I know that I have been horrible about updating recently. It's mainly an energy thing, or, more precisely, the lack thereof. There are other things I've been doing, like working, and trying to finish paid commissions.
I'm not saying that Dex Lives is not artistically as important as these other things, but there is a critical distinction in that the other things pay. Money is a nasty addiction.
Why this frustration? Well, it's really simple. I am having to pay off the many months of unemployment I have had in between now and graduation. What's worse is that I have never in my life earned a salary above $8 an hour. The contracting I have been doing off and on-- mostly off-- pays $10 an hour, but I have to pay twice the Social Security and Medicare. Which is a nasty shock when you're doing your taxes. Every bit I work helps pay off debt but takes time away from art. And at this rate it will be years before our debt is down to the point where we could afford the large and nasty debt of a mortgage. It's only in the last six months that we've been able to go grocery shopping without checking every penny.
And this last month hasn't been that great moneywise. My contracting job abruptly told me that they wouldn't need me for a month just as it came time to get plates for the car. (Those will probably run about $500 because the car is fairly new.) We just did the taxes and it was disheartening to find out that our combined income places us in a higher bracket, plus the taxes from $2000 in contracting income came to almost $600. And Rob's work is cutting back hours-- not a lot, but it still hurts.
We are still able to cover everything, but only just. And all of this means that we can't pay down debt, which is the thing that hurts the most over time. Compound interest is a killer.
It's not too bad here; we have a lot of nice furniture that is almost entirely the result of our wonderful friends. We have two awesome and totally bonkers cats. We're able to eat decently enough (it would be better if one of us had the inclination to cook) and we can afford to gas up the car. But sometimes I get depressed at the fact that I'm wearing clothes eight or nine years old (and will until they wear out) or that I can't afford to buy bookshelves for the fabled six hundred pounds of books that are sitting in boxes on the floor. It bothers me that at an age where most people are at least on track for building a career, I'm working part-time in two situations that I can't see as having any permanence in my life.
And I still don't have a lot of job confidence after living in Eugene for a year, where five months of searching only turned up one part-time minimum wage job. That fiscal blow is the main reason we're in debt.
I wrote this hoping it would make me feel better. Unfortunately, it hasn't. I'm sorry. I'll update as I can. In the meantime, just remember that my luck seems to be running about even, so maybe I'll sell lots of stuff at Opus and be able to take out a huge chunk o' debt.
Email reassurance is always good. Talk to me.