Marshmallows and milk

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.

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