Stress and the Single Girl

WARNING: I got all done writing this and it wasn’t AT ALL what I intended to write about.  It’s long and it’s rambly, and it doesn’t end up AT ALL where I thought it would.  You’ve been warned.  😉

Holy crap.  Do you ever feel like you’ve been shot from a cannon and you’re flying forward without any idea where you’ll land, just squeezing your eyes shut and hoping it won’t hurt when you hit the ground?  That’s how I feel right now with the condo and the law school and the Bugs We Shall Not Name.  (FYI: I fogged the inside.  They were still coming in.  Now I just spray the entire window casing down with bugspray EVERY NIGHT and that seems to be doing the trick so far.  Maybe I should buy stock in Raid.)

ANYWAY.

My eating has been ok.  Not great, but ok.  I haven’t been to the gym all week, so I’m going a little stir-crazy.  But since I was leaping out of bed in the middle of the night to spray bugs, and then not sleeping (bug-induced nightmares), I couldn’t get my ass out of bed at 4:30 to go to the gym, you know?  As I sit here, I’m working on my 3rd glass of wine, which is the “worst” I’ve done all week, so I’m feeling ok – and strangely, not crazy about the food issues.  I mean, I’ve been journaling and planning, and it hasn’t sent me off the deep end.  I’m doing . . . ok.

I think a lot of that has to do with doing what I know I’m “supposed” to be doing, even though it freaks me out.  I know what my next step SHOULD be, and I’m literally stepping out in faith that there will be a net to catch me.  I have a realtor as of yesterday (well, I confirmed today, but I knew after talking to her yesterday).  She’ll broker the deal at the condo, and they are DESPERATE TO SELL, so I’ll buy there, one way or another.  (Those condos are “luxury” condos, and they went on the market in July of ‘o8 for $325,000, which would not be a bad price in LA in a normal economy.  But the economy got worse, they’re down to asking $225,000, and only half the units have sold.  They want to unload the rest as fast as possible, I’m sure.)  So I’m taking the next step.  It’s not an area I’m crazy about, but it will appreciate a lot over the next 5-7 years (I’m guessing I’ll be able to sell for almost twice what I paid at that point), and it’s close to all the places I need to be: work and law school.

I’m totally freaked out.  I alternate between being so excited I’m practically jumping up and down and crying hysterically with anxiety and fear.

See, I’ve always dodged the things that could help me.  That sounds weird, doesn’t it?  But I’m the queen of self-sabotage.  I binge the worst (and drink the most) when I’m on a diet.  I spend the most money during the months when money is tight (I’ve learned to keep a “mad money” stash – and in my case, I don’t mean “mad” as in “angry,” I mean “mad” as in “street-rat crazy”).  When I’ve been offered a good job, I’ve opted to apply to grad school (and get in, and then decide not to go, and then go back to tending bar).  If they ever make self-sabotage an Olympic sport, I’LL TAKE THE GOLD, BABY.  Um.  Unless I sabotage that.  Now THAT would be ironic, wouldn’t it?

But I was talking to my acupuncturist the other day, and I realized something: this is a cross-roads.  I have so many things I want to do in my fantasy world: I want to have/adopt a bunch of kids (dude, I could SO have the Brangelina life), I want to start a non-profit for foster kids, I want to fund scholarships and travel and join the Big Sister organization and the No One Dies Alone organization and write cookbooks and homeschool my kids and andandand . . .   So much to do.  I know I can’t do ALL of it.  But I really do want to have a bunch of kids (maybe 8 or 10: 1 or 2 biological ones, and then a bunch of adopted kids) and ideally homeschool them and start a non-profit for kids aging out of the foster care system.  A BIG non-profit.  HUGE, even.  A NATIONAL program.  And I’d like to fund the No One Dies Alone program, because I was with both of my grandparents when they died (the other two are still alive as of this writing), and it was important.  If I hadn’t been there, I don’t think I would really GET how important it is, just to have someone there when we die.  Anyone.  We aren’t born alone, and we shouldn’t die alone.  IT’S IMPORTANT. 

But I can’t really do any of that on a secretary’s income.  And if I go to law school, I can.  I can do ALL of those things.  For pretend purposes, let’s say I make $100,000 a year now (I don’t, but it’s easy math).  When I become a paralegal (2 years or so?), I’ll make 50% more: $150,000/ year, in this example.  When I get promoted to Jr. Attorney (4-5 years), I’ll make 100% more than I make now: $200,000/year.  Suddenly, if I live like I live now (or even a little above), I’ll have CRAPLOADS of extra money to pay off law school, invest, and then GIVE AWAY.  How cool would THAT be?!  And as I continue to get promoted, I’ll make even more money.  And the REALLY great thing is that being a lawyer for a movie studio is an 8-5 job, most days.  It’s not the 16-hour-a-day job you hear about for young lawyers out of law school.  Can you even IMAGINE?

But.

I’ve spent my whole life sabotaging myself.  And I have to admit that there have been a couple of nights recently when I’ve cried myself to sleep at the thought of living in North Hollywood.  But I listen to a lot of Dave Ramsey, and one of the things he says is, “If you’re willing to live like no one else now, then later on you can live like NO ONE ELSE.”  In other words, if I’m willing to put in 4-5 years of hellacious schedules and long nights and crazy-tight budgets and living in an area I’m not crazy about and having a roomate to defray expenses and ALL THAT STUFF . . . then in 10 years I can have EVERYTHING ELSE I want.  And to my peeps’ credit, they aren’t sending me to a studio apt in gang territory (that’d be about 8 blocks over – no joke).  They’re sending me to a small, but luxury condo, all new stuff, in an area that’s gentrifying rapidly.  They know me (and my limits of what I can handle) very, very well.

So I’m grateful.  Some nights lately it’s hard to remember that, but I am.

That stuff is a powerful motivator.

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5 responses to “Stress and the Single Girl

  1. I think that a lot of us self-sabotage. We just do it in different ways:) I’m glad you can see through it though and keep sight of your goals. Good luck!

  2. Thanks, Charlotte. This is all freaking me out a LOT. Yikes!

  3. Wow. You have big dreams, Marste! I hope you can acheive them!
    I hear ya on the self-sabotage – I do it, too. Especially when I’m stressed, like I am now.

    Good luck to you. I wish I could give you some sage advice, but, unfortunately, I have no answers.

  4. Oh gosh, BL, I KNOW. Especially the non-profit. I really, REALLY want that. I have these big ideas about how to do this, and I just need the funding. And if I were a mover and shaker in the entertainment industry, I WOULD HAVE THE CONTACTS TO DO IT. I would know the people who could write the $100,000 checks, you know? Heck, I already know a lot of them; they’re just not going to give me those checks at the moment. *sigh* And the kids. I really want a LOT of kids. I want to have THAT house in the neighborhood: where all the kids run in and out and half of them aren’t even mine. (Yeah, I know it’ll be just as much a pain in the ass as a great thing, but I want it anyway. ;D)

  5. Whatever you decide, know that life goes quickly. There were many things I wanted to do that I did not do, not that it’s all over yet, and with the cancer diagnosis I had to figure out if I was still content regardless.

    Go ahead and make your lists: law school, 10 kids, nonprofit, self-sabotage, what-have-you but somehow find a way in any given moment to take a breath and regardless of all your accomplishments and condos, be at peace with where things are in that moment.

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