer but I just see "GET IN MY POCKET!" in my peripheral vision and start laughing again. I shall gather my snacks and move into your pocket ASAP! :)

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    4. Haha, what movie is that from, Austin Powers? Where the guy is like "GET IN MY BELLY!"

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  13. Hi, Eden! :)

    I am usually too tired or lazy to post, but as I saw all the negativity here I just wanted to say that I love You, I understand You so very good with the financial and healing struggles and I want to let You know that I am thinking of You and sending good thoughts every day since I started reading. You live a brave life which is never as black&white&grey as a "fate determined" one, therefore it is maybe sometimes hard to understand for everyone, but I think and I hope You feel like doing the right thing even if it doesn't look right for all of them.

    Got all cheesy on You again cause I really can't express my appreciation for Your awesomeness differently! :D

    I will also think how to share Your blog although I live in a different continent in a little place that hides from most of the world. (:

    GOOD LUCK, YOU CAN DO IT!

    Helen

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    1. Aw, thanks Helen :) That was very sweet of you to say. You put a great big smile on my face and a hug around my heart :) Thanks for reading, supporting, and loving on me when I need it most :)

      Hugs!!

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    2. I am sooooooo with Helen on this....it really couldn't have been better said.

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    3. Helen is a smart woman, isn't she? And thank you for agreeing with her :)

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  14. My goodness. On one hand, I am delighted to see so many different points of view and perspectives on your blog. Everyone may not totally agree with you; but, some stand out as downright judgmental. Oh well, it is the life of a blogger, I guess. Fortunately for those individuals, there is an 'Unsucscribe' button. I hope they use it. There are a few other responses (on a previous blog post) that bear consideration as they are sharing THEIR own experiences with running a non-profit with concern and consideration for the welfare and well-being of your children. You have done that. OK. That being said, if those individuals have been reading your blog from the beginning, do they think you are making this decision without thinking of your children first? I totally understand the 'normal' response to your decision. Hell, most of us have lived lives consisting of less than extraordinary events (such as yours) and made 'safer', more calculated and careful decisions. You have lived and dealt with a lifetime of abnormal circumstances and you are still standing. That tells me a LOT about your decision making skills.

    All of your life experiences have led you to this point, driven and stirred this passion within you. I understand that you cannot deny the opportunities that seem to be available for the launch and success of your non-profit. I think of you as an intermediate surfer tackling the waves in Australia for the first time. Gurrrrl, you are more brave than I could imagine ever being myself. And, that is something I truly admire about you.

    Your gut, mind and heart have served you well so far. You have fully acknowledged your awareness of possible bumps in the road you are choosing and are prepared to meet them head on - as you have with every other situation you have encountered. I believe you are going to be successful. If for no other reason, you are so damn stubborn and refuse to let the bastards win. lol

    This is no cakewalk and may be quite a gamble. I sincerely hope your living arrangements do not have to change. Transitional living is worse than you can imagine, particularly for children. I hope many of the posters have hit that PayPal thingy to show their support of your mission.

    I have shared the hell out of your blog. Sorry, I don't know of any writing jobs - or any other jobs, for that matter. So, I am zero help in that area. The ideas posted here are innovative and fantastic! I hope something leads you to a great place!

    Your chosen moniker isn't Eden Strong for nothing.

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    1. Thank you for giving my spirit a boost today, as I've been feeling a bit weary on the path this week. What you said is pretty much everything that I needed to hear, perfectly worded and well received.

      Thank you for reminding me that this is my purpose and I will make it.

      Eden for my perfect happy place, Strong because I am :)

      You rock hun.

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  15. Have you ever thought about petsitting, housesitting, babysitting or dog walking? I'm not sure what kind of area you're in but it's a thought.

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    1. Not sure if you've seen this yet, but maybe you will soon.

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    2. I would love to do one of those, but my daytime schedule is so crazy that I'm not sure I would be consistent enough to be able dog walk. I could totally cat sit! I should post on my neighborhod facebook page! Babysitting might be a bit iffy with the whole "I currently have a restraining order against someone" deal, it tends to scare the other parents away. Otherwise I could totally watch kids out of my home on the weekends. Thanks for the ideas! :)

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    3. another idea might be donating plasma, only takes about an hour to actually donate, easy money and you can do it twice a week.

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    4. I actually tried to do that last year! They wouldn't let me because I have a connective tissue disorder. They told me I might bleed too much. I guess judging by the fact that I almost bled to death after my surgery, they were right! Not a bad idea though for other people looking for cash

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  16. Are there any market research companies near you? It isn't consistant but it's an easy way to get some cash once in a while. You just sign up with them and they call you if you fit into the study. They typically pay $75-$200 for 1 to 3 hours of your time. I know this isn't what you are looking for but I thought I'd through it out there anyways.

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    1. Yes!!! There is one at the mall down the street from my house. They pay AMAZINGLY well. I did a whole bunch of survey's for them a couple of years ago. Things like "would you be more likely to buy chocolate milk out of a square carton, or a round carton." They pay $125 for 15-30 mins. Unfortunately I maxed out. They only let you take a certain number of surverys in a two year period. I should call and see how much longer I have until I'm back in the game!

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  17. Eden,

    This was an awesome post, I loved it for so many reasons...

    I love your humour, and sarcasm - and I believe in laughing at ourselves, but this post - was like a reflection of your dance class. Totally stripped down, and exposed, and proud!

    Today, I could have scrubbed the floor (OMGoodness - which they so desperately need), what I chose to do instead? Since the kids are with their father this weekend. Spend the day to catch up on my comments on your posts. I could never (and would never choose to - sorry!) if my children were here, because they are my priority

    But you know what??? I'm almost done! I can scrub the floor anytime, but it was important to me to catch up here today, and comment...like all freaking day! I could have done a better job if I reread every post carefully, but I scanned, and went by memory. I'm almost done Eden! I will see you at my finish line, and we can keep going from there...Weeeeeeeeeeeehooooooooooooooo!!!

    Sending you so much Love, and so many Thanks for opening this blog, and inviting us on your journey. That takes a lot of guts, Dear Lady! It truly is a special gift. I can't remember if it was Helen who apologized for being mushy with you, because that's the only way she knows how to be with you...well, she said it best, because, me too...sorry for being so mushy...because it's the only way I know how to give thanks to you.

    Nathalie
    xoxoxox

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    1. Aw, thanks hun!! Yea you really did get through a lot today! I couldn't believe how many blog comments were popping up in my email lol! I think you left like 50! Its always crazy to me that people care to spend so much time reading what I have to say. Craziness I tell ya!

      I scrubbed my floor today, so you can just live vicariously through me, I got us covered :)

      I'm glad that I started this blog, I feel like I have a whole new little internet family :) I'm happy to take you all along this journey with me!

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