My dad just emailed me. He said that he and mom are gonna mail a “Christmas gift” of money to me early ’cause they know that December is a rough month for me, work-wise (the art schools close and work dries up).
So that’s really sweet.
But of course the email didn’t end there. My dad does this thing where he always, always assumes that I am doing the stupidest possible thing in any given situation, so his email also included the sage advice that I should try to save up money when I can in order to get me through the leaner times. DERRRRRP THANKS DAD THAT DID NOT OCCUR TO ME.
Apparently he’s forgotten that when I quit my office job four years ago, I had a twenty grand nest egg. Which I’d managed to save up over just five years. During which time I also got, and paid off, seven thousand dollars worth of cosmetic dentistry. I know how to save money, goddammit. But d’you know what the first requirement is of saving up a nest egg? Having “extra” money to put away. And that’s the part that’s been giving me the trouble.
I’ve been terrified of what will happen during my December slow period (and, even more, the much longer summer slow period). I’ve been taking on all the work I can, trying to get this mythical “nest egg” of which my dad speaks. I’ve worked as many as thirteen days in a row without a day off. I’ve had multiple days in a row of evening-then-morning gigs, where I’d get home at night and have about an hour to eat something and try to unwind and then – if I wanted to not be wrecked for my morning shift – I had to go to bed. I’ve had sore muscles pretty much constantly for two months now because I never get enough time off to properly heal and restore myself. Much more of a concern is the fact that I’ve been getting joint pain, especially in my knees.
And thanks to working myself into a coma over the past three months and possibly almost blowing out my knees, I will have extra money. A bunch of the schools pay me by mailed cheque so it’s gonna trickle in slowly, and I haven’t sat down and added up how much I should be expecting yet. But I figure at best it’ll maybe cover my rent for January (approx. $950). Then I’ll be back to square one. I’ll work my ass off for three months again and make maybe an “extra” thousand bucks and then work will slow down from April through to the end of August and I will maybe be able to coast on my “nest egg” and sporadic summer gigs until, like, June. And then I’m fucked.
Seriously, how do I acquire this magical “nest egg” that’ll get me through all my slow months? (Remembering that my anxiety and depression make me pretty unfit for a “normal” job anymore so getting a standard office or retail gig does not feel like an option to me. But even if it was, most of those types of jobs will pay me less per hour than I make now. Like, 50-70% less).
Subquestion: can you imagine how frustrating it is to be sitting here exhausted from overwork, with sore muscles and crunchy shoulders and knees that feel filled with fluid and constant, constant anxiety over the future…and be told “you should really try to save up some money!”? And he never worked thirteen days in a row or had a physically demanding job during my lifetime, by the way. My dad had a 9-5 desk job with almost no overtime ever and managed to buy his family a big, pretty, custom built house from the proceeds. It’s maybe, just maybe possible that the economy has changed since 1985 and that I live in a city with a much higher cost of living than my parents do. And it’s possible my dad should STFU with his stupid platitudes and “advice.”