It's been quite a while since I've posted anything of a personal nature; my last truly personal post was back in May, when I wrote about being invisible.
I believe I have mentioned the situation with my mom's emergency heart surgery in January and her seemingly never-ending recuperation due to an infection that will not go away, as well as the parallel issue of my grandmother's fall and subsequent decline and death. However, although those things are partly what inspired this post, they are not the main reasons, nor the main issues.
The fact is, I am bored and frustrated with my life and the standstill that it seems to be in. It occurred to me the other night, as I was thinking about this, that every one of my past hobbies and enjoyments are no longer of interest to me, and I have almost nothing to replace them with. Dance, poetry and music have been a HUGE part of most of my life. From childhood into adulthood, I wrote poetry, most of which I still have and enjoy re-reading on occasion. I listened to music all the time, but also loved to play and sing as well; I played the clarinet for five years (from 5th through 9th grades), and taught myself to play the guitar as a teen. I have been both a church chorister and a choir director, and have sung in several church choirs as well. I was a professional bellydancer for almost 20 years, and in the process learned to play zills (finger cymbals) and do some very basic drumming. All of this has gone by the wayside in the last several years, and I'm not sure why.
So I am doing my best to create an "updated" life, with new hobbies and interests, and (hopefully) a new career and job to go with them. I've got a decent number of wonderful pen pals with whom I correspond regularly, and the meetup group events and people are fun, when I can get to them. I have also pinched Stuart's bass guitar and its accoutrements from his room, and I am going to attempt to learn to play it. (I bought it for him for Christmas while he was still in high school, and he hasn't used it in years, so I am repo-ing the entire setup. Move over, Patricia Morrison!) And I've decided to try creating some gothic-style decorations to spruce up our apartment and garden.
As far as job hunting goes, I have spent quite a bit of time improving my resume and my LinkedIn profile and connections. I also frequently check the online job boards of various museums and anthropological associations. However, in the six years since I received my MA, I have been searching constantly, have applied for the few local jobs I found that I was both qualified for and interested in, and haven't ever gotten as far as an interview. This situation has caused some serious depression on my part, and I'm honestly not sure how to deal with it anymore. I feel like I wasted my time going back to school for eight years while working 40 hours a week and raising a family. Was it worth it? With thousands of dollars in student loans coming due, I'm not really sure anymore.
What do YOU do to promote yourself when looking for a new career/position? Have you used LinkedIn or other online services? If so, how did they work for you? Do you have any advice, thoughts, or opinions you would like to share?