10 years ago, I was living in New York City, working for a Broadway general management company. It was a full-time job, although it was not “the job I wanted.” Since I was a little girl, I have always wanted to be a teacher. And at 24, although I was getting to go to Broadway shows and work opening night events and occasionally even interact with notable theatre people (Mike Nichols, David Hyde Pierce, Eric Idle, etc.), my position as Office Manager was not very fulfilling. The 101 Productions, Ltd. team was a wonderful, fun, inspiring group of people, but I knew I wouldn’t be there forever. And although the promotion from Intern to Interim Office Manager to Office Manager was a bit of a salary boost (and came with some health benefits), I was financially unfulfilled, to boot.
So along the way, I picked up some babysitting gigs, which really helped boost the monthly income, and also gave me some much-needed kid therapy. I have always loved hanging out with other people’s kids. Kids are pretty ridiculously amazing, and being around their energy and their perspectives refreshes and revitalizes me.
At the time, I felt that part-time work was something that naturally fell into the realm of being in one’s twenties — that it was often a necessary stepping stone in the journey to becoming “a real grownup who actually knows how to adult.” Any thought of ten years down the road involved a full-time tenure-track professor gig — or a career as a working actor with enough success to make acting a full-time job.
FAST FOWARD TO RIGHT THE F*CK NOW.
I’m 34. I live with my 29-year-old boyfriend Joel in an R.V. that’s parked in his parents’ driveway. Joel’s brother, sister-in-law, and newborn niece occupy the second bedroom of Joel’s parents’ two-bedroom house. The only person with a full-time job in our non-traditional living situation is Joel’s mom. Joel’s brother has two part-time jobs, Joel has a part-time job, and I am adjunct faculty (a part-time job that takes up a fair chunk of time) at our local junior college. I am currently looking for a 2nd part-time job to supplement my teaching pay (preferably a barista job, since I have prior experience at Starbucks and crazy-good people skills).
I live in an R.V. in my boyfriend’s parents’ driveway and I am looking for a 2nd part-time job to supplement my current part-time teaching job.
24-year old LDT did not foresee this.
24-year old LDT sometimes throws a rock at 34-year old LDT and says “WHAT THE F*CK ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE???”
And I’ll admit, it’s disheartening, at times, to sit back and look at my life “on paper.” To be 34 years old, living in an R.V. in someone’s driveway, in a town with a struggling economy (which I nonetheless have great love for), to be teaching only part-time, to be teaching English instead of Theatre (I love love love English, but I love Love LOVE Theatre), to be constantly in debt, to be without a driver’s license because of a DUI from 2015, to be 50lbs overweight, to have recently developed pancreatitis symptoms….none of this reads very promisingly.
I am teaching. It’s part-time, but it’s 10x better than not teaching.
And I might live in a driveway, but it’s with a human being I love deeply.
I have clothes on my back, food in the pantry, and a strong support system.
I am actively involved in Modesto’s theatre community.
There are people in this town who respect and appreciate me.
Blessings — I have quite a few. And so even as disheartened as I may be, as down as I get, as unclear as the future may be, I am able to hold on. Even on the worst, darkest days, I remain. I’m still here.