Recently, and not entirely of my own free will, I gave up teaching. In essence, this is not a long-term goal. Not yet, anyway. I was offered a few positions as a teacher's aide, after having taught in a classroom of my own for the past five years. Needless to say, I wasn't terribly thrilled to take a giant pay cut and be bossed around by someone who would have been my peer. As it turns out, the need for classroom English teachers is not very high in this area these days.
So, for lack of a more flattering term, I gave up. I figured that with a degree in English - a degree that allows for an entry level position in almost any industry - I'd have no problem finding a job. Wrong. After almost two months of searching, I'm still coming up dry. I could take a position for slightly more than minimum wage, or a job that I hate. But somehow, that's not enough for me. What I decided to do, instead, is to apply for graduate school.
It's amazing how much money the government will loan someone like me: single, low-income (or no income, at this point), with a high undergraduate GPA. It's also astonishing that I can earn a graduate degree entirely online. Without having to pay for gas and spend the time getting to and from a campus, and with the flexibility to do classwork on my own schedule, I can spend my free time (and there's plenty!) searching for other forms of income: selling hand-made jewelry on Etsy, selling books I've already read on Amazon, and finding short-term writing gigs on oDesk. All of this from the comfort of my own home (which, luckily, I don't have to pay for). I'm not saying that I'm living the high life. I don't bring in thousands of dollars every month. But I get by with what I've got.
And what I've got is a strong desire to pay my bills by any means necessary.