I GOT THE JOB!
I am so so pathetically relieved. And I feel like a sellout going back to the corporate world after a long stretch of being self-employed, but freelancing is so feast or famine, so stressful... I love the freedom and I absolutely intend to get back to a place of financial and time freedom at some point in my life but the truth is, you have to spend money to make money, and I was operating at a deficit from day 1, and when my biggest client dropped out from under me last fall, I was fucked. No amount of scrambling and hustling could make up for the operating capital reserve I just... did not have. Almost every dollar I made went right back into the business, or into feeding me and Mr. Man, or putting gas in our cars so we could continue to gig and scrape by. Every little software license, every little run of business cards getting printed, web hosting, business licensing, taxes, health insurance, it's like... fuck, man, when do *I* get a cut? Oh, and there's that whole, "never actually being off of work", thing, that happens when you're self-employed. I'd put in 12-16 hour days at my little hovel of a shared office space, come home, flip open the laptop and put in another few hours of work before sleeping with developing ulcers from the stress of all the stuff I had left to do, and always worrying about the next invoice and the next client I could drum up.
So. In that sense I was a slave to my own self.
I would absolutely work for myself again, but I need to build up a cushion of savings and operating capital first, and look for ways to capitalize on alternative corners of the market with better yeild. I was kind of stuck doing work I could just immediately... DO, without additional training or professional development, for quick cash, which is basically web and design stuff. Which I am okay at (and frankly I'm much better at it after a year of real-world experience), but I don't love it. I would rather be in business for myself doing something I LOVE, with the luxury of a financial cushion to float on between gigs. Also, I'd like to get into real estate investing because I believe that's where real wealth lies, but you need a little capital to start that up. Using other people's money is a possibility, but ... to really gain facility with that, I need time to learn more in depth about it, or shadow someone/find a mentor, and that's all unpaid time where I am not even earning money for a fucking pizza. The paydays are good from what I understand, but I'm not stupid- it's the wait-around-OMG-is-the-deal-going-through time that's killer.
That's time and emotional energy I simply can't spend right now.
So for that reason, when I got the call with the job offer, even though it was a Big McCorporate Job, and I hated myself for taking it... I took it. I figure I'll work, pay off all the debt I can, save as much as I can, and try again later.
They offered me a significantly higher salary than I expected too. About $10K more.
so... soon we will NOT be as broke-ass as we have been.
Mr. Man and I have both been breathing a sigh of relief, not just a single sigh, but...like, an extended ability to eat our rice and beans with patience, and to be kind and patient with each other during this financially bare-bones time until I start getting paychecks under my belt. I literally felt an internal knot of energy around my solar plexus loosen up and relax away, from the very center core of my being, when I got the job offer phone call. I previously had been unaware I was even keeping tension there, but I physically felt... softer, and more expansive, and just... lighter.
I got my first half-paycheck last Friday and it's already spent- instantly sucked away on bills and household necessities like toilet paper and dish soap-- but it was so good to actually go grocery shopping.
I literally bought bacon on sale for $2.99 and I proudly told Mr. Man that I "brought home the bacon" and we both laughed.
Also, around mid last month, we had about 3 days of amazing marathon sex, but then I got a UTI (sigh), and couldn't afford to go to the doctor or anything so I just treated it naturally with cranberry juice, etc. which does work, but takes a lot longer than antibiotics. And then I got really sick around my birthday with a flu-like crud, and then was on my period, and also I couldn't even afford my pill prescription last time, so we've been voluntarily laying off the sex; we haven't done it in almost a month. I kind of smile to myself thinking how that would have freaked me out in the beginning of our relationship, but now I can kind of take it in stride, we seem to go for some periods of time where we fuck like bunnies, and then kind of lay off and relax a while. Usually not this long, I mean, but... it isn't unusual to have sex 3-5 times one week, and then the next week, maybe not at all, and then the next week, more good sex, but it's not like we're stressing. We just kind of have an ebb-and-flow rhythm like tides, I guess. And we still flirt with each other all the time so that's good. I feel like I'm not stressed about it as much, and he seems to have shifted his mindset somehow in the last couple of months about staying in this town that he hates, and making the best of it.
I'm not sure what prompted the shift, but he seems more relaxed with me, and more stable than ever. I actually think it's his kids- I think they grew up a little more and he's starting to get intrigued with them as little actual people, and doesn't want to leave right when it's getting good. And he's starting to be more realistic about the fact that moving takes money, and a plan, and we have had... NO money. And so he was forced to confront the reality that we couldn't even afford to rent a U-Haul to go anywhere, much less pay regular rent on any decent place once we arrived. So without some savings, some room on the credit cards, and a reason (like a good job offer or plan) to go somewhere else, there are just... more reasons to be here, than not. I have a good job now, and his prospects are improving, and there's still a path out of here, but it's a long game, not a quick fly-by-night operation. I think maybe he's coming to grips with that in his own way.
