Well folks, it's been almost a month since my life got turned upside down, and I really feel like I owe you an explanation. Over here at Chez Sassy we're all in one piece, albeit a little worse for the wear and with a few more gray hairs. Thanks for your prayers and thoughts and good wishes from that last post and keep them coming. We may yet need them. I've got so much to say that I've been keeping close to the vest for so long, so I guess I should start at the beginning.
About a month ago, for reasons that I still can't really talk about here, D abruptly lost his job. Don't worry, no one's dying or dead or in jail, and no one did anything illegal or crazy or life-threatening. It simply was a decision whose time had come and had to be made quickly and unfortunately very very abruptly for the sake of everyone involved.
I know to a lot of you, this won't sound as catastrophic as I made it seem in that post, but there are a couple of factors you have to consider here:
- Musicians don't come by steady jobs that easily, especially not ones with decent salaries.
- Moreover, jobs with benefits are few and far-between, musician or not.
- A cessation of said job means the cessation of both of the above perks.
I'm not ashamed to tell you I had become very, very accustomed to the lifestyle that his job afforded us. Not having to worry about where the money came from was a luxury I never anticipated when I set out to be a musician. I'm not saying we were rolling in dough over here because we weren't, but it was really nice not to have to worry where our next paychecks were coming from and what dollar amount they'd be for. It's the little things, right? Right.
So suddenly, there we were, cut loose and skydiving, not knowing where our next paycheck would come from.
I should explain, too that my number one absolute nightmare-inducing fear is being bankrupt and homeless without a penny to my name. I mean, keep-you-up-at-night-and-pee-your-pants
kind of fear here. So the number one thing crossing my mind was how to keep us in Ramen and gasoline and out of the poorhouse while we came up with a plan to make ends meet more permanently. We had a little bit of a cushion and some more pay coming down the pipeline, but all of the sudden all of those numbers started to add up in my head and I came pretty close to gibbering in a corner and crying.
Add to that the piled-on concern of keeping health insurance which without his employer's portion costs as much as our rent, and Bob's your uncle
, it was looking very, very grim. There were also a lot of other perks we enjoyed from his gig that I won't enumerate here, but let's just say we had to give up a lot of cool stuff that was saving us some major dough in a lot of ways.
Most of all, though, I was worried about him. He was so devastated about it. He had looked forward to a long career in this job and the rug was quite literally pulled out from under him in a matter of weeks. He was afraid of how I'd take it, afraid of what we'd do and how it would work out. Not only afraid, but really, really sad about leaving the job itself and everything it meant for his daily life.
Not only was I worried about him, I was completely shell-shocked myself. He waited until the last minute to tell me, so what he'd suspected for a little while was over and done for me in a matter of twenty-four hours. Talk about a whirlwind of change. Imagine every plan you've made for your immediate and short-term future suddenly collapsing like a house of cards, running through your grasping hands like water through a sieve and out of your reach. There will be no buying of a house in the near future. The plans I had for working on my career now have to be redirected and changed. Free time turns into overtime. Everything seems uncertain and unfamiliar, and all I could do was look longingly back at those closed doors like it was a bad dream and maybe I'd wake up soon.
As afraid as I was, though, I have to admit it hasn't been as bad as I thought it would be, and in a lot of cases it's been a lot better.
I didn't realize it, but his day job had really been affecting the two of us-- our schedules were almost opposite and we had been spending less and less time together. We had nothing to talk to each other about since we didn't know anything about each other's daily work, and it because easier for us to communicate via Post-It notes and emails and phone calls than actually talking
to each other. I saw my friends more than I saw him, and this time when I went on tour it wasn't as hard to be away, because it was just a further extension of the way we already lived. Needless to say, not good. Not good at all.
Ix-nay on the ob-jay, and presto-change-o. Now all of the sudden, we wake up and go to sleep at the same time, have the same work schedule and hours, and have actually spent more time talking and laughing with each other this past month than we have in about three years. Disaster? I'm not so sure.
It remains to be seen how we'll end up, but for the time being I'm back and treading water and running, running, running for some dough, so we'll see.