Waiting a Little Less

We are taking a break from waiting this week. Actually, after I wrote that post it was like the world broke open, finally, and we were on our way again. Sometimes you just need to put it out there.

Yes, I am still waiting for things. Yes, there is always the “After such and such” and “Once we get blahblah” or “Maybe we can do that after blank amount of time has passed.” I think there will always be that, always. It keeps us moving forward, pushing more, going further.

But for now, we can cross something off the list. We are in for a big lifestyle change. Kamel has gotten a new job, at a new company. A company that will pay him for the work he does, a company that will (as it seems, so far anyway) appreciate him for all of the hard work he does. And, really, isn’t that the base line of any employer? It should be, if it’s not. Kamel has a new opportunity, a better work environment, and a new start.

And in turn, (and this is the extra exciting part), I will have the chance to stop working my temp job, the job that sucks most of my day away, that has me commuting to San Jose (an hour and 15 min home, 2 hours on the way there) and paying tolls, so that my commute expense is between $400-$500 a month. A job that has paid my bills and given us support and comfort and has also prevented me from focusing on my career.

Starting in July, I will begin working from home coffee shops. Writing another book, fixing the first book I wrote, getting my chap book finally finished and up for sale, researching and writing freelance (once I find jobs, that is…), working furiously to publish, and focusing better attention on this space. I’ll be starting a new series (starring the kitchen aid, and then hopefully some other cooking accessories we receive from the wedding), I’ll be able to have more time to spend doing the things for this space I’ve always wanted to do, but then never feel like I have time for. And, I’ll be working more hours over at APW, feeling less rushed and more on top of things. Kamel, while he advances his career, is giving me the opportunity to finally have mine.

It’s another chapter, a new beginning. I’m worried that I will fail, I’m worried that I will be lonely and bored sometimes, I’m worried that all of the drive is on me and what if I procrastinate my time away? I’m worried that I will go totally nutso without a job demanding I show up at a certain time. When I was unemployed for 2 months I was a crazy face… is this going to be like that? Seeing the beginnings of my to do list, it doesn’t seem like it will be, but I guess I won’t know until I dive in. And that’s the whole point. I am a writer, and yet… and yet, I haven’t been able to treat it like my full time job. It’s been a hobby I struggle (And succeed, mostly) to find time for. But I’ve never been able to do the things I really need to be doing (Like reading more literary journals? More on that coming soon.), and now I have the chance, the opportunity, to see where it can take me.

Of course this means we have a budget, a budget that is strict and necessary. This means math at the grocery store and a bi-weekly allowance. But it also means more freedom for travel, for long weekends, for adventures, for LIFE. Can you imagine? Instead of coming home, making dinner, working until bed, then waking up and working again, I’ll be able to have evenings with Kamel. And weekends! And then, once the wedding is over, I’ll have my sanity.

So congratulations and thank you to Kamel. You work so hard, and make me so, so proud. You deserve every good thing, you deserve to be appreciated, and I am so grateful that I get to navigate life with you next to me.

60 thoughts on “Waiting a Little Less”

  1. That’s awesome, congratulations on making it happen! I’m actually working on getting myself to a very similar place right now, so I’ll be eager to hear how it goes for you!

  2. that is huge – congratulations to Kamel! and you won’t get bored or stir crazy being at home/coffee shops if you don’t think of yourself as “unemployed” … you’re “self employed” and that is BAD.ASS.

  3. A warm congrats to you both.

    I just experienced a kind of kick in the pants by being published somewhere recently, and I’m using that as a kind of launching pad to really get back into writing again. Hopefully this shift will work to invigorate you and free you to do what you love . . .

  4. Ahhhhhhhh!! I knew it, I knew it, I KNEW IT!! Im sooooo dang excited for you guys. Its so amazing that you guys get the opportunity to jump into this phase of your lives right now, pre-wedding, pre-kids, just the 2 of you! SO awesome. You guys are gonna rock it. And I cant wait to start reading about the experience on here!!! WOOT!!

