It feels like a million years since I’ve blogged, even though I’ve wanted to do so almost every day for awhile now. The thing about blogging is that even if nobody reads it or cares, it’s cleansing for me. As a kid/teenager I always kept journals. Sadly I don’t see myself ever returning to those days, so this will have to do. Something about getting everything out of my head and onto paper (even if it’s virtual) is cathartic. And it typically helps me think a bit more clearly.
So, what’s been going on?
Let’s see. The boy and I are officially engaged now! For almost a month actually. He proposed on June 4th. I had suspicions that it was coming, but I’ll have to give him credit for psyching me out in the end. He told me we were going to shoot head-shots for someone and that we were going to be doing it at the Reynolds Building (that’s the UK art building) since we don’t have our own studio. We got to the building, it was hot as hell, some kid let us in, and he went about setting up lights and cameras in the lighting studio. At first I was ok with being there, because I have to tell you, it’s one of my favorite places on earth. (On a side note, the university is probably going to be purchasing a new building to replace it soon and that makes me a little sad.)
I spent 3.5 years in that building learning who I was and how to become an artist. I have serious sentimental attachment to it. It’s also where A. and I met for the first time. But back to the story, I was starting to get really annoyed with the whole thing because the person we were shooting was late, A. was having trouble with equipment, it was HOT as hell. Then he started asking me to pose for test shots (even more annoyed) and he put the camera on the timer, pulled this amazing hand engraved box he had made out of his bag, and asked me to marry him. He wanted a picture of him proposing. It was all very sweet. We have been together for 4.5 years and this was a long time coming. The ring is beautiful. Custom made, uncut diamond just like I wanted. As for the wedding – there may not be one. Unless some money falls out of the sky it’s just not in the cards, so we’ll most likely be heading the courthouse sometime this summer.
So that’s the good news. There seems to be a lot more bad news than good lately. About three or four days after the engagement, we had all of our camera equipment stolen out of one of our vehicles. It was pretty devastating. No, we shouldn’t have left it in there, but sometimes we’d forget. It was in a car parked under the carport in our driveway in our backyard. And no, it wasn’t insured. It was just something we hadn’t gotten around to because up until a few months prior, we only had one digital camera that was still under warranty and so we didn’t worry about it. A mistake on our part, yes – but it still feels terrible to be robbed. It was about $6,000 worth of equipment so there’s no chance it’s getting replaced anytime soon.
Maybe it was a sign. The business has honestly been pretty much dead for the last year anyway. We just don’t have the time or the means to grow it the way we wanted to. Part of us thought that with me now unemployed, I’d be able to get it off the ground and gain some momentum again – but that hasn’t happened. So, we’re weighing our options. Considering a full return to film photography as we still have all of that equipment and it was our first love anyway. But we’re not sure.
When I got laid off in February, my initial plan was to collect my unemployment and just ride it out. Stay home with the kids, which I have been wanting to do ever since the monkey was born. Well, I’ve been home for exactly 4 months. And it’s not going well. At all.
I’m now vigorously back on the job hunt. It turns out that I am just not cut out to be a stay at home mom. I did it with Mini for the first two years and it was miserable. But I was very young (24) and thought it would be a lot different this time around (32). Yeah, not so much. Don’t get me wrong, I adore spending time with my son. It was very hard for me going back to work 6 weeks after he was born. I worked through his entire first year of life. But while I have truly created a bond with him in these last four months that will never be broken, I personally have been falling apart.
I’ve always been prone to depression, anxiety, high stress levels, etc. I think I come by it genetically (if that’s possible) from my mom and my grandparents. But I guess working helped me manage it a lot better than I ever realized. Because in the past few months it has hit me like a freight train. I feel purposeless. I feel like I’m not contributing enough to my family financially (which is true), other than to take care of the kids, I don’t have anything to do. I’m a crafty, artsy person and I really tried to make some time to do those kinds of projects in the early going. But I have a 1.5 year old at home who wants my undivided attention all day long. And I have a house to keep up, which is a lot messier now that people are actually here during the day. Me not working, is just not working.
Last week I started to have what I think were my first ever anxiety/panic attacks. That was loads of fun! It’s gotten better. I’ve cut out the caffeine entirely from my diet which seems to be helping. But I’m sure there are other things at play as well. I have suspected for a long time that I may have some seriously fucked up hormone issues. But with no job, and therefore no insurance, it’s not getting fixed right now. Which is of course causing me more anxiety – vicious cycle.
So I’m looking for jobs, trying to be picky about the things I apply for, hoping to land something that will not only pay me well but come with great benefits, since I am now so in need of them. There was a few weeks of discussion about me going back to school so that I could get certified to teach. I’d still really love to do that, but it would mean a lot of things, like finding the money and figuring out how to work and go to school with two kids. I worked like 3 jobs and went to school before kids. I even went to school and worked part time with one kid. But I think work, grad school, and two kids is recipe for a nervous breakdown.
There’s a lot of transition going on around here. I’m doing my best to keep my head above water and hope that the good changes start coming any day now.