Thursday, November 19, 2009

3 mile island

It finally happened this week -- our long-anticipated meltdown. I think that all of the stress that I have been really trying to pretend wasn't there finally got to us. I've been doing such a good job of being willfully ignorant of what is really going on with us that I have only now actually acknowledged that things are very very tough right now.

And much though I hate to say this, what pushed me over the edge from blissful ignorance to the-sky-is-falling hysteria was actually the Boy. And I understand his perspective -- really I do -- but I just can't deal with it right now.

I'm lucky. No shit, really really lucky. I have a very good resume, a strong network, and have gotten two job offers without really trying that hard. But neither job is right, and the recent offer is definitely low-balling me on salary. And, incidentally, I really don't want to do the work that the job entails. So I told the Boy I was thinking about turning it down, and he said "you know, if you do that we will have to move -- we won't be able to afford to live here."

Now I get it -- he works in finance and that job market is just a shit show. And he has been out of work since January and looking really hard for several months, and has exactly zero real leads. Nada. Zilch. And I just walk into an offer (seriously, I did practically nothing) and then cavalierly suggest that I will turn it down, even though I have nothing else confirmed yet, but do have several things moving forward nicely. And that freaked him out that we will have to start dipping into our savings, which we have not had to do yet.

So his anxiety about being in a deficit situation ran headlong into my anxiety about taking a job that I am not excited about. And that was a rather combustible collision. Turns out that both of us are, in our own very different ways, completely freaking out about the fact that we don't have steady jobs, and are about to dip into savings to keep things running (like eating and stuff) and are, at the same time, about to start an ivf cycle. Which could (and hopefully will) result in a baby, and while that is crazy exciting, is also a scary thing if we don't have jobs.

How did this happen? We have 3 graduate degrees from 3 fancy-ass universities. We work hard. We are good at what we do. We save our pennies and don't run up debt. So how has it happened that we are struggling so damned hard for everything right now?


  1. When the shit starts to hit the fan it sometimes seems as though there is no end.

    .... although I have a job right now I'm currently looking to get the hell out and I've had 3 offers, all of which I have declined, because they are not the right jobs (or so I think) - but really? Why so choosy?

    You're dealing with all of this the best you can right now. Things will come together ... you just have to find some steady ground before you can make a decision.

    My therapist put it this way: you can only divert your attention to one life crisis at a time. Right now, that crisis is starting a family. You could have the best job offer in the world sitting on your lap and you'd decline it because you're not thinking clearly right now. A job is very important but not your priority. Being a mom is your priority.

    I don't know if that helps you or not.

  2. This is helpful -- it's just helpful to hear that it will, at some point, work out. Thank you!

  3. It may not be the "rational" decision not to accept an offer just because it's an offer, but there may be a reason that you shouldn't. Maybe a better one is right around the corner, and you don't even see it coming? When I look back at certain things in my life, I did't understand why things happened the way they did at the time, but looking back I can see how they opened up other doors that may not have been available to me otherwise. You just never know!
    You guys can get through this!