I had to buy a Ficus today. No, really. A new succulent (got my eye on some Hen and Chicks) just wasn't going to cut it. I went to school to test and there's no testing this week. I had the next three weeks planned out so that I could finish Part 1 of 3 before I went to Disneyland. It didn't help that the guy at the math lab gave me a snide little, "Should have checked the schedule closer" remark to which I replied, "Yeah, sorry, have a nice night," even though I wanted to say, "Don't have to be an asshole about it!" Even though I'm reaching twenty-nine this year, I look young and people still treat me like I'm wet behind the ears. I'm going to go on an agist rant here one of these days.
So, the ficus. I was driving home thinking all those same negative things that cloud me whenever I think about the years I've spent working full time and slowly chiseling away at the IGETC with no end in sight and I saw the sign for Ace was open. I knew Chris would sigh and shake his head when I got home, but damnit I was going to get a plant for my troubles.
It's not just school. It's not just that I've had to carry full time work for so long while taking classes so that I can get a piece of paper that says I'm too fucking good for the shitty pay and no benefits that comes with my chosen career. It's that this particular forty-hour work week I deal with these days is like nothing else I've ever had to deal with ever. I can't talk too much about it, but I am regularly screamed at, pinched, hair-pulled and hit. Every. Single. Day. I try to walk away from it, but I'm pressured to keep working and "powering through" what needs to be done. There was hope of a behaviorist and now that that's been smashed, I'm pretty much lost. I haven't been forceful about my concerns at work, but when I do politely mention that it's really hard to get things done in that environment, I'm politely told that once the work is done, the person hitting me will feel better and stop hitting me...for awhile.
I thought going from 50 hours to 40 hours a week would help, but instead of improving the situation, it's only slowed the bleeding of my soul. What would be awesome it three days a week, but there's no way we can afford that, especially if we're going to start looking for a bigger place (which I doubt we'll start doing), and car payment and bills and this and savings and blah. *siiiiiigggggggghhhhhhh* Everything is temporary, right? Someday I'm going to look back on these days and miss them, right?
Well, probably not the work. I thought co-habitating would bring about some ease in the finances, but damn, husbands are expensive to feed and water and so I won't actually be able to go part time to concentrate on school any time soon unless my other half's income suddenly increases dramatically. For now, I'm the bread winner.
What bothers me at night on those long commutes home is thinking about my dad. My dad worked his ass off, sacrificing time, watching his girls grow up, and eventually his marriage to put money in the bank. The bank ended up empty, taking the house, my sense of security and my future with it. C'est la vie, right? But here I am working myself thin to secure some kind of future for me and my husband and maybe a rugrat in the future (which will probably go the way of the cat I've wanted for two years, which is still waiting for "a bigger place" and "when we make more money." You know how it is).
I have an opportunity with this math class to take enough units to get me through two of the course I need in just one semester. Everything in me is telling me something bad is going to happen and I'm not going to be able to do it because, well, I have had a lot of trouble in math, I'm not convinced it wasn't a fluke that made me test into a level higher than the one I tested into before, and, well, I'm just fucking used to disappointment in life. I'm used to expecting the worst because it's turned out that way so many times. The two and a half years Chris and I have been here is the longest I have gone without moving since I was in my late teens.
So I bought a tree. Because a tree grows and it stays and it is going to need a bigger place some day and there's nothing that is going to stop it from outgrowing its surroundings and damnit, that's me. I have to outgrow it here. I have to outgrow the smallness I keep putting myself in. The little, tiny box of negativity and "But I can't" that I have gotten so used to. They say if you tie a baby elephant to a post and stick it to the ground, the elephant will grow up and never try to pull away from that post because, even though it's huge, it still thinks the post is still powerful enough to keep it from running away. I don't know if that's true, but I think I'm an elephant.
See, I'm a tree and I'm an elephant. Damnit, I can't keep these metaphors straight anymore.
Tl;dr: I have a ficus. Shit happens. Things will get better.