Three things. Well, two things, and a story.
First. Thank you so much for all your thoughts and insight on my job situation. You guys will probably not be disappointed to find out that my final decision was to go with Opportunity #1. After I read your comments, I talked it over with the beau. “It’s a no-brainer that you should go with the first option for your career advancement,” he told me. “But what about our future?” I asked. “Your career advancement is our future,” he replied sagely.
That’s when I collapsed on the floor and melted into the carpet. It’s official. He wins the “Best Husband I’ve Ever Had” award. I don’t just give those out to anyone, you know.
I’m kind of nervous. True, I’ll be making more money per hour at this new job, but I’ll be working fewer hours. The best I’m hoping for is that it evens out to what I’m making now, or slightly less. And it’s true that I can take on side jobs to help split the difference. Either that or I can simply take any hours I am not working each week and devote them to learning and training, which is kind of like paying myself with knowledge instead of cash. I think I’m going to just have figure it out as I go.
A lot of you asked about whether I could buy my own insurance or get on the beau’s. Well, when I first quit a corporate-drone job three years ago and lost my cushy company health benefits, I tried to purchase one of the most basic individual health insurance plans out there. I was denied coverage because of a preexisting condition. So I went for a long time without any medical coverage whatsoever, save for periodic trips to Planned Parenthood to take care of my “female” matters. Then after we got married the beau enrolled me in his company’s plan, but guess what? It turns out that it costs us $862 per month to cover a spouse. That’s over $10,000 per year.
It’s time for me to try the individual plans again, and see if I can actually convince someone to provide me medical coverage in exchange for my hard-earned money, but damn. Health care in this country is one hot brimming mess.
Anyway. I’m nervous, yes, but I’m happy. A smart person sent me an email this morning in which she said: “The thing I’ve found about having a job you love over the one that pays bank is that those of us who have the love but not the money use the love to make ourselves feel better about the money. And those that have the money use the money to make themselves feel better about having no love. I think it comes down to which one you feel more comfortable with.” This observation pretty much cracked me over the head with the screaming confirmation I needed that I am actually doing the right thing for myself, even though Opportunity #1 won’t ever win me any awards in Grownupland for having that important-sounding job at a big slick corporation with an enviable benefits package.
But that doesn’t matter. It’s the happiness that does. Right?
Second. I am taking the leap in another, wholly different way by quitting my Proactiv acne treatment system. I’d like to say that this decision came about due to a deliberate effort on my part to use more natural products on my body, but really I was just tired of having bleach spots on my towels and sheets. What was I supposed to do, start using only white towels and white sheets? This was seriously the thing that pushed me over the brink; the thought of a colorless bed and bathroom. Then I started doing research on skin care alternatives and fell down a rabbit hole of anti-paraben literature and before you know it, I was filling a virtual shopping cart with organic cleansers and moisturizers made from, like, olive oil and crushed flowers and holy water.
Just kidding about the holy water. I think.
I have been using Proactiv for six years now. I think the biggest challenge thus far has lain in grappling with the revolutionary idea that maybe I don’t need man-made chemicals in order to treat my acne. It seems like a very western-medicine sort of approach, right? Here is skin condition! Let us conquer it with SCIENCE. And now here I am, trying to conquer it with flowers. I dunno, man.
I have been using the new products exclusively for almost a week. Well, okay. I am still using the Proactiv toner, but that’s because I have three bottles of it left and what am I supposed to do? Throw it out? I’m a cheap bastard. Anyway, I figure I’ll need to try my new approach for at least a month before I know how well it’s really working.
We’ll see. We’ll see.
And now! A story.
I figure that after all those monotonous paragraphs about my personal life, I should now try to entertain you with a tale culled from my personal life. You’re welcome.
So the beau is gone this week for work. And in a drastic 180 from the independently-sleeping-alone single lady I used to be, I have a hard time making myself go to sleep when he’s not there. Once I am in bed everything’s fine, and I revel in the sacred occasion to lie in the center of the mattress and fling my limbs hither and yon without hitting someone. But in his absence the process of actually going to bed is a horrific chore, which means that last night I didn’t even start to try until about 12:45 a.m.
And of course, once I am ready I cannot get in the bed without first walking around the house in the dark looking out all the windows for bad people [SIDEBAR: I AM CRAZY]. So I did that. Except this time, I actually saw something rustling around in the shadows of the side yard from the bathroom window. Because it was moving erratically, I figured it must be an animal. Either that or an extraordinarily drunk midget. But I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what kind of animal it was. A raccoon, perhaps? But it wasn’t shaped like a raccoon! What? So I watched it for a very long time. And in the foggy brain-haze of someone who should have gone to bed several hours prior, I began to come up with increasingly ridiculous options. Stray dog? Fawn? WOLVERINE?
Then the thing started slowly moving into the middle of the yard, where there was more light. And at this point, I was so close to the damn window that it was getting fogged up. But still. I couldn’t make it out! It was too tall for a normal animal! It must be a demon spirit! Augh! I was on pins and needles, muttering WHAT THE FUCK WHAT THE FUCK. Finally it turned, and I could see its profile, and…
And it was a skunk. A skunk with its tail hoisted high in the air, so from the front it had looked like some towering, lumbering, skinny thing.
I finally went to bed.
In summary, urban skunks! We apparently have them. Come to Santa Barbara, ya’ll!