Updated Progress Report

Hello, world. It’s me, Betsey Horton, Writer Extraordinaire. I’m writing to you again because my last post was very sad and I wanted to let you know things are getting better in my world. The sun is out, I’m wearing a mini skirt, and I’m enjoying an iced latte from the comfort of my car, which is parked downtown with the trunk door popped open so I can write and steal wifi at the same time.

Why am I doing this? Because the cafe hasn’t set up their tables and there’s nowhere else downtown to sit outside and watch people. So I made my own set up, away from The Bar That Shall Not Be Named so that they cannot harass me over their delusions of grandeur again. Something tells me they will keep doing it anyway. It’s okay. I just call them the Crazy Cult People now.

But really, it’s actually not okay. At all. Anyway, here’s how my life is going, for anyone who cares:

Novel

I’m not working on this. I mean, I am, but I’m also just not. I’m not very happy with it right now. It’s supposed to be this inspiring story of overcoming obstacles and succeeding in spite of the bullshit. Unfortunately, it’s not that. Other people will not allow it to be that. I’m still very angry and upset over everything that has happened. I’m trending sober at a 90% rate right now, so I have to spend a lot of time sitting with those feelings. It’s not fun!!! But I’m working through them. Some days are worse than others. Some days I feel like I’ll never climb out of the hole. However, I continue to persevere. I will get my happy ending. I will!

Blog

I recently made a life-changing decision and decided to invest in a blogging course advertised to me on Instagram. It was a little bit more money than I would usually spend on a course, but no more than I would pay for a single credit hour at USD. Y’all, it was worth it. I’m not going to talk too much about it yet because I’ve only just completed the first section, BUT I will say that the structure of the course is exactly what I needed to help me take my new blog plan to the next level. My hope is to start out with a travel blog that brings me passive income and eventually grow it into an online magazine. Let’s hope I can make it happen!

Courses

I jumped back into my courses after languishing for some time. Right now I’m working on copywriting and UX writing. As stated in the last post, I find social media and digital marketing somewhat frustrating, so I decided to try something else.

I am pleasantly surprised by how much I like UX. I use my iPad for everything so I am constantly evaluating app design without really being conscious of it. UX also has a completely different way of integrating human psychology into writing. Marketing is all about selling people shit, even if it’s a lie. I’ve met a lot of super shady marketing people throughout my digital nomad journey and they kind of put me off it. UX isn’t like that. It’s literally just about creating a design that will make using websites and apps a more pleasant experience.

I’m also attracted to UX for other reasons, such as the availability of remote jobs with benefits, the ability to work from a beach on the island of Zanzibar, and an insanely high salary. It’s insane. Literally insane. Look it up if you don’t believe me. I did and I was like, “Wow, I’m never going to have to worry about paying rent or buying groceries ever again.” I can’t even imagine having that much money. Forget bartending! I’m investing in UX!

Right now I’m taking a UX design fundamentals course. I signed up for a portfolio course to help me put together something to use to apply for jobs. I signed up for a webinar specifically for UX Writing next week. I also joined a bunch of groups on Facebook and reddit. Will I finally be forced to use LinkedIn? Probably. It’s not my favourite platform. I’m not going to lie.

Job Search

Speaking of LinkedIn, ugh. Job hunting. It sucks. It’s fine. Everybody hates it. I am not alone.

For me, I feel like I’m completely starting over. I have a degree, a couple internships, and over a decade of service industry experience. I have this website, which I built myself with the knowledge and experience I’ve gained from the last two decades of my life. Yet it feels like nothing I have to offer is what I actually need to get a job. It’s probably my anxiety talking. Or it could be LinkedIn, which I hate because I just sit there comparing myself to my peers.

I’ve also been taking time to explore different things instead of just jumping right in to something new. I know that what I want more than anything is a remote job. There’s a limited number of jobs that can be done remotely. I’ve had to carefully sort through my options, take courses to learn new skills, and build onto what I have.

Now that I’m at a place where I can look back on the last 14 months of pandemic life and actually measure the work I’ve done, I’m feeling less anxiety. It definitely feels like all I did was watch movies and TV, but in reality I’ve accomplished a lot. Maybe not as much as I was hoping, but I’ve made a complete turnaround as far as my career is concerned. I’m not throwing away all my time and money at the bars anymore. Instead I’m investing it all back in myself and working towards making a real change.

Networking

As mentioned in the last post, I hit a low point around March Madness, so I decided to go back to doing virtual events. I attended virtual BroadwayCon, the TCM Classic Film Festival, and New Orleans Jazz Fest. I also went to an IRL Kentucky Derby party, where I bet on the right horse to win third place and won $37.

I submitted a photo of myself dressed as Jenna from the hit Broadway musical “Waitress” to BroadwayCon and won a 2-week free trial membership to a virtual dance studio. I started taking Ballet, Jazz, and Musical Theatre Dance classes. I love it!!!!! I subscribed to their service and now I’m taking 4-5 dance classes a week. They also hold “Sharing Sessions” for us to journal and connect. It’s a really great community. I’m so grateful they reached out.

So, not a job, but something! Networking isn’t bad! Networking isn’t scary! It’s not a bad thing to put yourself out there and meet new people! Not everyone hates you and thinks you suck, Betsey! Some people in this world are actually really fucking cool! It’s okay!

Routine

My routine has improved by leaps and bounds since I started taking the dance classes. I already had “Musical Monday” firmly scheduled in my calendar in order to dedicate one full day a week specifically to my love of theatre, dancing, singing, acting, and musicals. Now I take three dance classes on Mondays and watch musicals in between. The jazz classes are on Tuesday and Thursday. I haven’t been great about making Thursdays, but I do have Monday and Tuesday down.

Saturday and Sunday are my “have fun or do nothing” days. Tuesday-Friday is for my blog, courses, and job hunting. I’m trying to force a designated cleaning day into that schedule as well, just because I have a tendency to let my clothes collect in large piles on the floor. It’s a never-ending battle, but I’m working on it.

I did find a new quiet place to work on my courses since the cafe hasn’t been working for me. I was hoping to enjoy the outdoor seating once it opened up, but it’s not here yet. That’s why I’m just chillin’ in my car, stealing the wifi, living my life. I just wanted to sit outside, you guys.

Mental Health

Okay! Last section! I have to finish this really quickly since there’s a storm rolling in. Figures. I finally get to wear a short skirt and it starts raining. Sucks. I need to move somewhere with better weather. I’ve come to understand that the weather has a much bigger effect on my mental health than I previously realized. Thank god for Vitamin D gummies.

I said I was going to get obsessed with eating healthy and exercising. This has been going well. It’s not my first time around this rodeo! Obviously the dance classes came at the perfect time. Eating wise, I haven’t given up meat but I’ve been slowly weaning off my take-out habit and eating salads every day. I need to incorporate more fruit, but I find changing one’s diet tends to be a process that goes better if you focus on slowly eliminating bad things and adding in good things. I try to take that as it comes.

I haven’t resumed yoga yet because I haven’t found a class online that I like. I’m working on that. I would like to include a 10-20 minute session in my morning routine. I’m just not there yet.

I meditate sometimes, but the last few times I’ve gone into my “special room,” Andrew has been there trying to talk to me. He also comes out whenever I try to write. It’s VERY ANNOYING. I don’t know how to get rid of him. I would say that is the second worst situation I’m dealing with mental health-wise, after talking myself down from jumping into the sweet release of death, of course.

Okay, the storm is here now. I need to go. Thanks for supporting me on my journey to become a healthier person and a better writer. I appreciate it more than you know! Have a good one!

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