    1. Your enthusiasm is making me grin like a crazy person! I’m excited, but hesitant. I will be fist pumping like a crazy person come the day I actually get to not go to work and do something … um … productive? But right now it still seems future Lauren. And so much planning and set up and blahblah to get to before July 1st even! Let alone the wedding!

  5. Congratulations to both of you, and yay for new beginnings πŸ™‚ Used to love to go by myself to coffee shops and study there, and find new places every now and then . I think giving yourself a schedule, but more like a guideline, will help you not go crazy.

  6. I’ve been waiting for this post!!! This makes me so happy for you that it’s brightened MY day! πŸ™‚ SEE HOW THE HAPPY GOES AROUND?!?

  7. What wonderful news! Congrats! I’m sure you’ll be just fine working from home/coffee shops, but if you need some tips/warnings, feel free to email me…I’m at the tail end of a 2-year stint of working from home and definitely have a lot of thoughts on the subject.

    What a wonderful new chapter for you two…

    1. I’m interested, too! I’ve been freelancing for a while, but I’m always looking for new motivation and reasons to not slack off! (Find me at @kahlia or RegularlyAmazed at gmail.)

  8. Totally had a feeling this was coming (that you were somehow going to be able to focus on you’re writing, etc.) And congratulations to both you and to Kamel for getting an awesome job! This sounds like it is going to be awesome for you guys and is definitely inspiring to gals like me, who aren’t in the place they want to be when it comes to a job.

    Can’t wait to see what you come out with, and again congratulations, so so exciting for you too. πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you! Yes. It took many random, soul sucking jobs and a lot of work, and honestly luck to get here. It feels weird saying this, but if it wasn’t for Kamel’s financial security I would never get this chance. I kind of hate that, but it’s part of being a partnership.

      1. I totally know what you mean. There is a possibility in the near future that I may fall into similar shoes as you financially with Matt, though I’m not sure what that will mean for me. Lots of uncertainty right now, but that’s life for you.

        And yeah, I’ve felt the same way in some of the discussions that we’ve been having, the whole issues with feeling reliant on someone else but I mean.. If you guys can do it, and this is a dream for you, it’s worth it and totally awesome that you have a partner who is cool with that.

        It still definitely feels weird and no matter how many times they say it’s totally fine and they’re all for it, it’s kind of hard to be okay with it when you’re a strong/independent woman.

        Haha I don’t know, I’m rambling but what I’m trying to say is I totally get what you’re saying.

        1. Taking turns is a very good way to look at it! My partner and I are both freelancers, and there are often months where one person earns like half of what the other does. At times we have both had to force ourselves to not think of it as me paying for everything or him taking care of me. We’ve now come to a point where we see it as “sometimes you’re the one who earns more, and sometimes it’s me”, knowing that it will (almost-for-sure) eventually come back around.

  9. LAURREENNN. I did not read all the comments, I know that I am repeating what other people have said but whatever.

    DUDE DUDE DUDE! I am so excited for you! So! Excited! I want to do Kermit Arm Flail and Buttwaggle Of Happy all at once! In fact, I think I will! Oh. No. Wait. I am in the library … ah what the heck, I will humiliate myself in public with bodily displays of my enthusiasm!!!

    In short: MotherfuckinHOORAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Wow! I love that this is exciting, happy news for you *both*. Doesn’t get much better than that!! And yeah – I think self-employment will feel way different than unemployment, despite the sitting in coffee shops similarities. πŸ˜‰ I think it sounds like you have loads of drive, and that’s a great place to start!

    “if it wasn’t for Kamel’s financial security I would never get this chance. I kind of hate that, but it’s part of being a partnership.”

    Y’know, I struggle with this, too (though maybe if I were actually doing something vs. just being unemployed I’d feel differently :P). I guess it’s because on the surface, it looks very much like the old 1950s image of the male breadwinner/female housewife. But I’m sure we’d have found ourselves in the same situation if we were both women or both men. It’s part of sharing a life. Sometimes the support we can offer is financial. Sometimes emotional.

