Can't Find My Niche In Our SocietySorry if this is long; thanks to anyone kind enough to take the time for it.
I had a normal childhood other than being targeted for bullying by female classmates starting in middle school. I've never been into things like gossip and drama, so I guess that makes me an easy target. That was first sign of problems I'd eventually have in the workplace.
Despite excellent grades and a high intelligence, I barely managed to graduate high school. By senior year, I had completed all but 2 required classes and had no choice but to fill my schedule with electives where we watched movies to fill the time. I've always had a problem with wasting time, so it was awful to sit there doing nothing all day when I could have been productive elsewhere. Somehow I scraped by and started college, where things improved at first. It all fell apart when I took a restaurant hostess job to help pay off loans. Up until then, I'd done stuff like freelance work or helping out with my mom's side business when I needed money, so this was my first normal job.
I went into it enthusiastically and treated everyone with kindness and respect, but that didn't help when most of the girls I worked with bullied me because I wasn't interested in mean gossip/backstabbing, or chatting for hours about reality tv. And when you're required to spend long periods of time doing nothing, you start to think about your life. I felt like a drain on society, being paid $8 an hour to do a job that didn't allow me to contribute anything in return. Add to this an unpredictable schedule and a boss that wouldn't compromise, making classes impossible at the same time. A month into it, a woman accidentally hit me while I was driving to work. My boss let me go because of the injuries and I was secretly relieved to leave the job.
A few months later, I planned to move and continue college in another state. But I had to save up money first, so I took a job at a retail store. The same problems from before came back, but now I had trouble being on my feet for long times without fainting, as well as headaches. The injuries had supposedly healed so my doctors acted like it was all in my head or just wanted to push drugs like benzos. Physical stress/pain plus dealing with even worse cruelty from female coworkers piled up to the point where it was unbearable and I spent the breaks crying in my car. A family member in another state offered me a trade job working with glass, so I quit and moved.
People were saying I was lazy because I couldn't keep an "easy" service job and that I wouldn't last at this either, but it turned out differently. I loved working alone in a quiet studio, not having to worry about things like being required to make small talk with people, and getting paid for the amount and quality of work I did as opposed to standing around doing nothing. That was the first job I had that I kept for a decent amount of time. When the economy turned, so did the job and I was let go because there was not enough work or money to pay me.
After that, I made ends meet for a year by selling vegetable seeds and plants online, but sales have dropped to nothing as the economy worsens. I can't find any contractors or tradesmen that would let me help out either because all of them are struggling too. The only jobs available here are corporate service jobs. Right now I'm living with family, but can't stay here forever. I'm running out of money and know how dire my situation will be soon but still can't keep one of those jobs longer than a couple weeks. Out of desperation, I even tried for disability for the standing issue and headaches at least until I can find another trade, but there's no way I'll be approved before my savings have run out.
Even if I do tough it out and manage to finish a college degree, I'd probably just be stuck in an equally miserable office job, contributing just as little to the world. I see how most Americans live and how unhappy they are, always trying to escape from reality with things like television, pills, or junk food, and I can't live like that. My dream is to work with organic food sources and medicinal plants, as part of a self sustaining community; I have friends in Brazil and Peru living this kind of lifestyle and I'd love to try it out for at least a year, but can't even afford to travel there because I'm unable to keep a source of income long enough to fund it. I'm trying to find a similar community here in the US as an alternative while still looking for a contractor that would allow me to help out part time with some kind of physical trade type work so I can have an income again. There HAS to be something out there and I'll keep struggling to have a meaningful, happy life if I have to die trying.
Our society has gotten more and more narrow, and the types of jobs and lifestyles available have as well. Not everyone fits into the statistical majority mold and when you take away the other molds, some of us will suffer. That's bad enough on its own, but then people have to add salt to the wound by calling us "lazy" or being judgemental. Maybe they're just secretly miserable with their own lives and get relief by taking it out on someone else that's different. I just hope I can either find my niche in our society or survive long enough to find another one where my strengths are appreciated.