At night, under the circle of light from a cheap metal lamp clamped to the kitchen table, she sits with paper and a pen and pretends she’s not afraid. She’s trying to live like a writer. ~From the introduction to “The House on Mango Street” by Sandra Cisneros
I hate this part of life, but here I am, stressed about money. It’s all coming to a head: I need to find my own health insurance, I need to buy out my car lease or find a new car, I need to start paying student loans this summer, I need to make a budget, and soon, I’ll need to find a more affordable place to live.
I used to not have money, before I was married. I remember needing to make enough money from dinner shift at the Olive Garden to pay rent the next day. But I wasn’t worried. It was easier then, before kids, when I could just stay on someone’s couch for a couple weeks or live out of my car if I had to.
I started working at the coffee shop again, on the weekend mornings when Steve has the kids. After I graduate, I’ll go back to waitressing Friday and Saturday nights which means my weekends will be packed with working: with staying up late to work at one place, with getting up early to work elsewhere. But also, it is what I can do with Holden not yet of school age. It’s what I can do so I can still write during the days, when I write the best, between 10 and 2. It is how I can try to remain a writer.
I read something on Twitter that made me feel strong again, which was a nice change from feeling weak:
I really think people make fun of creative careers or typically ‘unstable’ jobs because they secretly wish they had the balls to do what they love instead of what they must. ~@whoyoufinna
I am afraid, all the time, but I am trying to be courageous.
Maybe that’s what it means to live like a writer.