This past weekend forced me to sit down and have a little talk with myself. And after much chatting and bickering with the voices in my head I think I’m finally starting to understand the reason behind all this anger.
I’ve always had issues with change, so when I lost my job it was like someone picked up my life, dumped it all over the floor, and then stomped on it. Eventually I learned to cope, I relocated, I stopped fighting the changes, I bought a home with Adam, FINALLY found a job, and I settled into this life that seemed to have been chosen for me against my will. Looking back it felt like I had coped quite well. A lot of the tale-tell signs of my control issues seemed to be melting away, and it even felt like I was adapting for a change. I was poor, but I stuck with it, there were people to help me, and slowly things seemed to be getting better. There actually was a light at the end of that long tunnel. But then a weekend like this past one pops up, and suddenly the reality of how different life is, how much life has completely changed slaps me in the face. And it stings.
My wonderful friend was quickly going to be leaving Seattle after what felt like WAY TOO SHORT of a summer home, and Saturday would be her last night out with everyone. Throughout the summer, time and time again I had put off visits, vacations, drinks, and simple interaction because of a general lack of funding. But I told myself there was always next week, next weekend, tomorrow. She wasn’t gone yet, I could make up for my absence, I hadn’t missed my chance I’d repeat to myself. Then suddenly there were no more chances. Her last weekend in town was upon me and I had a decision to make.
It was as if all the changes in my life hit me in a split second. I had new responsibilities. And these weren’t things forced upon me, these were responsibilities I had ASKED for, things I CHOSE and had wanted so badly. Such as this home. This home that needs a new fence, this home that needs to be recaulked before winter, this home that I couldn’t pretend wasn’t a priority.
So we worked. For eight hours I moved concrete blocks, Adam cut lumber and we repaired that damn fence as if our lives depended on it. If I was going to be a slave to this investment, if it was going to alter the way I needed to prioritize my life then GOD DAMN IT IT WOULD LOOK GOOD WHEN WE WERE DONE. Over the course of eight back breaking hours we moved 118 pavers off the fence and replaced the gap with boards. At this point in the picture below we’d finished 2/3 of the fence, and the only thing standing between me and relaxation were those remaining pavers. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I hate those pavers.
Yet when Sunday arrived and once again we had to turn down an invitation for a social life, turn down a chance to go sailing on the Puget Sound with friends so we could stay home and RECAULK THE MOTHER FUCKING HOUSE, the anger I thought I’d pushed aside from Saturday returned with a vengeance.
I don’t know any other way to say it, I’m angry about being so fucking broke all the damn time. I know it’s selfish, and petty, and ‘shhhhh don’t talk about money’, but it’s true. I hate that we feel so broke, and it gets hard after a while when the little money we do have goes immediately into the house. I try to remind myself that we are investing time and money into the house because the house is a priority, it’s our investment, but at the end of the day it is hard to teach yourself to think of something fun, and then immediately train yourself to say, “No thanks. I don’t want/need/can’t come.” In making the house a priority I have to give up things like having the social life I want, or buying quality groceries, or taking real vacations, or ever being able to buy something frivolous for myself like new clothes.
So after a week of wallowing in self pity I just have to accept that this life I live today is hard. No one will deny that. It is much harder to balance finances today than I ever assumed it would be, but I must stop dragging my feet, and I have to stop feeling sorry for myself. Because when I look around there are still a lot of positives, a million things about this life I truly love, so many things I would never give up, and things I’ve learned to appreciate deeply, struggle and all.
If my life had never been turned upside down I would not have been given the chance to own a home period, and that is something I should celebrate no matter how excruciating all these changes might feel at times. Had it not been for unemployment I would not live in this beautiful house with a man who when I feel like my life is crumbling around me will simply hold me and tell me everything will get better someday. How can I be angry about that?
And lets be honest, does screaming obscenities at the world for my misfortunes change anything? No. All that does is put me on the fast track to being that angry old bitch on the block that small children are frightened of who stands in her front yard in a bathrobe screaming, “GET OFF MY LAWN YOU PUNKS!”
I’m so not ready to be that woman. Yet.