Saturday, April 12, 2008

We Think We Know What We're Doin', That Don't Mean A Thing

How is it that a person could have a full-time salary position in addition to a few freelance gigs and still search the couch cushions for money to make ends meet every month?

Easy, if that person is a divorced, two-kid-havin' writer.

I don't mean writer as in "writing is my passion so I have this blog and I keep a journal and write short stories on weekends" writer, I mean this is my job description on my company's website:

"The Jaded NYer is the Senior Staff Writer, in charge of client communications, blah blah blah..."

And that seems all fancy and professional and important, but it loosely translates to:

"The Jaded NYer earns $2.50 an hour, only gets 1/2 hour for lunch, and can't take vacation days whenever she wants."

It's pretty much like that for most writing positions in NYC- trust me, I've looked- unless you write grants or something specialized and corporate (I'm not that desperate yet), or your name is Candace Bushnell. But I can't get those specialized jobs because I don't have the experience (or interest!), and I can't get the experience because no one will hire me and give me a shot at them. So I here I am stuck in PR, slowly losing my self, my soul, and my love of the written word.

Oh yeah, and my financial security, as if I ever had it to begin with.

I do acknowledge that I've made some poor decisions with regards to money. I shouldn't have taken all those trips in 2006; the formal divorce proceedings could have waited a bit while we remained separated; my new phone wasn't 100% necessary; I didn't HAVE TO throw those big parties for my babies (oh, who am I kidding- of COURSE I did...). And all the money I've wasted on take-out and food that I let spoil in my fridge would make you cry.

Other decisions that are coming back to bite me in the ass were necessary at the time- the student loans I needed to get out of the ghetto; the credit cards that helped me survive after I left The Waco School For Girls and was unemployed for like three months; the expensive, yet small as hell, apartment in the safe neighborhood- I needed all of that.

But coulda, woulda, shoulda never made anything better... so let me not even dwell on this mess.

I guess I was naive enough to believe that I'd have all these degrees and credentials under my belt and would be able to make enough to pay for it all... boy is there egg on MY face! I should change this blog to The STOOPIT NYer, for real!

Well, kiddies, I'm here to tell you that it is NOT enough.

Food prices are through the roof and my kids eat as if tomorrow will never come and they have to eat everything before the Second Coming, lest Jesus Christ find leftovers in the fridge.

My nanny earns (well, earned... by the time you read this I will have already let her go) as much as I do, and if my ex weren't chipping in half I'd pretty much be handing over my paycheck to her, my landlord and Foodtown.

And my kids are outgrowing the apartment- yes, it IS that small... they have these long awkward limbs that keep tripping over and bumping into shit all the live-long day. I need to find something more spacious which will translate to at least a couple hundred more in rent if I stay in my area, or a HUGE reduction in safety 'cause I'll have to move to *GULP* Bushwick or something.

So when people ask why my thesis edits aren't done, it's because I had to use my time combing the freelance writing job boards to try and supplement my income. And if you want to know why I'm washing clothes out in the sink, it's because it was rent week and I had nothing left over to go to the laundromat. And why didn't I go to that fabulous party and live it up like I was known to do in the past?

Ask Sallie Mae... bitch just jacked me for my paper...

*smooches... closing comments because this is a rant that needs no co-signers*
Hope this wasn't too harsh; just know this rant and anger is directed inward... I'll be better tomorrow. And if you have any job leads send them bitches over post-haste LOL

Title courtesy of Cyndi Lauper, "Money Changes Everything"