I have a friend who, I must say, is quite amazing. She has cerebral palsy and graduated from UC Irvine with a degree in psychology and wishes she can be a psychologist. However, in the last few years she lost her money she saved up in the money market. The money she gets for disabilities is so little because the government pulls from the job she did in high school and she now has no money to live in a decent place. She is not able to move into her father’s house because he does not believe his “wife’s” (her step mom’s) house can have her. He says he can not support her anymore and so she was booted right after she got out of college. She lived in a rat infested garage for a few months and then found a place for what she could afford. She then had to leave there due to her landlord, who ended up having dementia, and went to live with a friend of a friend. Now, again, she was being forced to move because her landlord asked that she pay more money for an already closet-sized room. She would have had to live in a rat infested garage again if my Fiance and I did not take her in.
My Fiance and I are also moving into his parents house, at first it was to help them out with money but now it is for me to save money and give them what we can. I knew that my friend needed desperately a place and I told my Fiance, if I’m not homeless, then neither is she. So we are taking her into the three bedroom house and what she can afford is O.K. because any little money my Fiance’s parents can get is better than none. See, the thing is, that my Fiance’s parents are facing the Costa Mesa Layoffs, we are not sure if his father will get laid off or not. It is very stressful for both of my Fiance’s parents because they already might lose the house with all the pay cuts they gave his Dad after working hard there for 23 years.
So this would be a good situation for both, but there is one problem: the house is not very clean and my Fiance’s mom is a collector of sorts. I let this known to my friend who was moving in with us, but she is so extraordinary, she just replied, “Then I will help clean it.” She has not seen the house yet and I worry about it, but it is incredible how strong she is even though she is in pain. I helped her move yesterday and she still was trying to fold clothes as well as applying to jobs online. Since she can only work from home due to her condition, she is not finding many jobs. Still, she gives off this calm energy and smile, though she is in pain and poor to the bone, she says, “Don’t worry, I will think of something, I will find something, soon.”
This gives me confidence and makes me feel like if she can do it, then I can too. I am helping her as much as I can and I was already before I got laid off, hoping to help my friend and my Fiance’s parents with money, but maybe I need to find a different approach. So, today, I shook things up and helped his sister move out her old furniture, clothes and garbage from the room my friend was going to live in. I then planned on getting some paint (which does not cost that much) and I plan on painting the bathroom tomorrow. Even though I may not have a job, I am planning my days as if the house is my job. As if making my Fiance lunch and dinner is part of that job too, and cleaning the kitchen and the room. It is a huge job that I am not paid for but it is one I can give myself as I wait for people to call me back. I may not have money, but I can volunteer my immense amount of time I seem to have now. I never removed a shower door, my Fiance has been planning on doing it for weeks to put in a curtain for the bathroom since there is mold there, but I can learn to, right? I am in marketing and I am not used to doing manual labor, but I need to work and do something to help this family and my friend.
Maybe I can do this “job” to keep my mind busy about not having a job so that I can transition smoothly into one when I find one. As always, good luck to all of you other laid off professionals out there, and keep moving!