I can make my brain work normal, I can make my brain work normal…

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Sometimes I fear I’ll end up pasty, perpetually hyped up on Red Bull, and unable to speak to the public at large.
The problem with being a web nerd is that you spend most of your day alone. Even when I’m at Museum!Co, the only open desk was in an actual office with a door, and my officemate leaves by about 2:30pm every day, which means I have the CorporateWorldLuxury of being able to slide the door closed and use my headphones as speakers. Cubicle drudges around the world will assure you this is a privilege not to be passed up, and thus even when onsite at my main client, I tend to spend most of my time alone by myself tippy-tapping away at my keyboard.

As a consequence of this, I find that when I am around people or even just emailing with others, I tend to ramble even more than usual. After all, there’s so much to do and tell and share, and I only have this small concentrated timeframe in which to do it before I once again am relegated to my Hidey Hole and there is naught to be exchanged but further tippitey-tapping.

In an effort to lessen my inadvertent tendency to overshare and frighten others, I have, as of late, had to keep reminding myself to take deep breaths and just chill. I don’t know if I actually am scaring the general public with my enthusiasm for Things Outside Of the Internet, but I fear becoming That Scary Person, and thus keep reminding myself to tuck that sh*t back lest I be asked to please do everyone a favor and return to my parents’ basement to work on my replica of an authentic Klingon warrior uniform so that all the normal people can have normal lives without worrying about what I’ll do next.
Note: I neither live with my parents nor have a Klingon uniform, but I will cop to having just sent a message to a vendor on etsy.com looking to see if I could order a Battlestar Gallactica patch they’d just sold out of so I can decorate my new backpack. Not gonna lie.

Did I mention my current economic stability? Because b*tches, I got that goin’ ON!
Last week, a wondrous, fantastic thing happened – Museum!Co extended my contract through the end of the fiscal year. (That’s June 30th, 2011 for those of you not livin’ my contractor vida loca.)

You know what that means? It means this:

Bills are paid, boys & girls. Working two days a week at Museum!Co covers everything, and then what I pull in from other client work can go in the bank & towards items on the list. I have everything mapped out in a spreadsheet for now until the end of June, and just doing the 16 hrs a week at Museum!Co, without even counting a) any of my other regular clients b) the fact that as we get further into a migration, my hours at Museum!Co tend to get up to 32 or even a full 40 hour week … I’m doin’ pretty good, my friends. Pretty damn good. And it’s…weird. Here’s the thing – this is so completely different from where I come from. Where I grew up, there were foodstamps, & house foreclosures, and cars being repo’d, and what Everclear refers to as “the joy of a welfare Christmas”. For god’s sake, my mom works at Wal-Mart. My dad got laid off from Wal-Mart. They live in a trailer. Granted, at least now their trailer is now paid for, but still, I can honestly say that I have parents in a trailer park in backwoods NH. And yet here I sit, three thousand miles away from that at a job where I make more in an hour of work than my mother does in four. I am the first woman on my mother’s side of the family to get a college degree. Somewhere along the way I garnered the experience & acumen to be able to discuss brokering deals worth more than my parents make in a year’s worth of work. Within three months, the brand new car I bought four years ago will be paid off, and the only debt on my name will be my student loans. Granted, it took a lot of work to be in the place I’m at now, and having grown up piss poor filled me with an abhorrence of debt which kept me far, far away from the bane of many of my generation – credit card companies. Based on what I’ve seen some of my peers go through, the decision to almost completely eschew that aspect of my 20′s seems to have held me in excellent financial stead. While it’s possible my admittance that I have only one credit card with a scant $500 balance may have caused more than one acquaintance to literally choke on the comestible of the moment, it also means that I really don’t have anything to pay off. Of course, the trade off for that is that my credit score is crappy because I don’t carry any debt — which, seriously, wtf is up with THAT, universe? You won’t give me credit because I don’t buy lots of stuff, so you’re going to make it harder for me to get a loan? That seems kind of messed, and is why I will continue to pay for as much as I can in cash up front, thanks ever so much.

