In a fit of something–I don’t even know what anymore–I applied for a proofreading job. In a fit of something on their end, they offered it to me. And I said, you know, I don’t want to work full time. I can’t, really. But they needed someone, and as tax season looms at me, like a thing with teeth and eyes that are very bright and red, I realized that I needed the money, and here was an opportunity, right in my lap. I could take the job for a few months, and then leave when my bank account is sexy again! I negotiated, they said yes, and now for the next three months, I am working full time. In January, I swap over to part-time, and thus, they have an experienced proofreader. I have a steady gig with a steady check to keep me in kibble and dog treats, and everyone is very happy.
That happened Friday. I laughed, danced around, and started making exciting, revised budgets which include giant savings accounts (to be decimated by the Feds, come January), curtains, a trip to Machu Pichu, gold-plated licorice, and tiny monkey butlers. I can breathe a little easier for awhile–money has been not tight, exactly, but a little snug, and the state of my savings account a tiny niggling worry at the back of my head. A chance to get ahead a little bit, to establish a relationship with a very reputable agency with lots of business, to meet people and get out of the house and be forced to shower every day, the need to put on pants like clockwork, with just a very small, very brief, only-three-month investment of my time–all very good things.
Of course, that was Friday. Saturday, I started to really consider the
ramifications. The idea of having to put on pants every day became the
very real fact of having to put on pants every day. The idea of meeting
people became the fact of socializing, of being charming and outgoing
and friendly and pleasant. The idea of the money, well, that was still
pretty nice. But then there was the fact of three months being 12 weeks of eight hour days and three hour, round-trip commutes suddenly seeming
like an endless stream of time in which I would drown sitting up at a
desk, slumped over on trains, feeling sorry for myself. I am a little afraid that I have taken this amazing gift I was able to give myself–to be able to work at home, have a hefty chunk of free time to write and my own schedule–and I am tossing it because I am too afraid to stick to my guns, so to speak, and don’t trust my ability to make it work.
As I write this, on Sunday, I am very aware of what exactly I have
gotten myself into, and I keep turning to E and saying “I go to work
tomorrow.” He smiles indulgently and says “Yes. Yes, you do.” And I
shout “What was I thinking!” and bury my face in the pillow and
fake-sob. I thought the ramifications through, and I thought, I can do
anything for 12 weeks. I thought, money is so nice, I thought, this
is a good thing, and it is, and I’ll figure out how to do everything I want, but I am so nervous, the night before I
chain myself back to a desk, willingly. I will hold up my wrists and
dramatically intone “take me away!” and as they lead me past the break
room and down the hall by the copy machine and around the foosball
table and throw me into my cubicle, I will be singing “We Shall
Overcome!” at the top of my lungs. I will dry my tears with a
paid-in-full tax bill. And maybe shoes.