Broke and Pregnant

The way we live, me and my fiancé (wow, that’s the first time I’ve written that word), is not the American way.

To us, time is more important than money. Doing what we love makes us feel rich, even if it means we have to buy half our groceries at the 99 Cents Only store.

We’re both actors, and sometimes we get paid handsomely to put our faces in front of a camera. But much of the time, we act for free. I’m a writer, and I do that just for the love. I worked for three years, published a novel, and after sales, I broke about even with my production costs. I’m writing this blog for no reason other than I want to share some real-lady talk in a world full of cutesy mom sites with message boards that employ annoying-ass acronyms. We try not to get discouraged by the fact that this life we love has not yet delivered us riches.

To make money, he referees ice hockey. I babysit. We do promo gigs for different brands. I do catering. We do this only for the money, and we don’t get paid much.

So I’ve been wondering lately with these tots on the way: should I give in to the golden handcuffs? I have a master’s degree in English. I’m sure if I tried hard, I could get a “real” job that filled my pockets and killed my soul at a steady pace. I’d be trading my freedom for a sense of security.

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The cutesy mom sites all assume that everyone works in a cubicle. (‘Cause that’s the American way.) They advise you to check your “employee handbook” and plan your maternity leave wisely. When I read this, I want to gag, thinking of living a lifestyle in which I must refer to a “handbook” or talk to some higher-up in a suit before acting. Ha! As it is, I make my own rules. All my gigs are pretty painless, and none include a boss breathing down my neck. That said, some weeks I just don’t get work. I scrape together the dregs of my checking account to pay rent. It’s okay when it’s just me, but I can’t have that when I’m responsible for the twins.

I love being free. But I don’t want to be scared of not being able to survive. I know there has to be a third option. There has to be some way that I can feel secure and steady but also live of my own volition. They say do what you love and the money will come to you, but I’m willing to compromise a little if I have to.

 

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