I started this new job a couple of weeks ago.
Having a job at all was an incredible relief – it still is. I’m grateful that we are going to be okay. It was an incredibly tense time there, not knowing where the next groceries or house payment was going to come from. I know there are people who live with worse every day, but what I had to live with was plenty for me to be going along with.
The thing, though, is that the new job isn’t exactly what I’m used to. It’s not corporate. It’s not white collar. It’s not exactly blue-collar entry-level, but it’s close. It’s a starting over of an entire adult life that I wasn’t expecting now, at 32.
Thank God I like the work. It doesn’t make up for the miserable pay, but at least it makes the whole situation more palatable.
There’s no helping it, though. This isn’t a white collar part of the world. It isn’t the finance experience on my resume that is worth anything here. No one needs a corporate money whiz in eastern New Mexico – cows don’t give a shit about leverage ratios or interest rates or 3 and 5 year growth management plans.
So I start over.
I’m okay with it – at least, with parts of it. Rhett’s job makes up the difference in what I used to make. The schedules work out so that childcare is mostly taken care of. It could be a lot worse.
It breaks my heart a little, though, to change our family dynamic so drastically just to survive.
It also feels a little like the last ten years of my life didn’t happen. Honestly, this is what my life would have looked like if I had never left home, finished my degree, started my career… It’s like all the time and energy and money I spent on those things happened to someone else. My ego has taken a bit of a beating.
It’s irrelevant, though. We can feed our family, turn on our lights, and get to work everyday in a fairly reliable vehicle. I’m grateful for that – more grateful than I knew I could be, when all of this started.
I’m also grateful for the simple fact that I’ve found room for faith again, in the midst of all this effort. It’s nice to be redirecting my energies into caring for my family. I feel like I’ve found my purpose, finally. I have time to be a mother, a wife, and still work in a job that I can enjoy and yet leave at the end of the day.
If I sound all over the place about everything that’s going on lately, it’s because I am. I’m thrilled that Rhett has found local work that brings him home, but I’m bitter that it means that he and I never see each other because he works nights and I work days. I’m grateful that Sharkman is so happily involved in all these normal kid activities, but I resent the hell out of the fact that [edited for inappropriate exmarital referential content]. I love our little house and the giant zucchini plant that has come up as a total surprise, but I hate the town that it’s in. I love the job, but I resent bitterly the pittance I get paid for it. I’m grateful for the benefits (including, especially, the same-sex marriage recognition part), but loathing of the effort it is going to cost me to get anywhere close to where I was before.
I try my best to meet my days with grace and optimism, and I keep reaching toward faith, church, friends, community, to try to keep myself moving forward. There is no other direction available. My strength and resources belong with my family, and I owe them the best of myself. Somehow, I keep managing to remember that. I love them, and that carries me.
At this moment, in this crazy life, it strikes me as ironic that once I would have mocked someone like me for turning to God, or anything like organized religion, to find peace. But now, it’s not the promise of salvation, or heaven, or anything like the preached-about rewards for patience, poverty, and good intentions. It’s the sense of connectedness, of history, and of a purpose that is drawing me back. I’m glad to have found a place within myself where I truly can be of service.