K had an interview this week – and we both thought the job was in the bag. I was already imagining what dual salaries would look like. I was reading reviews of minivans and planning when to chuck my birth control. Most of all, I was excited that K would be fully employed again. It’s been three and a half years of under-employment for him – and I wanted this so bad I could taste it. There were five interviewees, and by far he was the most qualified for the job. On paper, it looked like the job had been drafted for him in mind. I prayed my heart out: please open an opportunity for my husband to put his talents to work.
C3 and I went to our first Gymboree class during K’s interview. It was perfect timing for a worrier like me. As I watched my daughter crawl up a ramp and go down a slide – and the equally privileged kiddos along side her, I felt so conflicted. I’m blessed, but I’m still struggling so much. I may not own a home or a minivan, and those second-child plans that I wanted to put in motion might be on pause, but there’s my daughter holding the hand of a hipster-ly named nine month old. C3 giggled and squirmed and loved it. I didn’t think I’d actually sign up – but you didn’t hear her squeal with delight when she saw a clown. (Btdubs, she likes clowns – I am doomed!)
We’re privileged. It’s hard to realize when we’re living only a little better than paycheck-to-paycheck. It’s hard to remember when I look at our retirement savings. I’ve been trying to avoid saying I’m broke – because I’m not broke. I contributed to my daughter’s 529 this month (and the month before, and the month before that). I buy water. I am only in student loan debt/hell and there’s nothing else weighting our feet. We are okay; we are happy.
K didn’t get the job. And I’m so disappointed. I’m below disappointed. I know the reason he’s been under-employed is because he made choices that put him there. I get it – and I know it, but damn am I tired of living in this space between there and next. I know it’s time to try again – to hit while the iron is hot. He’s talking about – finally – opening up our radius to other parts of Florida. I would follow him anywhere. I would give anything for him to feel the satisfaction of a career. I want this so much for him – for us – that I feel it swelling inside of me. And I don’t know what to do with all this want.
I don’t want to look down on the privilege I have; I want to stay humble and aware of the blessings that surround me. But how to I get rid of all this want – even though the want is pure and good and with purpose? Even if I subtract my own desires for the life we could live with an employed spouse and focus solely on how good it would be for my husband to be gainfully employed — how do I balance this?