Tonight's sunset. With sea gull.
I'm still reeling from the day. Not much happened. Just spent the morning and early afternoon totally freaking out because I'm so stressed out about when I'll be in charge of my own financial destiny. Well, of course I am. It's just that at the exact same moment that I have an interview for a great job that will give me regular paychecks and benefits while also allowing me to continue doing what I'm doing with commercial lending, (which right now is making connections with other lenders) is the moment my ex chooses to not pay what he owes me. Well, he doesn't owe me, though the money he does owe, he always pays late so that I often end up with late fees. This money he promised, then reneged. (Keep in mind that I'm still paying him for joint debt his parents paid off. Debt gone, he still collects. But I have the contractual duty and he's holding me to it. About $1000 a month. It's a lot.) I know, that was super whiny. I'm usually more even-keeled about it. It was one of those days. I'm not proud of it, but there's the how it was.
We can only hope that this job comes through. I think it will. But we'll know more, later. Yes, I'm stressed out because he's so fearful about money. It totally takes me back to my college days when my father agreed to pay for college in exchange for my mother signing over her interest in the house, (Yep. Pretty amazing of her,) then insisted that he would only pay for the parochial college he wanted me to go to, then spent the beginning of every single semester telling me he wasn't going to pay and making me sit in the financial aid office while they told him he made way, way too much money for me to qualify. Gah. I was always constantly worried I'd never get the chance to graduate. I even burst into tears on the street once, to my boyfriend's consternation. He was very comforting though. He hugged me let me cry it out all over his chest. (He's 6'4", so I couldn't reach his shoulder.)
At least I got used to never having money (Other than what I earned in the summers. In the winter, I worked for an English professor grading papers, but that money went towards my tuition.) Look, I had college paid for and so was able to graduate in four years with no debt. And I'm truly grateful for that, whatever else I may think of it. But it's the same feeling that I remember and dread so well. No matter how hard I work, I'm still at someone else's mercy. So awful. Yes, I made the choice to go to college right away rather than wait three years and to quit working at my ex's insistence.
So really, I just spent the day hating myself for my choice to give in all those years ago and wishing I'd stayed in the work force. I feel sometimes as though I wasted my education. Though I know it's not true. I also, as I have many times, wished I'd had the emotional knowledge and gumption to just divorce him then. But then I wouldn't have my children, so there's that....
Anyway, we'll see what comes of this job interview. It would make a huge, huge difference. I could live off the income, and save commissions for investing. I might not have these low moments. In fact, I know I won't. Yes, I'm stuck in the ludicrously expensive Bay Area for now, as the kids need both parents nearby one another. But I could afford it. I'm not going on any fancy vacations any time soon, but groceries won't be a concern anymore. (Some months are easier than others.)
Anyway, I fully realize that these are not only first world problems, but comfortably middle-class first world problems. But I'd be a liar if I pretended to be happy all the time. And since I usually am, I know this will pass, I'll get a steady job, whatever it is, and all will be well. It always is. So, on to the sunny side of life.
A few years ago I was standing outside my car on a narrow street, buckling my toddler son into his car seat. (He had the street side, as I didn't want my then six year-old exiting into the street. Her seat was on the sidewalk side. I always looked and made sure to no one was coming, and buckled him in as quickly as possible, as out of courtesy, I didn't want to block traffic. It was a quiet side street anyway. As I finished buckling him in, I looked up and saw an angry woman impatiently waiting for me in her car. (Maybe 8 seconds, max.) I mouthed, "Sorry", closed the door, and stepped against the side of my car. Without expression or acknowledgement, she gunned the engine and brushed past me. Actually hitting me with her side mirror. I was so stunned, and in pain, I didn't get her license plate, though I did call the non-emergency number of the police. Obviously, as I knew, there wasn't much they could do, but I thought someone should know there's an asshole Asian woman in a black Mercedes coupe menacing the roadways.
Anyway, fast forward 3 1/3 years. On the way to school this morning I saw the woman, in the same car, pulled over getting a speeding (or some other violation) ticket. I was so, so, so, happy!!! I hope she missed an important meeting. I hope she gets pulled over often. I hate very few people in this world. And hate's a strong word, but if I ever have a chance to do her wrong, I will. I should probably work on that.