So for the last couple of days, I've been in this funk. I'm running out of money, which means I'm running out of time to make this whole "write for a living" thing work. I've applied for jobs, had interviews, but nothing has been clicking. And a part of me wonders if it's because deep inside I'm not ready to give up.
Give up? You ask. Why on earth would getting a full-time job mean giving up writing? But it does for me. Because I have so many other things going on in my life, I can't possibly do it all. Right? Right?
One thing I've learned in the last couple of years is that no one feels sorry for me. Which means I'm not at the pity level yet, whew. On one hand, I'd love an anonymous "I believe in Kim" donation to fall into my lap. On the other, I'd feel undeserving because why should I be able to live out my fantastical dream while others slave over a desk for a company they don't even enjoy working for?
But a few things help me understand why I shouldn't feel guilty. For one, I have so much hearing loss that working with people is very uncomfortable. I tried to work with customers on the sales floor of a retail store (as holiday help), and I had to ask them to repeat themselves and talk slower so often, it was embarrassing. And the customers didn't much care for having to yell out their personal information so I could type it into their electronic file: "MY PHONE NUMBER IS 555-5555 AND MY ADDRESS IS NONE OF YOUR F-ING BUSINESS!" Okay, so no one was that evil. But still.
"Why don't you wear hearing aids?" you may ask. The answer to that great question is, I do. They're great at amplifying all sound, including other voices around me, piped in music, the clacking of keyboard keys. In other words, unless I'm in a library, they aren't helpful. Also, I can only wear them in one ear ever since my cholesteatoma surgery. Eventually, I'll have to be fitted for a new one, and these suckers are expensive! Even with insurance. But right now, I am still having issues with my ear. Monday, I lay in bed with vertigo. I'm still a little dizzy today. But Monday, the world slid around like a melting ice cap.
I've also been taking care of my kids, including my teen with ARFID. If I don't sit and watch him eat, he won't eat. And he's supposed to squeeze 3,500 calories a day into his body. Left on his own, he won't even consume 1,000 calories. He's tired, depressed, bored. Even though he's almost sixteen, I rarely leave him home alone. He won't eat, do his homework, shower, anything unless i stand there with motivation pouring out my mouth, a waterfall of words.
His father moved 50 minutes away, so most school days/nights he's with me. If I were to have a full-time job, after school he'd be left on his own to eat. Yeah, and that wouldn't happen. So being home for my kid means a lot.
And I'm sure my justifications feel like excuses to everyone else. But the truth is, I don't like living like this. I want to make money. I want to feel successful. I want to feel productive. And yet, I feel stuck. Part of the answer would be to move in with my boyfriend. But that means taking the kids out of the school district. It also means being beholden to him monetarily. And that worked out oh-so-well in my failed marriage. Not.
No one wants to feel stuck. And right now, I'm just a fly attached to sticky tape. Make that a butterfly. People like butterflies. Yeah. Butterfly.
So where does the groove enter into this mess?
I've started coming up with ideas. Two friends are interested in co-writing sitcoms with me. Sitcoms!
Me after taking a sitcom course years ago: "I suck at writing sitcoms." Instructor: "Agreed."
Me now: "What do I have to lose for trying?" My cat: "Agreed."
But the important part is that it gives me the eensiest, teensiest sliver of hope that I can still do this. I can still write and make money. I can still be home where I don't have to try really hard to hear people and I can make sure my son is eating. But just in case, I've been applying to jobs. Because fate is a fickle friend. One day it may be I'm meant for great things in the world of art. And another day it's kicking me in the buttocks, telling me to get a job like everyone else and just suck it up.
So, as I try once again to get into my groove, my agreeable cat snuggled up on my lap, I say, "What is meant to be will happen. Just don't give up."