The Neat Company

Random tangent raging against the machine aside, it makes me nervous, things being fiscally okay. I keep waiting for the floor to drop out, and having to remind myself that no no, it’s all okay.

The thing is, when you’re raised in a situation where there’s never enough money, and you get to the point where that’s not a problem anymore, you have a hard time accepting that it’s not a problem anymore. You’re used to being in crisis all the time, & you expect it.

I had a thought this morning about what to do at the end of June, which is when my contract is up for renewal again. It went like this:

Oh my god, what if they don’t renew me? What am I going to do? I’m a freelancer, I don’t have unemployment anymore, how will I pay my bills? What about valeting? I can always go back to valeting, especially since my car will be paid off by then. Should I move? I don’t know that I should move if I don’t know that I’m going to have income. Maybe moving is a bad idea. How am I going to pay my bills? oh holy jesus…

See that? Right there? :points up: Totally unreasonable. It’s not even February yet, and I’m already freaking out about something that might happen around July 1st. Literally six months off and instead of taking a moment to stop, and just be in the being, my brain is already calculating the next possible disaster which might occur six months from now.

That? That’s just crazy-headed. Even for me, that’s a whole new level of paranoia & contingency planning. Crazy-headed, completely unwarranted, freakish worrying.

Because it’s not like I don’t have a plan. Within a day of confirming my contract, I’d already gone to the One Fiscal Spreadsheet to Control them All, One Excel Sheet to Bind Them and mapped everything out. I’ve already talked to Anisa, my biz dev guru that I worked with at Evyl!Law!Co., and she’s going to help me set up an actual plan for myself and we’re going to co-dependently force one another to go out into the world & network to bring in more business for ourselves. I’m clearing out all my back projects so that I can sit and start to work on trying to establish affiliate marketing income to add to another source of revenue that’s not dependent upon a client or contract.

So logically, I know that things will be fine. I’ve survived far worse uncertainty, far less money, far smaller timeframes, and in the end it all sorted out.

More than anything, I think that right now the reason that my brain keeps getting dizzy from chasing its own tail is because I do spend so much time alone at the moment. There’s no balance for things, no one to walk up to me & be like, “Hey, shut up, Stupid Claris Brain. You’re being stupid and not-helpful.” While I realize that this isn’t horribly Independent Woman of me, sometimes I can’t help but think it would be nice to have a boyfriend just so that I could get a hug & the reassurance to calm down because everything will be all right.

However, it is just me (and Zoey!), so instead I have to remind myself to take a deep breath, chill the hell out, make a new list of what needs to be done next, turn on the Curious George soundtrack, and attempt to repress the urge to get a cookie.

mmm…. cookies…

Music: Upside Down – Jack Johnson (Curious George soundtrack)Sing-a-Longs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George - Jack Johnson

Coffee and Chocolate Pairing Gift Coupon

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  • http://www.candlemarkandgleam.com Kate

    Das Boy is UNUTTERABLY helpful for talking me down from anxiety ledges. But before him, I had my two best friends. They’re really good at knowing when I’m about to take a plunge over something stupid that does not need to be worried over yet…

    I hear ya on the credit issue. I have a car and a credit card SPECIFICALLY so that I could build up my credit and buy my house – if I hadn’t wanted to buy a house, I wouldn’t have gotten a car loan or a credit card at all. Hmph. I have a fairly similar background to yours, minus the trailer (my dad comes from money even though he doesn’t have any himself, and the house was the one thing my grandparents would NOT let him do without, even without other support. Ah, standards), so I totally understand the financial angst and pride thing.

    Anyway…congrats on the extended contract, and especially on having the bills paid! That’s super-rad.

  • MrWhyt

    Yay! for the contract renewal and the fiscal stability. Now I order… err gently suggest that you to take a day off. Turn off your brain and go lie on the beach for awhile.

  • DeMoriel

    It’s so ironic that having no balance at all is worse credit-speaking than carrying a small balance and paying it off immediately. I guess creditors want some proof that when you have a balance, you pay it off responsibly.
    ‘grats on the stability.

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