Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It's Not Somebody Who's Seen the Light

I grew up on a semi-constant loop of catchphrases about God’s will- “God will provide”, “God won’t give you anything you can’t handle”, etc. These were supposed to be a source of comfort but at times, I felt like God was cutting it awfully close. Also, I didn’t understand why God wouldn’t provide the things I really wanted, like scratch and sniff stickers by the boatload, and the Princess Diana beanie baby.

Over the years, my family’s tight finances meant that God had to come up with clever ways to provide things I wanted even more than the latest trendy item. At age 11, I struck a full scholarship deal with a kind dance instructor who needed me in order to have a competitive junior line. I landed alumni donor scholarships and a place in a work-study program so I could attend my private high school. In college, I came within weeks of taking a year off to save money before I got a call that my loan rates had been reduced. Time and time again, things worked out just as I got to the end of my rope. Someone with better faith would have looked up and thanked the deity they believed in, but I generally chalked my fortune up to good timing combined with hard work.

Now on the verge of moving out, I’ve been in panic mode. I wasn’t sure how much emergency money I needed in savings, how much I needed for unplanned expenses each month. Do I really have enough money to comfortably live on my own? I wondered. Of course not. When does anyone who works entry level in my field ever look at their bank account and gleefully exclaim “YES! I have an absurd excess of cash and NOTHING to do with it!”

Right as I was about to tell my roommate that Failure to Launch was a great movie and therefore a great life plan, a lucrative freelancing opportunity jumped into my lap. It started a few weeks ago, and will end a few weeks before the dance season starts in October. Knowing I’m going to have a guaranteed 2nd income for the first 6 months of my lease is pretty fabulous. Bring it on, unexpected car failure! (Nah, we all know that I’ll burn out the battery at least 10 times all on my own before then.)

So here I am, staring down the period in my life J and I used to jokingly call ‘Our Dream Twenties’ back when we were in college and stupidly thought life could get better than undergrad. Thanks to an 11th hour financial back-up, I’m feeling confident that this isn’t the worst idea I’ve ever had.

What’s the old story? A man asks God to find him a parking spot and offers to quit drinking whiskey in return? Right then, one opens in front of him and he says, “Never mind God, I got it!”

That’s kind of who I feel like right now. Except that I didn’t technically bargain, I just stared in shock and fear at my Excel spreadsheet for hour after miserable hour until everything fell unexpectedly into place.

So whether I should be thanking God, my new client, or my networking skills, I don’t know. I’m still waiting on the scratch and sniff stickers. I think that’s when I’ll really know for sure.


Jamie said...

I love this post. Partially because I'm STILL freaking teaching on the side to make our Excel sheet a little prettier. Good luck with the move!

Shannon Clattenburg said...

This is such an awesome post! It's been a while since I visited (and since I've written anything on my own). Congrats on the freelance opportunity, that must feel awesome!

What do you freelance doing?