Tag Archives: freelance writers

It’s exhausting being a chick…

This past Sunday, my husband Ryan and I were out with some friends, having a couple beers, a couple of laughs. Naturally, I was being my usual charming, slightly buzzed, self-deprecating self.

But then…THEN I had to go and make a comment about how since I’ve been struggling to find work as a writer, at least it gives me plenty of time to clean the house. HA HA!

We then moved onto other topics (mostly farts and boobs, since it was all guys save for me) but for some reason (beer, and possibly the fact I own a uterus), I got irrationally angry at my husband for not jumping into the earlier conversation and defending me.

Which is ridiculous. Defending me from what? Even my baffled husband, when confronted with my irrational anger, said “I thought you were just doing a schtick.” Technically all he was guilty of was sitting at the bar and having a good time.

And then, because I couldn’t just leave well enough alone, my husband soon after bought me the bracelet and necklace I’d been admiring from a street vendor, to which I also responded with irrational anger.

But what the poor guy didn’t realize, through no fault of his own (since he’s not a nut job crazy 30-year-old woman), is that for months I’ve been dealing with conflicting feelings on going from a full-time, hard-working journalist to being a struggling freelance writer financially dependent on her husband when we moved to Boston. And apparently on Sunday they just boiled over.

So I decided to create some visual aids to give dudes an insight into the mind of a woman. And although these aids are specific to my own neurosis, you will at least get somewhat of an idea of the way a modern woman’s mind works.

For example, chart No. 1, which I like to call “The Cycle of Guilt,” is all about my mixed feelings on being a freelancer writer and occasional photographer and not making much money:

Long before my current employment situation occurred, my husband and I had already discussed the possibility of one of us staying home with our future children if we could afford it, instead of schlepping them to daycare all the time. We agreed, as mature, rational adults, that whoever did stay home would take on the majority of the household chores since they would have more free time. Gender roles be damned.

And so, even though we don’t have kids, I have kept my end of the bargain during my non-9-to-5 lull. But seeing as I’m not really doing anything meaningful, like, oh, I don’t know, raising a human being, it is constantly sending me down what I like to call the “Cleaning Spiral of Shame”:

Of course, being a woman, I let all these feelings fester inside, which leads to the Pie Chart of Reasons for Overeating:

And for a former athlete and one-time size six, all this over-eating makes me worry even MORE and feel bad about my body, which makes me feel even MORE guilt, meaning most of my days are spent in cycles and spirals of these feelings, which leads into the Bar Graph of Time Mis-management:

And what does all of the above equal out to? What I like to call Husband-Oriented Anger Displacement:

Yeah. It’s exhausting being a chick.

Now where are those damn Oreos?

P.S. Ryan, you are a very, very tolerant man. I love you.

P.S.S. Where are the damn Oreos?

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I don’t know how she doesn’t do it

Once upon a time (2010), in a land far, far away (exotic South Texas), there lived a woman (for lack of a better term) who was an expert at juggling many balls (not as dirty as it sounds). From dawn to dusk, the woman ran around (in a most elegant professional-like style), like a giant chicken with its head cut off (albeit in stylish and really, really painful heels).

And then, suddenly one day, the woman…wait!…let’s go with princess…suddenly one day, the princess…who was wicked pretty and owned two THREE ponies!…found herself moving to a much less humid land far, far away called Boston. It was there where her balls (oh, don’t be so juvenile) significantly dropped in number.

But then an odd phenomenon happened. The less balls she had to deal with (OK, yeah, that does sound pretty dirty), the less she seemed able to get done.

OK, OK, the jig is up. Obviously the woman wicked pretty princess (who also had the lips of Angelina Jolie and the boobs of ScarJo) is me.

During that year, I pumped out anywhere from 10 to 15 articles a week as an entertainment reporter (while still wasting a good 40 percent of my week on Facebook and Twitter), worked a second job, sat on the board of directors for the local CASA organization, planned my wedding, actually exercised on a semi-regular basis, did my 365 Project, showered daily (before noon!), maintained a thriving social life and ate socially acceptable breakfast food for breakfast instead of leftover lasagna and potato chips.

Cut to 2011. Now working as a freelancer, where my only two regular duties (heh) are writing weekly for Boston’s Weekly Dig and bi-weekly for the Victoria Advocate, I have turned into pretty much the opposite of that old adage “If you want something done, give it to a busy person.” Because now, if you need something done, dear baby Jesus in the manger, don’t give it to me unless you need it done sometime in 2015. I can’t seem to manage more than one thing a day these days (and that one thing may or may not include showering). Not to mention, today I ate a leftover cheeseburger and Fig Newton’s for breakfast.

For instance, it can literally take me the better half of a day just to read the Sunday editions of the New York Times and the Boston Globe now (and that’s usually on a Monday because God forbid I actually even read the newspapers in a timely manner). And just yesterday, the only things I had to do on my “to-do” list were to pay three bills online and return two e-mails. Naturally, this constituted dread and procrastination on my part until 3 p.m. when I finally dredged up the resolve to sit my ass down for a whopping 15 minutes to do it.

It’s like my new non-9-to-5 life has fallen under the rules of some mysterious universal law; much like Murphy’s Law, only named after someone less gooberish-sounding, like Ricardo, where the less you have to do, the less time you have to do it. I can’t tell you how many times my husband has come home from work and asked me “so, what did you do today?” And even though I felt I had a productive day, suddenly I realize I didn’t when I have to respond with “well, I cleaned the kitchen and then wrote half a blog and then…um…put on makeup…and…well…I…reTweeted a bunch a stuff…”

Not, mind you, that I’m complaining. I love having more free time. I just have no idea where that extra free time is going. My theory is that little gnomes are sneaking into the space-time continuum and stealing minutes from my day when I’m not looking.

Because me being lazy and not able to handle an unstructured life sounds just pathetic when you’re 30.

But luckily, I have a plan. Just like I did when I was a productive member of society, I’m going to schedule my day down to the minute and stick to it, no matter what. Which I will do as soon as I find the time.

Stupid gnomes.