The trouble is that I said, ‘Above all I will write authentically.’ I will not be afraid to admit I am broken or lost or failing, because then others will know its okay to admit their failings too.
Only, when I said that, I was feeling pretty together. I was surveying my failures from a high point. Now I’m down here again, and, as usual, it feels I must have been here all along. It’s happiness and confidence that are temporary illusions.
Sigh. It’s money. I had to borrow money from our joint account to pay for part of the childcare, because I didn’t earn enough last month. And that, my husband says, doesn’t make sense. We can’t be paying for childcare while I don’t earn money.
My one yoga class takes a break all summer, so no earnings there. And I was feeling a little burnt from all the articles before our month-long trip to England in May, so I decided not to hustle in June, but just take jobs that came my way. Plus, there were the little overnight trips in England to visit old friends, and a crazy (joint) cell-phone bill even with a roaming plan. And I haven’t filed our taxes yet because I’m fearful that some slips are missing and that means calling financial professionals to admit I’ve lost them. (Yikes) I wasn’t really expecting money back, but we’re cut off from the $600 we receive monthly in child-tax benefits until we do file.
Sigh. So I’m in the dog house. Which is a sad and unexpected place to be because I’d been feeling so positive about all the good living I’d been doing – eating more vegetarian, exercising, better connections with kids thru crafts, baking and swimming practice.
I had an idea that I could coast for the summer, sow important seeds with volunteer work and reap the rewards in the fall. For example, I’ve been working on my first grant proposal for a local literary society. It’s lots of work, but I’m learning the ropes so that I can apply for some of the many postings I see for Grant Writers on Charity Village and Craigslist, etc.
I’ve also been working on this blog. Partly because I love the self-imposed pressure of writing. It makes me feel interested in the stories of my own life. Partly because I spent many a sleepless night comforted by other voices on blogs. And partly because I want to learn about this platform so I can get more online writing work. So again, in some ways, it’s a big time-waster to do this on a day when I pay for childcare, but in another I’ve really been wanting to do this for a long time. Making a habit of it twice a week will surely get easier and faster, and then pay off later in digital know-how – I hope.
It all seems reasonable until I sunk into my depressive muck. How could this blog promote my value in the work world if I’m flashing around my money blues? And if I’m being authentic, I must say that I’m scared of approaching people for writing work.
I’m scared they’ll say no. I’m scared they’ll say yes, but I’ll botch up the negotiations and work too hard for not enough money. I’m scared they’ll think I’m demanding too much money. I’m scared everyone else writes faster than me. I’m scared I’ll end up with so much work that I’ll have to stay up late every night doing it, and plunking my kids in front of the television because I don’t have enough time to do it on childcare days.
Sometimes it feels like the world is all getting away from me – all the good jobs and all the contracts and all the platforms have been taken while I’ve been puzzling how to model calm as a parent.
Of course, I haven’t only been sitting lotus these last five years. I’ve also been learning to cook on a limited budget, writing freelance articles, editing accounting textbooks, learning to teach yoga and forgiving people. I just couldn’t go back to work while all that was happening. I just couldn’t risk falling apart again.
But the time has come to push. I need to be bold. I need a healthier savings account. There are so many unturned stones.