Unemployed and frustrated, I finally feel "unstuck" in the middle of COVID-19

(Photo by Edwin Hooper on Unsplash)

I wasn't sure how to introduce this new website of mine, which is being used for a lot of different things, but for the main reason of helping me out in the journalism and commentary career field. Or maybe better, this could be my main line of revenue one day when I'm able to get Google AdSense. I'll cross my fingers on that one.

Like a lot of you, my job was put on hold due to the coronavirus. If you're not aware, I was previously an editor and writer for an outlet called Streamline Media. I covered politics and entertainment, but their main source of income and my writing came from the realm of sports. But we all know what happened: COVID-19 came around, sports got shut down and I got temporarily laid off as a result.

With Streamline Media, I was just an independent contractor, so there's a couple of concerns that I have. 1. Am I going to be able to collect unemployment with being labeled "self-employed"? 2. Will I even have a job after this? (Especially with my job focusing on sports gambling and being based in Las Vegas -- Vegas and that industry is getting hit hard.) On top of that, I'm also confused as to exactly what is going on with my stimulus check. Some have received theirs already, and when I went to the IRS website today to check the status of my payment, it said my status was completely unavailable. We'll see what happens with that, but I'm not holding my breath at this point.

(Screenshot from IRS.gov's 'Get My Payment' section)

But I'm not going to sit here and feel sorry for me. According to the latest reports, there are 22 million unemployed Americans in the same boat, so there's no need for the self-pity.

Which brings me back to the introduction of my website. Instead of feeling sorry for myself about the uncertainty of my future, I decided to launch my own website, and it was actually quite a difficult process to get here.

When the virus was first underway in the United States and the lockdown was just beginning, I remember acting emotionally because of things that I was seeing in the news and it would force me to immediately bring back an old media outlet of mine that, honestly, should have never been brought back. Why? Because it was old, outdated and I just needed a fresh start at this point in my career. It didn't take long before I shut it down, and for good, and I'm of course referring to Powell Media if you're familiar with it. And I'm sure a lot of my readers are.

With that being said, I know a lot of you enjoyed Powell Media, and I too, enjoyed doing it. If you're not aware, Powell Media was a news aggregate that was focused on the political landscape of the United States of America, and it also featured the rest of the globe in our news cycle. But with everything that me and that brand have been through the past couple of years, mainly being forced to shut it down multiple times due to resources and time, I felt it was needed to have a fresh start and to start an operation that wasn't as intense. One day, I would love to run my own media organization, but at the current moment, I just don't have the money nor the resources to make something like that happen. But I do have some good news on that for my readers.

And that's the fact that I'll still be reporting the news on a daily basis. Not only will The Powell Times be my official website, a website that I get out my columns and personal opinions, but I also have a section that will be sending out the intel that you so desire. So no worries there, I'll still have you covered. Believe me when I say, I needed a fresh start, and I feel a lot better with a brand new website with a brand new history that I would have with Powell Media -- and it's even better. Not only do you get news, but you get plenty of content directly from me and my mind.

So, to introduce The Powell Times: To my political fans, you can expect plenty of politics. To my sports fans, you can expect plenty of sports. So nobody has anything to worry about in regards to lack of content from me. The Powell Times is the name of my official website, but that's because it's the name of my official blog. With the blog, I'll be posting columns and/or thoughts to topics such as politics and sports, but I'll be getting into other realms such as entertainment, fashion and so on. That's another reason why I wanted to launch my own official website: I have a load of different interests. I can't just focus on politics, nor sports, nor entertainment, nor fashion, I have to have it all, and it's not even just those four realms, though I would say the two main ones are certainly politics and sports. I'm interested in a lot, and having my own personal website and blog will be able to let me do anything and everything I want. Enjoy the ride, folks, it'll be a lot of fun. And that's just with The Powell Times.

Also on the website, I have a section labeled 'Shareholder's Thoughts' where I will be placing my thoughts on both the Atlanta Braves and Manchester United, two sports organizations that I'm financially invested in, along with 'Donor's Thoughts' with my membership with the Republican Party and my status as a donor to the University of Michigan. So if you're interested in the Braves, Man United, Michigan and/or the GOP, you'll be able to get personal commentary on matters that include each one, and a personal opinion from someone who is invested. With that being said though, I'm obviously not a big player with any of these organizations, it's only a small portion that I'm bringing to the table for these labels. But I do take my status with each brand seriously and professionally, and most importantly, I want them to win. I like to contribute to victory as much as I can, and I feel like my views in these sections will be able to help with that as well.

Old Trafford, Stretford, Manchester, UK (Photo by Alex Motoc on Unsplash)

Now back to the news section, which will be labeled 'Your Daily Briefing,' will feature three sections: News, Politics, Sports. Now if you remember from Powell Media, we had six sections that were from the realms of news, politics, sports, entertainment, business and science/health/technology. With the coronavirus taking out a lot of action all across our cultural landscape, I feel that it's necessary to start with just three for right now -- news and politics for obvious reasons, and sports because I'm still heavily involved in that realm despite the lack of action. Plus, we all know how big sports are in the United States of America. Hell, President Trump has been talking about sports a lot in his daily coronavirus briefings, and even has a task force that is dedicated to just sports and its re-opening. It's amazing how big sports culture is in America, I absolutely love it. However, as we get away from COVID-19 and get back to some kind of normal, you can expect the news section to grow to include more sections. I find this part of my website extraordinarily fun, so to the news heads out there, you can promise that a lot of time will be invested and growth will come out of the reporting from my site. Like you, I love the news.

As time goes along, this website will continue to grow further and even more features will be added, such as an official store. As of now, I'm not exactly sure what all will come out of that, but you can definitely expect me to eventually launch my own clothing line which will be for sale on the site -- both political and non-political clothing, and possibly other fashion such as sneakers. Also, I'll eventually be writing a book which will be sold, and hopefully that reaches a line of different books. Those are just a couple of ideas for now. We'll start there, and things will continue to grow from that point.

You see what I mean though? There's a lot of potential that can come out of this website. Not only would it be "the official website of Andrew Powell," but it would also be an entire operation. There really is a lot of greatness that can come out of this thing, and I look forward to getting to work and digging back deep into the world of journalism after my layoff, as well as everything else that I decide to dabble in. And I hope you guys enjoy the ride with me, I think it'll be a ton of fun. You can even subscribe and get consistent updates from me and my work (as well as the news) through your email -- you can sign up on the homepage if you decide to do so.

It took a lot to get to this point over the past month. I was laid off on March 13, which then led to a couple of weeks of frustration mixed in with hours and hours ... and hours ... of playing FIFA, which featured a ton of thinking in the middle of me playing video games. But I'm finally here. I was telling my fiance that I've felt "stuck" since I've been laid off, and that I needed something to get me out of that vibe. And now I'm finally here. After many moments of irritation, multiple times I wanted to give up, feeling bummed out because of no job and lack of income, whatever negativity I've experienced in the past month, I'm finally here. And I'm grateful, extremely grateful.

At the end of the day though, you can do anything through the power of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. And that's a beautiful thing.