Big news! I am a card-carrying member of the has-a-salary club. I’ve been working at this badass agency in the job of my dreams since February as a contractor. They offered me a job on Monday and I was all, “Sorry guys, it’s not a great time for me…if circumstances were different….I mean, HELL YES.”
Since February, my income has been our only income. That means, we’ve been just barely making it since February. It means date night kind of died. It means our puppy is the only one eating all-natural food. It means a lot of our dinners have started out frozen. It means our bills haven’t always been paid on time and we haven’t had anything new in a few months.
Okay, enough of our mid-level suburban poverty, yeah? My car just crossed over into 100,000 mile territory and I swore I saw Matt Lauer making fun of my ratty shoes, but when I rewound to double check, he was reading some jibberish off of a teleprompter.
Needless to say, we have been making sacrifices.
But working has never felt like a sacrifice to me. I have heard the “sob stories” of our generation of how they had to work retail for two years and it was the worst two years of their lives. Boo hoo. This isn’t one of those, “Yeah?! Well I…” stories at all.
I have been working since I was 14. First at the public library. Next at the movie theater. I taught piano lessons for two years. I worked at American Eagle for two years. I worked at a gyro restaurant for a year making $4.50 an hour when the minimum wage was $6.75 and I wasn’t making any tips to go along with it. I worked at a music store that was so shady I thought perhaps the guitars were filled with cocaine and getting paid in cash meant the store just might not be there tomorrow. I waited tables for a year at Applebee’s and two years at a steakhouse in Fort Worth. I worked the textbook counter at school, which was, by far, the worst of all of the jobs. I had textbooks thrown at me by a junior in college. I worked at two portrait studios for children and holiday portraits for three consecutive years. I worked as a “data entry professional” – read: endless typist at a TV listings company with a 3 hour daily commute where I made $8.00/hour for a year. I had five college internships. I freelanced all the way through school.
No I’m not 40 years old, I just haven’t had just one job since I was 15. I have always worked two or three jobs at a time. I have never had a problem with that. I always knew I was just working toward something, even when it wasn’t all that clear.
All I can say is when you’ve been 16 in three high-school team sports and working two jobs at a time, 40-hour weeks don’t feel like sacrifice, they feel like a gift. I have more free time than I know what to do with.
So while Isaiah is in school, I’m happy to say I’m working full-time to get our lives started. And after. Work is ingrained in who I am. If I’m not working, I get depressed, I don’t leave the house, I never wear makeup – it’s not a pretty sight. I feel fulfilled through being good at my job and while, someday, we both hope for autonomy to work for ourselves together, it’s not a terror to wake up Monday morning and get to work.
Especially when I’m doing it for that face. Who wouldn’t work full-time for that face?
We’ve been pushing back the wedding for almost three years waiting for benefits and some kind of security. So here we go. Ready to plan this thing for real. Sorry for the large commercial interruption called 2.5 years of uncertainty. Do you still care about our wedding? Not so much? I wouldn’t blame you. It’s been a while.
Maybe we’ll just get eloped.