I applied for a job on Monday. Well, that’s not exactly true. I applied more than two weeks ago, but when I sent a follow-up email, discovered that my application had not been received. Cue mild panic attack followed by an entire afternoon and evening of frantically re-applying, using an application form I didn’t even know existed the first time. (Thanks a lot, “universal” job finding-and-applying website.)
And this afternoon, I received an invitation for an interview.
I really want this job. I think I’d be good at it, and it fits my “in my field/part time/no driving/personally and professionally fulfilling” checklist. But the more I think about how perfect it could be, the more the anxiety sets in. My heart pounds, my breathing becomes shallow, my thoughts race.
None of this is new. The older I get, the more I realize just how long I’ve been living with anxiety. But since our move to Wales, it’s been more intense than ever. To the point where I am considering asking for medication, something I have always insisted I could do without. (Not that I’ve even gotten as far as making an appointment to talk about this yet.)
When I was seeing Dr. N, she suggested writing out all the things I was anxious about. So, in no particular order, here goes:
The job. The interview is in a week and a half, which gives me plenty of time to research and prepare. And stress the fuck out. What if I don’t get it? That doesn’t bode well for other job opportunities (or the lack there of) for me here. Without either a car or Welsh language skills, I’m pretty much screwed.
What if I do? And I have to put my daughter in daycare two days a week, after being home with her nearly every minute of every day for over two years? Is it even going to be worth paying for child care when I’m going to be making so little to begin with?
If I answer “yes,” I have to immediately talk myself out of feeling guilty for the following reasons: a) now that she’s two, she really needs to spend some time with other kids, and b) I need to spend some time with other adults talking about something other than my daughter. I need to contribute, if not to our bank account, then to the community we now call home.
Ugh, money. I’m stressed out about it all the time. When we moved, we didn’t really know what we’d be able to afford, housing-wise, and erred on the side of having room for all our shit (and for potential future children) rather than squeezing into a tiny-but-affordable flat. I agonize over this decision almost daily. Because not only do we have to pay rent (which, on its own, isn’t terrible), but we have to pay council taxes, which are based on the value of the property (or the number of windows facing the street, depending on who you ask).
We get by, month after month, but just barely. And if we ever want to see our families, we need to save some money. Flights in and out of here (not to mention the three-hour train ride to and from the airport) are not cheap. My sister cries on Skype when we’re discussing things like birthday parties and my daughter says, “Aunt Zappa coming.” Sorry, baby, no she isn’t.
Same goes for fertility treatments. Before we can even think about doing our next FET, we have to figure out how to get our embryos here, where we’re going to store them, and how much it’s all going to cost. I mentally calculate the age gap between my first and possible second child. And it’s already larger than I had hoped for.
Yeah. What else? Oh, how about friendships. I’ve been trying, but it’s so hard. And I overanalyze every interaction I have, wondering just how much of a weirdo other people think I am. Half the time, I can’t believe I’ve just had a 20 minute conversation about breastfeeding, and the other half, I literally can’t think of a single thing to talk about.
And my husband? Sometimes I’m envious of how smoothly he seems to have made this transition, at least professionally. There are times it feels like we’re going in two different directions. Nothing makes me crazier than when I’ve spent all day chasing after Missy, and he comes home only to sit in front of his computer or the TV while I continue to try to juggle cooking dinner and managing a hungry, tired, and cranky two-year-old. And when I’ve talked to him about it, he insists we’re on the same team. It just doesn’t feel that way. And in the next few months, he has a bunch of work things coming up, which are going to leave me to solo parent for one to four days at a time.
There’s probably more, but Missy just woke up.