Work It Out

by Lo on June 30, 2010

I lied. I lied about not working. I’ve given up a few of my longer shifts since last week, but I haven’t officially stopped working. I just keep telling myself I’ll get through one more shift and then see how I feel, and I feel pretty good, so I keep going. I need a good rest afterwards, but I feel okay going into it.

I don’t keep pushing it because I’m enjoying myself–who wants to be 9 months pregnant and waitressing–I’m doing it because I’m starting to panic about money. We were okay, just Ben and I. Floating by on little means month to month and totally accepting of that lifestyle for a variety of reasons. We were having fun, following our dreams, squeaking by together. I always imagined someday we’d look back on our life together and say “Remember when we barely made it by in LA for a few years….” and smile at the memories of us taking risks, supporting each other, and making something out of ourselves in the end.

But now we’re having a baby–and it doesn’t seem fair to her for us to keep going this way. Especially, I’ve been thinking, because I could do something else. I have that Master’s Degree somewhere in my parent’s basement, afterall. I have earning power, so to speak. I could get a job teaching still. I could probably get a lowly job in the publishing industry if I tried–say, if we moved back to New York. It might not be my dream job, but if I put my energy back into a job search, I’m pretty confident I could land something. With health insurance for my family. And a retirement plan.

I don’t want to go to work. All I want to do is stay home with my baby. Yes, I want to be a stay at home mommy. But although I believe that Ben is an artisitc genius and actually the one with the earning potential of a superstar–it is a riskier to bank on at this point. And it isn’t immediate. Or guaranteed. ┬áBen has the talent and brains to be so many things. I think he could be anything–a doctor, an architect, a lawyer–but he never will be. He could be a graphic designer or even an interior designer. Seriously. He has this thing–this vision for things. He’s been sketching out and revising our future castle for five years. It’s very beautiful. But the only thing he doesn’t have is a stupid piece of paper that somehow verifies his worth. He didn’t go to college. That’s all there is to it.

And I did. So, to do right by our new family, for our well-being, should I consider giving up on my dreams of writing and get down to business? Provide a sturdy salary and health insurance? Leave Ben to raise our daughter? He’d do a really good job, I know that.

But would I be miserable? Does it matter?

The other option is we go along as we are. Make ends meet any way we can. Raise her together, day by day and see what happens. We live. We get by. We have fun. And she learns that’s how it goes in life. You do what your heart says, muddle through the consequences, and chalk it up to experience.

I don’ t know the answer. I’m struggling with it these days.

Yesterday I locked myself inside and scoured the Internet for a “real job.” Today I feel like, forget that. I feel like going for a hike in the sun, working on my screenplay, getting a cup of coffee, waitressing for a few hours, and ending the day curled up in bed, listening to Ben make music in the next room

I think about how our daughter would fit into this day. And I like it.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Kelly Hatt July 4, 2010 at 8:06 am

When my parents had their first child, Greg, they decided to take off and move to Tennessee. They packed everything thy owned in or on top of their car and left. They had nothing. They lived in a home that the three of them shared with other students and lived off of welfare checks. They still have the most amazing old videos of my brother feeding the ducks at the pond and learning how to walk in the park.
They struggled and they made it by just fine, happy and free.
Now, 3 pretty put together kids and 4 grandchildren later, things all worked out.
Thinking about what they went through, getting by to fill their dreams, makes me have so much respect for them. I am sure that baby shields will feel the same.

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