But we're about to go through the extremely hot summer here, which he fucking hates and gets terribly bitchy about, so we'll see...But... he actually seems somehow more content, and resolved to make the best of it here for a while, especially since I got the news about this job.
We finally broke our dry spell last night, and I was really nervous, because my body has just been... freaking out for the last month, in terms of pH balance and feeling daily, sometimes hourly, whether I'm still struggling with a UTI or not, or feeling "okay" or not. And this last week I've been feeling good enough to be horny again, but yesterday, it was like my adrenal system went, "Sex? Nope. Couldn't care less." It was like one shade shy of "Do Not Want". But I could feel it was a chemical/adrenal lack of desire, not an emotional one. Mentally and emotionally I missed being intimate with him and sensed it had been too long. But the UTI was gone 2 weeks ago, and I've been feeling healthy enough for sex for over a week now- I've just been giving myself a lonnnnng window of time to make sure I'm ok, because I didn't want to give it to him, or have another flare up myself, and was so tired of being miserable myself. I've adjusted my diet, cut out almost all sugar, been using up the nutritional supplements I've had laying around the house - more conscientious about taking my vitamins every day and drinking LOTS of water, etc. Taking better care of myself overall.
And as it turns out... it was really good. Not just because I felt no subsequent pain or "uh-ohh" feelings, and not just because it was so fun that we did it some more this morning, totally for fun and just because we could, for the hell of it, and that I'm still feeling pretty great overall this evening. ;)
Last night was... like... it was REALLY good. The quality of the orgasms was really amazing and nice, but besides that... I just felt like we really "made love" together, I mean... he was so tender and just... warm and giving, and he lit candles and everything, and the candlelight was (as cliche as it sounds) really actually romantic, and made us look soft and glowy, and after he had very generously spent some time on me without getting much in return (yet, lol but he knew I wouldn't leave him hanging) he seemed really satisfied with his "handiwork", lol, and made some very nice comments about how he likes to make me feel good, which made me feel awesome because... you know, I appreciate someone not just spending time and effort on me, but taking personal pride in it. And later when I was returning the favor... he was making happy noises, but then suddenly it seemed to go to the next level and he let out this... low, soft moan... almost a pleading tone, but mixed with pure pleasure... now, mind you, this is a man who Does Not Beg. He doesn't plead, he doesn't submit. But in these little tiny moments, I feel like... I must somehow make him feel so good, he lets his guard down with me and allows himself to be vulnerable, even if only in that one small noise...and it might sound silly, but I treasure that. (And fuck, it makes me so hot to hear him moan like that. But also, wow, it's a state of trust, you know?) And from that small noise, it seemed he was in a state of wonder & bliss... and he murmured, in a very honest way, that he hoped he made me feel as good as I make him feel-- which again made me feel awesome, because...I take pride in my "work" too, and to know that he felt that good, and also that he felt it was something to reciprocate... that even in that moment of pure pleasure for him, he found even a couple of brain cells left to think of me, and verbalize it... good lord. It just makes me want to take him straight to heaven for as long as I can make it last for him, you know?
And in between our various positions - because we took our sweet time-- there was a lot of just... laying close together, gentle caressing and smiling at each other in the candlelight...just being quiet, but feeling close... and after we were both sated, he snuggled me in his arms to sleep... and I just felt... really appreciated and... loved and... *sigh*
You know... I have felt insecure in this relationship a lot. I've struggled to feel worthy, to feel okay, and worried that he doesn't love me as much as I love him, or that I'm putting myself out on a stupid limb here, and he's just going to get fed up with this town and leave in anger, and it won't even be anger AT me, but that I'm just not... good enough, hot enough, interesting enough, or...something, enough, to hold his interest. And he's usually not verbal about his feelings a lot so, even though I tell myself it's all in my head, and that... he wouldn't have stayed even this long already, if he didn't like it... it's hard to believe, when I don't hear words out of his mouth sometimes.
But his actions... speak volumes. He cooks for me, he cleans, he holds my hand everywhere, he opens doors for me, he really... looks out for me.
We went on a walk the other night, and he told me... he really saw himself making future plans with me, and that made him feel happy. I was... kinda bowled over, and super happy, but at the same time, I felt like... Thank God, finally, some assurance that I'm not wasting my love here, that at least... he is going to make a good faith effort to be a real partner, and he doesn't intend to leave me behind and abandon me for some small infraction or twisted mental reason... It's a stupid fear I know, I know it's probably left over from my Ex, but things were so solid with that guy for so long - 14 years!- and then... He'd been cheating on me with an underage girl and her mother for 8 months under my nose. Lying to my face about it. Just... Fuck. I mean, how am I ever supposed to trust my own sense of judgment after that? To say nothing of extending that trust to another actual free-willed human being who has all the choice in the world? Like, my feeling for the first year was, fuck trusting other humans ever again, and fuck me and my blind stupid ass. I was wrong. You don't get much wrong-er than that.
