For you, the dress code is casual.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Unintentional Irony

So, when it comes to teaching kids writing, my students are pretty possessive of me. The parents love me 'cos the kids love me, but the kids love me 'cos I teach them about life at the same time as I teach them about writing. The kids, I think, are holding out on the folks.

Every now and then, a parent takes advantage of my relationship with their kids. I had one give me a pop-up book on the human anatomy and ask me to teach her eight-year-old son about the English names for all their bits and pieces. Talk about your awkward classes. Nothing like an eight-year-old grabbing at his testicles and asking plaintively, "Bags?"

I haven't been teaching for weeks now, maybe a month. They Want Me Back. I'm on the verge of deciding that I will find a way to afford NOT to work additional hours in any given week. Fuck, man. Writing's taking up 10 hours a week, trying to do this podcast is 10-12 hours of fucking around a week, then there's the small matter of a life, and all that other stuff we're driven to do, not to mention 40 hours of your standard soul-suckage-through-straws. At this rate, I'll never have time to exercise or cook the kinds of meals I love.

So, it's pretty much decided: I'll teach one student for two hours a week, and maybe no more. I need to decide what's important to me, and right now, LIVING life is important. I'll get by. I always do. Having nervous breakdowns and being this stressed is not what makes for happy Steffs. It'd be nice to dine in fancy restaurants and buy nice clothes, but the reality is, it's not in my cards right now. One day, damn right, but this is not that day.

I'm proud that I'm dealing well with all that's on my plate, but I'm tired and frustrated, and the fact is, writing and podcasting are going nowhere. I will have to turn around a new show every two weeks, like it or lump it, as my dad always says.


The student I just agreed to continue teaching, his mom calls me, begging to teach her kid again since I'm the only tutor he's ever looked forwards to seeing, and she says, "Oh, you need to find time to relax!" This is just after I've said, "Well, I'd really like to hold off one more week if I c--" Nope. She cuts me off. Then five minutes later it's all about how I need to cut some stuff out of my life so I can relax more. WELL, IRONICALLY... that's what I'd been doing until you fuckin' called, honey!

Kills me. Nice lady, though. Her kid's cool and he can walk over here. I'll need to call my other students and let them know of my decision. It's possible I can get a day or two additional work at my old TV post job each month, so there could be money to be had yet.

But it comes down to whether or not I believe in myself. Will I get the raise I'm entitled to, and in a timely fashion? Fuckin' right I will, or else I'll look elsewhere. It won't come to that, though, because I think my employers are cluing into my value in a hurry, and it's one of the nice things about them. And is my writing and podcasting worth investing the time in? Will it pay off one day? I'd like to think I have reason to keep this wagon-wheel rolling. So. If it means I live a life a little on the downside for a while, catch up on bills, and spend frugally, then I need to decide (and have) that the sacrifices I'm making are worth it.

I miss feeling like I can go have fun. But the work I do for writing and podcasting, as frustrating as it can be, can also be really fun. Overworked Steffs have limited creative potential, I have discovered. Thus, we're putting the Overworked Steffs out of commission and instead will be introducing a new, snazzier Almost Rested, More Creative Steff in the upcoming fall models.

But wait, there's more!

Okay, I lied. There's not. But yeah. I've fucking decided. I want my life back. It's time I realize my writing and podcasting ARE my second job. Fuck. They're my first job. The rest of this shit's so I can eat tonight. That's it. That's all.

(Oh, and the nice clothes thing: I've swallowed my pride. My office manager's about the same size as me and is apparently a shopaholic. Tack a $65k salary on a 29-yr old and that's liable to happen. She has three closets of clothes and three dressers and is cleaning it out this weekend. She's asked if I want to cherry-pick. At first my pride said no. Now my sanity says yes. If I can cherry-pick and save myself the $400 or more I was thinking I needed to spend to get decent work clothes and such, and by proxy NOT work another job, then why the hell not? Stupid pride. Fuck pride.)