The question of maturity was never a real problem for me. When I was a kid, I was always called mature for my age, and I took pride in that. Being thought of as “immature” became kind of a big fear of mine.
And then I finished graduate school.
After college, people usually find a sucky job and pay sucky bills and have sucky responsibilities. So, I wasn’t too thrilled. I mean, I was looking forward to graduating — graduating is always exciting. Plus, grad school tore my soul a new one.
But living in the real world? My impression was (and still is) — work to pay bills until you die.
That is no way to live. That’s not living at all. I’d rather jump off a building. So naturally, I started to freak out.
My boyfriend thought it would be a good idea for me to follow my dreams and write, while he works to support us. I mean, he’s a nurse (an RN) and has two jobs — one at a hospital and one at a nursing home. Sounds good on paper. But now that it’s actually been playing out for some four months, it’s… not… all it’s cracked up to be.
I mean, it great for my literary career! Two books coming out soon, one actually under my pen name, from a publishing company!! Really excited. I haven’t spent this much time on writing and editing since… ever. School had always been in the way. Now I can write and edit and publish without restrictions. I can do NaNoWriMo guilt-free!
Well, when I say “guilt-free,” I mean, I won’t feel guilty for working on short stories or my novel when I should be writing papers (oops).
But. There’s some guilt there. My boyfriend is working his ass off, not even getting full checks yet, so we’ve been struggling a little. And he’s always exhausted and sometimes stressed. So… I worry. A lot.
But every time I’d ask him if he needed me to work to help lessen the financial strain, he’d say it would be fine and that we should stick to our plan…
So fast-forward. Last night, I asked him if I act my age. He says I act like “a teenager whose soul hasn’t yet been crushed by adult responsibilities,” “immature in a good way,” “child-like rather than childish.”
He also said he now knows our plan is kind of a bad idea, but me working out in the real world would cause me to be miserable all the time. (He’s known that for a while.) And then he’d have to come home to me being miserable all the time.
I told him that yes, that may be true, but it’s not fair to him. And then he said that I can’t help my mental illness. Which is true, I can’t, but using it as a crutch makes me cringe. Have my depression and anxiety rendered me so mentally and emotionally fragile that I can’t function in a normal workplace?
Yeah, I’d be miserable, but, given my depression, I used to be miserable all the time, so that wouldn’t be anything new. The problem here is, now my emotions affect someone else. And after working 8-, 12-, or 16-hour shifts he’d come home to the mopey, depressive wreck that would be me. There would be no happiness in that relationship.
I realize this blog post is very personal. And a huge downer. Originally, I was going to write about Skyping with my host family. But, I really needed to write about this. I’m feeling some type of way, and I really don’t know what to do.
I’m not going to lie. Part of me misses my cushy campus jobs and my graduate stipend because it would be nice to have money of my own while working at a job that doesn’t make me hate life.
I worked retail once, two summers ago. It’s very… It doesn’t make a difference in anyone’s life. No one really wants to be there. It’s not creative. It doesn’t challenge my brain in any way.
Retail is pretty much purgatory. And I’m sure food service is much the same (except worse because I’m extremely squeamish).
I don’t know if I feel better at all after writing this.
See you next Monday.