But the truth is, my Ex hadn't been treating me well for a long time. There was a lot of lip service in theory but a lot of neglect in practice. There was a lot of selfish path-taking on his part, and a lot of me ignoring it, forgiving him or making excuses for him for it. There were a lot of promises made, and almost none followed-through-on.
And there's... "believing the best of someone even though they're being an asshole to you right now, because you've known them long enough to remember when they were so much better, and you're hoping they'll improve, and 14 years is a long time, and it's rough right now but you're going to stick it out and not abandon them even though this is hard, but you have compassion for everything they're going through...but wow this sure is painful, but you know your pain shouldn't matter, because what they're going through is way worse than what you are going through--" You know, there's THAT frame of mind--
--And then there's, "observing that this person does what they say. They follow through. And everything about their actions indicates care and concern for me. And they haven't ever let me down yet. And they are lively and involved in the relationship with a fairly equal amount of give and take."
That's...just a different scenario. Maybe it's a scenario that merits... actual consideration and trust, I admit. The first one is kind of making excuses or making the best of it. The second one is like... more of a real... "relationship" instead of a co-tolerance, or co-existence.
Mr. Man has just continually been there for me and he like... I know it's maybe still stupid of me to trust anyone, but... he does keep proving over and over that he'll come through for me. He is supportive and even protective of me. I'm not even sure how to accept or deal with that sometimes, but I'm... too soul-exhausted to argue. And sometimes my survival instincts act up and I get all paranoid and I feel flighty, like, what am I doing here? Why am I letting him in my life and why am I letting him fuck up my heart with all these... these FEELINGs and what the shit is this-- he puts his arm around me and I kind of melt into him like... like...
... like... it's everything I ever wanted...
And I struggle with admitting this to myself because after 14 years with the ex, I really considered him as much "family" to me as my own blood family. We had been close friends and then lovers and then spouses and all that time was effectively half my lifespan.
But Mr. Man... feels like "home" to me.
I just feel... home, with him. Like the thing we do where we live together, where we have "life together" as my Ex used to say,-- no, before he and I had co-existence together.
Now, with Mr. Man, I really have "Life" together with someone, and he's real, and he's present, and he fills up my life with light and energy and dreams and personality and physical intimacy and laughter and music and culture and cheesy 80's movies and houseplants and bacon and adorable children.
And who knows? Maybe someday we'll have kids too, and the thought of procreating always terrified me before, but now for the first time in my life, thinking of being a parent, having him as the father, and my life-partner-in-crime, raising a little gaggle of kids and having a messy, beautiful, laughter-filled, exhausted, juicy, rainbow kaleidoscope of a life, it appeals to me almost more than it terrifies me, and...Jesus, that's saying a lot. Because, I am still pretty terrified, lol.
But... the thought of a house full of kids and pets and sunlight and plants and family dinners and like... all those weird things you think about when you think of "homey-ness", I feel like he and I... we could achieve that, we could have that together, if we really wanted. And it would be good, it would be that idea of "home" that we both... aspire to create. We would do it... I think...I have a feeling we are the kind of spirits that would be those people and it would be good, and our kids and pets and plants and house bugs would be happy...
And even if we don't go full-family-enchilada, like if what we end up with is a geeky, eclectic-ly decorated house full of musical instruments and pet fish and his kids only come visit on shared custody days and we makes snacks for them and read stories to them and take them to museums and then get our "adult" life back when they go back to their mom's house, so we can stay up late and do music gigs and stuff too, that's cool and okay and home-y too. Whatever we do together, we're Home.
The point is, it doesn't exactly matter to me how it turns out, I just... kind of look forward to seeing how it all unfolds. I want to look back with him at the end of a long life together and smile a knowing smile at him, and feel him smiling back at me.
He has stuck it out with me in this extreme poverty for almost 6 months now. He has eaten so many beans without complaint, literally. (oh my god, we eat so many beans. and so much rice. And so much rice and beans together. *sigh*) He still manages to laugh and make me laugh.
And I felt like last night when we were making love... it was like... he really... made me feel wanted. Or like... that he derived pleasure out of giving me pleasure, and it was so... it was so uplifting, to feel that way, that I mattered to him, somehow... that... to someone... it matters that I am there, and they want me to be happy...We have had a lot of good "fucking" by now in our relationship, but this felt deeper and warmer than before.
Ah, I love him so much.
Maybe this will really go the distance.
And things are actually looking up...