February 23, 2009 at 8:25 am (Uncategorized)

I haven’t really written anything here recently, because the only things I can think of to say are on subjects I’ve been spending the past week or two trying to avoid thinking about.  Other things just seem too much like…minutiae.

I’m a natural optimist, in the sense that I function better when I have a reasonably happy outlook about my future, and so I work pretty hard to keep that going even when I’m not really feeling it.  It’s been harder than usual lately.  And it always, always comes back to money.

It’s not even that I don’t have enough of it.  I just can’t predict it.  I can’t count on still having it next year or next month (or, at the moment, even next week).  It’s a horrible kind of defeat for me, sometimes, that I can’t even get a low-paying job.  The best I can do is a series of temporary low-paying jobs.  It’s demoralizing.

I don’t even want to tell people I haven’t talked to recently what I’m doing, because I feel like I should be doing something better.  Or at least something more permanent.  There’s no shame in working as a secretary as a sort of placeholder while you figure out what you want to do, but it seems so much worse somehow that I can’t even do that.

The only thing that gets me through the day, the week, the month is reminding myself why I’m here in the first place, and reminding myself that I actually do have it harder than most people like me.  I still don’t regret moving here, and I still think it’s worth it.  But it doesn’t always help to know that part of the reason why I’m struggling is because I live in a poor city with few prospects and a glut of college-educated people.  It’s in a state with higher unemployment and lower median income than most.  And unlike many of those other college-educated people, I didn’t go to school anywhere near here, and a lot of people have never heard of the school I got my degree from.

I really hope I manage to find a permanent job soon.  Otherwise, all of my memories of this place may end up being indelibly colored by the fact that I feel like such a failure right now.


1 Comment

  1. Kristan said,

    Oh, Mary… I can’t say anything that will fix this, but I will say that no matter what happens, you know you have your parents as a backup. It’s not a fun thing to think about, believe me I know, but it’s a safety net, something that we are both lucky to have.

    (There’s also unemployment…)

    Have you thought about trying some work-from-home things online? Maybe writing freelance articles on subjects you know about (you’re a font of knowledge about things that you’re passionate about) or something? I don’t know anything else offhand, but I do know there are a number of ways to make a little extra cash online.

    Or even applying to grad school at U of O? You could probably get a stipend, and then you and Ameil could be going to school together. Just a thought…

    As for the pride thing, don’t let that be a factor. Times are rough, but you’re still doing better than a lot of people, and there is NOTHING wrong with being a temp worker. Plus you know it’s just until Amiel’s done with school and you guys can go someplace with more options.

    Sigh. I know this is hard. I don’t know what else to say. I guess I’m just looking forward to the time when we can look back at this in the history books and say, “Wow, we lived through that. I barely remember how hard it was…”

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