It's been 20 weeks of unemployment for Sophia Ferrel. Number of job applications she sent off in the last seven days: four. Last meal eaten before writing this post: "Half a roast-chicken sandwich on homemade bread (boyfriend is an amazing cook)—and tea for my throat."
Yesterday I limped my oil-hungry car past a teenage homeless girl, her hood pulled down low against the rain, her hand holding the requisite cardboard sign. The sign said: “Pregnant. Live in car. Need money for food and gas.” I couldn’t give her anything besides my Trader Joe’s Mixed Nuts, but I did feel blessed that I’m not in a situation like hers. And why is she not getting help somewhere?! Being unemployed and seeing all this stuff makes me want to go into social services.
Instead of begging for health care via a cardboard sign, I finally got an appointment at The Country Doctor up on 19th. After 18 days of being sick. What a great place! Friendly, cheerful people—and so affordable. My visit was only $15 and my medicine was only $13. (If I'd bought the same meds at a regular pharmacy it would have been $100.) I was so happy with my experience there that I wanted to kiss them all. No takers though, due to my viscous hacking.
The nurse practitioner that I saw thinks I have bad allergies due to all this pollen and I think I am just sick, so we will see who wins this argument: The nurse with years of school and practice, or me.
Speaking of typically expensive services: Turns out the lawyer will not be able to do pro-bono work on the lawsuit over my house after all. Not surprisingly, his partners said I don’t fit the typical pro-bono client type. But I can give him the deed to my property so that I can pay him with interest when I sell. This means he or his firm will be partial owners and I can't do anything without their approval. Fighting this completely frivolous lawsuit is going to cost me at least $5,000 plus interest of 12% a year. I guess that is the option you take when you don’t plan well and your savings totals $24.
The thing about the challenges in my life right now is that I would have them with or without a job. We have such great social services here that I am able to still pay my bills, eat, and drink my morning coffee. Our standard of living in the U.S. is so incredibly high that even if I lose a lot, I still have so much. Having loving family, friends, and a sweet little dog makes my soul sing (as cheesy as that sounds). Life is a short, lovely little adventure, and if you think of it that way it makes being broke a lot less challenging. Plus it is hard, if you have traveled at all, to not feel totally grateful for everything we have here.
Good news: My painting gig, like all construction projects, has stretched itself out to include three days this week. The job in Bellevue is a real possibility. And I sold my tub.