The other day I was watching videos Chris and I used to send back and forth on Youtube to each other before we were able to meet in person. At that point neither of us had webcams, so we'd essentially make video letters to each other and post them privately on Youtube. One of the things I noticed was how much Chris loathed going to work, how much he hated his job even then almost 4 years ago. Secondly I noticed that we were both perfectly happy and prepared to accept not a low-income life per-say but definitely a life where there might be some paycheck-to-paycheck at first and some doing without. The money here sucks you in man....we swore it'd never happen to us but I think it's in those early stages of the "just a little bit longer....just save this much and then we'll leave" but when is enough enough? Thirdly, Chris was SO passionate about his radio show and pursuing that full time no matter what that meant financially and both of us agreed that it was more important to spend your life doing something you love and making a difference rather than dreading every morning just to be comfortable. I wonder when that changed...
I should interject here by explaining that I fully understand how, to all those outside my head, my future plans must seem so schizophrenic. One day I'm excited about this possibility, the next I'm excited about something completely different....it must be tough to keep track of what my actual plans are! lol For any of you familiar with the Myers Briggs identity types, I am an ENFP: http://www.personalitypage.com/ENFP.html This actually describes me to a T, pay special attention to the part that says "An ENFP needs to focus on following through with their projects. This can be a problem area for some of these individuals. Unlike other Extraverted types, ENFPs need time alone to center themselves, and make sure they are moving in a direction which is in sync with their values. ENFPs who remain centered will usually be quite successful at their endeavors. Others may fall into the habit of dropping a project when they become excited about a new possibility, and thus they never achieve the great accomplishments which they are capable of achieving." I can easily forget what was so great about my original plans as I get really excited about some new possibility. However, when I take that time out to center myself and reflect on my plans and consider how they line up with my values, they don't always jive. So I re-evaluate and come to a different plan that's a bit of a happy medium.
That said, plans have changed. Yes, again. ;) On Chris's end of things short-term, his talent and his passion is in using his voice to reach out to people. He has made several invaluable contacts at Twenty5eight in Sydney (who do the production work on his show) who have put him in touch with a man who can evaluate Chris's goals for his show vs the actual marketability of it as a product. He's sending the second show off tomorrow so this guy can evaluate the consistency between shows from week to week and then they'll decide what changes need to be made from there. I'm not sure where he'll go after the show is re-worked as I'm not sure how all that works as far as getting onto actual stations is concerned.
My short-term plan has changed back to a hairdressing apprenticeship from an administration traineeship. Yes there would be a LOT more money in admin. work, but I wouldn't enjoy it and you don' t have the job security you do as a hairdresser. If I can't find work in a salon, I can always cut hair out of my own home or start up a mobile business (popular stuff here.) Bottom line; I can't think of anything more fun and more perfect for me at the moment. Of course every job is work, but I will relish being a part of something creative and social and challenging where I'm always meeting new people and the business is always changing with the trends. I love that. :) The apprenticeship is 3 years and is essentially a work-study type program. After the 3 years I'll hopefully be able to look for a job someplace! The catch here is that I'm not sure if I have to be a permanent resident in order to start, and I won't have residency until July next year when Chris and I have been married for 2 years. I'm trying not to worry about that too much until I know more and will try not to be too disappointed if I have to be a resident.
Long-term (after I finish my apprenticeship) Chris will look for full-time work in radio. If he has trouble getting a gig because he doesn't have much formal training (3 formal broadcast training courses and the rest is just hands on,) he'll enroll at AFTRS for a Graduate Diploma in Radio Broadcasting. It's a two year program full-time or 4 part-time. That said, I don't know that he'll really need that education for sure. Only time and talking to other people in the industry will tell whether life-experience or certifications are more important in this business. I'd think it's just talent and life-experience much like you don't need a degree to become an actress or tv personality, but you never know. I will plan on attending a brick-and-mortar university or seminary wherever Chris's work takes us and get my BMin. In the mean time I'll need to pick a denomination to become ordained through....that's going to be a tough decision! It will probably be made easier by the small list of churches that allow women to be ministers though. ;) I'll be a citizen by then and will qualify for FEE help from the govt. which is a lot like the government grants and loans you get through FAFSA. I don't know how much I'll qualify for the first year since it will have Chris's mining income on the tax return, but the second year we'll def need it. The reality of it is that Chris will most likely be taking a 50-60% pay cut once we move. We won't know how bad it will be until the time comes, but he always has the option of doing residential type electrical work part-time and radio part-time at first depending on what he can find. I'll get a job part-time as a hairdresser while I go to school and that should help pay some bills too...
That 3-4 year time frame that we're in m'bah will allow us to save enough to support us through the transition to wherever we need to go (we will go anywhere in the country that there is work, beggars can't be choosers.) I don't expect the first few years to be fun but, honestly, I feel like God has been testing our patience since we met and this might be why. Very very very few 20 y/o are blessed with the income we have at the moment and if they can all do without I'm sure we can make it work as well. After we pay off all my dental work I've had done recently, we're going to start taking out 50% of Chris's paycheck in cash on payday and forcing ourselves to budget with that. We'll be putting whatever's left over, as well as the other 50%, into savings to buy a home.
You know...it is quite hard when I start thinking about our kids. I haven't even met them yet and I already want the best life imaginable for them...I want them to have everything they could ever need or want even if it's at the cost of my own happiness at work. But then I think about our parents and how they mustn't have worked so hard for us only to begin a cycle of unhappiness. We don't want to work hard for our kids so they can be happy while they're at home and then go off and be miserable at work for the rest of their lives providing for their families, we want them to be happy forever. I think the best thing we could do for our family at this point is to buy a house, rent it out, and start paying off that mortgage as fast as possible so we don't have that burden on our shoulders once we move.
The thought of losing the security of Chris's current job is really scary, but we'll have a few years to get used to the idea and I know we'll be happy for it in the end. :)