I really tried to do everything right, I went to college, got good grades, worked 2-3 jobs at a time, paid my bills, lived on my own, taught school, pinched pennies and lived simply.
I never stole anything, tried to be nice to everyone, worked hard to be a good daughter, sister, friend, Neice, girlfriend, etc. I drove crap cars, worked long hours, and never ever broke even.
Relocating to be with my fiancé was not even a choice, it was a must. My (now) husband would never have been happy in my home state, as his profession hardly even exists there anymore. So I tried to “bloom where I was planted” and worked as a waitress, a babysitter, a substitute teacher in ghettos, a child counselor in the projects, while the parents smoked crack in their bedrooms. I tried to be a good wife, mom, housekeeper, and as little of a burden as I could be on my husband. All the while, aching with the knowledge that my graduate degree was holding me back. I applied in over 50 districts throughout Ohio. I never even got interviewed. I was told it was because of my graduate degree(too expensive).
To say that the past 8 years living so far away from family and friends, raising two young children on one income has been a struggle is a joke. It’s made me bitter and angry, and I’ve had a cloud over my head for much of a decade.
However, that cloud was finally lifted when I was finally able to start working toward a dream I’ve had for a long, long time, to open a drop-in daycare center. I worked very hard, long hours, remodeling with friends I brought from NY. I searched high and low for bargains, scavenged through thrift stores and discard piles to stock the center with great toys. We kept struggling with one income for 6 months while I negotiated, worked hard, and finally got the doors open.
Opening a business is scary. No, it’s downright terrifying. Opening one when you have nothing – no assets, no nest egg, no retirement, no savings account, no job other than that which you hope to have created, seems foolish. I took a leap. I thought after all I’ve been through, all the sadness and defeat, that this was the answer, this was my destiny.
Last night, I had to buy groceries. We had $20. I took two jars of pennies and put them in the coinstar. I thought I had enough. However, when I got to the checkout, I didn’t. Not only that, but there was one checkout, and a long line behind me. I had to give things back – milk, marshmallows, corn, cereal, a pork roast, etc., people were staring at me like I was trash, an idiot, a fool.
Perhaps I am. But I’d rather be a fool who worked terribly hard to try and make something out of nothing than a fool that just keeps eating the dirt kicked in my face for the past decade in Ohio.
So take my house, take my car, take everything. My pride will remain.