Yet again, I find myself in the position of having a lot to say, and not knowing how the hell to say it. This is how I always seem to find myself. For someone claiming to be a writer, I sure don’t write very much. There’s a lot to process, and the processing takes free space. Do you know what I mean by free space?
I think of the mind like a memory stick, sometimes. (Those of you who don’t know what that is, ask your youngest relative over the age of 6. They can probably explain it better than I can. Or, go here.) Sure, you can fill it up to the very top and still use it, but it’ll be slow. Transferring and shuffling files around is going to take longer, because there’s more to shuffle. If you want it to speed up, you need to declutter a bit. Give the data some room to shuffle, organize itself into something that makes sense.
My brain feels chock-full right now. It’s all tangled up with emotions (curse you, emotions! KHAAAAAAAANNNNN!) too, which only makes it more confusing, and of course there’s my husband to consider too. I don’t like seeing him conflicted and impatient in this way, unless it’s something I’m doing to him on purpose. (Which, for the record, is easily resolved once the kiddo has gone to bed. Wink wink, nudge nudge.) In the past I have managed to solve such mental anguish (much to the chagrin of my inner EmoGoth) with time, talking, and mental free space, but it seems like that isn’t going to be possible in this situation.
Nyte got a job in another city, one about two and a half hours away. It could be a great job, with wonderful professional experience and they seem to be willing to pay him something closer to what he’s actually worth, something we could actually live on. Maybe even a place he could stay for years, a city we could buy a house in, a place to start over and get things right, financially-speaking.
I should be thrilled, right? We should be doing the happy no-pants dance in the living room, curtains be damned! At long last, the ability to pay off school loans and the car and not be counting pennies every week to make sure we can buy pasta AND sauce! The chance to not wince every time the phone rings – or at least, to wince because it’s a telemarketer or the Red Cross calling for the umpteenth time (leave me alone, I’m still using the bits with the iron in), not a creditor trying to collect on medical bills. (Sorry, I still don’t have hundreds of dollars to give you. Here, have a pittance, just like last month, and the six months before that one. If you call again this month, I’ll tell you the same, so stop it.)
Instead, I’m thinking about everything that needs to be done to move. And all the money that we need to basically double-pay our living expenses for a month. And how I get to be a single mother during the week. I’m thinking, “here we go again.” I’m thinking it in a negative, jaded way, with folded arms and my hip jutting out and my lips pursed like I know better. Attitude: the kind that doesn’t actually solve anything, just pisses on other peoples’ parades. That’s not who I want to be, but denying that I feel that way won’t help me get the hell over it, either.
There’s guilt, too. Guilt that I can’t be the supermom who works AND takes care of her kid, and also stay sane enough to function. I can do two of those, but not three, apparently. Not in the kind of jobs that are available second-shift, part-time in this economy. I don’t have retail experience, or waitressing experience. I thought I was lucky to just have done some fast-food when I was a teenager, and everything else be in an office. It’s actually biting me in the ass now. But that, my friends, is an example of one of the guilt-tangents I get into when I try to untangle this mess in my head. I feel guilty about not bringing in income. I feel guilty about spending money that wasn’t absolutely essential. I feel guilty that we got pregnant unexpectedly. I feel guilty that I don’t provide the clean, educational, happy house that I seem to think I’m capable of creating, when I know in my head that the sort of organizing, cleaning and cooking it would entail would only serve to make sure I NEVER spent time with the Podling. It just isn’t physically possible, not at the level of my perfectionism.
I’m struggling to express my feelings in large part because I feel that my feelings are wrong. Don’t even get me started on the circular argument inherent in that statement, because the next thing you know we’ll be dividing by zero and black holes will spring up everywhere, and it’ll be that one SyFy Original Movie all over again.
The only thing I can say, fully and without reservation, is that I am conflicted.
I know single parents manage to do what needs to be done every day, and I know I can do it. I know I am physically and mentally capable of putting on my big girl panties and just Getting Shit Done. I know that we will find an acceptable apartment in this new city, and that Nyte will work for at least three months, we will find private health insurance, we will find new people to hang out with on the weekends, and despite what my social anxiety is telling me, the world will not implode in fire and water if I talk to strangers. We will figure out how to transport the cats, our stuff, the Podling and ourselves to our new digs and unload it all, and then how to get back here to clean the place up. We will deal. We will survive. The Podling won’t shrivel up and die in new surroundings.
After those three months…I don’t know. Maybe Nyte will stay 1099, maybe he won’t. Maybe they’ll eventually get rid of the lemon that Nyte (and at least one other person) has been hired to replace, maybe they won’t. Maybe it’ll be a great environment for Nyte and he’ll thrive, and our debts will slowly be paid off and we’ll save for a house of our own. Maybe this small company that seems to have trouble getting their shit together and communicating with anyone outside themselves will decide that Nyte’s work is fine but he’s not working out, or they just don’t need that many programmers and he’s the low man on the totem pole, and then we’ll be stuck again, only this time with a lease.
I don’t know. I’ve been waiting for so long, and disappointed so many times, that I simply don’t want to emotionally invest myself again. I don’t want to get my hopes up, because they’ve been batted down again and again and again. I’ve been living in this little shell of a semi-mindless existence trying to stay protected, and so far…it hasn’t really worked. My hopes have gone up despite myself, and they’ve been dashed a few more times. I’ve tried to remain stable, level, unmovable, but I think it has backfired on me. I think I’ve lost something. I think it was important.
I think I’d like it back.
There are still a lot of things left to figure out, and I don’t mean in a philosophical sort of way. I mean basic stuff. Where should we look for apartments? What’s the going rate down there? What’s fair? What are the school systems like? What is Nyte’s new pay schedule? How does he invoice them? How do we do 1099 paperwork? Will last year’s tax info come in time for us to file before we move, and if so, will we see the money before we move? Will we be able to pro-rate this place? The new place? Will the current landlords demand we find someone else to rent this side, the way they did our friend who lived next door? Will they withhold the security deposit until they can pay us with the next tenant’s security deposit? Without knowing a lot of these things, we don’t even know when we can move. We don’t know how long Nyte will have to commute and couch-surf during the week. How long will I have to be here by myself, packing our things and running the house?
How long? When? Is it done yet? Are we there yet? Can we go now? Someone answer me!
This seemed a lot easier when I was a kid.