Today was the first day of Anevay's spring recess... and it was a good one. I had told her that today would be a day for me to tie up loose ends (I had a couple of orders in my shop to get out, as well as a few other errands), and, true to form, my girl let me get my work done, and then we were free to roam the neighborhood (picture above is from Bedford Ave, here in the BK)!
When I had a job, Anevay's vacations were very difficult for me. I was forced to leave my girl with friends, and when I couldn't do that, I had to spend insane amounts on money to have other people watch her. It was heartbreaking. Not only did I detest my crappy job, but not being able to be with Anevay was very painful. I couldn't figure out how any of it was really worth it. When she was in school, I saw her for less than an hour in the morning, and then an hour and a half at night. And then Saturdays were taken up by grocery shopping, laundry, and other equally fun and exciting chores. Anevay suffered, she wanted me around, and I was so exhausted by my insane schedule that when Sunday finally rolled around, our one truly free day, I was too beat to want to do anything. Really, it was no way to live. Not for me. Not for us. But I was trapped. Writing a book (I woke up at 4:15 in the mornings to work on it), but still, trapped...
Until I was laid off.
Overnight, things were different. I didn't have to rush in the mornings. I could finally, for the first time, pick up my daughter from school. I can't tell you what that felt like, to be able to do that (without having the guilt for leaving early from a crap job, or skip out on classes before school, which is where I was before I worked said crap job).
Where am I left...
Well, I have no money, and have no idea if any of the things I'm working on will prove lucrative. But Christ, man, I get to be with my kid, right now, during her spring recess. And the way the economy is looking, I might get to be with her over the summer. And if I'm not living today, then when the hell am I living?
For the last few years at my job I wanted so badly to look on the bright side... Now I'm living on the bright side. Right now, as I sit next to my kid, watching the end of a crappy movie (too embarrassing to name, although she did redeem her bad pick by also picking out another Wong Kar-Wei movie for tomorrow), I feel lucky. If the economy hadn't tanked, I'd still be sitting at a desk in an office on Park Ave. where my CEO paid more a month for the rent of that office than he did for my yearly salary. Yikes. The thought gives me the shivers.
Hopefully this will be the year for small, grassroots businesses, and hopefully people will stand up to the standard of living that many of us became so accustomed to adhering to. Because I don't know, honestly, if I can go back to feeling so squalshed. I have too much, people. I'm too fucking talented and smart, the biggest thing I was lacking before was that I hadn't loved money above all else. I went to school for what I wanted to go to school for (although in hindsight I would have chosen a different program, in a different creative direction), and thought that to work hard meant one climbed that ridiculous 'ladder to the top' that I've been hearing about since bad 80's movies. But unfortunately, I learned the hard way that working hard wasn't enough. Maybe it will be now.
I'm not going to wait anxiously to find out. I'm going to enjoy this time I have with my kid, not matter what comes next. And so, here's our itinery for the next few days:
Friday: Going to the park with Anevay's bike and not leaving until she learns to ride it, once and for all (this has proven difficult). Have ice-cream. In the evening, either watch back-to-back Wong Kar-Wai movies or go gallery hopping with friends here in Williamburg, as all the galleries are open late (second Friday of every month...). My guess is that Anevay will want to stay in and watch the movies... Fine by me. Lastly, I expect we'll talk, hug, then go to sleep. I plan on writing tomorrow late into the night.
Saturday: Go to a friend's for brunch, then off to the Botanical Gardens to see all the flowers opening (I love, love, love flowering trees). Tomorrow night I'm going to work on a medium-sized convex canvas I just bought... Playing around with some ideas.
Sunday: Meet up with friends, have an Easter egg hunt, host a brunch (I make a mean strata)
Next week: Storm King, Dia:Beacon, Coney Island, all over the place... Point is, I'm able to do any of these things, with my kid, and I don't have to answer to a job that only gives me ten days off a year!
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