    1. I really appreciate this line: “It’s part of sharing a life. Sometimes the support we can offer is financial. Sometimes emotional.” And I have to keep reminding myself that. At this point, it’s kind of a hazy, scary decision we’ve made – this whole me, quitting my day job, to make money elsewhere, in places I could not afford to work if I was by myself. It’s all very “someday” still. Even though that someday is right around the corner. I am positive I will be writing about all of this a few weeks in. Should be interesting…

  11. raaahhhh!! congrats you two! I’m with Lizzie, really looking forward to that chap book. and all the million other things you’ll publish! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    budgeting and allowances can be a pain. but it helps to know you’re doing it by choice, and for a really good reason.


  12. Congratulations Lauren and Kamel!!

    On the guilt issue, I totally feel you. But, if it were flipped and you were in a position to financially support Kamel while he chased his dreams you would do it in a second. My not-glamorous government job let my BF quit his soul-sucking food service job to get a save-the-world job. Doesn’t do much for my financial anxiety but he’s so much happier and it’s so worth it.

    Go get ’em Lauren! You’re totally going to rock this!

  13. YES! Congratulations to you and Kamel! You’re amazing, and this will be so amazing for you. It’s what every writer wants – time to write – and I know you’ll take advantage of it and do incredible things. And I will seriously be first in line to buy that chapbook.

        1. Just twenty? They’ll go like hotcakes! (I have no idea how fast hotcakes actually go. But I’m betting it’s really fast. And 20 seems totally reasonable.)

  14. Congratulations to both of you!!! I’m so excited for you to have the chance to make this change! And a giant hurrah for no more horrendous commute!

  15. I’m loving this post and the comments!

    Hooray! Congrats, Kamel!

    I know you’re gonna kick butt, Lauren. I’m looking forward to more writing dates!

  16. Big Giant Congrats to you and Kamel both!!! Such a great feeling to take control of your career like that!!! wooo!

  17. Writing is often dismissed as “not a real job,” which is totally false. I personally am fortunate enough to be a full-time journalist, working for a newspaper company, but at some point I’d like to make the move to write books, blog more, etc. And when that time comes, I will probably rely on my soon-to-be husband for immediate support, just as he supported me through grad school so I could get the job I have now, which is currently what allows him to work temp/odd jobs and write/act/run a theatre company. Modern marriage/partnership is truly an evolving institution, and supporting one another should be part of the package regardless of gender roles. Also remember that you’re not unemployed, you are in business for yourself. A tip I recommend – get yourself business cards if you don’t already have them. Make them pretty and impressive. Make them say “Writer.” hand them out with confidence and pride. And give your fiancΓ© a hug because he sounds like an amazing dude.

  18. Yay! Congratulations to Kamel on the job, and to you, Lauren, on finally being able to pursue your career full-time!
    I’ve been freelancing full-time for over two years. Here are some tips that may help you find your groove once you start working as a freelancer: yes, you will probably spend some time in your PJs, not waking up until late or working very hard at first. It’s probably ok to give yourself a week (or two) off to indulge. After that, you’ll begin to have a better idea of what your schedule can/should look like. And then, as Meg says she learned from theater, you just have to show up and do the work–even if sometimes you have to force yourself! I don’t know about coffee shops for working (living in Europe does have some downfalls ;), or if you might be able to do it from home, but make sure you try both. Most people think they can’t work from home, but I’ve found that I can (despite being really easily distracted).

    Also, I think you should make some time every week to read literary journals. Treat it like work, since it’s related to what you want to be doing. I read a few different translation blogs, and I think it makes me a better translator (in addition to networking and all of that). It’s always good to know what’s going on in your industry.
    Starting in August/September, I’ll be in San Francisco & would love to meet up for lunch or have you show me the good coffee shops for working!

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