This past Friday, I left work for home and, as soon as I'd gone through my front door, this big wave of fear came over me. I was already dreading going back in on Monday. Now, this is not to say that everyone loves their jobs; I know they don't. Most of the time, a job is just that: a thing we do to make money so we can pay bills and not have to live on the street, begging passersby to shell out their cash so we can buy something at the gas station. And most of the time - or at least, until a few days ago - I function that way. I never thought about work when I left. I came home, did various chores, wrote, drew dinosaurs in period-wear*, played with Zola and the kitties, etc. I even somewhat enjoyed my choice of what had apparently become my career.
But on Friday? I couldn't deal with the fact I would be headed back to that damned cubicle, with the bazillion plus one emails, voicemails, changes, applications, whatever. It actually induced a bit of a depression in me, which was not helped by watching the horrendous movie that was "Prometheus**." This churning feeling in my stomach kept me awake, and when I was able to fall asleep, I kept having dreams about drop-kicking asshole clients.
I've never wanted to be that caseworker who has completely removed her heart the second she walks through the front doors, but that idealism is quickly falling by the wayside. I'm becoming jaded, callous. I've caught myself hating a person when they come into the office or mentally chastising a client for asking a question that they undoubtedly couldn't know the answer to. They haven't been doing this job for three years; how could they? But it hurts me. I don't want to be that person.
Anyway, like I said above, I was talking to my friends about it, and they all essentially agree that it may, indeed, be quittin' time for me. Sure, there are several who warned me about financial difficulties and are trying to help me keep my head on straight, but for the most part, they're all wondering the same thing I am: how in the fuck did I manage to stay sane for three years of dealing with the same bullshit, day in and day out?
Part of my hesitation to actually quit is fear. Will Three's new job be able to pay for our bills if I focus entirely on writing? I mean, yeah, he's getting paid well, but having two sources of income is helpful so we can, you know, pay for necessities like tires and food and the occasional liter of boxed wine. I could always get a part-time job, I suppose, for savings; there seem to be plenty of those around. And I'll have health insurance through his job.
But the fear doesn't totally come from financial stability. The other is, dear GOD, what if I fail? What if I don't become at least moderately successful? I don't necessarily want to become a multimillionaire or anything; a modest salary would be fine. As long as I don't wake up and think, "Fuck, it's another day of doling out the SNAP*** shit. I wonder which dickbag is going to piss me off today." But still, even if I sell a few ebooks, short stories, articles, novels, what-have-you, what if it's still Three completely taking care of me? I don't want to be That Wife.
Three told me today that we need to sit down and see if me quitting is feasible: come up with a budget and figure out what we can and can't cut or even if we need to do anything drastic. I'm currently looking for another job, either way, so at least I have options. But I do know this: I have to get out. Or else I may rampage.
* TRUE STORY:
|I named her Bonnie the Bonneted T-Rex.|
*** What food stamps are now called. I don't really know why they decided to call it SNAP, although I think it's to get away from the stigma of food stamps and also to remind people that they are a supplement to your income, not your entire food budget. Oh, and also, so they can make quippy advertisements like, "Oh, SNAP! Look! YOU CAN USE YOUR SNAP BENEFITS HERE!!" And yes, people have actually done that and they hang fliers everywhere near my office.