Monday, November 20, 2006

Exclusions

Until I thought too much, I was feeling all virtuous today--yesterday I (a) walked (b) to a yoga class, which means I walked about six miles and then practiced in a class for the first time in several months. The teacher was her usual gracious self, and was genuinely glad to see me, which was nice. I didn't get any copyediting done, but I fired off the first chapter this morning. Yesterday I also moved some things around in the apartment. I don't know whether it's because I have more stuff, or I'm older, or what, but it has taken me MUCH longer to arrange things than it ever has before. (The interlude of the enmeasled walls and ceiling didn't help, either.) Flip side, though, is that I'm liking where things are ending up; it almost feels like they're finding their own places. Which is too hippy-dippy even for me.

I had dinner Saturday night with Dave and the Kid, which also was nice. It's great to see the Kid, and it's clear he's glad to see me, and not just because I brought him a baguette. It's good to see Dave, too, though of course it's strange in a whole other way that I didn't know existed. We're both on our best behavior, which tends to eliminate the vitriol and recriminations, and that's fine with me; I've had quite enough of that, thanks so much. Thus, what ends up being on display are the things that were good about our relationship. And, let's face it, we know each other, so it's impossible to not lapse into flashes of familiarity. He keeps reiterating that he does not want to be friends with me, in any way, shape, or form, and he's told me multiple times that he's happier now than he's ever been in his life (meaning, to me, that's he's happier without me than he ever was with me), so I don't misinterpret the Best Behavior as anything other than an effort to enable me and the Kid to see each other--but I appreciate it nevertheless.

After dinner, I came home and turned on the television (which I don't usually do), and found the end of "Elf." Which made me cry (because I'm pathetic, or bathetic, at least). Not at the movie itself (though I really liked it a lot when I saw it), but at the memory that Dave and the Kid and I went to see it together and had a great time. Most of the time I trundle along, making the croissants, editing shit, hanging out, doing whatever; I have years of experience doing that stuff, and those habits have kept me from falling apart completely, not to mention that falling apart completely isn't something I tend to do very well. But then stuff grabs me by the neck (or gut) and twists. I don't know what else to do except cry for awhile and then move on, which probably makes me appear more la-di-da than I feel. I don't know what else to do, though; falling apart isn't going to improve my situation, and the croissants still won't make themselves.

This morning, I started to fall apart for what only appears to be a completely different reason. I need health insurance, and I'm having a bitch of a time getting it, which is ridiculous. Pick ten women my age, and I guarantee I'm in better shape, and take better care of myself, than most of them, despite my so-called preexisting conditions. My favorite part is where they say they'll insure me . . . with an exclusion for the conditions. WTF--that's why I need the fucking insurance! Assholes. I'm in the process of trying to get medical records so I can appeal the decision of the first company, but that is, in fact, a process rather than an event.

Meanwhile, though, I freak out about not having insurance, and that makes me rummage around looking for another job, an office job, one that will pay me enough and will provide said benefits. The jobs out there . . . either I can do them, but would want to slit my wrists (provided I could get them, which is unlikely), or I don't have the qualifications (either really don't have them, or don't have them on paper, even if I could do the job), or the job is in an industry or doing something that I really find problematic, or some happy combo of all those things. I have more skills than you can count, and I can't find a fucking job, which mostly makes me feel useless and scared.

Really, though, the scary part is this foray into baking, and I'm beginning to think it was the biggest mistake I made. Now that I've been doing this for nearly a year, my resume is even more checkered than it was before, making me even more undesirable (except to bakers, who don't pay very much), especially to drones who want people who fit into boxes. I know what I'd say if I'd get an interview--that I was changing careers, and that opening my own business depending on personal circumstances, which have changed--but I don't even get phone calls or acknowledgments of applications, much less interviews. Who the fuck would hire me, at this point, to do anything OTHER than baking? At which, as noted, I don't make enough on which to live. I don't mind the combo of baking and editing, really, but neither of those jobs provides the aforementioned health insurance I need so sorely. So I cave, and start looking for another job, and see how unlikely it is that I'll find one, and then I just get plain scared. I'm 48 years old, I have a wide variety of skills and experience but no "career path," I've got yet another student loan to pay off, I'm going to make less this year--by a lot--than in any year since 1994, and I've spent my savings on a wedding for a marriage that lasted less than a year and on the life we had before we got married. (We divvied up household expenses proportionately, based on income, and I made more, except (a) Dave wasn't honest about either his income or his expenses, so I don't have any idea how we should really have divided things up, and (b) more importantly, I kept paying more even when my actual income dropped, because of the missed paychecks.)

You can see how this vicious mental circle ends badly every time, and you can see why I prefer to not fall apart. This falling apart thing, I don't like it so much, and it doesn't solve any of the problems.

It's also worth pointing out that, when push comes to shove, and when I'm not freaking out, I actually feel pretty grateful and content, even if that's not the part that makes it to this space. Hell, if I could just get health insurance, I'd be happy! Seriously--I know I can't keep doing exactly what I'm doing forever, because it's simply too grueling, and I'd definitely like to be able to take some time off once in awhile, but my biggest worry is the health insurance.

2 Comments:

Anonymous dave said...

The "Kid" also has a name; it's Paul, I gave it to him, and it's a good name for a good son.

8:18 PM  
Blogger kStyle said...

Call me if/when you want to discuss working at a publisher. Chicago has a few.

9:06 AM  

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