to be hopeful.

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There is no post that I can write that can properly convey the lump that is in my throat. There is no way to look at you and turn my pockets inside out, bow my head, put a hand over my eyes and let tears leak through my fingers. This is a post that I wish I could put in brackets – I know that things will change, I know that I will be ok, but right now – this is what is slipping through that space between my knuckles and running down my wrists.

I walked through the grocery store last night twice, once to pick up everything I needed, and once more in reverse to put 75% back on random shelves as I was pretending to look at something else. Slipping cheese behind the apples, putting soy-milk in with the corn pops, porkchops with the frozen juice. I added everything up in a notebook standing between tampax and toilet paper, painstakingly calculated the 16 % tax.

I looked at my hands, at my notebook, at my cart, at my things, at my purse, and it was all I could do not to sob. Since when is this where I pictured myself? Since when did I think that at the age that I am that I would be standing crying in front of cheap panty liners wondering if they’d be more cost effective than buying eye makeup remover pads? Exactly where was “dodgy deli meat” in my life plan? When did I forget to learn how to cobble a life and three square meals for us out of a paycheck that was in total, (to the  ironic penny) the ammount of tax I had taken off my last paycheck before I left?

There hasn’t been a night of late where I haven’t had a bankers ledger running through my mind, shifting money here, paying bills there, planning and scheming for saving ten dollars here, five dollars there. Constantly plotting for when I can get another job for the evenings, so that we’re covered for rent and can have our cupboards full too.

When did this stop being fun? When did “I’m broke” start meaning so much more than just not having any money, but referred to the actual state of my heart when I look at my bank statement, night after night? I remember when I would laugh about having no money, laugh about scrounging change and digging in coat pockets. Exactly when did being broke refer to my fractured ability to provide for my tiny little household?

I have this constant feeling of late of having made incredibly bad choices. That if only I had gone right to university. If only I had a degree that was somewhat more functional at making me money and not just the worst drinking partner in the world. If I had just not bought those boots a year ago. Choruses of ‘if only’, and ‘had I only’, and ‘I should have just’ cloud my brain and drown out the silence as I lay in bed balancing mental checkbooks and mania with a stupid hopefulness that it will turn around.

The truth is, we’re going on luck. I was lucky that somebody hired my pierced, pink haired self to do anything but work at Wal-Mart in the stock room. We’re lucky that if I don’t go back to school and I just keep working, we won’t have to move home. We’re lucky that right now, our fridge is full and we have each other. These are not things that I have forgotten or discounted or misplaced amongst the wealth of sadness I’m feeling. They are, however, strange and impotent salves to smooth over the incredible burns that reality is brandishing. When I have time to think about it, I think that this is not where I thought I’d be in my life right now.

This is the worst, when the tabulating and shifting and pandering stops. When the ‘could haves’ fall away, when I can’t see the electricity bill in front of my eyes as if it were there, when I’m not planning each meal down to the late bite. It is the worst when I have time to think about what I’m doing. About what I could be doing. About what I’ve done. And how when I think of all of those things in a moment of silence, I wish for all the mental math, ledgers and bills to come rushing back. Because the only answer I get to that question seems to be the same as paycheck at the end of the month. Nothing.

Despite. Inspite.

We throw blog parties, and we hope.

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14 Comments

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14 responses to “to be hopeful.

  1. oh andrea. if you had a nickel for every talented stoke of your keypad–every lovely adjective and noun you type–your fridge would spill caviar and your boy’s wallet wouldn’t fit in his pants. i am sorry you are going through this. believe in your talent. i spent a threadbare year in nyc eating canned Campbell’s cream of mushroom (the sodium content even higher because of the tears). but it passed. and your time will too. keep working hard. keep together. keep positive.
    and count on your blog fans to prod your head up high. xo

  2. I am so, so sorry that you guys are struggling right now. I feel like it’s so unfair- everything about this move has been hard for you and karma seems to be the one that’s double checking its ledger, not you. Not all the time.

    I want everything to shake out now. I hate the in-betweens and that they’re being rough with you. And I hope that this blows over before the winter blows in.

  3. aww sweetheart. I just don’t even know what to say. You are a great person and things have to get better….they just have to!

  4. If I could magically transport myself to Antigonish just to give you a hug, I would. But know that we’re here for you…and hoping for the best is sometimes all anyone can do. There’s this wonderful Oscar Wilde quote that says something to the effect of “We’re all in the gutter, but some of us can see the stars.” Keep watching. They’re out there.

    You’re in my thoughts… xoxo

    (and 16% tax? oy. that is …rough)

  5. And you still manage to make 10s of people smile. And you still manage to inspire me.

    For that, you ought to know this is not permanent. Because, come to think of it, nothing is

  6. I know times are tough right now. I’m working two jobs and once I get home from a 12 hour day, I just want to cry. But hang in there. Things might suck right now, but it will get better with time. I wish I knew your mailing address so I could send you a little pick-me-up gift!

  7. I remember the night I met you. You walked into Suede this little fury of a girl with beautiful stories and many hand gestures. You talked about being poor, laughed about you and J being a philosophy student and a musician, and said exactly what you’ve said here… that all you need is each other.

    Things will work out, love. I feel it. Who you are, what all those choices have made you, is the pierced, pink-haired girl we all know and love. We wouldn’t have you any other way. xoxo

  8. Also, Bridget’s Oscar Wilde quote is lovely.

  9. sabby

    Miss A… you and I seem to be in the same boat. Everyone keeps telling me it will be alright, and while I’m still struggling to believe them, I will pass on some of their “cup-half-full”ness on to you.
    Because, if we’re totally honest, it will be alright. It’s just the right now that we have to put on our big girl panties to get through.
    Sending thoughts of financial well being your way!

  10. Mae

    This is so amazing and inspiring. Thank you very much x

  11. im so sorry that you’re faced with such a rough patch right now. it’s just not fair. im thinking of you and sending lots and lots of good vibes and positivity your way. xo

  12. p.

    First of all – big hugs 
    I want to tell you that at the end of every rainbow there is a pot of gold… but that’s just a crock of shit.
    Love just don’t pay the rent.
    Optimism is important but so is musing in what you’re feeling now – getting intimate with these emotions will help break the clouds of doubt… because it’s never just about the money.
    A- you are, by a fucking landslide, one of the most intelligent, witty, multifaceted women I know (and I know a lot of really cool and awesome people so I know what I’m talking about here) and although right now you’re feeling tiny, soon you’ll be on top of the world mamma! The sacrifices that you’re making now will yes, be difficult, but also be so so worth it when this is all said and done.
    Hang in there and revel in the KD man! With your culinary skills – you can turn that shit into gold baby!!

  13. I just discovered your blog. Love.

    Thank you for this post. I love knowing that there are other people going through the same thing and making it.

  14. steph

    like tammy said, ‘believe in your talent!’ it’s inspiring and wonderful.

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