work, work, work

Didn’t get that library job. Pretty crushed.

Looking around for a job… not much hope.

I’m glad I learned all I did as an English major — I never would’ve gotten to the point I am without it. But, sometimes I wonder about the practical use for this degree — especially if the bearer does not want to teach or write.

I put it to use by doing the readreadread, while the husband does the workworkwork. I get antsy feeling like a moocher to my husband’s work, but we’re both happy and fulfilled doing that … so does it matter if one doesn’t pay?

Of course it does. I just can’t imagine a job that I would enjoy as much as I do reading a good book. Seeing myself authentically, I realize that the prospect of having a job isn’t really appealing to me — and the feminist part of me rages as this complacency — didn’t we fight tooth and nail for the right to hold a job? Aren’t we currently fighting for equal pay? I want to be that kind of feminist. I want to be the kind of person to chase a career and climb the ladder

but, I have to recognize that I’m not.

So, how do I reconcile this within myself? How do I define myself within this marriage — living off the earnings of my husband? How do I keep my self-respect? It would be different, if I had a child to look after, but I don’t. The idea of being a permanent stay-at-home-mom is a bit repellent … but let’s be honest here. I am a stay-at-home-spouse. I cook, I clean, Dan cooks, Dan cleans. I study, he studies. He works, I don’t.

I am happy reading, socializing, sitting with the cats. I plan on continuing my schooling in one subject or other throughout my life; I don’t plan on building a career out of any of them — only working in that field for a bit before I get restless and want to move on. But I don’t feel completely at peace with this right now — it’s hard to respect yourself when you’re living off of someone else’s earnings.

I guess what I’m asking is, am I allowed to be content with life-and-no-job? Is that ok, or a bit despicable? I feel like I should be asking this to feminists instead of to my general group of friends, but I really want to hear your input. You all run the gamut of experience, and I need some help settling this part of my identity and needs.

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One response to “work, work, work

  • llcall

    I know this query was a while ago, but I say enjoy this pace/period of life, embrace it! Maybe this is just my life talking, but most of us will have changes of fortune. Times when we can work hard, times when we can’t. (And grad school is real work, of course.) Life is so uncertain — one month I was a dancer and a couple months later I was in a wheelchair. One month I thrived in a full-time office setting and a few months later, all I could do was lay in bed. So if you feel a sense of contentment in what you are doing now, and Dan does too, then LIVE THAT RIGHT UP! (This coming from someone who is not a proper feminist by any means.)

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