On Wednesday night I came home and was thoroughly frustrated with the week already. Nothing to do with work, just our overall lives. I eventually sat on the kitchen floor and started crying as Matt and I discussed our financial situation. I was fed up (still am) with where we live, how we live, and being petrified of not having a house over our heads or food in our mouth. Because should something happen, and one of us loses our job, that fear would become a reality. No exaggeration. We wouldn’t even last a month.
We live in a very expensive part of the country. It’s ranked in the top five. Matt’s a public school teacher and let’s just say Virginia isn’t kind to public school teachers’ salaries. I have worked in mostly non-profit organizations because quite frankly, the for-profit sector disgusts me. We don’t travel anywhere. Nor do we really care to. We don’t even go on weekend getaways. We do little things here and there that we try to find around us that are free or low cost. And the most we spend on is food because our random date night during the week is precious to us.
Retirement is a joke. We will never retire and will die while working. If we still have jobs at that point. We save a few dollars here and there to pay for things that breakdown in our house (if I can’t fix it) or in our car.
I see myself as the main breadwinner of our little family and feel terrible that I can’t offer us more. What is “more” you ask? Comfort and ease of mind of not worrying if we’ll have enough each month to pay bills and essentially, not live under the weight of so much debt.
This is a crushing feeling I’ve had for a while that I know so many must have as well but don’t discuss because finances are always so very private. Yet it can feel like the weight of an elephant and cause emotional and psychological pain.
Yes I know we are lucky to even have the things we have, even jobs, but that doesn’t make it any easier. It doesn’t make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside to know that there are others out there who are worse off than we are. It doesn’t give me any comfort knowing that while today is ok, tomorrow is a whole different story and our lives could be turned upside down at the switch of the proverbial button.
I’ve lost all my faith in people and the world around us as a whole. I feel like we’re on a slowly sinking ship, and while some of us tend to ignore that by trying to stay positive and hope, I see the dark waters approaching and don’t know what to do.
I slap a smile on my face and pretend for everyone I know that things are OK. But they are not. They never will be. It’s getting a lot harder to do so.
My only solid rock that keeps me from drowning in these daily thoughts is Matt. He’s the only way I stay afloat.
“That’s why they call it the American Dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it.” ~ George Carlin