I've been "turtling" lately: pulling my head and limbs back inside a protective shell in an instinctive effort to avoid being overwhelmed with Everything.
I don't even want to get started here, as it's all or nothing for me. Either I'm silent or I'm ranting. I normally have fairly low blood pressure--lately I can feel my heart pounding and my face flushing as a matter of course.
What's happening in this state, in this country, to educators and the regular government workers (not the politicians themselves, of course) and the middle class in general....
I'm sick to my stomach.
I need to find a career counselor. I've never had a back-up plan because, quite simply, ever since I discovered teaching I've never planned to do anything else.
What DOES a thirty-three-year-old woman with a Bachelor's in English Literature and a Master's in the Art of Teaching, with certification in English and Speech/Theatre have as a back-up plan? I'm eminently qualified to do exactly what I do. Who else is going to be knocking down my door to receive my services--especially for a wage that will continue to pay back my thousands of dollars in student loans and the other debt that I've incurred as a responsible citizen? None of which, mind you, is credit card debt or the like.
I can feel the rant rising.
We're short on "extra" money right now--not that there really is such a thing in our household lately, since pretty much every extra penny is being set aside to pay for our quite modest little wedding and honeymoon. MTL's car broke down last week and required a bit of money to repair, even though he did the repairs himself. His machine at work has also been broken, meaning his hours have been trimmed back a bit. We had a dual birthday party on Sunday for The Widget (my baby is FOUR!) and KlutzGirl (MTL's baby is EIGHT!). In three months the remaining balances are due for our ceremony and reception sites and for our honeymoon.
With all that financial stress bearing down on my mind, I can feel an age-old destructive stress mechanism kicking in. I want to buy things. I want to buy fun things, pretty things, wonderful escape-from-reality things. I want to buy books and clothes and shoes and art. I want to buy gifts for my bridesmaids. I want to buy all the accessories I want or at least need for my wedding day. I want to buy it all NOW.
I didn't give anything up for Lent this year, but I'm reminded of when I gave up chocolate a few years ago. Despite what you may think, I don't normally crave chocolate every day. I can even go a few weeks without thinking about it. Shocking, I know, but true. But when I denied myself that luscious substance, the days dragged by. I woke craving chocolate. I went to bed craving chocolate. I nearly cried when I realized that my (then daily purchase of) Cafe Mocha contained chocolate and therefore was verboten.
Impulse buys and non-necessities are off my shopping list for now--and likely for some time--and so I'm craving what I cannot have. Perhaps after a few weeks I'll find the craving wanes and leave me feeling freer, just as I did during that Lent years ago.
In the meantime, I'm staying off Etsy and Amazon and Victoria's Secret and Old Navy and every other website that urges me to indulge, treat myself, think It's only a few dollars. I have my tiny list of five necessary items which I will take to the grocery store this afternoon, and I will not buy anything except those five items. I pinkie swear.
3 years ago