I’m Going Under

I suppose, in truth, we’re going under, both my husband and I. The last two or so weeks have been nightmarish for me. Not only have I been plagued with restlessness, I have also been even more depressed than usual. Several days ago I finally understood why I was so uneasy. The best and the worst part of working from home is, you guessed it, working from home. It can be very inconsistent. Despite establishing a budget and knowing just how much you have to earn in a day, a week or a month, it really takes a lot out of you. While I enjoy being my own boss, I truly miss the consistency of a salary. This is the first time in my life that I know that we won’t be able to meet all our debt obligations/bills. It’s a very tough pill to swallow, knowing that despite all your hard work in life, you’re only as successful as the next dollar you’re able to earn. If we didn’t live with family it would be horrible, devastatingly so. Then too, I think maybe if I’d not decided to impulsively sell my house and move back to the town my brother and parents live, things would be better. I look back at our old budget and financial obligations, the one we had prior to the move and within the past day I have really seriously wondered if I’m in the midst of a life lesson, another slap in the face by life.

I have never been more embarrassed or more fearful in my life. I always diligently plan and I always make sure that our life is scheduled and budgeted, that I keep all the balls going. Now, well now I’m sitting in front of my computer and looking at the stock market crash that is our personal finances. Everything is about to implode. I know the exact date that it will happen and I feel as though I may have waited until too late to resolve it.

I’ve always been a fairly independent person. I was thrilled to have purchased my first home at the age of twenty-four and during the 8 years I owned my home, I was essentially self-sufficient. You don’t realize how differently you’ll feel when you’re at the charity of others. Sure, it’s my brother and we sincerely love each other, but it feels so strange at times knowing that I’m the older sibling, the one with all this education and degrees on the wall and yet I’m the one who, with my husband, moved in. I take full responsibility for the precariousness of our situation. I’ve always been an alpha female, determined and headstrong. I’m now mentally set adrift from the life and the lifestyle that I once knew.

I know that everything comes in seasons, like the waves of the ocean, life is ever-changing. But I’ve found myself in an emotional and mental place that feels like a thick fog. I spent the past 8 hours applying for projects on Elance and I even broke down and reluctantly applied to a few brick and mortar jobs. My husband, who works full-time (30-39 hours per week) and who is also in school, has also had a rough go of it. He’s in a job where he doesn’t feel appreciated and he hasn’t been able to see his daughters in almost a year. I sat with him briefly this past evening while we ate our dinner and I could see and feel his despair. In the past, I’d be the one who could easily make the concessions needed to facilitate his trips out-of-state. Now, we count down the days until his next student loan disbursement, a necessary stop gap.

I may not be the religious type, but we certainly need a miracle. My Hail Mary pass was in applying to the over 30 projects and jobs over the past several hours. Although we wouldn’t get the money we’d need in time from getting any one of those jobs, it would at least be a step forward. I’m just far too ashamed to ask my parents for money, again. I’m an adult, they shouldn’t have to bail us out. It’s crazy how freely I can write about all of this and yet I’ve remained silent to my family. I feel as though I have been going a bit backwards and I really need for something to change for the positive. I want desperately for my husband and I to be on our own again, able to afford our modest slice of the American Dream. Until then, I’ll just keep swimming along, doing what I can to be the best person I can be for him and for me. Oh, the things in life that we often take for granted and the painful life lessons we have to learn along the way. We may be down, but I wouldn’t fully count us out.

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