Unemployment, Changing Careers, and the Loss of a Dear Friend

You probably won’t read this post.

My blog description says this blog is about makeup, skincare, and life at 40+. Most of my posts have been about makeup and skin care. This post is about life at 40+. So let’s start with the first topic in the title.


About 2 months ago, I got laid off from the board game company I worked for. It’s not like I didn’t see it coming. The board game industry isn’t doing super great here in the U.S., and so the company wasn’t doing all that well. Plus we were sinking money into the owner’s passion projects instead of making games that might make money.

It’s alright. In all honesty, I was feeling like it was about time to move on from that job. I just didn’t know what else I might want to do and was dragging my feet about making the change. The Universe just decided to give me a kick in the pants.

After the initial panic of “OHMYGODWHEREISTHEMONEYGONNACOMEFROM!,” I calmed down and applied for unemployment. It’s definitely less money than what I was making, but it’s enough. Well, it’s enough if I don’t go spending all my money on makeup. (There may be a few “Shopping My Stash” post coming.)

In the last couple of months, I’ve been applying for jobs. Not jobs that I’m necessarily excited about, and sometimes even jobs I don’t really want. When I think of all the kinds of work I have done in my life, the only work I really loved was being a graphic artist. I want to try to get back into being a graphic artist, but it’s been over 10 years since I’ve done it as a job. I’ve been doing some graphic design personal side projects over the years, so I still have pretty good skills.

That brings me to my next topic:

Changing careers

As of this post, I am 45 years old. And I’m unemployed. So it’s the perfect time for me to change what I do for a living, right?

Right now, if you look at my resume, you would see I’ve done a lot of office/clerical work for the last 10 years. So, most of the jobs that come up in my job searches based on my resume are for office/clerical work.

I really don’t want to do office/clerical work. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good work, but I knew in my early 20’s that I didn’t want to spend my adult working life doing office/clerical/receptionist work. It’s just not something that makes me happy. It’s not work that makes me feel like my time is being well spent.

So, at age 45, I’m looking at taking courses to become a web designer. I know I have a good eye for design, so I can make a site look good. What I don’t know is how to do the coding on the back end.

There’s a 5 month course that I qualify for, and I may be able to get funding for the course from the state. If I pass the course, I will have a certificate that says I know how to do web design. Then I have to find an employer who will hire a 45 year old web design newbie.

I’m excited about taking my life in this new direction, but I’m also scared as hell. What if I put in the time and energy to become a web designer, and the only thing people want to hire me for is clerical work? What if the only thing employers see is my age? What if…?

That brings me to the last subject of the title…

The Loss of a Dear Friend

A week and a half ago, a very dear friend of mine died suddenly and very unexpectedly. This was someone who had been a part of my life for 18 years. He was someone whom I loved dearly and cared about deeply. He was someone who was so very important to me. He was someone I wanted to grow old with. He was the most beautiful person I have ever known. And, yes, I made sure to tell him all of these things while he was alive. His name was Andre Monserrat. He was a talented artist, writer, poet, game designer, and web designer, among other things. Drey was 45 and he died peacefully in his sleep.

His death has left all of us in his circles of friends reeling. Personally, I could never imagine the world without him in it. Trust me, I’ve tried. It brought me to tears every time.

Over the years, Drey helped me get through a lot of shit. At times when I was at my lowest, I would come visit him for a few days. I could always talk to him about anything. He would listen without judgment, offer his shoulder to cry on. He would usually have good advice, or at least words of encouragement for me. He gave me a reason to keep going when I wasn’t sure if I could. Turns out, he was still the reason I kept going. Now I have to live in this world without him, find reasons to go on, and I really don’t know how. I have things I need to do, but right now, without him, they all seem pointless.

I know I have to give myself time to grieve, but right now, I am not okay. It may be quite some time before I am okay. Drey’s death has left a colossal, gaping hole in my heart, and I don’t know if I will ever be whole again. Friends tell me the pain eases with time. I’m not sure the pain of his loss will ever leave me.

I know as I get older, I will lose more friends to death. That doesn’t mean it will ever get any easier.

If you’ve read this far, thank you. This was not a fun post. I figured I should at least let you know what is going on in my life right now, just in case I don’t post for a little while. If you know me personally and ask me how I am next time you see me, don’t be alarmed if I break down and cry. I would rather do that than lie and say I’m fine when I’m not.

I will try to keep posting about makeup and skincare, but if I don’t seem to be my usual cheery self, at least you know why.

5 thoughts on “Unemployment, Changing Careers, and the Loss of a Dear Friend”

  1. I’m so sorry for your loss. Any loss is hard, but I feel like the unexpected ones are even harder to process.

    If you want to talk about your web design plans, I’ve taken one of those short courses to help change paths and can help you plan. It’s hard to change gears. Best of luck on that!


    1. Thank you for your kind comments, April.
      And yes, I would like to talk with you about the web design course. Since you’ve done one of these courses, I would be very interested in hearing about your experience. I have no idea what to expect in this endeavor, and the person I was going to talk to about web design as a career is the friend I lost.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Shoot me an email with what the course is grumpyskin@gmail.com.

        What you need to look for is if the program has a money guarantee on your job placement & if the projects will build a good portfolio. I did a program through a university here (seemed more legit than the for profit code schools) and it was a joke. Like I didn’t even turn in my final project because I was mad. They didn’t even ask about it, just passed me no questions. Mine didn’t guarantee that I’d be hired, just had a job placement rate that I think they fudged. And the projects were all fill in the blank type things so I didn’t leave with a portfolio showing my actual skills.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, I’m so sorry for ALL of your losses! I am also of the age where I am losing friends and family. I know how shocking and painful it is.

    I had my own web design/development business for 7 years. This is one of the last websites I built before we left the US: http://www.wbchoa.org. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions or just want to talk – about web design, or life.

    Liked by 1 person

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