It Ain't Always Greener On The Other Side
There's this song that my husband and I love and in a way, I think of it as our sort of family theme song? Is that a thing?... who cares, I'm making it one! The song is called Hold On by Walk Off The Earth. And I'm not going to type up all the lyrics here like we all did on Facebook back in high school (and left people pondering what the heck was going on haha oh wait was that just me?...) so just go check it out and be blessed by its awesomeness. However, my favorite line in the song is "you gotta hold on to what you got babe, it ain't always greener on the other side.. we ain't rich but we're worth a lot babe" More than ever, this song has been resonating with me these past couple months.
Just a warning, this post is really vulnerable and it's not at all meant to make people feel sorry for us or offer leads. It's showing real life and I hope I can reach someone to let them know you aren't alone and I hope you can find comfort and inspiration after reading this.
If I haven't mentioned this enough, being self employed is HARRRRRD. Like maybe it's just us or maybe we haven't gotten up and over that huge hill of when things stop sucking and you start making money! Ha. Yeah.. it's literally always feast or famine. And that's fine if you're a good responsible adult and you budget smart and save your money and don't buy stupid stuff on Amazon. Oh wait. Yeah not us..... so we always find ourselves back here enevitably. In famine mode, in broke-ass panicking, eating ramen noodles mode. Okay maybe not THAT bad. We still eat real food but not rich people meals like shrimp and steak or Dominos (insert dramatic crying.. we REALLY miss dominos right now)
I would hope I don't have to say this but it's not that we are lazy people; sometimes the work just DOESN'T come no matter what you do, short of begging people which isn't our style. And sometimes people just DON'T pay when they're supposed to or when you thought they would. Sometimes the pay isn't as much as you had planned and of course the bills somehow end up being more than you planned too. It's the bitter part of self employment and even more so when you are in the arts & direct sales professions.
And since we've been through this over and over again, we're getting better at dealing with it. Don't get me wrong, there's stress and crying and scrambling. But we don't fight about money. We never really have. Why? Because we're a partnership. We respect and trust each other and we both work our hardest to earn for our family. It's not the other persons fault that we're broke. We both make poor decisions and we accept the consequences so what's the point of attacking and bringing each other down?
But yes, there's been a long road to get to this. In the past, when the famine hit. We would be restless, we would be irritated, we would let it take over and alter every aspect of our life. All of a sudden, nothing would be good enough anymore. We would beat ourselves up and say we weren't good enough, smart enough, that we were bad parents, bad spouses. We would start to do that ugly comparison game. We would look at others people's success and get annoyed and angry and confused as to why it wasn't us. We would compare our house and our car and our inability to do certain things or travel. We always assumed that everyone else was better off and doing great and we were the worst. We would let all those thoughts from the saddest and most angry parts of our mind seep out into our home and into our life. It affected EVERYTHING. We would be more or less miserable until work and money found us again.
Eventually we realized and accepted that we CHOSE this. We chose this path, these jobs, this adventure, this life. Why? Because we hated not seeing each other all the time, we wanted to raise our kids TOGETHER everyday and for my husband to see all the silly little crazy things they do as well as the big milestone things. We hated not being able to go home for the holidays or go on trips when we wanted for however long we wanted. And if you know us, we are NOT morning people.. like we live for sleeping in so getting up for some job before 9am? Nope. Didn't want it.
So now? Well now we let the hard times push us to do better, to work harder, to be stronger. We don't let the low times define who we are, we use them to help build upon who we're becoming. We hold each other up and believe in each other. We survive and never let our kids feel the stress, worry, or burden. We don't lie to them but we maintain a safe and consistent life for them because they should freely and carelessly enjoy their childhood and not think twice about what we are worried about or the fact that our lives are a mess.
And we finally realized and accepted one other important fact. We're not the only ones. We aren't the worst off-in fact in the grand scheme of the world, we are still very rich and SO blessed. We had spent too long taking for granted the things we did have and the things we had accomplished. Everyone has their own battles they're fighting and maybe it has nothing to do with money but it can still be just as difficult as our struggle. The grass ISN'T always greener on the other side.
And maybe someday when life is busy and flourishing, we will miss these slow and simple days. Maybe we were broke AF but our kids were just babies, we were always together and had to be creative. Maybe it's more important to enjoy things just as they are rather than always wishing for them to be something else. I am excited for the future and I know financial freedom is just around the corner for us but for now we're just trying to hold on to what we got and enjoy the ride.