Monday, July 17, 2006

I'm Melllllttttingggg

but I don't covet ruby slippers, so there's that.

Yes, I know, it's hot everywhere, but I have no air conditioning, and I work someplace that is even hotter than where I am right now, so I won't get any relief by going to work tomorrow. (Jefe said when they had ovens on opposite walls it was screaming hot in the bakery, and I believe it.) I'm going to have to go to a Harbucks this afternoon for some iced tea and iced air (and I have to go to Harbucks, because I have a $5 gift card and can therefore do it for nearly free).

I saw two old friends this morning, which was short but wonderful. One of them saw me through the last bout of Emma Reinvention, and he was very encouraging in his doesn't-say-much way; the big hugs he gave me said it all. Everyone is sympathetic--not just to me, but also toward Dave, even though he's not usually present, so that's helpful. I cleared up the unenjoyment crap--they kept thinking I actually cashed my last check, when really I returned it--but I still have to pay them $70 in taxes for money I never got. But, hey, I'll get it back next year from the IRS! I got to talk to my doctor, who made room in his schedule to see me next Monday morning early (I explained that any other day meant losing pay, and he had the other doc's list of Life Stressors in front of him--aren't computers wonderful?--so he could see that that would be a problem for me); let's hope it's just menopause. I also sucked it up and asked my parents if they could help cover health insurance, I put my Netflix account on hold, and I'm canceling the YMCA membership that we don't use (which means no chance of handball for awhile longer, but neither of us can see spending that money right now). Dave said he's making calls and networking at a furious pace, so I'm hopeful, but even if he gets really lucky, these things take time.

Luckily, I have experience with living on a budget--it's not fun, and I hate it more than I can say, but I know how to do it. I can cut back my expenses--except for health insurance--so I can almost (but not quite) get by on what I make. I can't help Dave out, but at least I can limit my own stuff, and, since he didn't give me any money for June or July, he should have at least a little surplus. It won't last long, but there's just nothing I can do. If his old company would pay him the money they owe him (me, really) for travel, he'd have a little more cushion, but they've owed that money for 18 months, so I'm not hopeful. (Or they paid him and he never told me, but I don't think he'd have lied about that.)

All in all, I'm just wading through the crap. What else can I do? I've realized that I have about three real options: (1) continue at the bakery and get enough writing/editing gigs on the side to get by reasonably well, with health insurance from Dave's new new job or my parents or some cheapo plan that either my earnings or my parents can pay for, (2) find a bakery job that pays more and has benefits, and/or has reasonable enough hours that I can do some writing/editing on the side, or (3) find a job outside the food industry. That last one means giving up my dream (fantasy?) of owning my own bakery--and before I even paid off the loan, fer chrissakes!--but it would also mean enough money to live on and maybe save some, because I'm not going to do that for a job that doesn't pay much more than I can make as a baker. Those are the three real options, though, and the next few weeks will determine which of them I choose; the deciding factors are work on the side for me, a new job for Dave, and health insurance (it completely sucks that that has to be such a huge factor in this--what the hell kind of country are we running, anyway?). A friend from grad school might have some grantwriting for me, and that would be great; I've figured that I need about 15 hours a month of some kind of side work, which isn't all THAT much.

It's true that I'm battling my own demons, as well--I've been through this reinvention thing before, several times, and, as I've whined below, I really don't have a lot of energy to do it again. The thing that's so discouraging is that I feel like I reinvent myself, manage to build something, and then . . . it falls apart. You could argue that I shouldn't have loaned Dave all that money, for example, or that I should have left the company before they owed me quite so much money (I tried to do that, but couldn't find a job), or shouldn't have borrowed another $15k for pastry school, or or or. None of the decisions seemed terrible at the time, but they're pretty much all biting me in the ass at the same time right now. Eh; what's done is done. All I can do is figure out what the next thing is and do that.


Blogger Orange said...

Happy belated birthday, good luck with the nether-hemorrhaging ("Menopause: The Musical" scared me witless), and thank heavens for cooling-off thunderstorms.

11:40 PM  
Blogger kStyle said...

Oh my God, I know, it's so hot. Whooo-eeee.

3:15 PM  

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